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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

More tunnelling under that moral high ground

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.

6 comments to More tunnelling under that moral high ground

  • Bernie Greene

    If such a story were true then it suggests incredible foolishness on the part of those responsible for documentary evidence being discoverable. I don’t think it is a credible story no matter how many times it might be repeated.

  • Theodopoulos Pherecydes

    I expect that allegations as serious as these will produce an investigation that will tell us a great deal.

    Someday I hope there will be an investigation into the recipients of Arab money in Congress and other parts of the U.S. government.

    But perhaps Arabs are above bribery and lying.

  • Julian Morrison

    “He’s an honest politician – he stays bought”

  • Sean O'Callaghan

    The only high ground the French occupy is that of hypocrisy, moral bankruptcy, and delusions of grandeur.

  • Luke

    If the rumors circulating that Chirac is involved personally in the “barrels of oil donations”, he’s french toast.

  • Dave F

    Guess whose name appears on the list as a prominent recipient of millions of barrels on numerous occasions? Someone completely RESPECTABLE? And duly reported in Le Monde, by the way?

    And also by the way,investigation by the iraqi GC and British newspapers seems to be pointing towards these alleged SOMO oil agency documents as being the genuine article. Since the new Iraqi oil ministry has commented to this effect already, it would seem that lthere may be much more to come.
    Lots of people are digging, including at this end (I’ve seen the full alleged list). See Harry’s Place.