Wednesday, November 16, 2005
  Bullshit Talks. Money Walks.
There is still a law on the books stating that any person can be fined or imprisoned for up to five years for making “any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation” to Congress. Of course, in this Neocon world where justice stands on its head, “Bullshit talks, Money walks, and poor people go to jail.” Where, Barbara Bush would undoubtedly say, “.... you know (they) were underprivileged anyway, so this – this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them.”

What am I talking about? In a joint hearing last week of the Senate Energy and Commerce committees, the chief executives of Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips were asked a simple question

Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.): “Did your company or any representatives of your companies participate in Vice President Cheney’s energy task force in 2001?”

“No,” said Exxon Chief Executive Lee R. Raymond.

“No,” said Chevron Chairman David J. O’Reilly.

“We did not, no,” said ConocoPhillips chairman James Mulva.

“To be honest, I don’t know,” said BP America chief executive Ross Pillari, who came to the job in August 2001. “I wasn’t here then.”

“But your company was here,” Lautenberg replied.

“Yes,” Pillari said.

“Not to my knowledge,” said Shell Oil president John Hofmeister, who has held his job since earlier this year.

Documents released yesterday prove these masters of multi-billion dollar international oil corporations were lying. However, thanks to extraordinary maneuvering by Commerce Chairman Ted Stevens (R-AL), the executives were not under oath when they testified, so they are not vulnerable to charges of perjury. Committee Democrats who strongly protested this decision were over-ruled.

The document, obtained this week by The Washington Post, shows that officials from all these oil companies, with the exception of Chevron, met in the White House with Cheney aides who were developing a national energy policy. A great deal of those corporate written policies have now been passed into law and funded, including massive tax breaks to energy companies that are already raking in record profits.

Chevron was not named in the White House document, but the Government Accountability Office has found that Chevron was one of several companies that “gave detailed energy policy recommendations” to the task force. In addition, Cheney had a separate meeting with John Browne, BP’s chief executive, according to a person familiar with the task force’s work; that meeting is not noted in the document.

Environmentalists protested the task force’s secret, closed door meetings with corporate oil. They contended environmental and other public interests had no input into this important legislation. The White House refused to release a list of participants in the task force and subsequently was sued by Judicial Watch and the Sierra Club to obtain the records. And, guess what? As Gomer Pyle used to say, “Surprise, surprise, surprise,” the lawsuit was unsuccessfully.

Bullshit talks. Money walks.
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Samizdat: an underground system for the circulation of forbidden works of literature and political criticism in the Soviet era of Russia.

Location: Arkansas, United States

Angry, angry, angry ... but still, any day above ground is a good day.