Skip to comments.Saddam Spies 'Offered To Help Chirac Get Re-elected'
Posted on 05/13/2005 6:32:51 PM PDT by blam
Saddam spies 'offered to help Chirac get re-elected'
By Francis Harris in Washington, Henry Samuel in Paris and David Rennie in Brussels
Saddam Hussein's spies planned a wide-ranging scheme to bribe members of the French political elite in the run-up to the Anglo-American invasion, including an offer to help fund President Jacques Chirac's 2002 re-election campaign.
That bid failed, according to Iraqi secret service papers seen by The Daily Telegraph, when Mr Chirac's aides allegedly said they did not need the cash.
Former EC president Jacques Delors
According to the series of Iraqi intelligence service memorandums uncovered by investigators working for the energy committee of the US House of Representatives, the Iraqis identified a group of politicians and businessmen close to Mr Chirac.
A memo from the head of the 2nd Department of the Mukhabarat, the Iraqi intelligence service, purported to report on conversations between its representative in Paris and Roselyne Bachelot, then a member of the National Assembly and the spokesman for Mr Chirac's re-election campaign. The Mukhabarat described Mrs Bachelot as "a friend of Iraq".
The spies claimed that Mrs Bachelot offered an assurance that France would veto any American proposal to invade Iraq at the UN Security Council and would work to have UN-approved sanctions against Saddam lifted.
But the memo also claimed that Mr Chirac's team had turned down the cash. The Mukhabarat had conveyed the message that "Iraq is prepared to offer financial support to Chirac, for his election campaign. [Mrs Bachelot] replied joyfully that she will deliver this offer to the financial official of the election campaign." The Chirac campaign had expressed the "gratitude and appreciation of France" but turned the offer down because the money was not required, the document says.
Mrs Bachelot, 58, who later became French environment minister and is now an MEP, said yesterday that she had not received such an offer.
Though she had met many Iraqis in the course of her duties and was a campaigner against UN sanctions, she had not met any intelligence agents. The allegations in the files were "deplorable insinuations", she said.
The documents state that the plot to buy influence in France began in early 2002 on the direct orders of Saddam Hussein, just as America was issuing ever more bellicose statements about Iraq's flouting of UN security council resolutions.
A paper dated Feb 5, 2002, headed "Iraqi-French relations" and written by the assistant director of the Mukhabarat, suggested that Iraq should offer inducements to whoever seemed best placed to win the presidential race, which Mr Chirac ultimately won three months later.
Iraq should "study the possibility to support one of the candidates in the French political elections, after it becomes clear who is going to win the elections, through the offer of oil contracts . . ." the paper says.
As the plot developed, other sections of the Mukhabarat were drawn in. A memo from the head of department M4 dated March 11, 2002 identified politicians and businessmen with close ties to Mr Chirac. Among them was Mrs Bachelot.
The planned campaign included a long list of potential targets that read like a who's who of the country's senior statesmen.
It included former President Valery Giscard d'Estaing, former interior minister Charles Pasqua, former defence and interior minister Jean-Pierre Chevenement, former defence and interior minister Pierre Joxe and former European Commission president Jacques Delors.
Mr Delors said yesterday: "I was at the [European] Commission at the time. I had a lot of contact with European heads of state, but none with Iraqi officials." Mr Joxe, former Socialist defence and interior minister, called any allegation that he had taken money "false and absurd".
The new material does not state that any of those named were in fact approached or offered inducements. But it relates in great detail the planning behind the scheme and those who it should approach.
The uncovering of the material by the House energy committee came during its inquiry into the misuse of the UN's $64 billion oil-for-food scheme.
The committee is one of five in Congress examining the scandal. On Thursday another committee in the Senate said that Iraq earmarked oil allocations for George Galloway MP and Mr Pasqua. Both men deny the charges
Lies. John Kerry called France our "traditional ally."
I wonder what other names will get dragged out, Ritter maybe, McDermott maybe...
Me wonders if the "Iraq Secret Service Papers" are the paper trail they have on Galloway.
Javad Solouki waits to register as a candidate for President of Iran during the second day of registration at the Interior Ministry in Tehran May 11, 2005. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl
So...they didn't report this attempt at bribery, they merely said "No thanks, we've got enough cash!" ?
There just may well be some of those as well, but so far all we know is that Galloway's paper trail stems from the Iraqi oil ministry.
I think it's safe to say that those who opposed action against Saddam, despite the evidence against him regarding his bio weapon and nuclear ambitions, AND his mass murdering ways, were the people who had their palms greased the most.
And Volker wants his papers back from Congress....yeah, right..
I guess none of the Iraqis she met, "in the course of her duties" ---- identified themselves as "intelligence agents"..
Stupid French bitch.....and a liar to boot.