THE BLOG
09/21/2007 01:00 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Bush Oil Buddies Divvy Up Iraq (Money Doesn't Talk, It Swears)

This news from last week didn't generate nearly enough buzz but is surely a big deal: Hunt Oil of Dallas has signed an oil production-sharing agreement with the grand poobahs of northern Iraq's Kurdistan region, in apparent defiance of the central government in Baghdad, which has questioned its legality.

Paul Krugman wrote about it in his New York Times column, but there was very little hard reporting on it. There should be more, and here's why.

Last January, when President Bush announced the surge, he said that its purpose was to give Baghdad time to accomplish so-called "benchmarks," the most important of which is a fair and equitable oil sharing agreement between all three major stakeholder groups in Iraq (Shiite, Sunni and Kurd).

But now, Bush's Texas pal Ray Hunt has grabbed a big 'ol piece of the Iraqi oil patch pie for himself. He's getting his before the government has even worked out its own revenue sharing plan. Bush's crowd is apparently the country's fourth stakeholder.

Hunt is also a member of the president's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, an ad hoc group of private citizens who give him their perspective on world affairs.

So what does Hunt know that we don't? By laying down some serious corporate jack, isn't he signaling -- quite clearly -- that the Iraqi government is never going to get its own act together on the commodity that represents two-thirds of its GDP?

And by the way, does the Bush clan personally have stock in Hunt Oil, and shouldn't the media at least ask that question?

Alan Greenspan bluntly says in his new book that the war in Iraq is largely about oil. Since this war was first sold as being about 9/11 and terror, and then about Saddam's mushroom clouds and nonexistent WMDs, and then about freeing the Iraqi people from his tyranny, and then about creating democracy throughout the Middle East, and then about God knows what, shouldn't this new Hunt connection pique the interest of the people and our free press?

Smells fishy to me.