Monday, August 08, 2005

The Real Oil for Food Scandal

In an open letter to Paul Volker, Jude Wanniski makes a good argument that the "Oil for Food Scandal" as being pushed by the White House and reported by the news media is a sham and a scam. But wait, surely the White House wouldn't push and the news media gullibly accept lies and manipulation on such an important matter would they? Ever hear of a little event called the Iraq War?

Excerpt (... denotes unexcerpted material. See link for entire article.):
Clearly what is going on here, Paul, is the White House has encouraged the U.S. attorney general to get out of the gate before you do. The idea is to establish in the public mind that the United Nations presided over a corrupt mechanism that lined the pockets of Saddam and his cronies in the American oil industry at the expense of the poor people of Iraq. And Kofi should hit the road.

Our press corps of course does not help by writing story after story that funds paid to the Iraqi government, roughly 2.5 percent of that charged to companies like Bayoil, were "kickbacks" and not legitimate "fees." If they didn't pay the fees, they wouldn't have gotten the oil. I've been waiting for your final report to be published and make it clear that Iraq not only had every legal right to charge fees for the taking of the oil, it charged the fees to every company in the world that was engaged in the program. After all, Paul, do not forget that the oil belonged to the government of Iraq in custody for its people. That's the way it works throughout the world.

...

To tell you the truth, Paul, it's hard for me to see how you will wiggle out of the spot this latest move by the administration has put you in. The indictment of Bayoil by the New York feds is of course being celebrated by The Wall Street Journal as proof, PROOF, that Kofi Annan presided over a corrupt oil-for-food program and should step down! If your report says otherwise, the neocons will have no choice but to attack you for being in cahoots with Kofi. It would be nice if you could put on the record your interviews with Saddam's oil ministers, who could clear all this up, I'm sure. But like Saddam, they are being held under lock and key by our puppet government in Baghdad, still denied lawyers after almost two years in detention. Our government did permit you and your team to interview the ministers, didn't it? There is a scandal, but I'm afraid it isn't in Baghdad. Good luck.
The Real Oil-for-Food Scandal

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