Friday, October 28, 2005

The Saddamites

The final Volcker report on the oil-for-food scandal exposes the nations and individuals paid by Saddam to support him. Never forget and never forgive the corruption of the UN, France, Russia, and the individual crooks, including Galloway.

WSJ (subscription, my emphasis and ellipsis).

The Volcker report confirms that Saddam Hussein demanded, and got, some $1.8 billion in illegal surcharges, kickbacks and bribes from companies doing business in Iraq. It confirms that he steered billions in oil and humanitarian contracts to his politically preferred clients, particularly Russia and France, and smaller sums to agents of influence (or their associates) such as British MP George Galloway, French Senator Charles Pasqua, and Oil for Food director Benon Sevan. It confirms that Saddam did so under the noses, and frequently with the connivance, of the U.N. agencies entrusted to monitor the program.

The report...provides a list, which runs to 60 pages, of influential individuals or groups awarded lucrative oil allocations by Iraq because they "espoused pro-Iraq views or organized anti-sanctions activities." Here again, the range is astonishing. In addition to Messrs. Galloway and Pasqua (each of whom was given oil allocations of 11 million barrels), one finds the names of a pro-Iraq Vatican priest (2.5 million), the Palestinian Liberation Front (nine million), the French-Iraqi Amity society (11.8 million), Burma's forestry minister (27 million), the Orthodox Church of Russia (two million), and the Presidential Office of Russia (21.3 million).

Among the handful of Americans named by Mr. Volcker is Shakir Al-Khafaji (12 million barrels), a well-connected Detroit-area businessman who led a delegation of anti-war Congressional Democrats to Baghdad in September 2002 and who funded an anti-sanctions documentary produced by former weapons inspector Scott Ritter.

In case you've forgotten, the delegation was led by Rep. Nick J. Rahall II (D-W.Va.), and included Rep. Jim Mcdermott (D-Wash.) and former senator James Abourezk (D-S.D.)

Mr. Volcker's report also provides useful insight into the role of BNP-Paribas, the French bank selected by the U.N. to handle the escrow account through which Oil for Food monies were processed, and from which the bank earned an estimated $173 million in fees. The result, writes Mr. Volcker, is that "BNP itself became an instrument for the payment of millions of dollars in illegal surcharges while doing little to detect or prevent such payments."

This should keep assorted attorneys general, state prosecutors and investigative magistrates in 60-odd countries busy for the next decade or so.

There's more detail on the individual Saddamites here.

Galloway is the man told the Brit soldiers fighting Saddam:

"The best thing British troops can do is to refuse to obey illegal orders."

Turns out he's a bit more of a traitor than Norm Coleman's committee said.

Days after a US Senate committee tracked a $150,000 (£84,000) payment to the MP’s now estranged Palestinian wife, the UN inquiry reported that (she) had earlier received a series of transfers totaling $120,000.

The Volcker report cited Iraqi Oil Ministry records showing that Mr Galloway received allocations of million of barrels of oil to support the Mariam Appeal. Allocations of more than 18 million barrels went to Mr Galloway directly or indirectly through his Jordanian friend Fawaz Zureikat, the report says. Mr Zureikat paid $434,000 to the Mariam Appeal.

Marc Rich, the felon pardoned by Clinton:

The report found that Marc Rich & Co financed oil purchases from Iraq and the associated kickbacks for the son of a French MP shortly after the company’s founder received a controversial pardon from President Clinton.

The family and office of the UN Secretary General who called the Iraq war illegal:

The report also contained details of an unexplained payment of 20,000 Swiss francs (£8,800) to the son of Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary- General.

Jean-Bernard Merimée, France’s former UN Ambassador, admitted receiving $165,725 in commissions on an Iraqi oil sale in January 2002 while serving as a special adviser to Mr Annan.

We should never forget and never forgive the corruption of UN, France, Russia, and the myriad of individual crooks.