I’m not sure what to make of George Galloway, the British Member of Parliament who voluntarily traveled to Washington to face accusations by Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN), Chairman of the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, that he had pocketed funds generated by the United Nation’s oil-for-food program in Iraq during the period in which sanctions were lodged against Saddam Hussein.
Bloomberg reports that ” Galloway is one of three foreign politicians named last week by the subcommittee as having received options to buy discounted Iraqi oil for their support of the ousted dictator. The options could be sold to oil traders, earning the holder a profit without ever handling a barrel of crude.”
The Senate panel accused Galloway of using a charity for children’s leukemia to launder Iraqi oil money.
“The only thing these people have against me is my name on pieces of paper written by we know not whom, and when we know not,” Galloway told a reporter today.
Bloomberg also notes that “Galloway won a libel suit against the London Daily Telegraph in December after it reported he had received a salary from Hussein’s regime. The newspaper, which has appealed, was ordered to pay Galloway 150,000 pounds ($275,865) in damages and about 1.2 million pounds in legal costs. ”
I do know what I think about Norm Coleman so it was refreshing to see portions of the Senate hearing on television today. The BBC has greatest hits from Galloway’s quotes:
- “Who paid me hundreds of thousands of dollars? The answer to that is nobody and if you had anybody who paid me a penny you would have produced them here today.”
- “I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him. The difference is that Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target those guns.”
- “You traduced my name around the world without ever having asked me a single question, without ever having contacted me, without ever having written to me or telephoned me, without any contact with me whatsoever and you call that justice.”
- “Senator [Coleman], this is the mother of all smoke screens. You are trying to divert attention from the crimes that you supported from the theft of billions of dollars of Iraq’s wealth.”
- “You have nothing on me Senator [Coleman], except my name on lists of names in Iraq, many of which were drawn up after the installation of your puppet government in Iraq.”
- “I have never seen a barrel of oil, owned one, bought one, sold one, and neither has anybody on my behalf.”
- “I know that standards have slipped over the last few years in Washington but for a lawyer you are remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice.”
- “One of the most serious mistakes you have made in this set of documents is such a schoolboy howler it makes a fool of the efforts you have made.”
- “Senator [Coleman], in everything I said about Iraq I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 have paid with their lives, 1,600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies.”
I’d give anything to hear this Scotsman read George Bush the riot act. I suspect our Georgie’s poor head would explode.