Just Above Sunset Archives
January 4, 2004 Franco-American Relations: The Diplomatic War Intensifies
On Friday, 19 December
2003 on my daily weblog As
Seen from Just Above Sunset,
I mentioned an item that was being published the next day in Le Fiagro that was most curious.
Enquête sur l'affaire Halliburton
You get the idea.
And now the domestic press
has picked it up.
Yet another sordid chapter in the murky annals of Halliburton might well lead to the indictment
of Dick Cheney by a French court on charges of bribery, money-laundering and misuse of corporate assets.
Cool. Uncle Dick may be in trouble.
The suspected bribe money was mostly ladled out between 1995 and 2000, when Cheney was Halliburton's CEO. The Journal du Dimanche reported on December 21 that "it is probable that some of the 'retrocommissions' found their way back to the United States" and asked, did this money go "to Halliburton's officials? To officials of the Republican Party?" These questions have so far gone unasked by America's media, which have completely ignored the explosive Le Figaro headline revealing the targeting of Cheney. It will be interesting to see if the US press looks seriously into this ticking time-bomb of a scandal before the November elections.
Now wait a minute! Who ignored the story? Not MY readers!
It seems as if the new year is shaping up as a real political donnybrook between France and the United States.
One gets the feeling our government is edging toward revoking the right of Air France to land anywhere in this country. The whole thing with the cancelled Air France flights from Paris to Los Angeles last week seems to many a political set up - we told them bad guys were going to be on those flights, and urged them to cancel the flights, which they willingly did, and then they could find none of these bad guys, because they never showed up at CDG and perhaps never were going to show up. Then we called them incompetent and berated them for announcing they were canceling the flights when we obviously wanted to catch the bad guys boarding the airplanes in Paris. A "no win" set-up of the French government. Cool. We got them good. We made them look real bad.
But now they may indict Cheney. Touché.
This is not going to be nice.
By the way, I have flown that Air France non-stop from CDG to LAX twice, Flight 68, and the last time was the morning after Richard Reid was caught trying to blow up his funky sneakers on that American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami. Quite safe - but a long, boring December flight leaving CDG in the late morning, climbing northwest over London then Belfast then Greenland and up over the arctic circle, where the sun drops below the horizon and it's night again, and then the sun rises for a second time as the fight drops down over the back end of Canada, over Montana then Las Vegas and into Los Angeles. Two sunrises in one day. The sun also rises? This is not what Hemingway had in mind.