Bob's Links and Rants

Welcome to my rants page! You can contact me by e-mail: Blog roll. Site feed.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

60 Minutes
I just watched, via TiVo, Leslie Stahl's 60 Minutes piece on companies doing business with "rogue states," aka countries which "sponsor terrorism." So many levels of hypocrisy here, but still a great story to have out there, and this time it wasn't competing with an NFL playoff game.

Stahl interviewed William Thompson, the New York City comptroller who oversees the $80 billion in pension funds for all city workers. He wants investors to know about three corporations which are doing business in Iran and Syria, nations on the State Department's list of "terrorist" nations. The three corporations? Conoco Phillips, General Electric, and HALLIBURTON.

Halliburton uses apparently sham subsidiaries in the Caymen Islands and Dubai in an attempt to meet the letter of the law, but Stahl's investigation showed that these subsidiaries were not independent as the law requires. These deals were apparently set up during the five-year reign of Dick Cheney as Halliburton's CEO. Lord, I'd love to see that excess of evil behind bars.

The other level of hypocrisy, besides that of the corporations, is the arbitrary labelling of Iran, Syria and Libya as sponsors of terrorism, while countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Egypt (not to mention Israel) are left off the list. Eighteen of the 19 9/11 hijackers came from either Saudi Arabia or Egypt. While I'm sure some case can be made for dozens of states being connected to terrorism (including Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Florida, California, TEXAS...), the State Department's list is purely political. Unfortunately, 60 Minutes, Thompson, and the whole gist of the story bought the whole "state sponsors of terrorism" BS without question.

Good to see them going after Halliburton, though. Once people start to see the hypocrisy, maybe they'll catch on that there's a whole lot of it out there. Bush's speeches immediately following 9/11 opened my eyes to it, and you can see where it has led me!