July 17, 2007

Norm Coleman: I Told You So

No one had to get a bigger charge out of George Galloway's pending suspension from the UK House of Commons than Norm Coleman. The British Parliament has acted to punish Galloway for his dishonesty in hiding the source of his funding for his Mariam Appeal fund -- Saddam Hussein and Galloway's take in the Oil-For-Food scandal. Galloway's apologists laughed off Senator Coleman's interrogation of Galloway, but the Minnesota Senator gets the last laugh -- and takes it:

The anti-war Respect MP was criticised by the Standards and Privileges Committee for “concealing the true source of Iraqi funding” to a charity he set up and failure to co-operate with the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

It backed a finding that there was “strong circumstantial evidence” that his Mariam Appeal received cash from the regime of Saddam Hussein, the payments delivered through the UN’s Oil for Food Programme “with Mr Galloway’s connivance”.

It said that the MP had been “complicit in the concealment of the true source of the funds” and had “damaged the reputation of the House” - and said that he was “clearly irresponsible” in refusing to look into the source of substantial donations to the fund.

In other words, the House of Commons came to the same conclusions as the US Senate, under Coleman's aggressive probe of the UN scam that put billions into Saddam's pockets during the supposed sanctions regime. Galloway got specifically named as a beneficiary of Saddam's generosity at the same time he vociferously defended the tyrant around the world. It was people like Galloway who perpetuated the notion that Saddam had been put in a "box" while taking cash hand over fist to represent a genocidal maniac instead of his constituency.

The Commons subcommittee reached its conclusions based in large part on the efforts of Norm Coleman. Coleman just released the following statement in response:

"I applaud the Committee for its diligence. With the release of the report, the U.K. Parliament becomes the fourth official entity to conclude that Galloway, through his political campaign, received financial support from the Hussein regime and that support was obtained from Oil-for-Food deals,” said Coleman.

Notably, the U.K. report includes a document that provides even further evidence that Galloway was knowledgeable about and participated in nefarious transactions related to the Program. The report has released the minutes of a meeting between Galloway and Saddam Hussein that occurred on August 8, 2002, in which Galloway discusses with Hussein and Tariq Aziz certain Iraqi oil deals – in clear and unmistakable terms. He specifically mentions how certain unidentified problems with oil prices are affecting "our"' income and "our dues."

"This document confirms what we've known all along: Galloway was neck-deep in the Oil-for-Food deals, he kowtowed to Saddam Hussein, and his bombastic denials were nothing more than a web of misleading statements. This report clearly shows he was trying to mislead the Subcommittee in his 2005 testimony and tried to create the impression that he did not benefit in any way from any Iraqi oil deals. The evidence shows that Galloway tried to mislead us when he denied knowing that his Jordanian business agent was doing oil deals with Iraq, when he denied knowing that some deals resulted in donations to his political campaign, the Mariam Appeal, and when he denied communicating with Saddam Hussein and Tariq Aziz about oil allocations. The evidence also shows that those claims are simply not true. These findings should put to rest any suggestion that Galloway did not know about these oil transactions and that he had no idea his wife and his political campaign were getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in oil money," Coleman said. "In fact, the evidence shows that he solicited such favors from the Hussein regime. As Parliament’s report states, he at best turned a blind eye, and ‘on balance, was likely to have known and been complicit in what was going on.’ He will undoubtedly resort to his old tactics and claim that these are fraudulent documents, but the evidence shows that he is flat wrong. The avalanche of credible evidence against him is just never-ending.”

“In response, Galloway will huff and puff, but he can’t blow away the facts of this report. In fact, the house is falling down around him and he will be suspended from the Parliament because of his transgressions,” Coleman added.

During Senator Coleman's tenure as Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, the Subcommittee issued a detailed report in October 2005 that presented bank records establishing that Galloway's wife received roughly $150,000 directly from an Oil-for-Food oil deal. The Subcommittee's report also presented detailed documentation proving that the Mariam Appeal, the political organization Galloway portrayed as a children's charity, received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Oil-for-Food transactions. The U.N.'s investigators, the Independent Inquiry Committee, found that Galloway's wife received approximately $120,000 from a different transaction under the Program and that the Mariam Appeal also received massive cash transfers funds from Oil-for-Food transactions.

More recently, the U.K. Charity Commission concluded that the Mariam Appeal improperly received at least $376,000 from Oil-for-Food deals. The Charity Commission also chastised Galloway, along with the other trustees of the Appeal, saying that they "did not properly discharge their duty of care as trustees to the Appeal in respect of these donations," and concluded that, having considered the totality of the evidence before it, that Galloway may also have known of the connection between the Appeal and the Program.

Many people here in the US expressed more admiration for Galloway's ranting in the Senate hearing than for Coleman's determined, measured approach that was designed to get information from Galloway. In the end, obnoxious and corrupt lost out to intelligent and tenacious. Congratulations to Senator Coleman for all of his hard work.


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Comments (12)

Posted by bulbasaur | July 17, 2007 12:15 PM

This is an important story, and as Captain Ed said, it has an important lesson. I remember how democrat party tools gave Galloway a hero's welcome. The left is big on smug attitude but always weak on substance.

Posted by Deb | July 17, 2007 12:42 PM

wanna bet this story doesn't see the light of day in most of the MSM?? I'll have to start searching now... "Saddam Apologist Hand Found in Cookie Jar..." naw, probably shouldn't bother looking for it.
and that's what is so maddening...
if this was about Halliburton and Co. don"t you know it would be major headlines??
all the truth that is (chosen) fit to print.
how do we battle against that??
how do we raise enough h*ll and get attention drawn to the full truth on matters?? that's what I'm trying to figure out, lately.

Posted by Jason | July 17, 2007 1:54 PM

You know, it seems that all the people who were and still are so opposed to the U.S. taking out Saddam were people with their grubby, chubby fingers deep in the Oil For Food scandal.

Posted by KBK | July 17, 2007 2:21 PM

So he gets a one month suspension and then it's business as usual? A disgraceful slap on the wrist. Coleman should initiate some action by Congress to go after Galloway for perjurous testimony, not just crow about the suspension. So far, it seems to me that Galloway is coming out best, including the extra publicity he craves. And just read the comments to the original article!

Posted by anon | July 17, 2007 2:41 PM

Can someone please get Michael Yon to remove Joe Galloway's editorials from michaelyon-online now?

Posted by anon | July 17, 2007 4:51 PM

If I could delete the above post I would, but failing to do that, let me correct myself.

Joseph Galloway (at michael yon's site) is not the subject of the above article.

Rather, George Galloway is the subject of the article.

Apologies for the mistake.

Posted by AnonymousDrivel | July 17, 2007 5:12 PM

Kudos to Coleman. Sometimes Coleman appears to be too accommodating to the liberal position, but on this issue, and on his work to reform the U.N., he has been diligent and masterful. This is the kind of institutional digging and responsible leadership we need. He and his staff deserve praise.

Most of the world was letting Galloway skate with his apparent crimes. Coleman was the one pebble ensuring Galloway tripped. Now let's all hope for Galloway's very hard, and deserved, fall.

Thanks, Ed, for reminding us of the OFF corruption and for bringing this important chapter of a much bigger story to the forefront.

Posted by Greg | July 17, 2007 6:10 PM

I wish, Captain, that you'd mentioned just how long Galloway's suspension is -- 18 days. If he takes it in August, he'll be on vacation like everyone else in Europe will be.

Posted by Roy E | July 17, 2007 8:31 PM

18 day suspension! Whoopdy do!

The oil for food investigation has produced very few prosecutions or penalties.

I don't consider this much of a victory at all. It's actually pretty pathetic given the scope and consequences of the corruption.

Posted by Clyde | July 18, 2007 7:02 AM

Galloway deserved to be suspended for 18 days... by a rope. They used to hang traitors. Pity that's no longer in fashion...

Posted by ChrisO | July 18, 2007 2:14 PM

It's been announced that Scotland Yard is now looking at the issue - seems they're interested in whether Galloway's actions amounted to fraud. Watch this space...

Posted by Hassan Mohamed | July 23, 2007 9:52 AM

1.5 Million Iraqis have died in the genocidal sanctions against the Iraqi people. All George Galloway has done was to speak up again this genocial sanctions.