This looks interesting, from today’s Independent:
Claims that dozens of politicians, including some from prominent anti-war countries such as France, had taken bribes to support Saddam Hussein are to be investigated by the Iraqi authorities. The US-backed Iraqi Governing Council decided to check after an independent Baghdad newspaper, al-Mada, published a list which it said was based on oil ministry documents.
The 46 individuals, companies and organisations inside and outside Iraq were given millions of barrels of oil, the documents show. Thousands of papers were looted from the State Oil Marketing Organisation after Baghdad fell to US forces on 9 April.
“I think the list is true,” Naseer Chaderji, a Governing Council member, said. “I will demand an investigation. These people must be prosecuted.” Rumours had circulated for months that documents implicating senior French individuals were about to surface. Such evidence would undermine the French position before the war when President Jacques Chirac staked out the moral high ground in opposing the invasion.
I don’t remember Chirac staking out any moral high ground, just that some people thought he had, perhaps including him. But I do recall learning, although I forget how, that Saddam had a bribery network that covered the whole Middle East, and I recall thinking that it probably did not stop there. Of course, it is hardly news that France is riddled with corruption. The news is that a semi-major newspaper is saying it, today, again.