THE BLOG
04/10/2007 06:45 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Halliburton Pulls Out of Iran: But...

Halliburton announced today that they were finally pulling out of Iran today -- after bailing out of KBR and America.

There are a variety of ways one could respond. I'll let you choose:

a) Could it be that Dick Cheney wants them out of there so he can be comfortable about shooting at Iran without hitting any of his old friends?

b) Could it have something to do with the fact that they're moving their executives to Dubai, as Senator Lautenberg suggested a month ago? After all, the subsidiary that Halliburton used to skirt restrictions on doing business with Iran is already based in Dubai, although it's incorporated in the Cayman Islands.

c) Gee, what took them so F#%!+$g long? I mean, Halliburton has been criticized since long before 9/11 for doing business in Iran. Hell, when he was CEO Cheney defended the company's actions and lobbied against the sanctions (another of Cheney"s big flip flops).

d) It's not actually over just because they say they're finally out of there: There's still a potential criminal case here, folks. The Treasury Department (OFAC) referred the issue to the Justice Department in early July 2004, prompting the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas to ask a grand jury to subpoena company documents related to its business relationship with Iran.

Three years later, the Justice Department still hasn't closed the case. Why? They won't say. Perhaps they're a little short-handed. Or ... could it be because the charges might implicate Dick Cheney, who suggested when the issue first came up while he was CEO in the late 1990s that the company "is allowed to operate legally in Iran through its foreign subsidiaries."?

("What we do with respect to Iran and Libya is done through foreign subsidiaries, totally in compliance with US law," Cheney told ABC Television's Sam Donaldson. When Donaldson suggested, "it's a way around US law," Cheney replied: "No, no, it's provided for us specifically with respect to Iran and Libya."5 If you're a big multinational that's able to incorporate around the world, you don't have to worry.) (Ref: This Week, ABC News, July 30, 2000.)

e) What about pulling out of Iraq while they're making such big changes over there? Why not just get the hell out of there, too? Actually, as far as oil work goes, they have.

For now. (Now that KBR is a separate company, Halliburton can truthfully say they have very little to do with Iraq these days, though obviously they'd never pull out of Iraq for good, especially while they're waiting around for the Iraqi parliament to pass the new oil law so that they and their friends at Chevron, ExxonMobil and the rest can steal the Iraqi people's oil.)

Hard to keep up with all these machinations. No wonder the company is moving its HQ's to Dubai.