Sunday, November 06, 2005

Bush profited from 'oil for food' claim

Last week, the Independent Committee investigating the Oil-for-Food program (OFF) released its final report detailing how Saddam Hussein's regime skimmed just under two percent from the otherwise successful relief effort by charging kickbacks and "inland transportation" fees to companies doing business with Iraq.

The small group of conservative writers who I've dubbed the "Scandal Pimps" have been less enthusiastic about the release of this report than they've been about those that preceded it. The day after the release, the Wall Street Journal editorialized that the report didn't really add anything new, it just filled in some details.

What they characterized as "details" were actually the names of over 2,000 companies that paid bribes to the Hussein regime for a shot at buying Iraq's oil, selling spare parts for its oil infrastructure or providing humanitarian goods for a population starving under the U.S./ U.K.-led sanctions regime.

The Scandal Pimps have been low-key because the final report of the Committee -- known as the Volcker Committee for its chair, former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker -- offers further evidence that what they've worked so hard -- and so successfully -- to portray as a massive UN scandal has always been a relatively modest corporate scandal, interesting more for the players involved than because of its scale.

The details the Journal editors referred to include the process by which Saddam and his cronies squeezed what were effectively bribes out of multinational corporations, great and small. Contracts were submitted to the United Nations where they were reviewed by the Security Council states (the U.S. and Britain were the only ones that reviewed every contract). Revenues from approved sales were deposited into UN-administered trusts from which goods could be purchased. But before companies could "lift," or load, oil, they had to come up with some cash for the Iraqi government. Those fees and surcharges were paid directly by the companies either into Iraqi-controlled accounts (mostly in Jordan) or as bags full of cash dropped off at Iraqi embassies around the world. The illicit funds -- widely reported by the media at the time -- never touched UN hands.

More to the point, the Scandal Pimps are unlikely to delve too deeply into the final report because it reveals that some of our leading corporations, and the vaunted "entrepenuers" that outlets like the Washington Times always crow about, weren't in the least bit reticent to pay off a brutal dictator accused of mass murder in order to pump up their bottom lines.

Even more damning to the conservative worldview is that the United States' "strategic class" was deeply involved. In fact, profits from sales under OFF program that were lubricated with illicit payments to Saddam Hussein found their way into both the Bush and Kerry presidential campaigns of 2004.

Read the rest Here

So it seems President Bush himself may have been guilty of profiting from oil for food

Is this another story that will be forgotten when anyone next talks about the UN and George Galloway


Blogger G_in_AL said...

population starving under the U.S./ U.K.-led sanctions regime.
I thought this was a UN program? So do the US and UK get credit for the quoted 98% success?

I also notice the extreme lack of focus on specifying the “connection” between the OFF and campaigns, and a lack of pointing out Kerry, or Clinton’s involvement.

Here is what I am talking about:

Company A gets scam money from Saddam. Company A invests money in Company B. Company B owns part of Company C. Company C, with a corporate interest group, donates money to the Bush campaign…

Whammo! You’ve got a connection!

November 07, 2005 6:17 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

Oil for food was only in place to try an prevent the starvation of millions under US/UK sanctions G

but that matters little it seems

the link connecting the french government are even less direct then the example you gave

IE there is no link

but that doesnt stop claiming the french did this and that and refused to support a war due to money going to a few french companies

hey i think the OFF scandal is small bait anyway , i dont care that Bush profited (personally) from it

i just throw this back at those that were so keen to attack the Un france and russia for links even less direct then this

i cant remember who said it but the phrase "they dont like it up them do they" comes to mind

H giggles off into the distance.....

November 07, 2005 8:36 pm  

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