As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Monday, August 31, 2009

iCarly: In This Case, the I Stands For Iran


If we're going to have to deal with eMeg, then we also must contend with iCarly (and anyone with sons, daughters, nieces or nephews knows the reference). Weeks into her brave transition from failed CEO and failed Presidential campaign surrogate into the bold new world of failed Seante candidate, Carly Fiorina has hit a snag in the form of her extremely dicey past:

Over the past dozen years, Hewlett-Packard has sold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of printers and other products to Iran through a Middle East distributor, sidestepping a U.S. ban on trade with the country.

Now the person who headed HP for much of that time, Carly Fiorina, is ramping up to run for U.S. Senate. And questions are emerging about what Fiorina knew about HP's growing presence in Iran during her six-year tenure at the Silicon Valley firm from 1999 to 2005 [...]

Fiorina, a Republican who is gearing up to challenge three-term Democratic incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer in 2010, declined an interview request. But she issued a statement through her campaign spokeswoman saying that she was unaware of any sales to Iran during her time at the company.

"It is illegal for American companies to do business in Iran," the spokeswoman, Beth Miller, wrote. "To her knowledge, during her tenure, HP never did business in Iran and fully complied with all U.S. sanctions and laws."

iCarly's stock response when questioned about her awful tenure at Hewlett-Packard is to say that she was unaware of the misdeeds and only aware of the deeds. For someone running on her success as a go-go CEO, that's a curious position to take, that she didn't know about large chunks of HP's business. Especially when the evidence has been clear for years that HP products found their way into Iran, with their printers becoming "nearly ubiquitous there," according to a Boston Globe report. HP has finally gotten around to severing their relationship with a Dubai-based distributor which clearly funneled their products into Iran. That distributor worked for HP throughout iCarly's tenure.

This is fun:

One former federal trade enforcement official said HP's dealings with the country are ripe for further investigation. If Fiorina or other HP employees based in the United States were aware that HP products were being resold to Iran, they could face fines or even prosecution for violating the trade embargo, said Mike Turner, former director of the Office of Trade Enforcement at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

"If I was still sitting in my chair today," said Turner, who retired as head of the enforcement agency two years ago, "I'd be looking at who at HP had knowledge of this and when did they develop that knowledge."

I actually appreciate iCarly entering the race. It would be so boring watching Chuck DeVore play the Washington Generals to Barbara Boxer's Harlem Globetrotters. iCarly will add a dash or two of corporate failure, espionage, illegal trade practices and possible indictment, all the while giving the state economy a stimulus by spending all her money in defeat.

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