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By Brad Friedman on 12/3/2010, 1:22pm PT  

Just thought we should flag this one while Dick Cheney is still around (and while Obama is still in office).

According to Business Week, the former CEO of Halliburton will soon be wanted for arrest on bribery charges by Nigeria, with whom the U.S. has a long-standing extradition treaty. As well, they may also be asking Interpol, whom the U.S. is supposed to be cooperating with, to help in seeking Cheney's arrest. All of this at a time when Rightwingers (and some non-Rightwingers) are calling on Interpol to arrest WikiLeaks' Julian Assange for...something or other.

All of which may put the U.S. in "a very awkward position", according to Georgetown University's Constitutional Law professor Jonathan Turley, who discussed that --- and the Obama Administration's collusion with Republicans to protect the Bush Administration from torture charges in Spain, as we've now learned from recently released WikiLeaks cables --- on MSNBC last night...

TURLEY: The fact is that we have had an extradition treaty with Nigeria since 1931. And under the U.S. Attorney's manual, these types of red notices are to be enforced. You are to confirm that there's a valid arrest warrant. There's a valid arrest warrant here. And that the country has an extradition treaty with the United States. That exists. And so, what does this mean? It means that the United States is going to be in an awfully difficult position, because they're supposed to help locate the subject. Well, this subject has a Secret Service detail with him at all times. So it won't be too hard to find him. You just call up the detail, and wherever they are, he's there. So it's going to be a very awkward position for the United States. They will have to, effectively, refuse to cooperate with Interpol, refuse to cooperate with Nigeria.

OLBERMANN: Speaking of Interpol, that's an interesting juxtaposition, because the Nigerians want to go via Interpol for the arrest warrant for Vice President Cheney at exactly the same time conservatives here are demanding that we use Interpol to arrest the founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange. Is that anything but an irony?

TURLEY: It's a really crushing irony, because it's clear that the United States is pressuring for his arrest, and it would be rather odd for them to be pushing a red notice on Assange and then ignore one with Mr. Cheney. Under the normal course of things, they would assist Interpol and Nigeria in extraditing this individual. The fact that he's a former Vice President is really not supposed to matter. That's why we have that blindfold over Justice. You're not supposed to peek. And this is a red notice and a valid case out of Nigeria, demanding his arrest.

Please note, aside from the charges that Halliburton, its subsidiary KBR and Cheney, its CEO for much of the period in question, are about to face in Nigeria, the companies agreed to pay some $579 million in fines in a settlement with the U.S. SEC last year over those same bribery allegations after it was revealed they'd spent $182 million over 10 years to win more than $6 billion in foreign construction contracts. KBR, along with Halliburton one of the top U.S. government contractors, plead guilty as part of that settlement "to violating the federal law banning companies from paying bribes to get business in foreign countries," according to the Washington Post.

All in all, it looks like, in that instance at least, the bribery paid off with a handsome profit, even including the fines eventually paid to the SEC.

Odd that we don't hear Fox "News" and Andy Breitbart and James O'Keefe, and the Tea Baggers they've all scammed, calling for an end to the billions of dollars in U.S. contracts with admittedly corrupt Halliburton/KBR, despite their "outrage" over the approximate $3 million (with a tiny "m") that ACORN received from the federal government over each of the last 15 years. Thanks for protecting us from that nasty Big Government corruption, "watchdogs"! We know ya care.

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UPDATE 12/7/10: Nigeria charges Cheney with bribery, as expected. Details...

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