02/03/2004: Fraud & Conspiracy
For Those Who Support Your Murderous Regime, Give the Gift of Oil
or, let he, whose activist group is not on the dole, organize the first protest
MEMRI and ABC News are picking up a story in Al-Mada, a newly formed newspaper in Iraq, that says internal documents looted from the Iraqi Oil Ministry just before US forces arrived in Baghdad showed Hussein's regime paid out millions upon millions of barrels of oil directly to agencies and individuals around the globe. While the list includes a number of nominally apolitical organizations like the Russian Orthodox Church, probably the greatest beneficiaries include various communist organizations and front groups from around the world, as well as individuals with ties to French President Jacques Chirac and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Other notable recipients of Hussein's largesse include former French Interior Minister Charles Paqua, British Labour MP George Galloway, the Palestinian Liberation Organization/Palestinian Authority, and Indonesia President Megawati Sukarnoputri. Various organizations inside Russia, including four of its major political parties (the Liberal Democrats, National Democrats, Russian Communists and Putin's Peace and Unity Party) and several socialist groups, accounted for 1.36 billion barrels. Oil and oil vouchers were collected at the Kirkuk-Banias pipeline terminal in Syria.
All told, the payouts occurred over a span from 1997-2003 and were (naturally) operated under (and in direct violation of) the UN oil-for-food program. Halliburton's involvement is unclear at this point.