Thursday, September 01, 2011

Tangled Webs

Offered without comment.

    David Cameron has been operating a secret unit in Whitehall charged with undertaking covert economic operations to choke the Gaddafi regime of the one thing it had in abundance: oil.

    The "Libyan oil cell" was run by the international development minister Alan Duncan and helped to strengthen sanctions against the oil-rich country, blocking supplies of crude oil to the dictator's side while allowing petrol and diesel to flow to the rebels.

    But the government is likely to face intense scrutiny over the fact that the unit was involved in linking the rebels to a Swiss oil firm, Vitol, which has been credited with keeping the revolutionary engine running through the war. Duncan was previously a consultant with the firm and has close personal ties to its chairman, Ian Taylor. Taylor has also been a Conservative donor in the past.