July 24, 2007

Coleman: I Really Told You So

As I noted last week, Senator Norm Coleman had the last laugh on British MP George Galloway. The Parliament has handed down a rare rebuke and punishment on the raving Saddam Hussein supporter, suspending him for a month for his part in the Oil-For-Food scam at the UN, and later lying about it repeatedly. Coleman writes about the controversy and the Senate's role in exposing Galloway in today's Wall Street Journal:

The report relied heavily on evidence uncovered by my subcommittee, the U.N.'s investigation and the U.K. Charity Commission. But the Parliament report went further, even enlisting a forensic scientist to determine that other official Iraqi documents, which provide detailed descriptions of Mr. Galloway's personal involvement in nefarious deals, were authentic. Moreover, the report reveals the official Iraqi minutes of a meeting between Mr. Galloway and Saddam in which Mr. Galloway overtly discusses Iraqi oil deals -- the very deals he's denied knowing about. According to the minutes, which have been authenticated by the Iraqi government, Mr. Galloway complained to Saddam that problems with oil prices are reducing "our income" and delaying "our dues."

These documents should quash any notion that Mr. Galloway did not know about oil transactions and had no idea his wife and his political operation were receiving under-the-table money. In short, this report and the volumes of evidence presented in it appear to confirm that Mr. Galloway was neck-deep in Oil for Food deals and that his vociferous denials were nothing more than a web of misleading half-truths.

Mr. Galloway is already claiming that the Parliament's report relies on fraudulent documents and mendacious witnesses. His shtick rings hollow. It is clear that he is putting up (to borrow his words) "the mother of all smokescreens."

Consider that roughly six months after his Senate testimony, in October 2005, my subcommittee released another report presenting extensive evidence that Mr. Galloway's testimony was filled with false or misleading statements. That evidence included bank records showing that his wife received $150,000 from an Oil for Food deal, and that the political operation he portrayed as a children's charity received at least $446,000 from oil deals. Days later, the U.N.'s investigative committee revealed a different oil deal in which $120,000 went to Mr. Galloway's wife, and other deals in which hundreds of thousands of dollars went to his political operation. ...

At each point, Mr. Galloway has vehemently denied every accusation and all the evidence. But the record should be clear: Mr. Galloway appears to have been personally involved in oil deals under the Oil for Food program and indirectly -- through his political operation and his wife -- received hundreds of thousands of dollars as a result. The U.K. report exposes a fraud who personally benefited at the expense of the Iraqi people -- the very people he was pretending to help.

We should all thank Senator Coleman for his hard work in persevering against the lies and manipulations of Saddam's chief Western toady. Those who cheered Galloway in 2005 should reconsider whether their partisanship should really take priority over exposing corruption on behalf of genocidal maniacs.

UPDATE: MP, not PM -- typed a little too fast. Thanks to CQ commenter kfarg for the correction.

UPDATE II: Delicious schadenfreude:

George Galloway, the Respect MP, was ordered out of the House of Commons last night during a debate on a motion to suspend him for 18 days over his alleged financial links to Saddam Hussein's regime. ...

Mr Galloway said the committee was a "politicised tribunal". Mr Martin intervened repeatedly and as the MP was ordered from the chamber, he shouted that he would continue his speech outside for anyone who wanted to hear it.


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Comments (9)

Posted by SkyWatch | July 24, 2007 8:44 AM

I do not know British law but is a one month suspension a proper punishment for over 1/2 a million dollars in scams. Even if you leave out the breaking U.N. sanctions.

Posted by Scott Malensek | July 24, 2007 9:03 AM

So, the ISG report pegged Chirac's senior advisor as being paid off by Oil For Food

Chirac got investigated as well

De Villipan is under the gun on Oil For Food as well

Galloway is another Saddam stooge

The Russians don't even hide their support (see also 2003 CNN reports of Russian convoys carrying Saddam-stuff out of Iraq into Syria)

Primakov was known to be on the Oil For Food payroll since 1997 as revealed by UNSCOM Dir Butler's book, The Greatest Threat (2000 edition)

Yet, people still believe somehow that the UN was a moral authority on Iraq before the invasion

Why? Why not be aghast at the selling of national soul and international morality for a few oil vouchers? The only answer is political expediency at the expense of denial and excuses

Posted by kfarg | July 24, 2007 9:41 AM

FYI, Galloway is an MP(Member of Parliment), not the PM (Prime Minister).

Posted by fdcol63 | July 24, 2007 9:52 AM

Future historical research will continue to prove that many of the opponents of the US-led war in Iraq were motivated by their own selfish greed, anti-Americanism, Leftist ideology, and hatred for all things Bush.

But I'm afraid it doesn't matter at all. Those afflicted with extreme BDS are blinded to reason, logic, and to the threat that Saddam himself posed and the threat posed by radical Islam and Iran.

They continue to glorify people like Galloway as "heroic dissenters" who dare to "speak truth to power" against the evil Chimpy McBushitler and Rove Co., and they continue to work tirelessly to ensure that our attempt to change Iraq ends in failure.

Rather than being merely apathetic to the genocide and horrors that will ensue in Iraq and the Middle East if they are successful in forcing a premature American withdrawal, I would argue that this is their true goal.

They wish to see anarchy and chaos, and they wish to see America, the West, and liberal democracy weakened and destroyed.

Why? Because then they can offer an authoritarian and totalitarian global government - under the auspices of the UN - as the sole legitimate power that can provide collective global security and peace, as well as environmental protection and climate control.

Posted by Scrapiron | July 24, 2007 10:20 AM

Shouldn't congress issue an arrest warrent for Gallop-a-way. If he ever sets foot on American soil he should stay here. I think there's a place in Kansas he would really enjoy. No cushy federal country club 'prison'.

Posted by pedantic | July 24, 2007 10:57 AM

"Those who cheered Galloway in 2005 should reconsider whether their partisanship should really take priority over exposing corruption on behalf of genocidal maniacs."

They should. They won't. It's all about naked partisanship and power, and if hating Bush, excusing genocide, hailing the corrupt as heroes, and believing pure fiction advance their cause, that's all that matters.

Ayn Rand nailed it 50 years ago: "Do not ask the purpose of a folly. Ask only what it accomplishes."

Posted by Dave | July 24, 2007 11:52 AM

Does anyone think that If Senator Coleman would have been in the minority meaning that the Dems would have been in charge that THIS REAL CRIME would have ever been invstigated?


Posted by Bob Arthur | July 24, 2007 12:05 PM

Someone with connections to Senator Coleman should inquire as to why charges have not _already_ been filed against the Galloways. If such evidence as banking records was available in October of 2005, then surely there is enough for an indictment right now. I'm pretty sure the Federal Government has filed criminal charges against British citizens before this...

Posted by hurricane567 | July 24, 2007 1:33 PM

of course, i can't resist a parting cheap shot, don't let the doorknob hit you in the butt on the way out.