A lot has been made of Donald Trump’s Secretary of State appointee, Rex Tillerson. Tillerson has spent his entire professional life working for the oil giant, Exxon-Mobil. He began as an engineer and worked his way up to CEO. Admirable, indeed. Beyond that, many have raised questions about his Russian ties and friendship with Vladamir Putin. While some of those reports certainly will give some lawmakers some pause when they consider confirming him to the cabinet next year, it is Tillerson’s history with the small African nation Chad that should have those same Senators seriously questioning whether they can vote ‘yes’ on Tillerson.
Rachel Maddow exposed this story on Tuesday night. It probably isn’t as ‘sexy’ of a story as Tillerson’s Russian ties. It also isn’t the kind of story that can be boiled down to a 15 second sound byte, but it shows exactly how Tillerson ‘deals’ with other nations.
Many years ago, as Maddow reported (see video below), Chad, a landlocked and extremely poor nation struck oil. When that happened, the United Nations, led by the U.S., stepped in to assist Chad to avoid the common pitfalls of when nations strike oil. Many times, when this big money comes in, it causes more corruption and unrest than it does help the nation climb out of poverty. Often, the nation ends up in worse economic shape. The phenomenon even has a name, ‘the resource curse.’
So a deal was made and Chad was essentially given millions in extra revenues with the only condition being it had to be spent for the people in areas like health care, education and economic development. Three companies were given access to Chad’s oil to drill and refine it. That deal was working pretty well until Chad’s leader, who aspired to be a totalitarian dictator, decided he didn’t want to spend the money on the people, but spend it on guns and military build-up.
Maddow then shows how two of the three companies were kicked out of Chad, literally overnight. They were given 24 hours to pack their bags and start making their way out. One company remained, Exxon-Mobil. Turns out, they went in and made a new deal with Chad. For their exclusive access, they agreed to give the dictator literally 25 times (500 million vs 20 million) the amount of money and without the stipulations on spending the revenue on the people. In other words, he could buy all the guns and ammo he needed to secure his own power for as long as he liked.
Today, out of 188 nations, Chad ranks 185th. Fourth from the bottom. It is considered a failed nation-state according to the U.N.
Who was in charge of Exxon at the time and made this deal that took Chad from being an emerging nation to an authoritarian dictatorship with no hope?
That’s right, you guessed it — Rex Tillerson.
Tillerson not only wasn’t working in any interest of the United States or the civilized world in any way, shape or form. In fact, so Tillerson could get his precious oil, they made a deal that made the world, especially in that region, a much more dangerous place. That is how Rex Tillerson works. His ‘deals’ don’t have anything to do with U.S. interests. In fact, as this deal shows, he is fine to work in direct defiance of American interests as long as he makes a profit.
America does not need such a man representing us. Hopefully, our Senators who are charged with confirming or not confirming him as Secretary of State will have a longer attention span than most of the American public and spend some time on this story. This story shows how Tillerson is fine not only to not be working in America’s interests but defying them and actively working against us when it lines his pockets. Keep in mind, as well that Tillerson has spent his entire adult career working for those big oil interests at Exxon. That is his life and where his priorities have been. We have simply never had a nominee who has spent his life fighting and undermining our interests the way Tillerson has done making Exxon-Mobil billions in profits. To expect him to now be all ‘rah-rah’ for American interests is more likely a stretch, to be polite.
Maddow also shows in the clip below that the endorsements from Bob Gates and Condi Rice aren’t as ‘great’ as they seem. Turns out, both work for the consulting firm who Tillerson’s Exxon Mobil employs. Not exactly an ‘independent’ opinion.
Featured image via screen capture from youtube.com