Monday :: May 16, 2005

Bush Allowed Saddam To Circumvent And Profit Illegally From Oil-for-Food Program


by Steve

We now know why the Newsweek story was ramped up today, and why over the weekend the GOP staff investigators of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee selectively leaked the findings of a Senate investigation into the UN’s Oil for Food program to the AP, findings which curiously aim the focus away from the Bush Administration and outward to the Russians and the French. In advance of tomorrow’s third hearing on the subject, the Guardian is reporting in Tuesday’s edition that another government knowingly allowed Saddam to circumvent the UN Oil for Food program restrictions and pocket millions if not billions in illicit profits. Which government was this?

The Bush Administration.

The United States administration turned a blind eye to extensive sanctions-busting in the prewar sale of Iraqi oil, according to a new Senate investigation.
A report released last night by Democratic staff on a Senate investigations committee presents documentary evidence that the Bush administration was made aware of illegal oil sales and kickbacks paid to the Saddam Hussein regime but did nothing to stop them.
The scale of the shipments involved dwarfs those previously alleged by the Senate committee against UN staff and European politicians like the British MP, George Galloway, and the former French minister, Charles Pasqua.
In fact, the Senate report found that US oil purchases accounted for 52% of the kickbacks paid to the regime in return for sales of cheap oil - more than the rest of the world put together.
"The United States was not only aware of Iraqi oil sales which violated UN sanctions and provided the bulk of the illicit money Saddam Hussein obtained from circumventing UN sanctions," the report said. "On occasion, the United States actually facilitated the illicit oil sales.

We already know that Bush let Zarqawi get away several times in the year before the war, and now the man is killing our soldiers. We now find out that Bush allowed Hussein to enrich himself illegally at a time when Bush was planning to invade his country and commit our troops to toppling him. Worse yet, Bush had the US Navy provide escort to the ships of Odin Marine, who were shipping Saddam's crude from an unauthorized Iraqi port to Jordan, with Saddam getting kickbacks for these transactions as late as early 2003. Bush was helping Saddam line his pockets in the months leading up to the invasion, and some of that money probably helped finance what our soldiers are enduring now. What was the reason for allowing Saddam to profit from illicit oil deals circumventing the UN program? To allow Jordan and Turkey to get a source of oil that was hindered by the UN sanctions against Iraq,and to buy their support in other areas. Yet the US not only knew about it and condoned the enrichment of Saddam, but provided a navy escort for the oil shipments.

Bush and the GOP have the gall to call for Kofi Annan’s head over the administration of the Oil for Food program, and now it turns out that Bush let a member of the Axis of Evil profit from illegal transactions when just months later it was Saddam’s noncompliance with UN requirements that was cited by Bush as a reason for going to war? And we now find out that the Bush Treasury Department stonewalled the Volcker Commission's efforts to find out the US role in these illicit transactions, even after Colin Powell's State Department pressed Treasury.

What exactly is the penalty for aiding and abetting a terrorist, as Bush himself described him in the finding to Congress required by Public Law 107-243 allowing Bush to go to war, when Saddam was allegedly a threat to the United States? And why is Bush not guilty of treason?

Steve :: 11:07 PM :: Comments (16) :: Digg It!