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After appearing before a Senate panel earlier this year, British politician George Galloway boasted that he had cleaned the floor with Senator Norm Coleman during a debate on the Oil-for-Food program. Now it appears that the banty Scot should have simply kept his mouth shut, as witnesses have appeared to contradict his testimony and corroborate evidence that Galloway took kickbacks and bribes from Saddam Hussein in the months before the invasion of Iraq:
An anti-war British lawmaker gave false testimony to Congress when he denied receiving U.N. oil-for-food allocations from deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, a Senate investigative panel said Monday.
Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., chairman of the subcommittee, and his investigators presented evidence that they say shows British lawmaker George Galloway's political organization and his wife received nearly $600,000 from the oil allocations. ... Coleman, a critic of the
United Nations, said his panel's evidence shows that Galloway personally solicited and was granted oil allocations totaling 23 million barrels from 1999 through 2003. Those allocations could be sold for a profit.
The report also alleges that Galloway's friend, Jordanian businessman Fawaz Zureikat, funneled money from the oil-for-food program to Galloway's wife, Amineh Abu-Zayyad, and to the Mariam Appeal, a political organization that Galloway established in 1998 to help a 4-year-old Iraqi girl with leukemia.
Coleman said his investigators confirmed their evidence in interviews with former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, a friend of Galloway's, and former Iraqi Vice President Taha Yasin Ramadan.
Perhaps Galloway didn't expect Tariq Aziz to spill the beans on him, or maybe he figured the US would go after bigger fish in the scandal -- such as Kofi Annan, whose familial connections make him highly suspect as well. Thus far, Annan has had the sense to keep his mouth shut around investigators, something Galloway appears purely incapable of doing.
Will the British extradite him? Tony Blair has no particular allegiance to Galloway. Of course, the Brits might not like the notion of one of their MPs getting a prison sentence in the United States for his blunt, foolish, but well-regarded (in Europe, anyway) testimony. However, no one can possibly argue that Galloway did not bring this on himself, and he should face the consequences of his ridiculous bloviations. Galloway fell into the most basic of prosecutorial traps: find someone who loves to talk, and give him enough rope and time with which to hang himself.Sphere It View blog reactions
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