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January 29, 2004



Nice catch.

I watched this, Gillespie's first comment on Kerry was that he voted for the war.

He also brought up voting against the 1991 war and his efforts to stop SDI and a nuke freeze in 1985.

Leigh A Wilson

The oil for food program was not a "fantasy bribe" scheme in its implementation. It was bribery, pure and simple. This program was administered at the top - by Saddam and his family. Proceeds from the sale of oil is still in French banks, or their Swiss subsidiaries.

WMD deception is eminnetly possible because it relies upon scientific training. Bribery, using Iraq's oil is simple, striaghtforward. And verifiable.

Greg D

Good catch. I've wondered that about a LOT of the bribery documents coming out. Just because the intelligence officer says he's bribing someone doesn't mean he's done it, or, if he has bribed the person, doesn't mean he paid the full amount claimed. :-)

Hvae said that, I do hope it turns out to be true, and we can prove it.

mr. lawson

Question. If the accusations of oil bribes do indeed turn out to be true, what does this do for the credibility of the U.N.? Will it lose all sense of purpose? It seems if it is true, then those individuals will be tried and found guilty. At that point, people in the world will suggest that the U.N. can not fulfill its charter and recommend it be dismantled. Years from now, historians might say the legacy of the Iraq war was not the removal of a dictator, but the beginning of the fall of the United Nations.

Mike Lawson


Mike L:

The end of the UN? No, it's relief agencies do a lot of good work around the world. Perhaps some badly needed reform. Add some countries to the permanent members of the Security Coucil (India and a South American nation, perhaps Brazil or Argentina), and do some "housecleaning". Re-format the security council to reflect that it no longer needs to contain Germany and Japan.


ABC News, as I have chronicled on my blog, has been a consistent opponent of war in Iraq in its coverage, with Jennings running primetime specials prior to the war all but screaming "No war for oil!"... at least one Nightline I saw might as well have been produced by Ted Rall. If ABC is convinced by this, there has to be something here.

Mike M.

COuld someone please point me in the direction where I could verify that each contract was worth roughly $0.50 per barrel. Thanks.


How do you reform something transnational in nature? Cosmetics isn't going to do it (removing some nations, adding others) -- the charter itself has to change, and it must reflect a whole new attitude towards participation of tyrannical regimes. If a people of a nation cannot legitimately vote, e.g. why should the nation be represented at the UN? As microcosm, so macrocosm.



I like your suggestion. I DO NOT
expect to see that happen in your
lifetime or mine!

Probably NEVER, unfortunately.


The $0.50 per contract came from the ABC story. Their source? Trust, but verify.


The oil was actually oil futures. Oil futures are traded. The value fluctuates. Pick a date and go with it.


From ABC:

Investigators say none of the people involved would have actually taken possession of oil, but rather just the right to buy the oil at a discounted price, which could be resold to a legitimate broker or oil company, at an average profit of about 50 cents a barrel.

Without a lot more details about how the discounted price was determined and how the oil was to be delivered, we are at the mercy of ABC's investigators.


Her is the (my)first real clue that this IS a real story. The SMH has been vehemently anti-war from the get go. Check out this passage in a story today.

[i] But the truth is that everyone who mattered, Butler, Clinton, Bush, the UN, the American and British intelligence services, even Saddam himself, believed Iraq had WMDs. No one listened to warnings from former UNSCOM weapons inspector Scott Ritter, who resigned in 1998, that the threat was exaggerated. The absence of WMD stockpiles is an embarrassment for a number of people. But it doesn't negate the justification for toppling Saddam, as mass graves and torture chambers are uncovered and Libya and other threats grow tame.

"I actually think what we learned during the inspection made Iraq a more dangerous place, potentially, than, in fact, we thought it was even before the war," Kay said last week.

"We know that terrorists were passing through Iraq. And now we know that there was little control over Iraq's weapons capabilities."

In any case, the lack of WMDs in no way vindicates opponents of the war such as UN Security Council members, France, Russia and China, who had a lot of business in Iraq. Guess who were the top three arms suppliers to Iraq between 1973 and 2002? According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (www.sipri.se) 57 per cent of Iraq's conventional weapons - tanks, missiles, fighter aircraft - came from the USSR, 13 per cent from France and 12 per cent from China. The US came a distant 11th, with just 1 per cent.

The list of arms dealers tallies nicely with a list published last week by Iraqi independent newspaper al-Mada of 270 politicians, political activists and journalists allegedly given bribes of lucrative oil contracts to support Saddam.

Russia and France topped the list. Among those named was a financial backer of French President Jacques Chirac, officials close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and a French priest who organised a meeting between the Pope and Tariq Aziz.

Also named as alleged recipients of Saddam's largesse were anti-war British parliamentarian George Galloway and Indonesia President Megawati Soekarnoputri.

The truth might be getting a lot uglier.[/i]

The timing of this story also seems hardly coincidence. The White House knew of this last summer. This may just be the perfect storm. The mother of all scandals.


A new twist... enter Bill Clinton?

"Bulgarian Member" of Iraq's Special Services
February 01, 2004

One of the Iraqi intelligence agents that worked abroad was a Bulgarian Professor, who had close relations with former US President Bill Clinton, Editor-in-Chief of Iraqi newspaper Al Sabah Ismail Zahir told Bulgarian bTV channel on Saturday.

He added that the Al Mada newspaper had the names of secret Iraqi agents listed, and was going to publish the information soon.

That Bulgarian man was in close contact with former US President Bill Clinton, and also often visited Iraq and wrote reports for the country's intelligence, Zahir insisted.

(Source: novinite.com)

Pixy Misa

vanyogan - Miranda Devine is the SMH's token sane person, so this doesn't necessarily say much about the story or about the SMH.




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