Skip to comments.British Lawmaker Lashes Out at Senators
Posted on 05/17/2005 1:27:30 PM PDT by Brilliant
WASHINGTON - British lawmaker George Galloway denounced U.S. senators on their home turf Tuesday, denying accusations that he profited from the U.N. oil-for-food program and accusing them of unfairly tarnishing his name.
Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., questioned Galloway's honesty and told reporters, "If in fact he lied to this committee, there will have to be consequences."
Galloway's appearance was an odd spectacle on Capitol Hill: A legislator from a friendly nation, voluntarily testifying under oath, without immunity, at a combative congressional hearing where neither side showed much pretense of diplomatic niceties.
"Now, I know that standards have slipped over the last few years in Washington, but for a lawyer, you're remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice," Galloway told Coleman, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs investigation subcommittee.
He then accused Coleman of maligning his name before giving him a chance to defend himself and of using the oil-for-food investigation to hide the failures of U.S. policies in Iraq.
"Senator, this is the mother of all smoke screens," he said.
The panel is one of several congressional committees investigating allegations that Saddam Hussein manipulated the $64 billion oil-for-food program to get kickbacks and build international opposition to U.N. sanctions against Iraq set up after the 1991 Gulf War. The program was created as an exception to the sanctions, allowing Saddam to sell oil and use the proceeds to buy food and other humanitarian items.
Coleman's panel last week released documents that it says shows that Galloway and other international figures received valuable oil allocations from Saddam to reward them for their opposition to sanctions. The allocations could be resold for a profit. Among the officials identified besides Galloway were former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua and Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, both of whom denied wrongdoing.
Coleman's subcommittee claimed that Galloway funneled allocations through the Mariam Appeal a fund he established in 1998 to help a 4-year-old Iraqi girl suffering from leukemia and received allocations worth 20 million barrels from 2000 to 2003. Coleman also alleged that Galloway was linked to kickbacks to Saddam, saying the Iraqi leader received more than $300,000 in surcharges on allocations involving Galloway.
Galloway vehemently rejected the accusations.
"You have nothing on me, senator, except my name on lists of names from Iraq, many of which have been drawn up after the installation of your puppet government in Baghdad," he said.
He said that Coleman's panel based some of its accusations on the same fake documents used by The Daily Telegraph newspaper, which he sued for libel and won a $1.4 million libel judgment. The committee says it used different documents.
Coleman pressed Galloway on his relationship with Jordanian businessman Fawaz Zureikat. Galloway described Zureikat as the second largest contributor to the Mariam Appeal, while congressional investigators consider him Galloway's intermediary in receiving oil proceeds.
Asked if he knew that Zureikat was involved in oil deals with Iraq in 2001, Galloway said he knew Zureikat was doing extensive business in Iraq, but didn't know the details.
When Coleman reacted skeptically, Galloway told him, "There are lots of contributors to your political campaign funds. I don't suppose you ask any of them how they made the money they give you."
Galloway also said it was "beyond the realm of the ridiculous" that he would give $300,000 in kickbacks to Saddam.
Speaking to reporters after the hearing, both Coleman and the panel's top Democrat, Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, questioned Galloway's credibility. Asked if Galloway violated his oath to tell the truth before the committee, Coleman said, "I don't know. We'll have to look over the record."
Galloway has been an outspoken opponent of both Iraq wars and of the U.N. sanctions, which he said were killing innocent Iraqis. He was expelled from Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour Party after urging British soldiers not to fight in Iraq. Galloway was recently re-elected to Parliament this month as a representative of his own anti-Iraq war Respect party.
Just as I seem ( to you) to be inferring that you don't despise Galloway, you seem to be implying that I seek to frame him-- Both counts are untrue.
Let the evidence tell us the truth.
I AGREE with you. And, honestly I don't care if we find he was on the take or not-- what does that ultimately prove? That only bribed agents of Saddam can have an anti-war, appeasing, anti-western point of view?
If that were true we wouldn't have the millions of moronic appeasers biting at our asses on a continual basis.
No, it is entirely possible to come to this brain-sick point of view all on one's own-- with no help from Saddam.
Whatever Galloway's motives are they are definitely complex.
I used to think Saddam was giving him money but if he did surely there would be lots of proof, and I thought he would go out of the limelight so no-one could get him.
However with Saddam now having NO power and obviously no money he has went MORE high-profile. Even though his political views are the opposite of mine, I strongly bellieve he does actually believe them strongly. That doesn't make them valid, but it does change things. He has always been hard-left.
In his younger days he walked side-by-side with IRA members, for that I have always despised him.
"Galloway was outright baiting him and Coleman didn't bite."
He didn't challenge Galloway on any of his lies. It's unbelievable to me that Galloway got so few questions after, considering there was overwhelming evidence given against him in the beginning and Galloway refuted pretty much all of it. The only one who even challenged him on his attitude was Levin (D-MI), and even he didn't bring any substantive questions to bear, he only asked for his opinion on a matter that he isn't being charged for.
Frankly, I read no further in your post after that part.
Man, does that guy ever hate America or what? He was elected on an angry anti-American platform.
To grant Galloway the appearance he wanted.
He got it.
That and the laying out of evidence by the first panel.
But the Committee did not call Galloway so the point was not to wage their case right here and right now. And Galloway failed miserably in the fact department as time will tell.
He's smart alright and obviously used front men and the charity to disguise the money.
Yr right he is hard left, but loves money, so far no-one has caught his fingers in the till and he is known to have had some very nasty people around him, when he was an MP in Glasgow. But he may have gone too far this time, by playing on a world stage, local thuggery is no match, against what he is facing now.
I thought todays hearing was a set up and he walked straight into it.
No, he didn't. I watched the entire testimony. Coleman read the charges as though he was a beauracrat that had no stake in the matter (half asleep). After Galloway's diatribe he asked shockingly unfocused questions. It's being described as "A knockout". Believe me I want to see Galloway in prison, but this hearing was so one-sided and looked so bad for Senator Coleman, it will now be politically different to bring charges against Galloway. Also, as a jew I am a bit disturbed that he was never rebuked for his anti-semitic references.
I meant politically difficult. sorry, I'm a bit tired.
It would be lovely if your people did nail him for perjury. I can guarantee that Blair will not object...in fact, he will smiling. Please do force a by-election at Bethnal Green and Bow.
I don't know the man, and I certainly haven't reviewed the evidence against him nor am I competent to evaluate it's authenticity.
But just academically, if you had a gift certificate for a $25 steak dinner at Texas Roadhouse, and I bought the gift certificate from you for $10, could you not say "I haven't sold one ounce of steak, and nobody bought one ounce of steak from me."?
Of course- the people of Halabja were killed by baseball bats... it just looked like a chemical attack.
Those mobile labs were for making balloons for children's parties at baghdad area Burger Kings. You know, the ones former UNSCOM inspector Scott Ritter liked to go to.
All those Iraqi scientists were really engaged in rose gardening.
The high tolerance aluminum parts in Libya before they opted for maraging steel were originally intended for centrifuges for enriching uranium as we've now established- but in Iraq they were only for making ridiculously expensive small rockets.
Every chemical factory should have a missile as a mascot.
There's no reason to be suspicious when purchases are made through front companies, after all.
The Iraqi long-range missile program was intended to develop peace bombs for delivering pamphlets, laughing gas and candy.
The pesticides stored at military sites weren't precursors or degraded chemical weapons- Iraq just had 10 foot tall killer roaches living in their military barracks.
The contaminants in the river was just fish sweat.
Those new digs at al Tuwaitha that UNSCOM failed to find were for storing potatoes. OK, so what if the potato idea doesn't work very well when the facilities are flooded- some day you might be able to dive down there and see all those soggy French fries.
Iraq really needed to import Niger peas and goats. It was a craving.
Iraq bribed presstitutes, politicians and so on because of Hussein's generosity, not necessity.
Iraq needed ring magnets to make toys for kids.
Iraq needed bulk packaged agar to make beer.
Iraq needed all that aerosil/cabosil to make huge quantities of skin lotion for the notoriously dry cracked skin of Bedoin tribesmen, and as filler in making trophy fish replicas out of fiberglass. Nevermind we haven't found these copious quantities of consumer goods they were making with all these dual-use materials.
Some Iraqi scientists fled to Syria and Europe just before the war because they were afraid the US would ask them about their copyrighted cutting edge research into *gasp* wheat germ.
All those hollow shells were really stylish vases for holding flowers.
Sudan? Where's that?
The binary chemical shell circa 1996 that was part of a failed bombing of US troops was just a one-of-a-kind protoype carried into Iraq by an African swallow - there are no more shells to be had, not even if you take a look in the Bekaa Valley.
Saddam Hussein learned his lesson and would never reconstitute full scale weapons programs if sanctions were lifted.
... John Sweeney, a journalist working for BBC Five Live, unearthed the fact that an Arab from whom Mr Galloway received thousands of pounds in cash for expenses in the 1990s was the same man who was named in an American court as the purchaser of a satellite telephone used by al-Qa'eda in Afghanistan.
Five years ago, Mr Galloway was investigated by the Commons Standards and Privileges Committee over his financial relationship with Saad Al Fagih, a London based dissident Saudi politician. During the inquiry Mr Galloway identified more than £5,000-worth of items on his credit card bill that had been paid by Mr Fagih.
He said that all were out-of-pocket expenses. He also said that he had been given £1,800 to hand over to foreign nationals living in political exile in Britain, but refused to say who they were.
------- "100 MPs back protest over strikes on Iraq," By Andy McSmith, Chief Political Correspondent, UK Telegraph, (Filed: 15/03/2002)March 15, 2002
Galloway is just one terrorist collaborator among many.
Eid Mubarak to you, Bro Mohammed and all the strugglers of the democratic Saudi opposition.
I had a visit today from the PR people - John and Patricia. It seems they have some ambitious plans for the future. I just wanted you to know that their plans are theirs alone.
I should prefer to deal directly with you; either on my own proposals or any others you have.
I hope you all enjoy the feast; and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
N.B. + new EDM 1284.
11 May 1995
I’m curious to hear your opinions 5 years later?