– while we’re ‘managing’ disastrous news, don’t ignore Galloway! According to a widely cirulating report from Le Monde, which has found echoes in such luminaries as The Washington Times, and ABC in America, a number of French public figures have been named by ‘independent newspaper Al-Mada’ in Iraq, quoting IGC sources and Hussein regime documentation, among a long list of people who received the proceeds of barrels of oil from Saddam. The BBC a few days ago reported this scandal via the protestation of innocence of one former French Minister- Charles Pasqua- while the other names on the list are referred to as ‘foreigners’ (presumably ‘foreigners to Iraq’). But wait, not so fast- not only are there hundreds of important names to investigate, as I read the Le Monde article I come across this very newsworthy passage, semi-translated by Google:
‘George Gallaway, former Labour deputy with the Communes, appears in good place in the list. Its name is mentioned in six contracts and the newspaper publishes a letter of the SOMO on December 31, 1999, signed by Saddam Zbin, cousin of Saddam Hussein which managed this company and in which it asks for the ministry for oil of grant contracts to him. Apparently, this British member of Parliament was particularly well treated.’
Now, Pasqua’s name might be newsworthy- in France (though not as newsworthy as Chirac, see Washington Times)- but Galloway is trying to launch his own ‘electoral coalition’ in the UK. He’s also still an MP. His new party is called R.E.S.P.E.C.T., and don’t you think the BBC should allow us a peek at these allegations to see if he deserves any? Maybe they’re frightened of adding to the laughter in court ….“I have never seen a barrel of oil, owned a barrel of oil, bought or sold a barrel of oil… “.
I mean, I could understand some squeamishness in the Telegraph (in the midst of a libel saga, after making similar allegations), but where’s the BBC when you need them? Oh, I forget, in a heap on the floor, exhausted from journalistic ‘crusading’. (Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the initial links. Oh, and before I go, a mention for Harry’s Place , who noticed this too. Meanwhile, since I made notes of this, Scott Burgess has been on the case, and former French Prime Minister Alan Juppe has created a different kind of stir. It’s all go in the world of corruption!). Update: Stephen Hayes thinks the Telegraph might have been onto something.
Update2: How about rounding off with an Iraqi POV via Healing Iraq?