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Friday, May 13, 2005

Show me the money

Posted by: Hammer / 12:12 PM

That's all I ask, Smilin' Norm: show me the $6 million George Galloway should have stashed somewhere under his name. Then I'll start believing you:
British parliamentarian George Galloway on Thursday agreed to testify before a U.S. Senate panel "with both barrels" to dispute allegations Saddam Hussein awarded him the right to buy oil.

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, in a new report on fraud in the now-defunct U.N. oil-for-food humanitarian program for Iraq, released documents saying Galloway got rights to 20 million barrels in oil, personally approved by ousted Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

..."My first words will be 'Senator, it's a pity that we are having this interview after you have found me guilty. Even in Kafka there was the semblance of a trial,'" Galloway said.

...The oil-for-food program, which ran from late 1996 to 2003 allowed Baghdad to sell oil to buy basic goods to ease the impact on ordinary Iraqis of sanctions imposed when Saddam's troops invaded Kuwait in 1990.

A CIA report estimated $1.7 billion in fraud in the $67 billion program but said that most of Saddam's illicit earnings came through oil sales to Jordan and Syria outside of the U.N. program, which were known to U.N. Security Council members.

After the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, the Iraqi government released lists of political and government officials around the world to whom it had awarded oil rights or allocations, which could then be sold to traders for up to 30 cents a barrel.

"This report exposes how Saddam Hussein turned the oil-for-food program on its head and used the program to reward his political allies like Pasqua and Galloway," Coleman said.

His report, however, did not provide evidence of bank accounts showing Galloway and Pasqua actually received funds.

Broken record -- why is Smilin' Norm Coleman obsessing about $1.7 billion in fraud before the invasion of Iraq instead of worrying about the $8.8 billion in oil funds that weren't properly accounted for by the Coalition Provisional Authority? Or the $14 billion (out of $18 billion) set aside for Iraqi reconstruction that was never spent?

If Galloway received 20 million oil vouchers, which could be sold at 30 cents each, he should have $6 million somewhere. All Smilin' Norm Coleman has on his side is the entire force of the United States government to find the $6 million. If Coleman can't show me where the $6 million is, I have to conclude that Galloway has been wrongly accused.


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