Your Expensive Commute Has Gone To Line Maliki’s Pocket


I see that Henry Waxman’s just as focused on oil as those Republicans trying to stink up the House–only in Waxman’s case, he’s demonstrating that the Iraqi budget surplus is almost the same amount as the money Americans have spent on Iraqi oil.

On Tuesday, the Govemment Accountability Office reported that by the end of this year Iraq may amass a budget surplus of between $67 billion and $79 billion as a result of windfall oil sale revenues.

This is roughly the same amount U.S. consumers have paid to purchase Iraqi oil since the war began. According to data provided by the Energy Information Administration, the United States is the single largest purchaser of Iraqi oil, and U.S. consumers will have spent between $70 billion and S74 billion to purchase Iraqi oil by the end of this year.

This means U.S. consumers have been paying record gas prices at the pump to build up Iraq’s massive budget surplus. At the same time, U.S. taxpayers have paid $48 billion to fund Iraq’s reconstruction. I am writing to ask what steps the Bush Administration is taking to ensure that Iraq contributes its fair share to finance the reconstruction.

I’m sure the international oil market doesn’t work on a one-to-one correlation like this. But the American consumers paying $4 a gallon to fund their 30 mile commutes don’t know that–nor do they care, I suspect. Waxman writes:

Based on this information, it appears that U.S. taxpayers are paying twice – once through their taxes to pay for lraq’s reconstruction and a second time at the pump to help build Iraq’s massive surplus.

Shorter Waxman: Why have American taxpayers been asked to forgo necessities to line Nuri al-Maliki’s pockets?

    • DefendOurConstitution says:

      Sure is. Surge in Iraqi oil sales $, surge in US gasoline prices, surge in food prices. By God! McCain is right! The surge is working!

      Thanks for clarifying Bmaz.

    • BayStateLibrul says:

      On the eighty fifth day McCain catches a fish.

      “I have never seen or heard of such a fish. But I must kill him. I am glad we do not have to try to kill the stars.”

      The Old Man and the Surge

      Eventually, the sharks will devour McCain for his fucking empty rhetoric
      and lies…
      We cannot win this war.

  1. JimWhite says:

    Do we know anything about how the rest of the Iraq government’s budget works? Is there any kind of revenue generating process other than oil sales? What I’m wondering is whether the rest of their government budget is simply flow-through from US “reconstruction” and other gifts which then go to fund the military and other government expenses.

  2. perris says:

    this is INCREDILBE stuff and it DEMONSTRATES unequivialbly obama made a HUGE mistake backing off shore drilling before these petro concerns exploit the licenses they already own, from think progress;

    Yesterday, Rep. David Davis (R-TN) became the first incumbent Tennessee congressman to “lose in a primary in more than four decades.” He lost to Johnson City, TN Mayor Phil Roe who accused “Davis of selling out to ‘big oil’ by accepting money from industry PACs and backing legislation supporting offshore drilling”:


    Conservatives predicted significant gains in the polls as a result of their stunt. The Hill wrote, “House Republicans believe they have struck political gold with American voters.” Instead, Davis’s support for big oil cost him his job.


  3. perris says:

    here’s what we need;

    we need OFF oil, we need to put that business OUT of business, we need alternative fuel, we need to begin growing the prolific weed known as hemp (instead of food) since it gives the best energy return, we need to harvest wind and tide energy where that harnessed power will not affect the surrounding economy, ergonomy and envirnment, we need solar power in each and every household


    I am pretty darned certain with the correct stimulous package with the same relative resources as we did to get to the moon, we can be energy independant in 5 or ten years, and the price of petro WILL go down BECAUSE we approach that energy independance

    this will be a BOON to our economy, it will get our auto industry BACK producing cars since the dead animal machines will become obsolete, it will provide BOTH, government jobs AND private sponsored jobs, it will be an outlet to release all those dollars the president printed to “fund his war”, it is a no lose investment (except for the petro industry)

  4. FormerFed says:

    Waxman should have a bigger staff. He is digging into great stuff.

    What a nice ad this would make.

    • emptywheel says:

      He actually just lost one of his top committee staffers to serve as Congressional outreach from the Obama campaign.

      Still busy during the recess, though.

  5. perris says:

    to what avail?

    the president still thinks he is without boundaries, he is still in office, not one criminal is charged, to what avail?

    I blame pelosi and pelosi alone, she is an accomplice

  6. perris says:

    I surely hope it will, at least the crimes are now documented, not to be buried but part of the historical record, at least we have that and waxman to thank for it

    waxman is one of the greatest lawmakers this country has ever elected

    • nomolos says:

      It truly amazes me that people in the public eye do the stupidest things and, what, assume they will never be found out? So Edwards has had a peccadillo with a healthy looking woman big fucking deal. Stevens, Ted that is, has been taking bribes for bloody years. Bush has been murdering, torturing and robbing Americans and others for years. Rove has been in the business of rigging elections. Gonzalez and his buddies have been turning the justice department into a joke. A succession of WH employees and elected officials have been lying through their teeth and shredding the Constitution for years. Nothing gets done about it.

      Edwards gets laid and the MSM has a fucking orgasm. Give me a break

      • MsAnnaNOLA says:

        Ditto. You are spot on.

        Constitution shredded…crickets.

        Bushco forgeries to justify war….crickets.

        I say trash the TradMed they are useless with very few exceptions.

  7. Mary says:

    I’m not on the same page with Waxman and Levin et al on this one. And I don’t think you can really say that the $ are lining Maliki’s pockets directly – any more so than anyone elses, esp as they sit in a surplus. But for:

    “Why have American taxpayers been asked to forgo necessities to line Nuri al-Maliki’s pockets?”

    I’d have to say, oh, maybe because Congress backed an ginned up illegal war of aggression?

    Maybe bc Congress allowed Bush to create a couple of million refugees to pad his ego – almost nil of whom have been, or ever will be, repatriated to their homes.

    Maybe bc America not only chose its illegal war of aggression and to put Bush ego over domestic poverty programs and Lockheed/Halliburton profits over Soc Sec stability – but also chose to target civilian infrastructure and trained civilians in Iraq over and over and over and over and over, leaving almost nothing in the way of hospitals, doctors, teachers, schools, electric etc.

    Maybe bc “you break it, you buy it?” as opposed to “you break it, you piss on the owner and rape his child and destroy his home and then tell him he needs to pay your contractor buddies who will steal everyone blind to fix it?”

    Maybe bc we never have accounted for the Iraqi 9 billion we “lost” and never accounted for the weapons we flooded into the country and never even said “too bad” over what we did to Fallujah and all those who were trapped inside it?

    Maybe bc we brought al-Qaeda in Iraq to them and did nothing to protect their holy places and encouraged a civil war that brought them day after day after day of beheaded and power drilled bodies, along with rampant kidnapping, crime and US run concentrated population centers where thousands and thousands have been rounded up and held on whim and for whatever purpose strikes our fancies at the time?

    Maybe bc we killed and continue to kill civilian after civilian and plop down a thousand bucks here or there for leaving an extended family without their breadwinners or their infants and then promote those who leave the civilian bodies in their wakes?

    I dunno – why would America have to pay any price at all for the Iraq invasion? After all, it’s the country where accountability is off the table.

  8. MarkH says:

    Bush paying off Maliki to shut up about a timeline or an end to our occupation?

    More money running through Iraq’s fingers and into American corporate hands?

    BTW, if there’s lots more oil coming from Iraq then the world’s supply is UP, but economics says more supply drives prices down. Drill drill drill in Iraq and prices go up. Is that what U.S. Republicans have in mind for us if they can get drill drill drill going here too?

    If it’s not world supply of oil that drives it’s price, then just what is? Maybe excessive speculation in the oil markets?

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      FWIW, the best resource that I’ve found is Ben Lando’s “Iraq Oil Report”, which I found via Juan Cole about a year ago. Judging from its cluster map, it has quite an international readership.

      It’s interesting to see who’s cutting deals with whom:

      IIRC, about the time that the Dems started in on their claims that “Iraq needs to pay for its own infrastructure”, Lando put up some sobering analysis about why the Iraqi’s are unable to access and control the revenues from their own oil — as I recall, the money funnels into accounts in the US and are actually dispersed by US gov’t employees.

      And yeah, the thought that Cheney doesn’t publish his budget, nor his staff, could easily lead one to ponder whether anyone ‘administering’ that Iraqi revenue works for Doge Cheney. (Yes, my tinfoil hat now firmly in place.)

  9. PetePierce says:

    There is a lot of poetic justic in what US consumers are paying at the pump. Like children, they have to be forced to have boundaries.

    1) They ain’t conserving oil nevah. No how. No way.

    Big Ass SUVs are being fearuted this weekend in car sections in major city newspapers.

    2)Before declaring one of the women he had an affair with, Mrs. Sugar Mommmommmamommma an ideal candidate for Ms. Buffalo Chip, McBullshit told a bunch of Harley Riders with an extended engine rev marathon that they were “exercising their freedom [to go deeper in debt to the Middle East for oil as one late night comic pointed out].

    3) The drilling whoring is out in full force. It’s not going to net diddly jack shit posibly ever, and is a diversion from real conservation measures, but the Bannana Republic of the USA loves a good whoring pimping project so why not “drill” [of course how they would drill with precisely what boats is an interesting question but maybe Barney will volunteer if they lace him with IV Ritalin.

    4) The Iraqi government, with the Federal Reserve paying Maliki and his clowns a half million in interest is in shambles and they still cannot open major hospitals, have equipment problems worse than some of the major inner city teaching hospitals in the U.S. (who have major equipment problems, lack basic antibiotics, bandages, cast material, and surgical tools, and can’t keep the power on in much or Iraq and certainly in Bagdad,

    5) After five years, Iraq has still refused to make the most important decisions over diving oil, and settling their election differences:

    Iraqis Fail to Agree on Provincial Election Law

    As Iraq Surplus Rises, Little Goes Into Rebuilding

    It’s happy hour and I sure would like some of what they’re smoking over at FDL:

    Ole Swopa needs to get a contract as a late night comedian:

    First of all, anybody think it’s a coincidence that Barack Obama just happened to leave the continental U.S. for a week’s vacation the day Edwards went public? Yeah, me neither.

    Second, many people in Jane’s thread earlier today pointed out the obvious foolishness of Edwards trying to win the Democratic nomination for the White House, given the inevitability that this affair would be revealed eventually. But then again, that might explain the oddly combative-for-its-own sake tone of his campaign, as Edwards constantly spoke of the need to “fight” entrenched interests, with far less emphasis whether he actually had a plan to defeat them — almost as if he was giving a pep talk to the voters (and the other candidates), rather than actually planning to govern the country.

    A few words for Swopa:

    Vicki Eisman and cheating on Cindy McCain (second wife)
    Cindy Hensley and cheating on Carol McCain (first wife)

    “Obvious foolishness of Edwards trying to win the nomination?” How about the “obvious foolishness” of McCain with two known afairs that are the least of his problems trying to win the election?

    And what’s in KO’s happy hour drinks? He keeps saying that Edwards’ affair is part of a pandemic for ectopic screwing.

    Hell Swopa McCain won the nomination and is trying to win the election with his affairs right out in front!

    What’s the difference?

    We aren’t trying to restore the completely destroyed rule of law and the completely destroyed foreign policy of this country based on a candidate’s monagamy and why the hell would Obama plan his vacation around Edwards’ announcing an affair with Rielle Hunter???

    Obama should be grateful that Edwards ran? Edwards got a small actual fraction of the votes. I don’t see Edwards as pivotal in Obama’s whupping up on the 200 millionairess.

    That Edwards might have intentionally sacrificed himself, either to put his choice of issues on the table or simply to prevent Clinton from winning the nomination (while saving Obama the damage of “going negative” himself), is a convoluted, almost tinfoil-worthy possibility… but one that’s hard to dismiss out of hand.

    I’d send that one to Steven Colbert’s The Word