Oil companies paid Libya’s $1.5 billion fine for Lockerbie attack

Here’s a nice little case study for a business-school ethics class, courtesy of the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — In 2009, top aides to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi called together 15 executives from global energy companies operating in Libya’s oil fields and issued an extraordinary demand: Shell out the money for his country’s $1.5 billion bill for its role in the downing of Pan Am Flight 103 and other terrorist attacks.

If the companies did not comply, the Libyan officials warned, there would be “serious consequences” for their oil leases, according to a State Department summary of the meeting.

Many of those businesses balked, saying that covering Libya’s legal settlement with victims’ families for acts of terrorism was unthinkable. But some companies, including several based in the United States, appeared willing to give in to Libya’s coercion and make what amounted to payoffs to keep doing business, according to industry executives, American officials and State Department documents.

The companies in question are not identified.

– Jay Bookman

431 comments Add your comment

Normal

March 24th, 2011
7:53 am

Normal

March 24th, 2011
7:55 am

The good news is…one glorious day we will run out of oil…

BB

March 24th, 2011
8:03 am

“The good news is…one glorious day we will run out of oil…”

That day can’t come soon enough.

godless heathen

March 24th, 2011
8:03 am

Price of doing business in a foreign land. What’s the big deal?

godless heathen

March 24th, 2011
8:04 am

Just consider it a tax on big oil then it will be ok in the liberal playbook.

Doggone/GA

March 24th, 2011
8:04 am

“What’s the big deal?”

Ok, so you’ve got no problem with bribery. GREAT! Pay me $100,000 and I won’t trash your name and reputation all over the internet.

md

March 24th, 2011
8:08 am

Well…….we are seeing what happens to gas prices when oil is in question. Since the world economies run off oil, it is quite an interesting case study. For the corps it is about profit, but for countries, it is about the bigger picture economic ramifications………

Is it ethical to allow the lower classes to suffer the burden of a bad economy………looks like we may find out.

godless heathen

March 24th, 2011
8:08 am

Libya could have just imposed a $1.5 billion tax on the evil oil companies and then paid the money to the victims. That would have been ok, right?

Tommy Maddox

March 24th, 2011
8:08 am

Gee, extortion by Dictators. What a concept.

Since we are forced to seek oil from the Middle East rather than our own back yard, I’d thank the patriotic environmental movement for them having to do this. Don’t complain.

Obama

March 24th, 2011
8:09 am

How’s everyone doing today? I have really enjoyed my time in Brazil the past few days playing soccer with the kids and letting Hillary do all my dirty work for me!

Granny Godzilla

March 24th, 2011
8:09 am

SO how do we find out which companies did this?

godless heathen

March 24th, 2011
8:09 am

The US government collects bribes from US companies all the time. They call them taxes, but what’s the difference?

md

March 24th, 2011
8:09 am

“The good news is…one glorious day we will run out of oil…”

Best hope we have something to replace it with before it goes dry……….

ty webb

March 24th, 2011
8:12 am

uh oh, jay. You may have stepped on a hornet’s nest with this one. What a conundrum for the residents lefties. By the way, for you liberals, which do you guys hold in lower esteem, the oil companies or terrorists? this should be interesting.

Doggone/GA

March 24th, 2011
8:13 am

“Best hope we have something to replace it with before it goes dry”

Hate to say this, but hope is not enough. We’d better be planning, testing and developing. Of course that DOES cost money.

Normal

March 24th, 2011
8:13 am

Doggone/GA

March 24th, 2011
8:04 am

But he’s already done that…sorry…

Peadawg

March 24th, 2011
8:14 am

Ah, Cynthia…err…I mean Granny’s back! Welcome!

Granny Godzilla

March 24th, 2011
8:15 am

“By the way, for you liberals, which do you guys hold in lower esteem, the oil companies or terrorists? this should be interesting.”

actually the “lowest esteem” tag is saved for the cosnservatives who put us in the position between terrorists and oil companies rather than having the courage to just say no to fossil fuels

Peadawg

March 24th, 2011
8:15 am

“but hope is not enough” – 2 years later you’re just now figuring that out?

Doggone/GA

March 24th, 2011
8:15 am

“But he’s already done that…sorry”

Not to me he hasn’t

Normal

March 24th, 2011
8:15 am

md

March 24th, 2011
8:09 am

We won’t. Nobody plans ahead…but I have horses… :)

DebbieDoRight

March 24th, 2011
8:15 am

I wonder if those nice patriotic oil companies in the US passed the bribery patriotic contribution on to the US consumer………..things that make you go ……..hmmmm

Normal

March 24th, 2011
8:16 am

Doggone/GA

March 24th, 2011
8:15 am

I meant trash his reputation on the i-net… :D

Granny Godzilla

March 24th, 2011
8:16 am

Mornin’ Peadawg…..Hope you are well.

Doggone/GA

March 24th, 2011
8:17 am

“2 years later ”

2 years? Where did that come from? I don’t know about you, but *I* have known it for at least 2 decades. Where have YOU been?

md

March 24th, 2011
8:18 am

Goes back to the Golden Rule…………….those with the gold………..rule.

Doggone/GA

March 24th, 2011
8:18 am

“I wonder if those nice patriotic oil companies in the US passed the bribery patriotic contribution on to the US consumer”

Better wise up. EVERYTHING they have to pay is passed on to the consumer. Where else do you think they get their money?

Doggone/GA

March 24th, 2011
8:19 am

“I meant trash his reputation on the i-net”

Oh! But he could still pay me not to do it. I’m always willing to be bribed to not add to an already bad reputation!

Normal

March 24th, 2011
8:19 am

DebbieDoRight

March 24th, 2011
8:15 am

Just another “subsidy, Debbie, just another subsidy…

DebbieDoRight

March 24th, 2011
8:20 am

Where else do you think they get their money?

The oil fairy?

md

March 24th, 2011
8:20 am

“rather than having the courage to just say no to fossil fuels”

And with no abundant replacement, courage isn’t the proper word……..mass suicide would be more like it.

Normal

March 24th, 2011
8:20 am

Doggone/GA

March 24th, 2011
8:19 am

:D

Normal

March 24th, 2011
8:21 am

Maybe we could turn all the roads into slot car tracks…

md

March 24th, 2011
8:21 am

“We won’t. Nobody plans ahead…but I have horses…”

Already on the menu in Europe……..best fatten them up……….

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 24th, 2011
8:22 am

Good morning all. Shocking, terrorists demand ransom. Sounds like an argument to make a list of world leaders whose names should be etched on a drone missile. The only question is whether we should publish the list in the NYT.

Doggone/GA

March 24th, 2011
8:23 am

“And with no abundant replacement”

Actually…there are three abundant replcements: nuclear fission, nuclear fusion, and sunlight. The problem isn’t their abundance, it’s that we haven’t figured out how to use them safely and/or on the scale we need them – both large and small scale

Peadawg

March 24th, 2011
8:24 am

“2 years? Where did that come from?”

I was talking about Obama’s Hope & Change bs that all the liberals fell for.

WOW

March 24th, 2011
8:25 am

“The companies in question are not identified.’

Which makes your topic irrelevant.

@@

March 24th, 2011
8:25 am

I read a Canadian oil company and a British oil company. Perhaps I missed the American oil companies that sealed a deal.

Anyhoo…

Looking back on the decision in 2004 to resume business dealings, Juan Zarate, a former top White House and Treasury official in the administration of President George W. Bush, said that officials had believed then that the benefits of trying to rehabilitate Colonel Qaddafi outweighed the obvious risks. “It was a deal with the devil,” Mr. Zarate said.

“The hope was that with normalization, Qaddafi would serve less as the mad dog of the Middle East and more as a partner,” he added. “But I don’t think this is the way anyone would have wanted it to work out.”

No different that our present day approach to Ahmadenijad in my opinion. America has always carried the burden of a trusting nature.

How many times have I heard leftists claim it’s our sanctions that drive Arab nations to retaliate?

WOW

March 24th, 2011
8:26 am

“SO how do we find out which companies did this?’

EXACTLY!!!!!!

md

March 24th, 2011
8:27 am

“Actually…there are three abundant replcements: nuclear fission, nuclear fusion, and sunlight. The problem isn’t their abundance, it’s that we haven’t figured out how to use them safely and/or on the scale we need them – both large and small scale”

You nullify your own argument……….if we haven’t figured them out, then they may very well be “potential” replacements, but not replacements.

A bit like bio fuels………feed the cars, starve the people…………

WOW

March 24th, 2011
8:27 am

Obama was the biggest recipient of BP oil cash.

Obama was president when the bomber was released from prison.

DebbieDoRight

March 24th, 2011
8:27 am

Normal: Just another “subsidy, Debbie, just another subsidy…

Morning Normal!! I’ve been googling trying to figure out what the oil prices in 2009 were – I don’t think those nice kind US oil companies would do anything wrong to us, I guess some people on this board are just being a little too cynical. US oil motto is not “Profits only!” Its “profits before people or pride……..that’s the American way!”

Doggone/GA

March 24th, 2011
8:27 am

“Perhaps I missed the American oil companies that sealed a deal.”

Ummm…maybe you missed the memo. Canadians ARE Americans

dude

March 24th, 2011
8:27 am

I’ll take hope&change over compassionate conservatism

WOW

March 24th, 2011
8:28 am

From Politico

President Obama defended his Nobel Peace Prize on Tuesday, saying that Americans “don’t see any contradiction” in him ordering an attack on Libya to make sure “people aren’t butchered because of a dictator who wants to cling to power.”

I had no idea Obama knew what every single American thought.

carlosgvv

March 24th, 2011
8:28 am

“business-school ethics class”

I think most of us know that “business ethics” is about the biggest oxymoron there is. Big Oil will do anything, legal or illegal, to maximize profits and minimize costs. As always, money talks and BS walks.

godless heathen

March 24th, 2011
8:29 am

So no answer Doggone about if it would have been ok if the Libyan government had collected the $1.5 billion in taxes and then given to the victims it would have been moral?

WOW

March 24th, 2011
8:29 am

“I don’t think those nice kind US oil companies would do anything wrong to us’

Geez, what is it with left wingers and not knowing how oil prices work?

AGAIN: Oil companies do not, DO NOT, set gas prices.

Granny Godzilla

March 24th, 2011
8:30 am

md

“md

March 24th, 2011
8:20 am
“rather than having the courage to just say no to fossil fuels”

And with no abundant replacement, courage isn’t the proper word……..mass suicide would be more like it.

au contraire mon frere, there are lots of alternatives, you just have to have the gumption to try ‘em. our family has reduced our fossile fuel use by over 60%….and continue to look at new ways to drive that number higher

If we all did it, and that means you too, we could tell both the oil companies and the terrorists to bite our chunky American backsides.

But hell, if your SUV is more important than the well being of your nation…..

@@

March 24th, 2011
8:31 am

Doggone:

Kanucks of the North American continent. Not Americans in the strictest of terms.

WOW

March 24th, 2011
8:31 am

“there are lots of alternatives,”

Yet you didn’t name one single alternative that can be used on a mass scale.

“chunky American backsides.’

Way to make fun of your voting base, Granny.

“if your SUV is more important ‘

Al Gore has a fleet of them.

md

March 24th, 2011
8:31 am

“US oil motto is not “Profits only!” Its “profits before people or pride……..that’s the American way!””

Darned catch 22 again………folks complain all the time about ungodly profits…..until they take a look at their pension plans and then complain there isn’t enough.

godless heathen

March 24th, 2011
8:32 am

Where does government get its money? Do you think QDaffy was going to take the $1.5 billion out of his personal account?

WOW

March 24th, 2011
8:32 am

md

You’re talking to people who have absolutely no idea how economics work. Granny/Vet etc NEVER took Econ 101. Most of these people didn’t even go to college.

md

March 24th, 2011
8:36 am

“au contraire mon frere, there are lots of alternatives, you just have to have the gumption to try ‘em. our family has reduced our fossile fuel use by over 60%….and continue to look at new ways to drive that number higher”

Spot replacement is much different than mass replacement………….some can’t afford all the new technologies……….

And about the only way to wean off fossil at the moment would be solar………care to share what you changed? May give others some incentive.

Granny Godzilla

March 24th, 2011
8:36 am

WOW

You remain umimpressive.

WOW

March 24th, 2011
8:36 am

Oil tops $106/barrel. Gotta love hope and chains.

WOW

March 24th, 2011
8:37 am

“You remain umimpressive.’

Oh gee Granny, I had no idea I was trying to impress the uneducated.

DebbieDoRight

March 24th, 2011
8:38 am

md: And with no abundant replacement, courage isn’t the proper word……..mass suicide would be more like it.

They had a documentary on the National Geographic a few weeks ago called “A World W/o oil” or something like that; anyway they did a synopsis of what would happen to the world. Found out that the US would fair worse than any other country because of our complete and utter dependence on oil. Other countries that used bio-fuels, solar panels, windmills and other alternate forms of energy would make out just fine.

@@

March 24th, 2011
8:38 am

On the alternatives?

I’m all about using garbage as fuel. We have an overabundance of garbage here.

WOW

March 24th, 2011
8:38 am

“care to share what you changed?”

Talking points, md. Talking points. These left wingers havne’t a clue as to what would replace oil. None of the alternatives can replace oil.

Solar and wind energy is less than 1% of the energy used in America.

Oil is about 85-90%.

WOW

March 24th, 2011
8:39 am

“Other countries that used bio-fuels, solar panels, windmills and other alternate forms of energy would make out just fine.”

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

JKL2

March 24th, 2011
8:40 am

I thought everyone on here would be happy to punish big oil. It’s their country so they could make up any excuse to extort money from them. Muammar is one of the richest men in the world so it isn’t like he hasn’t taken a couple kickbacks along the way.

Doggone/GA

March 24th, 2011
8:40 am

“So no answer Doggone”

I just LOVE it when people are so desperate for attention they have to BEG to have their posts answered.

Jay

March 24th, 2011
8:41 am

Oh, I see, WOW.

Earlier, you explained that only fools think oil companies set oil prices. Because in your universe, presidents do that.

Oh, and by the way, I’m introducing the WOW rule today. Ten posts per topic for you, but if we go over 500 posts — and by then we’re usually off topic anyway — the limit is lifted altogether.

Jay

March 24th, 2011
8:41 am

Ehhh, make it 15 of the first 500.

TaxPayer

March 24th, 2011
8:42 am

Why am I not surprised. The US companies probably even double dipped and wrote it off as a tax deduction while simultaneously increasing their prices to make up for the added cost of doing business and followed up with multi-million dollar bonuses for executives to compensate for their pain and suffering.

WOW

March 24th, 2011
8:42 am

JKL2

What’s really funny is that Gaddafy is now not expected to step down. Still trying to figure out what we’re doing with Libya.

On another note, Ed Schultz, the failing MSNBC lying talk radio pundit, is now for the war with Libya. Kind of funny how hypocrisy works for the left.

Call it like it is

March 24th, 2011
8:43 am

WOW, You know Mummar El-Daffy, really didnt think this through. Lets face it the oil companies have a lot of money, a lot of power and a lot of clout. Wouldnt be surprise if they just didnt pull their money together and help start some kind of civil war and have the worlds most powerful nations do their dirty work…………Ops did I say that outloud?

carlosgvv

March 24th, 2011
8:43 am

Granny

What is the Aviation industry supposed to use for fuel if they “just say no to fossil fuels”?

JohnnyReb

March 24th, 2011
8:43 am

The blog god should ban for stupidity those who post such crap as the good news is one day we will run out of oil and it can’t come soon enough. If that day does come, these idiots should be the first to starve as they cry from having wipped their butt with poison ivy.

md

March 24th, 2011
8:43 am

DDR,

Even Van Jones has admitted “the math just isn’t there” in reference to getting off oil. And some of those other countries use a lot of nuclear……..which is a bad word right about now………..

DebbieDoRight

March 24th, 2011
8:43 am

md: Darned catch 22 again………folks complain all the time about ungodly profits…..until they take a look at their pension plans and then complain there isn’t enough.

Well it’s like this md; for some people money is money is money. They’ll sell their soul for a buck; do vile things w/children, film those things and sell it over the internet. Prostitutes make money, but look what they have to do to earn it. If it’s all about profits, then I guess for you it’s all good……

Granny Godzilla

March 24th, 2011
8:43 am

md

60% is quite a big spot.

It was actually very simple.

Whole house energy audit (free itself) and
some added insualtion here and there….doors tightened up, weather stripping added, improved programable thermostat….thermal linings
in draperies (HUGE difference), added exterior shade…

Reduced commutes, tele-working, improved gas mileage….

Cut plastic use…NEVER COOK IN IT!!!!…

Full loads in dish and clothers washers…

F. Sinkwich

March 24th, 2011
8:44 am

“And about the only way to wean off fossil at the moment would be solar……”

A solar panel is going to power my Suburban ? LOL

Yo, WOW, ever get AmVet’s doozy?

WOW

March 24th, 2011
8:44 am

“Earlier, you explained that only fools think oil companies set oil prices. Because in your universe, presidents do that.”

When did I suggest that presidents set oil prices, Jay?

“Oh, and by the way, I’m introducing the WOW rule today. Ten posts per topic for you’

Ah, because the left wingers are crying you limit my speech. Nice. Way to represent free speech, Jay.

Jay

March 24th, 2011
8:44 am

Heathen, in other words, Libya would do it by raising their prices, right?

And then they’d be less competitive and sell less oil at that higher price, right? So in effect it would be coming out of their profit.

OK by me. Or at least better than paying it upfront, as a shakedown to in effect finance terror.

@@

March 24th, 2011
8:45 am

Oh, and by the way, I’m introducing the WOW rule today. Ten posts per topic for you

Personally, I think it should apply to everyone, but I’m not the ruler of this here blog.

TaxPayer

March 24th, 2011
8:45 am

Following WOW’s “logic”, we also should not be driving cars since at one time over 90% of land transportation was via horse.

Jay

March 24th, 2011
8:46 am

No, WOW.

Because the ratio of content to noise in your posts is exceeding low.

TaxPayer

March 24th, 2011
8:46 am

The Toyota Prius has a solar panel in the roof.

Granny Godzilla

March 24th, 2011
8:46 am

carlosgvv

whenever possible…Take a train or drive……

I would never have taken you CARLOSGVV as a man who would shy away from a challenge…..

WOW

March 24th, 2011
8:47 am

“Because the ratio of content to noise in your posts is exceeding low.”

Alright Jay, I’ll stick the THE topic at hand and promise not to change topics. Also, I will not get into dumb spats with left wing bloggers over tedious non-topics.

MC

March 24th, 2011
8:47 am

Johnny Reb,

Are you ditching school again today?

md

March 24th, 2011
8:48 am

“What is the Aviation industry supposed to use for fuel if they “just say no to fossil fuels”?”

How about electric airplanes using the hamsters (people) as the source. No seats, just huge treadmills throughout the plane…….accomplishes 2 things…..powers the plane and gets the obese population back in shape………..no quitting early on the treadmill either.

Jay

March 24th, 2011
8:49 am

That would be nice, WOW.

SV

March 24th, 2011
8:49 am

“Personally, I think it should apply to everyone, but I’m not the ruler of this here blog.”

Finally figured that out, huh?

WOW

March 24th, 2011
8:50 am

“That would be nice, WOW.”

You have my word.

@@

March 24th, 2011
8:50 am

Most commonly used home insulations contain petroleum byproducts…even soy-based.

Little known fact.

Finn McCool

March 24th, 2011
8:51 am

Smart move by Quaddafi. Why should he start being ethical at that point in time?

If you’ve already started dancing….

Jay

March 24th, 2011
8:51 am

And I’ll try to intervene should you become a target of others.

md

March 24th, 2011
8:52 am

“Prostitutes make money, but look what they have to do to earn it.”

Bummer isn’t it……all this time I’ve been doing it for free…………

Granny Godzilla

March 24th, 2011
8:52 am

“Most commonly used home insulations contain petroleum byproducts…even soy-based.

Little known fact.”

Only for the folks who are “little knowers”…and that can be avoided by doing ones homework.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

March 24th, 2011
8:53 am

Well, first we get quotas to let Those People take jobs from us and now we get a WOW Quota. What’s a old retired man with nothing else to do but blog suppose to do with his time? This must be Unconstitutional. Besides, Bookman will be down to 200 or so posts per blog if he keeps the WOW Quota. Then Bookman will get fired and the rest of us won’t have a place to blow off steam.

Finn McCool

March 24th, 2011
8:54 am

Most microwave popcorn contains lighter fluid.

If the ingredient list says TBHQ, you are eating lighter fluid. Butane gas.

Other products containing this: McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets, Eggo frozen waffles, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

@@

March 24th, 2011
8:55 am

Much like NATO, I need a precise definition of jay’s topic…errrr….target.

Unscrupulous behavior on Qaddafi’s part?

Unscrupulous behavior on Bush and Obama’s part?

Alternative fuels?

AmVet

March 24th, 2011
8:55 am

Good morning all. Shocking, terrorists and American multinational corporations in bed together.

And the “free market can do nothing wrong” cons not only don’t mind, they promote it.

To what depths will these sick b@st@rds sink?

No wonder American trust in CEOs/Big Business now rivals that of used car salesmen and the US Congress…

(And just for Hershel’s waterboy, where’s that doozy?!)

poison pen

March 24th, 2011
8:55 am

Right Granny, we will say no to fossil fuels and all ride our wagons to work, real smart!

TaxPayer

March 24th, 2011
8:56 am

Before the discovery of oil and the invention of different refining methods, a major source of fuel was whale blubber. Breed the whales, like cows and chickens. Better yet, use chicken fat as fuel so it will smell like KFC everywhere you drive. Yum. Also, diesel fuel can be made from plants so it is a renewable fuel.