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British Lawmaker Lashes Out at Senators
AP via Yahoo! ^ | May 17, 2005 | KEN GUGGENHEIM

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.


TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: 109th; coleman; galloway; hussein; oil; oilforfood; saddam; un; ussenate
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Galloway certainly has balls, if not brains.
1 posted on 05/17/2005 1:27:31 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Brilliant

Blustering and bullying will not work for Gorgeous George here. Senators have immunity from libel when on the floor/in committee. Also, they can charge him with perjury and/or contempt.


2 posted on 05/17/2005 1:29:42 PM PDT by JAWs
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To: Brilliant

Why was all of the "lashing" coming from one side? Why didn't the senators get tough with him and make some news?


3 posted on 05/17/2005 1:30:53 PM PDT by Betaille (Harry Potter is a Right-Winger)
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To: Brilliant
Bully for the Brit!

It's about time that somebody stood up to that sanctimonious thug, Norm Coleman, and said, "HAVE YOU NO DECENCY, SIR?"

4 posted on 05/17/2005 1:32:36 PM PDT by MurryMom
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To: JAWs

Yup, if they've got the goods on him. Course, if the "info" came from the same guys who told us there were WMDs in Iraq, I would not make assumptions.

Still I am delighted that Galloway came here to defend himself. Now maybe we'll get some of those documents that the participants in this oil for food fraud have been holding back. He's submitted himself to the jurisdiction of our courts.


5 posted on 05/17/2005 1:33:02 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Betaille

I admit I found this whole episode strange. What is the point (other than fair play) of allowing him to come over here, make a telegenically crackpot opening statement and then face a few relatively inconsequential questions from senators before being dismissed?


6 posted on 05/17/2005 1:33:18 PM PDT by untenured
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To: Brilliant; All
Yes, these are interlinked:

-"No Blood for Oil"- Kojo & Kofi: Unbelievable U.N. stories--

-ADSCAM -- Canada's Corruption Scandal Breaks Wide Open--

-MP George Galloway- voice cries "peace," hand in Saddam's till...--

7 posted on 05/17/2005 1:33:54 PM PDT by backhoe (-30-)
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To: Betaille

If I'm reading it right, Coleman is threatening him with perjury, if he lied. I'd say that's getting tough.


8 posted on 05/17/2005 1:34:12 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: JAWs
Blustering and bullying will not work for Gorgeous George here. Senators have immunity from libel when on the floor/in committee. Also, they can charge him with perjury and/or contempt.

I watched it and it did actually work. The Committee never laid a finger on him.

9 posted on 05/17/2005 1:34:26 PM PDT by cooper72
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To: untenured

Maybe they were giving him an opportunity to commit perjury.


10 posted on 05/17/2005 1:35:26 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Brilliant
Maybe they were giving him an opportunity to commit perjury.

I thought about that, but as I was listening to the FR discussion I don't recall any events like that. But I could have easily missed one.

11 posted on 05/17/2005 1:37:19 PM PDT by untenured
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To: Brilliant
If I'm reading it right, Coleman is threatening him with perjury, if he lied.

I'd say that's talking tentatively in political double speak, like the sanctimonious little twit Norm Coleman really is.

12 posted on 05/17/2005 1:37:36 PM PDT by MurryMom
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To: cooper72

The real problem is that they may or may not have the proof. I'd think that if these allegations are true, then there must be some evidence of it other than some Iraqi official's testimony.


13 posted on 05/17/2005 1:37:41 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Brilliant

What I find funny about this is its one politico calling another politico a liar, is that like a kettle calling a pot black.


14 posted on 05/17/2005 1:37:48 PM PDT by dts32041 (Two words that shouldn't be used in the same sentence Grizzly bear and violate.)
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To: Brilliant
The committee says it used different documents.

Biased reporting. The committee did not just "say" it used different documents. It entered them into the record.

15 posted on 05/17/2005 1:38:36 PM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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To: untenured

"face a few relatively inconsequential questions from senators before being dismissed?"

Exactly. It seems like they were just setting up a soap box for him.



16 posted on 05/17/2005 1:39:58 PM PDT by Betaille (Harry Potter is a Right-Winger)
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To: Brilliant
The real problem is that they may or may not have the proof. I'd think that if these allegations are true, then there must be some evidence of it other than some Iraqi official's testimony.

They don't have any proof. That is why Galloway is there, and why no-one produced any. If they had proof they would show it.

17 posted on 05/17/2005 1:40:34 PM PDT by cooper72
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To: MurryMom
that sanctimonious thug, Norm Coleman

LOL!

In other news, Paul Wellstone is still dead and Fritz "Where's the Beef" Mondale still lost.

Hah hah!

18 posted on 05/17/2005 1:40:42 PM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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To: untenured

Just a denial can be perjury, if it's false. He denied it. So if it turns out that it's true, then he's in big trouble.

Of course, I don't know how far the Senate wants to take this. And since a lot of these documents are overseas, they may not be able to get their hands on them.


19 posted on 05/17/2005 1:41:00 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Brilliant
"Galloway certainly has balls, if not brains."

I would say that he lacks any brains at all. Who knows what kind of incriminating documents Saddam kept under the option of using them to blackmail Galloway, if he failed to toe the line just as Hussein pleased? Those documents would be among the tons and tons of papers preserved by Saddam for just such a purpose.

Coalitition researchers have been combing through this mountain of damning evidence for 2+ years now. Imagine what they have found, and will find?

What do you bet other far wiser European bureaucrats on-the-take secretly offer their testimony and other documents in exchange for immunity? Galloway is spitting into a hurricane. This should be fun to watch.

20 posted on 05/17/2005 1:42:39 PM PDT by Richard Axtell (We should be proud, we made the right choice! God Bless George W. Bush!)
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To: cooper72

Yeah, I think you're right. It's pretty amazing to me that they'd make the allegation, though, without some pretty good evidence. Apparently the evidence they've got was the statement of some Iraqi officials who were involved. But there's gotta be a paper trail of some kind.

Getting a London or Swiss bank to produce it though might be difficult.


21 posted on 05/17/2005 1:43:34 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: MurryMom

Interesting you should invoke that quote...

As it turned out, the original recipient of that question in a Senate Committe was proven right 40 years down the road.

And the Pinko Brit, who would have gotten b!tch slapped by Winston Churchill from Whitehall to the Cliffs of Dover (and over the edge) if he had been alive in 2003, did'nt invoke that question himself. And probably for the same reason.


22 posted on 05/17/2005 1:44:02 PM PDT by L,TOWM (Liberals, The Other White Meat [Born in California, Texan by the Grace of God.])
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To: Richard Axtell

It may not be stupid if he's innocent. And this may be the last we will hear about it if that is the case.

Course, as you say, it would be very interesting if it turned out that he was guilty, and it could be proven.


23 posted on 05/17/2005 1:46:00 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: L,TOWM
And the Pinko Brit, who would have gotten b!tch slapped by Winston Churchill from Whitehall to the Cliffs of Dover (and over the edge) if he had been alive in 2003, did'nt invoke that question himself. And probably for the same reason.

Maybe, maybe not. It might have depended on his age - Winston Churchill used to be a Liberal MP.

24 posted on 05/17/2005 1:46:48 PM PDT by cooper72
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To: Brilliant
"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.

Interesting that this was the only sound bite used by NPR in their newscasts today. Coincidence? Me thinks he doth protest too much.

25 posted on 05/17/2005 1:47:50 PM PDT by Yo-Yo
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To: Yo-Yo

Yeah, it sounds like he's saying that the documents were forged, rather than that the documents don't support the allegations.


26 posted on 05/17/2005 1:49:23 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Brilliant

I am surprised the scumbag dems on the Committee didn't side with Galloway much more vigorously. Afterall, they've long taken orders from the same communist/neocommunist commisars.


27 posted on 05/17/2005 1:50:54 PM PDT by Tacis ( SEAL THE FRIGGEN BORDER!!!)
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To: Yo-Yo
"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. Interesting that this was the only sound bite used by NPR in their newscasts today. Coincidence? Me thinks he doth protest too much.

So if he doesn't protest he is guilty, but if he does he is guilty? For all I don't like Galloway, he was right on one thing - the committee should have asked him to speak before pronouncing him guilty, especially when they messed up the so-called guilty documents.

28 posted on 05/17/2005 1:51:17 PM PDT by cooper72
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To: JAWs
Also, they can charge him with perjury and/or contempt.

Maybe they can but what effect would it have?

He not an American citizen and he's not subject to any of congress's authority....or do I have it wrong?

29 posted on 05/17/2005 1:51:24 PM PDT by evad (No action to secure borders, No action on judges... NO MONEY!)
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To: cooper72

I was thinking of the 1940 edition of Winston.


The Torrie PM.


30 posted on 05/17/2005 1:52:30 PM PDT by L,TOWM (Liberals, The Other White Meat [Born in California, Texan by the Grace of God.])
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To: evad
Also, they can charge him with perjury and/or contempt. Maybe they can but what effect would it have? He not an American citizen and he's not subject to any of congress's authority....or do I have it wrong?

They can only charge him with anything if he lied. Galloway is not stupid - he wouldn't be there if he would incriminate himself.

Lets be honest here, the Senate has no power over him even if he did lie.

31 posted on 05/17/2005 1:54:42 PM PDT by cooper72
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To: L,TOWM
I was thinking of the 1940 edition of Winston.

So not of the post 1945 pro-European either? :)

32 posted on 05/17/2005 1:55:46 PM PDT by cooper72
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To: Brilliant
If I'm reading it right, Coleman is threatening him with perjury, if he lied. I'd say that's getting tough.

Even if he did commit perjury (which is almost a certainty), the fact that he's a duly elected leader of the government of an ally means realistically that we could never lay a finger on the SOB.

The best that we could hope for would be an international prosecution, but that will never happen. In a more sane world, he would be prosecuted within his own country, but that's not going to happen either.

33 posted on 05/17/2005 2:00:24 PM PDT by jpl (Arrest Michael Dumbkopf and flush Newsweek down the toilet.)
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To: evad

Not a US lawyer but by my reckoning once he stepped foot in the United States he subjected himself to US juristiction. Once he took the oath in the senate understanding that he was subject to perjury, well, he's subject to perjury! We tend to extradite folk whenever you ask.... that is why I actually think this is one massive PR blunder. I don't think he would've gone if there was truth in the specific allegations. THe daft thing about this is whilst he accuses the committee of being a 'smokescreen' for the 'failure in Iraq' - he is actually using it as a smokescreen to bring up the old arguments about WMD rather than concentrating on the fact that Iraq has an Iraqi government free from the grip of an evil dictator and a future in the peoples gift. This really is a PR disaster. I'm stunned the US let him in.


34 posted on 05/17/2005 2:00:37 PM PDT by Brit_Guy
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To: MurryMom

That was what Mr. Welch said to Senator J. McCarthy back in `51, and it was pure hyperbole. (In English, 'horse-feathers'.)


35 posted on 05/17/2005 2:01:06 PM PDT by tumblindice (So what happened to all the commies? Their children are teaching our children at State U.)
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This is GORGEOUS??? (Nice lefty eye bags and wrinkles.)
36 posted on 05/17/2005 2:03:04 PM PDT by E=MC<sup>2</sup> (...And on the 666th day, satan created the demonrat party.)
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To: jpl
Even if he did commit perjury (which is almost a certainty)

Where?

the fact that he's a duly elected leader of the government of an ally means realistically that we could never lay a finger on the SOB.

Which Government is he the elected leader of?

The best that we could hope for would be an international prosecution, but that will never happen. In a more sane world, he would be prosecuted within his own country, but that's not going to happen either.

Americans are not subject to any international court so how could america prosecute anyone? And prosecuted for what?

And I don't like Galloway, and didn't like him years before you had even heard the name, but is no evidence, insinuation from war criminals or false evidence now enough to indict?

37 posted on 05/17/2005 2:07:16 PM PDT by cooper72
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To: MurryMom

By sanctimonious little twist, you're referring to the man that beat the living dog snot out of that Carter era incompetent Fritz Mondale?


38 posted on 05/17/2005 2:07:27 PM PDT by IGOTMINE (Front Sight. Press. Follow Through. It's a way of life.)
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To: snugs; MadIvan

US Legal complications for Galloway?


39 posted on 05/17/2005 2:09:12 PM PDT by gopwinsin04
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To: cooper72
You may have noticed that yesterday's sound bite du jour was something to the effect "I haven't sold one drop of oil, and nobody bought one drop of oil from me."

In a Clintonian parsing, he said nothing about receiving vouchers from Saddam, only oil itself. We shall see how things shake out.

40 posted on 05/17/2005 2:09:42 PM PDT by Yo-Yo
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To: cooper72

You know, he was'nt too bad either. At least he did'nt like "Bolsheviks". He sure could turn a phrase, too. That "Iron Curtain" one sure was a winner...

:)

Seriously though, I wonder what his reaction to the modern day Labor Party would be if he could see it? I suspect it would much the same as Harry Truman's would be if he was able to see the current pack of 'rats.


41 posted on 05/17/2005 2:11:14 PM PDT by L,TOWM (Liberals, The Other White Meat [Born in California, Texan by the Grace of God.])
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To: Yo-Yo
You may have noticed that yesterday's sound bite du jour was something to the effect "I haven't sold one drop of oil, and nobody bought one drop of oil from me." In a Clintonian parsing, he said nothing about receiving vouchers from Saddam, only oil itself. We shall see how things shake out.

He has also denied this as well. In fact the whole point of saying that he had never bought, sold, seen oil...etc is that he could only do it with vouchers.

42 posted on 05/17/2005 2:12:05 PM PDT by cooper72
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To: evad

Perjury isn't a legistlative thing, he would be at odds with the Judiciary.


43 posted on 05/17/2005 2:12:23 PM PDT by Dead Dog
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To: cooper72
That is my fear and as a Brit I totally loath Galloway but I have to hand it to him if one knew nothing about what was going on here and you were hearing this for the first time you would certainly be questioning the allegations against him.
44 posted on 05/17/2005 2:15:41 PM PDT by snugs (An English Cheney Chick - BIG TIME - And a Member of the Conservative Party)
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To: Brilliant

I would doubt that he is anymore innocent of being on the Iraqi payroll than Scott Ritter was. Whether Galloway actually directly received money from the sale of oil allocations may be questionable.

Both he and Ritter were long time mouthpieces for Saddam. It is well established that Ritter received money from Saddam through an Iraqi-American intermediary and the Miriam Fund was a conduit for cash to Galloway and his family.

On the issue of contempt of congress, the committee would have to find him in contempt and then persuade the AG to charge him. The US would then have to ask for the UK to send him on back.

I'd love to see Galloway in a US prison...


45 posted on 05/17/2005 2:25:42 PM PDT by telebob
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To: snugs

Yes, I thought the Senators were very poor and Galloway handled them easily. When you are a decade out with the exact dates of your main evidence, and spend 5 minutes rambling when asking a question you are not going to trouble a man vastly experienced in confrontational British politics and TV.


46 posted on 05/17/2005 2:29:13 PM PDT by cooper72
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To: jpl

"In a more sane world, he would be prosecuted within his own country, but that's not going to happen either."

Sadly, he has just been to court in the UK. He took a newspaper who levelled similar allegations against him to court for libel - he won something like £150,000 in damages. I actually am starting to believe he really did have nothing to do with any oil transfers, and this whole stupid, ill thought out senate thing has completely distracted everyones eye from the real problems with George Galaway and the appeasement he stands for.


47 posted on 05/17/2005 2:32:03 PM PDT by Brit_Guy
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To: cooper72

All other things being equal our pre-packaged, airbrushed, scripted American senators will lose out in open debate to rough and tumble British MPs. Those Brits aren't afraid to mix up it up with anyone including hecklers. Our Senators, by contrast, try to have the hecklers arrested.


48 posted on 05/17/2005 2:53:04 PM PDT by Captain Kirk
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To: Captain Kirk
All other things being equal our pre-packaged, airbrushed, scripted American senators will lose out in open debate to rough and tumble British MPs. Those Brits aren't afraid to mix up it up with anyone including hecklers. Our Senators, by contrast, try to have the hecklers arrested.

I agree. I give you an example that I previously touched on and I have noticed this in other US committees. When a Senator asks a question they don't ask one sharp, precise hard-hitting question, but ramble on about their policies for minutes on end and make five nebulous points when one crystalline sentence would do.

I think it stems from your poor political interviews on TV. In the UK there are interviewers who even interrupt the PM and look at them (politicians) as if they are pieces of s**t. This makes for good democracy.

49 posted on 05/17/2005 2:59:50 PM PDT by cooper72
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To: Brilliant
Yeah, it sounds like he's saying that the documents were forged, rather than that the documents don't support the allegations.

Galloway's problem is that he doesn't know who's got what on him. Or what else is out there. This sounds as though it may have been a fishing expedition on his part.

And maybe a warning shot across the bows of any American pol who had his/her mitts in Oil For Food.

50 posted on 05/17/2005 3:03:23 PM PDT by mewzilla
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