Friday, May 27, 2005

Dubya Indemnity: Bush Renews Protection for War Pork Cronies

The remarkable Deep Blade reminds us of an important story that slipped completely beneath the media radar last week. (And my, isn't that a surprise!) George W. Bush has quietly renewed the infamous Executive Order 13303. (Or rather, it would be infamous if anyone knew about it.) This imperial edict, first promulgated in May 2003, bestows complete immunity -- civil, financial, even criminal -- on all US corporate interests involved in any way with Iraq's oil. Deep Blade provides a panoply of backing documents, so scoot on over there and check it out.

I first wrote about Order 13303 in the Moscow Times in August 2003, following up on reporting by Steve Kretzmann and Jim Vallette. Here's an except from that MT piece:

...In the order, Bush proclaims that any legal action taken for any reason against any American corporation dealing in "Iraqi petroleum products" at any point in the process – from well-head to gas-pump to boardroom – "constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security" of the United States. In fact, the very possibility that one of Bush's oil pets might be held accountable for its actions while gorging on Iraqi crude is so terrifying that the Looter-in-Chief has declared a "national emergency" to deal with the situation. (A "national emergency" that he forgot to mention to, er, the nation.)

The Bush edict grants a blanket immunity to all traffickers in Iraqi oil – as long as their moolah finds its way, by hook or crook, into the coffers of "United States persons or entities." Bush declares flatly that any "judicial process" launched against these protected entities "shall be deemed null and void." And how to guarantee that his partners and patrons won't be troubled by some rogue nation that still clings to the outmoded principle of law and order? Simple: one of the agencies authorized to "employ all powers" necessary "to carry out the purposes of this order" is our old friend, the Defense Department...

The full story can be found here:
Dubya Indemnity: Bush Barons Beyond the Reach of Law