Thursday, December 9, 2010

You Think This Would Be News: Cheney Indicted

You really would think news that former Vice President Dick Cheney was likely to be indicted on charges of bribery by the government of Nigeria would at least rate a mention on the nightly news, but apparently not. So in case you likely missed this story, Nigeria's anti-corruption agency is set to levy charges against Cheney and a host of other top officials from the oil industry services company Halliburton over charges that a Halliburton subsidiary, KBR, bribed a number of Nigerian government officials to win approval for the construction of a natural gas liquefaction plant. This plant would allow KBR to export liquefied natural gas (or LNG) by ship from Nigeria. While KBR and Halliburton have since split up, the charges date back to before 2007, when KBR was still a Halliburton subsidiary, and presumably to before 2001 when Cheney was still the head of Halliburton.

KBR has already agreed to pay more than $180 million in fines to the government of Nigeria.

Of course even if indicted it is impossible to believe that Cheney would actually go to Nigeria to stand trial. But the charges shouldn't just be dismissed as the act of a grandstanding government. Nigeria is Africa's most populous nations and one of the economic powers of the continent. It is also a major supplier of crude oil to the United States and is a growing exporter of LNG.
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