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Oh, Yeah, That Oil…

Following up on the revelation that four western oil-giants are getting massive no-bid contracts from the Iraqi Oil Ministry comes the least surprising story of all time:

A group of American advisers led by a small State Department team played an integral part in drawing up contracts between the Iraqi government and five major Western oil companies to develop some of the largest fields in Iraq, American officials say.

The disclosure, coming on the eve of the contracts’ announcement, is the first confirmation of direct involvement by the Bush administration in deals to open Iraq’s oil to commercial development and is likely to stoke criticism.

In their role as advisers to the Iraqi Oil Ministry, American government lawyers and private-sector consultants provided template contracts and detailed suggestions on drafting the contracts, advisers and a senior State Department official said.

Among the shrill explanations for/developments within the Iraq war that are now confirmed: torture, corruption, permanent bases, seizure of the oil. A wise man tells the New York Times:

“We pretend it is not a centerpiece of our motivation, yet we keep confirming that it is,” Frederick D. Barton, senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said in a telephone interview. “And we undermine our own veracity by citing issues like sovereignty, when we have our hands right in the middle of it.”

That should be the epigram/epitaph for the war.

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