The NY Times front-pages a mini-debacle - Peter Galbraith, adviser to John Kerry and Joe Biden, has been getting rich off the advice he has been giving the Kurds:
American Adviser to Kurds Stands to Reap Oil Profits
By JAMES GLANZ and WALTER GIBBS
OSLO — Peter W. Galbraith, an influential former American ambassador, is a powerful voice on Iraq who helped shape the views of policy makers like Joseph R. Biden Jr. and John Kerry. In the summer of 2005, he was also an adviser to the Kurdish regional government as Iraq wrote its Constitution — tough and sensitive talks not least because of issues like how Iraq would divide its vast oil wealth.
Now Mr. Galbraith, 58, son of the renowned economist John Kenneth Galbraith, stands to earn perhaps a hundred million or more dollars as a result of his closeness to the Kurds, his relations with a Norwegian oil company and constitutional provisions he helped the Kurds extract.
In the constitutional negotiations, he helped the Kurds ram through provisions that gave their region — rather than the central Baghdad government — sole authority over many of their internal affairs, including clauses that he maintains will give the Kurds virtually complete control over all new oil finds on their territory.
If this had been an advisor to Dick Cheney, libs would be leaping from tall buildings (Glenn Greenwald may leap anyway). Instead, the Times is utterly and absurdly opaque on the Biden connection:
As the scope of Mr. Galbraith’s financial interests in Kurdistan become clear, they have the potential to inflame some of Iraqis’ deepest fears, including conspiracy theories that the true reason for the American invasion of their country was to take its oil. It may not help that outside Kurdistan, Mr. Galbraith’s influential view that Iraq should be broken up along ethnic lines is considered offensive to many Iraqis’ nationalism. Mr. Biden and Mr. Kerry, who have been influenced by Mr. Galbraith’s thinking but do not advocate such a partitioning of the country, were not aware of Mr. Galbraith’s oil dealings in Iraq, aides to both politicians say.
Joe Biden did not advocate partitioning Iraq? Uh huh, and Dick Cheney never worked for Halliburton.
Meanwhile, back here in reality we are left wondering, if Biden never avocated the partition of Iraq then why did the Times print this guest rubbish from none other than Peter Galbraith back in 2007:
IN a surge of realism, the Senate has voted 75-23 to acknowledge that Iraq has broken up and cannot be put back together. The measure, co-sponsored by Joe Biden, a Democratic presidential candidate, and Sam Brownback, Republican of Kansas, supports a plan for Iraq to become a loose confederation of three regions — a Kurdish area in the north, a Shiite region in the south and a Sunni enclave in the center — with the national government in Baghdad having few powers other than to manage the equitable distribution of oil revenues.
While the nonbinding measure provoked strong reactions in Iraq and from the Bush administration, it actually called for exactly what Iraq’s Constitution already provides — and what is irrevocably becoming the reality on the ground.
And why did the Times accept this piece in May 2006 from Leslie Gelb and a what I infer is a Biden pretender calling for the partition of Iraq? Why did they tell us in 2007 and 2008 that Biden favored the partition of Iraq?
Back when Biden-advisor Galbraith was positioning himself to make millions with the Kurds, Biden was advocating the policies that would help Galbraith achieve just that. For the Times to pretend otherwise is absurd. The only argument I can imagine them making in support of their burial of the Biden connection is that as of November 12, 2009, Joe Biden no longer advocates the partition of Iraq. So what?
To their credit the Times does acknowledge that this is a story by front-paging it; after they reprise their own archives it may dawn on them that the story is not limited to one opportunistic "private citizen" but points directly to the judgment of the Vice President.