web counter Media Lies: Oil For Food much worse than thought

Monday, November 15, 2004

PLEASE NOTE: Media Lies has moved.
The new address is http://www.antimedia.us/.
Please adjust your bookmarks.

Oil For Food much worse than thought

The Senate, under Norm Coleman's leadership, has been investigating the UN Oil For Food scandal. Today it was revealed that the amount of money involved, thought for a long time to be about $10 billion is actually more than double that - over $21 billion. This is an incredible amount of graft and corruption.
New figures on Iraq's alleged surcharges, kickbacks - and oil-smuggling dating back to 1991 - are based on troves of new documents obtained by the committee's investigative panel, Coleman told reporters before the hearing. The documents illustrate how Iraqi officials, foreign companies and sometimes politicians allegedly contrived to allow the Iraqi government vast illicit gains.

The findings also reflect a growing understanding by investigators of the intricate schemes Saddam used to buy support abroad for a move to lift U.N. sanctions.
Sadaam was bribing the French and Germans to get the sanctions lifed and turn a blind eye to his weapons program.

The UN isn't exactly being cooperative either.
Coleman said the probe is just beginning and that officials aim to discover "how this massive fraud was able to thrive for so long." He said he is angry that the United Nations has not provided documents and access to officials that investigators need to move ahead.
Yet Senator Levin, the highest ranking Democrat on the committee doesn't think it was a big deal.
But the committee's ranking Democrat, Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, said "for the most part the U.N. sanctions achieved their intended objective of preventing Saddam from rearming and developing weapons of mass destruction."

Saddam's military spending plummeted after sanctions were imposed in 1991 to a fraction of what it had been before, he said, adding that the vast majority of illicit income was from publicly disclosed trade agreements that the world well knew about "but winked at."
How can it be that the Democrats continue to ignore reality? Every single Senator should be outraged by this scandal. They are not, and yet they still can't fathom why they keep losing elections!

UPDATE: More on Oil For Food at the NY Post, via Roger Simon.