Monday, June 23, 2008

Bush's New Man in Dubai

The White House announced the nomination of Richard G. Olsen, Jr. for Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates. Richard is familiar with the region having served the State Department as Director of the Office of Iraq and Director of Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs. Olsen volunteered to work with the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) as Governorate Coordinator for the Province of Najaf.

One could smell a cash theme in Richard's past and future assignment. The CPA acted very unlike their initials by handing out $12 billion in cash with virtually no record as to where it went. How much of that passed through Najaf during Olsen's time as Governorate Coordinator? However, that $12 billion looks like chump change to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, holding $875 billion in assets. Those greasy oil profits continue gushing in UAE government corporate accounts.

In a six degrees of Kevin Bacon connection, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority purchased 7.5% of a politically connected private equity underwriter (PEU) with a Pennsylvania Avenue address. The Carlyle Group might sell another chunk to the richest SWF in the world.

Congress recently held hearings on foreign government owned corporations using your gas money to buy American companies and U.S. infrastructure. Carlyle hired enough Clinton White House staffers for this do nothing Congress to remain inert on the issue.

What's a citizen to do? Just be happy your gas money is making already insanely rich people even wealthier. Pretty soon they could take your toll money as well.