The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]


[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] News, 23-30/4/03 (5)



News, 23-30/4/03 (5)

NERVOUS INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

*  Chirac and Putin vie for moral low ground
*  U.S. to Offer Resolution to End Sanction

TRIALS OF GEORGE GALLOWAY

*  I'm a victim of the war against the Iraqi people
*  Mariam's family give Galloway their support
*  Galloway's a crook - how convenient
*  Newly found Iraqi files raise heat on British MP
*  MP may be tried as traitor
*  'Now I'm certain ... all these documents are forged'


NERVOUS INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

http://www.iht.com/articles/94336.html

*  CHIRAC AND PUTIN VIE FOR MORAL LOW GROUND
by William Safire
International Herald Tribune, from New York Times, 25th April

WASHINGTON: President Jacques Chirac's scheme to win French companies fat
contracts in reconstructing Iraq has run into realpolitik: Anti-U.S. actions
have consequences.

After a decade of opposing any pressure on Saddam Hussein to obey United
Nations resolutions, France reversed itself after its favorite dictator was
brought down. Chirac and his new ally, President Vladimir Putin of Russia,
let it be known they would refuse to lift UN sanctions on the sale of Iraqi
oil.

Last week's Chirac-Putin ultimatum: If we don't get French-Russian contracts
to rebuild Iraq, we won't let Iraq sell its oil. You suffer the casualties;
we get the contracts.

France and Russia also want to keep under UN control the currently permitted
sale of Iraqi oil, ostensibly to buy food and medicine for a majority of
Iraqis. That's because the oil-for food bureaucracy headed by Benon Sevan
let Saddam steer billions in banking and commercial business to Paris,
Moscow and Damascus.

The blatant hypocrisy of all this created an op-ed firestorm. In The New
York Times, Claudia Rosett exposed the secrecy of the oil-for-food
boondoggle, manipulated by Saddam to favor Security Council supporters (IHT,
April 21). Charles Krauthammer in The Washington Post excoriated Chirac's
brazen flip-flop of opposing sanctions on Saddam and then insisting they be
imposed on post-Saddam Iraq. My own tirade appeared in the International
Herald Tribune, read in Paris by the would-be Talleyrands of the Foreign
Ministry on the Quai d'Orsay.

As France appeared to be taking the moral low ground, Security Council
diplomats became uncomfortable. Then France appeared to have been struck by
sweet reason. Instead of ending sanctions on a regime that no longer
existed, France floated a proposal merely suspending sanctions until the
Security Council decides that the new post-Saddam Iraq is not making weapons
of mass destruction.

Some compromise. That neat trick is designed to force the United States into
gaining the UN inspectors' approval before sanctions are ended. It would
keep a heavy UN foot on Iraqi pipelines and keep France in the
reconstruction contracts business. Suspension would put the emerging Iraq in
a class with Libya, still suspended after its downing of Pan Am 103.

Fortunately, Secretary of State Colin Powell is not about to be sandbagged
again. The State Department spent Wednesday preparing a UN resolution to
decisively end, not merely suspend, economic sanctions on Iraq. If carefully
crafted, it should contain language similar to that of the oil-for-food
resolution. That would guarantee that proceeds from future oil sales held in
trust for the interim Iraqi authority would be immune from attachment by
previous claimants.

In plain language, that means that sales of Iraqi oil sold starting now
would be for rebuilding the nation, and could not be snatched by France and
Russia to pay Saddam's old arms debts. Chirac and Putin won't like that a
bit. Would either of them veto the will of a Security Council majority and
stand before the Arab world as greedy obstructionists? Let's see.

Planners of the trust fund flowing from the end of sanctions should draw
lessons from the Saddam-dominated, secretive UN oil-for-food mess. Barham
Salih, a Kurdish leader, told The Wall Street Journal that "half of the
money allocated to Iraqi Kurdistan never reached us, thanks to bureaucratic
obstacles erected in Baghdad and supported by UN Plaza." He added, "We could
not pay a single teacher or doctor with this money, while oil-for-food
largess went to Uday Hussein's national Olympic committee."

Benon Sevan, the UN undersecretary who runs the oil-for-food program, admits
that the French bank BNP Paribas was chosen to issue letters of credit to
most of the favored suppliers, but brands as "inaccuracies" charges by
Rosett and me of secrecy. He cites a hundred audits in five years. But
details of which companies in what countries got how much - that's not
public.

The United States has a seat on the "611 committee," which supposedly
oversees this $12 billion bureaucratic bonanza. Its reports should be
available to Congress; Henry Hyde, chairman of the House's international
affairs committee, is looking into that. Senator Arlen Specter, chairman of
the Senate appropriations committee, wrote to Powell on Wednesday about
"reports that these funds are a slush fund," saying, "I urge the State
Department to demand an accounting."

France hasn't seriously harmed the United States; we'll be friendly again.
But in their hubristic drive for dominance in Europe, combined with their
grubby grab for contracts, Chirac and his poodle Putin have severely damaged
the United Nations.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A35172-

*  U.S. TO OFFER RESOLUTION TO END SANCTIONS
by Karen DeYoung and Colum Lynch
Washington Post, 25th April

The Bush administration plans to introduce next week a U.N. Security Council
resolution that would lift more than a decade of international sanctions on
Iraq, while limiting U.N. involvement in Iraq's foreseeable future to a
consultative role, senior administration officials said yesterday.

The resolution would direct U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan to name a
special representative who can work with U.S. officials in Baghdad on
humanitarian and reconstruction programs, and on the formation of an Iraqi
Interim Authority, officials said. But it would firmly endorse control by
the United States and its military allies over international involvement in
Iraq until a permanent, representative government is in place.

President Bush said last week that the United Nations should lift the
sanctions "now that Iraq is liberated," but the Defense and State
departments were divided over how to accomplish it. The resolution decision,
made at a meeting of top Bush national security advisers on Wednesday,
essentially adopted the Pentagon's proposal for a broad elimination of all
U.N. control over Iraq, rather than the State Department's preferred step
by-step approach.

In his Belfast summit early this month with British Prime Minister Tony
Blair, Bush pledged a "vital" U.N. role in Iraq. The decision to offer only
modest concessions to countries that have argued that the United Nations
must have a defining part in the reconstruction effort could spark a new
confrontation at a time when many council members are trying to repair their
relations with the United States.

But the administration is banking on a lack of council desire to again
challenge U.S. power after the wrenching war debates early last month, on a
recognition of the established new facts on the ground, and on a reluctance
to obstruct urgently needed assistance to get Iraq back on its feet.

While still being drafted, current versions of the resolution offer specific
plans for the Iraqi oil industry, moving its profits from U.N. control to an
Iraqi Central Bank fund to be spent on reconstruction activities designated
either by the Pentagon-run Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian
Assistance headed by retired Army Lt. Gen. Jay M. Garner or by the Iraqi
Interim Authority (IIA), once it is in place, according to officials
involved in discussions over the wording.

Distributions from the fund would be monitored by an international financial
authority, perhaps the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank.

The need to settle internal administration disagreements over dealings with
the United Nations became more urgent when France, following Bush's public
call to end the sanctions, called for them only to be suspended pending
further developments in Iraq. Although the move was seen as a step back from
outright French opposition to ceding U.N. control, administration officials
also suspected that the French were trying to preempt a sanctions lifting
resolution.

"We thought, we need to fill in the blank here and start talking about the
end stage" before others move in on the council, an official said. "Had
France not done what they did . . . we might have waited a week or two."

The perception that the administration risked being overtaken by events
pushed the decision in the direction of the Pentagon proposal, officials
said. But at the Wednesday meeting, chaired by national security adviser
Condoleezza Rice, the Pentagon agreed to a separate, State Department-backed
interim compromise for dealing with the existing U.N. Oil-for Food Program
while the resolution is being debated in the council. The council yesterday
approved, with U.S. support, a Mexican proposal to extend until June 3 a
postwar authorization giving Annan control over the program. On that date,
the program's overall mandate will expire, and it has become an internal
U.S. deadline for the complete lifting of U.N. control.

In a strategy that depends on a number of difficult pieces simultaneously
falling into place, the administration expects that the U.N. debate and
consultations on the resolution will take several weeks. While that is
underway, it hopes to be able to set up the Iraqi Interim Authority (IIA) in
time to take control of Iraq's trade, primarily its oil exports.

Formation of the authority has been complicated by the refusal of clergymen
representing at least a portion of the Shiite Muslims making up 60 percent
of Iraq's population to participate in leadership meetings being held under
U.S. auspices in Iraq. The largest Shiite organization refused to send a
representative to an initial meeting, held last week in Nasiriyah, and it
has not responded to an invitation to a second gathering set for Monday.

Annan has also been asked to send a representative, an invitation that
administration officials said fulfilled Bush's pledge to involve the United
Nations in the formation of the IIA. Although he has named a special
"adviser" on Iraq, Annan has declined to send him to Baghdad, saying that he
has no Security Council authorization to do so. Under the proposed
resolution, a special "representative" would have such authorization to
consult and coordinate with Garner and his staff, officials said.

Initial Pentagon postwar plans, drawn up long before the start of the
military campaign that ousted Saddam Hussein, called for Garner's operation
to administer Iraqi oil funds to pay for the reconstruction effort. The new
resolution, according to diplomats who have seen some of the proposed text,
endorses U.S. authority, presumably until that authority is turned over to
the IIA.

Russia, a permanent Security Council member that opposed the war, yesterday
introduced a proposal calling for the speedy return of U.N. staff to Iraq to
resume management of the Oil for-Food Program. It also called for granting
Annan authority to sign contracts for export of the oil that Iraq in recent
days has resumed pumping.

Although it is still not clear how France will react to the new resolution,
it has indicated in recent days that it would like to begin resolving its
differences with the administration.

A number of key countries that opposed the war, including Chile, Mexico and
Germany, in addition to France, say they want Iraq to resume trade with the
outside world. But in addition to seeking a primary postwar role for the
United Nations, most council members note that the sanctions resolutions
adopted in the early 1990s first call for the destruction of Iraq's weapons
of mass destruction, to be certified by U.N. weapons inspectors.

The administration opposes the return of the U.N. inspectors to Iraq, saying
they would get in the way of U.S. military and other officials already
hunting for the banned chemical and biological weapons whose elimination was
given as a justification for the war. No unconventional weapons have yet
been found, and officials said the new resolution contains no mention of
them.


TRIALS OF GEORGE GALLOWAY

http://argument.independent.co.uk/commentators/story.jsp?story=399799

*  I'M A VICTIM OF THE WAR AGAINST THE IRAQI PEOPLE
by George Galloway
The Independent, 24th April

The funding of political campaigns is seldom the prettiest of sights. Ask
Tony Blair, he of the "blind trusts", Ecclestone, Mittal et al, not to
mention Lord Sainsbury, who is giving a new meaning to sponsoring a chair,
in his case in government. And it is especially difficult when your campaign
is challenging a core foreign policy of two of the world's most powerful
states: Britain and the United States.

That is the challenge I faced when I embarked upon an initially lonely fight
to lift the embargo on Iraq, described as "genocide" by Dennis Halliday, a
United Nations official, when he resigned in protest, and as "infanticide
masquerading as politics" by the American Democratic congressman David
Bonior.

It was a challenge that led me into fundraising among pro-Western
monarchies, such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, the latter
despite my having been an arch critic of that country's political system and
its role in the Middle East.The campaign I helped build, the Mariam Appeal,
was astonishingly successful; but it only almost lifted the embargo and
merely almost stopped the war.

I estimate, although the exact details will be available to the courts in
the libel action I have launched against the right-wing pro-Zionist Daily
Telegraph, that between 1998 and 2002 our campaign raised over 800,000, of
which the great majority came from one source: the government of the United
Arab Emirates.

This was such a secret it was plastered over every piece of our campaigning
literature and emblazoned on the front of our famous red London bus, which
we drove from Big Ben to Baghdad in 1999 - across 11 countries, three
continents and 15,000 kilometres. The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, moved by
the plight of children with cancer in Iraq - a tenfold increase in childhood
cancer is possibly linked to depleted uranium weapons - donated around
100,000.

The other significant donor has been the man much mentioned in recent press
comment, the Jordanian businessman and political activist Fawaz Zureikat.

His presence at our side was scarcely undercover, either. In fact, virtually
every British journalist who has travelled to Iraq over the past few years -
including several from The Daily Telegraph - was introduced by us to him in
his role as a financial supporter of our campaign. Many, if not all, had
cause to be grateful for his help and his hospitality in facilitating their
work in Iraq.

Now, if newspaper critics had focussed on the incongruity of a left-wing
campaigner obtaining support for his campaigning organisations from
semi-feudal monarchies and businessmen such as Mr Zureikat, who represented
some of the world's biggest companies in Iraq, that would have been a
legitimate line of attack - though my defence would have been that needs
must. We were, after all, fighting against the policies of a much more
motley crew. However, as we now know, that is not what The Daily Telegraph
has said.

Emblazoned across four broadsheet pages this week is a story in which the
Telegraph says unequivocally that I personally have received hundreds of
thousands of pounds a year from the previous Iraqi regime as part of an oil
deal. This is a lie of fantastic proportions, which is now the subject of a
legal action for libel. For the record, I have never personally benefited
from my work on Iraq; on the contrary, I have given my political life's
blood to my fight for Iraq's people.

The only evidence supplied by the Telegraph to support this allegation is a
document, signed illegibly by an unnamed "head of Iraqi intelligence",
purporting to be a memo to Saddam Hussein's office asking for even more
money for me personally. This document, we now know, has confused dates and
is answered, apparently by Saddam's office, without reference to me, in the
negative.

The Telegraph says I traded in oil and food under the oil-for-food
programme. To whom did I sell this oil (which, incidentally, is done through
the United Nations Sanctions Committee and subject to the most forensic
scrutiny)? And what happened to the proceeds? In other words, where is the
money? From whom did I buy the food that I allegedly sold to Iraq? Which
food? When? Where?

I am genuinely surprised that lawyers on a major national newspaper appear
not to have asked these basic questions. Does anyone seriously believe that
I, one of the most observed and scrutinised political figures in Britain,
could have been in receipt of such sums of money without attracting the
attention of the security services?

I don't know the provenance of these documents, or how the Telegraph - which
has broken three major "intelligence" stories in two weeks out of Baghdad,
targeting Russia, France and now me - came to stumble, in a burning,
destroyed, looted building, upon such a find. Their own reporter states it
was a "mystery" how these documents alone were undamaged.

Forgery and deception have, of course, been a hallmark of the whole Iraq
story, from the fake British "dossier" to the false invoices for uranium
from Niger, with which Iraq was "months" away from producing a nuclear bomb.

And from the Zinoviev letter through the smearing of Michael Foot as Soviet
"Agent Boot" to the poisonous concoction of lies about Arthur Scargill,
Libyan money and a non-existent mortgage, it is an old, old story to smear
troublesome dissidents in this way. But whatever the nature of the
documents, the information within them is simply false and will be shown to
be so in the British courts.

It has all been a helpful diversion from the United States/United Kingdom
invasion, destruction and occupation of Iraq - which is going so
disastrously wrong, as some of us predicted that it would. And it is a
useful, if reckless, joyride for journalists more keen on witchunting me
than uncovering the lies, forgeries, deceptions and war crimes of two of the
world's most powerful states, which are currently laying waste to one of the
world's most wretched countries.

I have been through many media firestorms in my life, but the shock and awe
of this one beats them all. My reputation has been carpet-bombed for weeks;
first I was traduced as a traitor, then said to be in the pay of Saddam. But
I stand by my views about the war and the sanctions, which slaughtered more
people than all the weapons of mass destruction in history.

And I am proud of the huge international campaign that we fought, a campaign
that moved so many and shook the few who took the fateful decision to go to
war, to their very core.

My only regret is that, in the end, we failed to halt the slaughter - to
stop the opening of the gates of hell, as the Arab League secretary general
Amr Moussa memorably put it. Many interests and many lives are going to be
scorched in the fire that is coming. And it is going to spread far and wide.

The above is based on an article that appears today in 'Tribune'. George
Galloway is the Labour MP for Glasgow Kelvin and writes a regular column in
the Scottish 'Mail on Sunday'


http://www.thescotsman.co.uk/index.cfm?id=468642003

*  MARIAM'S FAMILY GIVE GALLOWAY THEIR SUPPORT
by Karen McVeigh
The Scotsman, 24th April

SHE has become a potent political symbol, a little girl who gave her name to
a campaign now at the heart of one of the biggest political controversies of
modern times.

Mariam Hamza, eight, is oblivious to the mounting furore surrounding George
Galloway, the MP who brought her to the UK for treatment.

The campaign later broadened out into a political fight to remove sanctions,
and now Mr Galloway faces serious questions over both the Mariam Appeal and
his broader financial links with the former Iraqi regime.

Yet to Mariam's parents, Mr Galloway is not a politician accused of taking
money from the Iraqi government in return for his lobbying and support, he
is the man who saved their child.

Hamza Abid, Mariam's father, said: "I really like Mr George Galloway because
Mr George Galloway helped my Mariam and helped my family."

Her mother, Karima, added: "He is a good person. I cannot describe him in
mere words. He is the one who saved my daughter.

"She was dying, she was like a skeleton and then God sent Mr Galloway from
nowhere."

The Labour MP is facing a possible investigation into the appeal. Lord
Goldsmith, the attorney general, is studying a complaint from a member of
the public that Mr Galloway promised to spend all the money raised by the
Mariam Appeal on treating sick Iraqi children, but used it to fund his
travelling expenses.

Lord Goldsmith is expected to decide in the next few days whether it is a
matter for him, or for the Charity Commission, or whether the matter should
be taken further at all.

Yesterday, as Mr Galloway mounted a vigorous defence over newspaper reports
of his wealth, the official spokesman for Tony Blair, the Prime Minister,
described the claims against the MP as "serious allegations".

Ian Duncan Smith, the Conservative leader, has called for a parliamentary
investigation into the Glasgow Kelvin MP's affairs.

Mr Galloway yesterday issued a statement which sought to correct
"deliberately misleading" comments about his property and income.

The Daily Telegraph, which made the original claims that he profited from
the United Nations oil-for-food programme in Iraq, published a memo
yesterday which it said was from Saddam Hussein's most senior aide,
rejecting Mr Galloway's request for more money as "exceptional". The MP,
whose lawyers describe the allegations as "totally untrue" has taken legal
action against the newspaper.

The Scotsman has learned that the UN has received no complaint surrounding
the claims. Any allegation of a serious breach of protocol involving the
oil-for-food programme would be investigated by the UN Security Council's
661 sanctions committee.

For the committee to investigate, it would have to receive a complaint by
one of the member states.

One UN source said: "We are not aware of the case."

The office of Sir Philip Mawer, the Parliamentary Commissioner for
Standards, said he had not received any complaint about Mr Galloway.

The MP - at his Portuguese villa - denounced the claims as a "set up and a
smear". And he hit out at reports that he owned four properties, including
the villa, which was said to be worth a quarter of a million pounds.

In a statement, he said the villa was worth 82,000, while his other London
property in Streatham, which he owns with his wife Dr Amineh Abu-Zayyad, was
recently valued at 500,000.

He added: "As the Register of Members Interests makes clear, in addition to
my salary as an MP I earn a substantial amount of money as a journalist."

The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, last night said it would not be
"constructive" to discuss the allegations when they were subject to legal
action.

He said: "I made my views clear about what he had to say during the war but
on the allegations in the newspapers I don't think it would be right to
comment."

Labour National Executive member Mark Seddon said: "[Mr Galloway's] career
has been written off many times before. I suspect that all of this is rather
premature and I think the Labour Party is being quite careful at the moment.

"I think it will go into the long grass, not deliberately to make the issue
go away, but because there is going to be a court case.


http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/comment/0,12956,943205,00.html

*  GALLOWAY'S A CROOK - HOW CONVENIENT
by Scott Ritter
The Guardian, 25th April

I was shocked to read about the allegations, ostensibly based upon documents
discovered in Iraq, that George Galloway was somehow compensated financially
by the Iraqi government for championing its cause. I was shocked because, if
these allegations prove to be true, then the integrity and credibility of a
man for whom I have great respect would be dramatically undermined.

But I was also shocked because of the timing of these allegations. Having
been on the receiving end of smear campaigns designed to assassinate the
character of someone in opposition to the powers that be, I have grown
highly suspicious of dramatic revelations conveniently timed to silence a
vocal voice of dissent.

The charges made against Galloway are serious and they should be thoroughly
investigated. Do these charges have any merit? I will continue to operate
under the assumption of innocence until proven guilty. I hope the charges
against George Galloway are baseless but, to be honest, I simply don't know.

But I do know a few things about George Galloway and the cause he championed
with regards to Iraq. I know that he helped found the Mariam Appeal, a
humanitarian organisation established in 1998 initially to raise funds on
behalf of an Iraqi girl who suffered from leukaemia and who, because of
economic sanctions, was unable to receive adequate medical care. I met
Mariam in 1999, when she was a guest of the Bruderhof Society here in the
US, a religious movement that eschews individual wealth and promotes a
simple, communal life. She was getting treatment for the onset of blindness
caused by medical neglect related to her leukaemia treatment.

Mariam is a real person, not some political stunt. Her suffering was
genuine. So, too, was the joy of her maternal grandmother, who accompanied
Mariam to the US when she realised that while Mariam might be blind, she was
going to live, thanks in no small part to the work of people like George
Galloway, whose dramatic intervention got Mariam out of Iraq and into the
hands of those who could care for her.

I know that Galloway helped set up the British-Iraqi friendship association.
I know because he invited me to come to London and speak at the
association's inaugural meeting. The message I heard him deliver that night
was one of human kindness and compassion. He spoke out against the suffering
of the Iraqi people under the effects of a decades-long economic embargo. I
heard him decry the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. But I also heard him
lambast the policies of his own country, and those of the US, which were
subjecting the innocent people of Iraq to such suffering.

Establishing the friendship association was a politically incorrect thing to
do at the time. Galloway's political opponents could, and did, make
political hay from such actions, deriding them as "pro-Saddam". In the
months to come, I'm sure many British people will flock to organisations
espousing friendship between Britain and Iraq, now that it is the trendy
thing to do. Galloway was a friend of the Iraqi people back when they most
needed the friendship and understanding of the British people.

I know that Galloway was a leading, and highly vocal, critic of the war with
Iraq. He challenged Tony Blair's policies and statements about the
justification for the war, namely the allegations made by Britain and the US
concerning Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programmes and its failure to
comply with its security council-mandated obligations to disarm. I know
because I share Galloway's views about the unsustained nature of the
British-American case against Iraq.

He spoke out vociferously against Blair's policies on Iraq, demanding
evidence concerning Iraqi weapons of mass destruction more substantial than
the plagiarised dossier and forged documents produced by Whitehall. The case
for war, as flimsy as it was in the months before Operation Iraqi Freedom
began, has been shown to date to be utterly without merit, as no stockpiles
of hidden weapons of mass destruction have been uncovered by the US and
British military forces occupying Iraq.

If it turns out that there are no weapons of mass destruction or programmes
related to their production and concealment in Iraq, Blair and his
government must be held accountable by the British people for actions
carried out in their name. If British policy was sustained on the back of a
lie, then those who perpetrated that lie must be called upon to explain
themselves. Now, more than ever, the British people need a voice of
opposition, because it is from the ranks of the opposition that the matter
of policing bad policy will be raised.

To allow George Galloway to be silenced now, when his criticisms of British
policy over Iraq have been shown to be fundamentally sound, would be a
travesty of democracy. Rather than casting him aside, the British people
should reconsider his statements in the light of the emerging reality that
it is Blair and not Galloway who has been saying things worthy of
investigation.


http://search.csmonitor.com/search_content/0425/p01s04-woiq.html

*  NEWLY FOUND IRAQI FILES RAISE HEAT ON BRITISH MP
by Philip Smucker
The Christian Science Monitor, 25th April

BAGHDAD  A fresh set of documents uncovered in a Baghdad house used by
Saddam Hussein's son Qusay to hide top-secret files detail multimillion
dollar payments to an outspoken British member of parliament, George
Galloway.

Evidence of Mr. Galloway's dealings with the regime were first revealed
earlier this week by David Blair, a reporter for the Daily Telegraph in
London, who discovered documents in Iraq's Foreign Ministry.

Documents signed by Saddam Hussein's son authorize $3 million for the
British member of Parliament, George Galloway. Mr. Galloway of the Labour
Party, at a Baghdad conference, above, challenged Tony Blair to name Iraq's
alleged sites of weapons of mass destruction.

The Labour Party MP, who lambasted his party's prime minister, Tony Blair,
in parliamentary debates on the war earlier this year, has denied the
allegations. He is now the focus of a preliminary investigation by British
law-enforcement officials and is under intense scrutiny in the British
press, where the story has been splashed across the front pages.

The most recent - and possibly most revealing - documents were obtained
earlier this week by the Monitor. The papers include direct orders from the
Hussein regime to issue Mr. Galloway six individual payments, starting in
July 1992 and ending in January 2003.

The payments point to a concerted effort by the regime to use its oil wealth
to win friends in the Western world who could promote Iraqi interests first
by lifting sanctions against Iraq and later in blocking war plans.

The leadership of Hussein's special security section and accountants of the
President's secretive Republican Guard signed the papers and authorized
payments totaling more than $10 million.

The three most recent payment authorizations, beginning on April 4, 2000,
and ending on January 14, 2003 are for $3 million each. All three
authorizations include statements that show the Iraqi leadership's strong
political motivation in paying Galloway for his vociferous opposition to US
and British plans to invade Iraq.

The Jan. 14, 2003, document, written on Republican Guard stationary with its
Iraqi eagle and "Trust in Allah," calls for the "Manager of the security
department, in the name of President Saddam Hussein, to order a gratuity to
be issued to Mr. George Galloway of British nationality in the amount of
three million dollars only."

The document states that the money is in return for "his courageous and
daring stands against the enemies of Iraq, like Blair, the British Prime
Minister, and for his opposition in the House of Commons and Lords against
all outrageous lies against our patient people...."

The document is signed left to right by four people, including Gen. Saif
Adeen Flaya al Hassan, Col. Shawki Abed Ahmed, and what the Iraqi general
who first discovered the documents says is the signature of Qusay. The same
exact signatures are also found on a vast array of documents from the
offices of the president's youngest son. The final authorization appears to
be that of Qusay, who notes the accounting department should "issue the
check and deliver to Mr. George Galloway," adding, "Do this fast and inform
me."

An Iraqi general attached to Hussein's Republican Guard discovered the
documents in a house in the Baghdad suburbs used by Qusay, who is chief of
Iraq's elite Guard units.

The general, whose initials are "S.A.R.," asked not to be named for fear of
retribution from Hussein's assassins. He said he raided the suburban home on
April 8 with armed fighters in an effort to secure deeds to property that
the regime had confiscated from him years ago. He said he found the new
Galloway papers amid documents discussing Kuwaiti prisoners and Hussein's
chemical warfare experts, and information about the president's most trusted
Republican Guard commanders.

The documents appear to be authentic and signed by senior members within
Saddam Hussein's most trusted security circle, but their authenticity could
not be verified by the Monitor.

The British newspaper The Guardian raised possible questions about the first
round of documents, including the possibility that while the documents could
be real, they might include false allegations from which Iraqi agents could
profit internally.

Galloway - a colorful Scot who is sharp of suit and even sharper of tongue -
made regular visits to Iraq, and was dubbed by conservatives in Britain as
an "apologist for Saddam Hussein." He once told the dictator, "Sir, I salute
your courage, your strength, your indefatigability."

In Parliament, Galloway, an MP since 1987 and a controversial figure, has
championed the plight of Iraq, and blasted Blair for going to war in league
with President Bush in his "crusade" against the Muslim world. He labeled
Blair and Bush "wolves" for attacking Iraq, sparking a firm rebuttal from
Blair, who called the remarks "disgraceful."

Galloway has vehemently denied he accepted any cash payments from the
regime, initially, suggesting the documents may have been forged. The
outspoken Labour Party member called earlier Daily Telegraph stories about
his dealings a "smear campaign" against war opponents, and his lawyers have
initiated legal proceedings against the newspaper.

Repeated efforts to contact Galloway, who is currently traveling in
Portugal, were unsuccessful. No one answered at his House of Commons office,
and his mobile phone was switched off.

David Blair, the British reporter who first broke the story, told the BBC:
"I think it would require an enormous amount of imagination to believe that
someone went to the trouble of composing a forged document in Arabic and
then planting it in a file of patently authentic documents and burying it in
a darkened room on the off-chance that a British journalist might happen
upon it and might bother to translate it. That strikes me as so wildly
improbable as to be virtually inconceivable."

According to the documents Blair found in the Iraqi Foreign Ministry,
Galloway received money from Hussein's regime, taking a slice of oil
earnings worth at least $600,000 a year. A top-secret memo sent by Hussein's
spy chief requested that Galloway get an even-greater cut of Iraq's exports
under the UN-sponsored oil for food program.

The document said that Galloway was profiting from food contracts, and
sought "exceptional" business deals.

The most recent documents obtained by the Monitor suggest that payoffs may
well have been made by checks in lump sums. The Iraqi general, who is
familiar with financial dealings of Hussein's inner circle, said that checks
of several million dollars could have easily been cashed in a bank on the
ground floor of one of the President's most important palaces in Baghdad.

In a more recent Telegraph report based on a memorandum from May 2, 2000,
Hussein is said to have rejected a request from Galloway for more money,
saying his "exceptional" demands were not affordable.

The letter, found in the foreign ministry files, refers to the date and
reference number of the intelligence chief's memo, which asked for Hussein's
decision on Galloway's alleged requests.

That memo would have come nearly a month after one of the six letters -
obtained by the Monitor - from Qusay's cabinet detailing a payment on April
4, 2000. That payment also references Galloway's "courageous and daring
stands towards the oppressive blockade and in support of our courageous and
patient people who violently oppose all enemies of Iraq and its leaders..."

Another payment authorization on July 27, 1999, states the money is being
given upon "agreement of Sayid Qusay Saddam Hussein (the president's son)
who has supervision over the Republican Guard." It calls the $1 million
payment a reward for Galloway's support in trying to repeal the "unjust
blockade on our beloved country and for his firm stand against the prime
minister of Britain, the criminal Blair."

The two earliest payments, in July of 1992 and October of 1993, are noted
down on green stationary as having already been delivered. For example, the
October payment states, "kindly be informed of the issuing of a gratuity by
the esteemed leader President Saddam Hussein (may Allah protect and guide
him) to Mr. George Galloway in the amount of $600,000." It says the money
was handed over to him by the representative of the directorate of the
Special Security Organization, Colonel Shawki. Thursday, the US Marines had
surrounded the house of Colonel Shawki. His neighbors said he might have
already fled to Syria.

The general who gave access to the documents - General "S" - was until a
decade ago a general in the regular Iraqi army but was attached to the
Republican Guard. He was subsequently jailed on three occasions. He claims
the government punished him because he is a Shiite, by assassinating his
wife, three daughters, and one brother.

General "S" was determined to make up for his losses. What he really wanted
back, however, was the deeds to the three homes taken from him. He planted
his own driver as a spy in the guards of Qusay and followed the presidential
paper trail when it moved to the suburbs in March.

On April 8, when US forces prepared to storm the capital, he rounded up six
men who had served in prison with him and set out for the house.

He took possession of items including computer printouts that give the
names, biographies, and residences of Hussein's most trusted Republican
Guard officers. Also in the files is information on chemists who worked in
the Iraqi biological-weapons program.

He also, unexpectedly, found documents discussing Kuwaiti prisoners still in
Iraq and the ones that noted specific payments of money to Galloway. There
was also a document detailing the biographies of Qusay's most trusted
assassins.

One of The Monitor's interpreters was a fellow inmate of the general in
Hussein's political prison. When the interpreter visited him several days
ago, the general mentioned the documents he held.

The general had been most interested in discussing the Kuwaiti file. When
the Monitor's reporter and the interpreter arrived to speak with him, he
mentioned the Galloway material in passing.

Mark Rice-Oxley contributed to this report from London


http://www.observer.co.uk/politics/story/0,6903,944392,00.html

*  MP MAY BE TRIED AS TRAITOR
by Antony Barnett and Martin Bright
The Observer, 27th April

George Galloway, the anti-war Labour MP who is suing over allegations he
secretly took money from Saddam Hussein, faces the prospect of a criminal
prosecution for treachery.

The Observer can reveal that the Director of Public Prosecutions is
considering pursuing the Glasgow politician for comments during the Iraq war
when he called on British troops not to fight.

In an interview with Abu Dhabi TV during the Iraq conflict, Galloway said:
'The best thing British troops can do is to refuse to obey illegal orders.'
Lawyers for service personnel claim his call for soldiers to disobey what he
called 'illegal orders' amount to a breach of the Incitement to Disaffection
Act 1934. The maximum penalty is two years in jail.

The relevant part of the Act is Section 1, which states: 'If any person
maliciously and advisedly endeavours to seduce any member of His Majesty's
forces from his duty or allegiance to His Majesty, he shall be guilty of an
offence.' Under the terms of the Act, the word 'maliciously' means wilfully
and intentionally.

Galloway dismissed attempts to prosecute him, but said: 'I hope to have
chiselled on my gravestone: "He incited them to disaffect."'

The lawyer spearheading the action is Justin Hugheston-Roberts, chairman of
Forces Law, a nationwide group of 22 law firms which acts for service
personnel and their families.

The case is being handled by Hugheston-Roberts's law firm in Wolverhampton,
Rose Williams and Partners.

The last time a prosecution was brought under this law was in 1974, when a
protester was charged after distributing leaflets outside Army camps urging
soldiers not to accept postings to Northern Ireland.

Galloway's calls for British troops to disobey orders came during the TV
interview in which he described Tony Blair and George Bush as 'wolves' for
embarking on military action.

When accused of treachery, Galloway said: 'The people who have betrayed this
country are those who have sold it to a foreign power and who have been the
miserable surrogates of a bigger power for reasons very few people in
Britain can understand.'

After Galloway made the comments on Abu Dhabi TV, Hugheston-Roberts wrote to
the DPP asking him to prosecute or allow a private prosecution to be
brought.

Last week the Crown Prosecution Service wrote to the lawyers requesting more
information and details of the comments Galloway made.

Hugheston-Roberts has refused to reveal the identity of his clients, but
said they were meeting this week to decide on the best course of action.

Hugheston-Roberts said if the CPS decided not to prosecute but gave consent
for a private action, then his clients would be happy to pursue that avenue.

Human rights lawyers said last night it would be an extremely difficult case
to pursue. Roger Bingham of the civil rights group Liberty said: 'Galloway's
statement is an expression of opinion. We live in a free-speech, democratic
society and elect MPs to speak out on national issues.'

Andrew Burgin, of the Stop the War Coalition denounced the move. He said:
'This war was immoral and illegal and should never have been fought. This
proposal to prosecute is part of an ever-expanding witch-hunt against George
Galloway because he was the most vocal anti war voice.'

This latest twist comes as The Observer reveals details of a secret trip
Galloway made to Morocco for the British-based Saudi dissident Saad
al-Fagih, an Islamic fundamentalist who purchased a satellite phone used by
al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.

In February 1996 Galloway flew to Morocco for a secret meeting with the then
Crown Prince of Morocco to explore a deal between the Islamic Saudi
dissidents in the UK and the Saudi royal family.


http://www.sundayherald.com/33356

*  'NOW I'M CERTAIN ... ALL THESE DOCUMENTS ARE FORGED'
Sunday Herald, 27th April

Allegations that George Galloway received $10m from Saddam have convinced
the Glasgow MP that he's the victim of a conspiracy. He explains why to
Westminster Editor James Cusick

Accused of pocketing $10 million over 10 years in the payroll of one of
history's most hated dictators, most politicians would be on the verge of a
breakdown. But for George Galloway the allegations published in a Boston
newspaper at the end of a momentous week 'came as a slight relief', ending,
he claimed, the lingering doubts that 'maybe someone inside the Iraqi regime
itself was pretending to be doing things in support of me and making off
with the cash'.

In a script worthy of John le Carre or Len Deighton, reports last week
suggested Iraqi spy masters, the Iraqi president, senior Iraqi politicians,
an Iraqi general, the president's son and Middle East businessmen had all
created a mesh of covert financial intrigue which, if true, will destroy
Galloway.

Documents found in Baghdad's bombed foreign ministry and published last
Tuesday by The Daily Telegraph claimed the Glasgow MP had effectively been
on Saddam Hussein's payroll for a decade and had been given a slice of
oil-for-food earnings totalling 375,000.

Days later a Boston newspaper, The Christian Science Monitor (CSM), dwarfed
the Telegraph's 'scoop' by claiming documents found in a house belonging to
Saddam's son Qusay, showed payments totalling $10m paid to Galloway from
1992 to this year. In the CSM report, Qusay's accounts department is told by
him to 'issue the check and deliver to Mr George Galloway -- do this fast
and inform me'.

Learning the full content of the CSM report, Galloway says this has moved
the case against him 'from tragedy to farce', adding: 'I'm now clear. I am
the target of a systematic campaign of forgery.'

Before the arrival of the $10m allegations, Galloway's initial belief that
all the Telegraph's documents were forgeries was beginning to slip. He was
coming round to the idea that he may have been set up from the inside, and
had begun backtracking, considering that the Telegraph's material may have
been genuine.

No longer. The CSM account puts Galloway in Iraq in 1992, lists meetings
with Qusay Hussein, and talks of issued cheques. Claiming the report is a
farce, he adds : 'It talks of cheques. But the whole point of sanctions is
that Iraq has no banking facilities. The only way of cashing a cheque is to
go to a bank in one of the presidential palaces, so why bother with the
cheque? And I never set foot in Iraq till 1993. No-one had heard of me in
Iraq in 1992.'

Should it come to court, Galloway's libel action may become one of the most
high-profile cases in legal history. If his holiday home in Portugal feels
like 'a besieged fortress', as he said, he better get used to the idea. In a
telephone interview lasting almost an hour and a half , Galloway reveals
that he understands his personal future, his political career, every aspect
of his life, public and private -- will be laid bare. All his energy and all
his campaigning will go on hold. The bottom line? If he doesn't tell it
straight from now, he'll be destroyed.

He says: 'I now face a long and tedious process of putting together my case
[he intends to sue The Daily Telegraph and will seek leave in the High Court
in London to pursue the CSM outside the jurisdiction of British courts]. And
will that hamstring me politically? Of course it will.'

His case preparations, he adds, are not going to begin in Iraq. ' All the
people I knew in government in Iraq are either dead or under American
custody or missing.'

Galloway -- often referred to as the MP for Baghdad Central -- had, he
admits, access to core figures in Saddam's government. He now admits he may
have been in Iraq on Boxing Day in 1999.

The Telegraph's document-based account highlights a memorandum from the
chief of Iraqi intelligence, the Mukhabarat. It outlines a meeting between
Galloway and an Iraqi spy. Galloway 'detailed his campaign plans for the
year ahead', according to the account. The contact then wrote to his
superior that Galloway 'needs continuous financial support from Iraq.'

Galloway's old passport is at his home in Streatham. It won't be hard for
him to verify, but he believes he 'spent Christmas day with Tariq Aziz', the
former Iraqi foreign minister who last week surrendered himself to US
authorities in Baghdad. The two men attended mass in the capital's Roman
Catholic cathedral. Christmas lunch at Aziz's home followed, and a party was
held that night.

The implication? If Galloway wanted more cash, he could go straight to the
top -- Aziz, even Saddam himself, and not bother with intelligence minions.

Galloway says the British government was aware of where he spent that
Christmas and with whom. He says he privately told Peter Hain, the then
minister at the Foreign Office for Middle East affairs, and suggested
opening a channel of dialogue as a means of resolving the Iraqi crisis.
'Hain agreed we should start such a dialogue.' A month later, according to
Galloway, Hain had begun briefing journalists that Galloway was 'close' to
Tariq Aziz.

In another of the Telegraph's documents found in the foreign ministry, a
letter has Galloway identifying his 'representative in Baghdad on all
matters concerning my work with the Mariam Appeal or the Emergency Committee
in Iraq'. Galloway's intermediary was Fawaz Zureikat. In the Telegraph
letter Zureikat is quoted as effectively pleading for a Galloway pay rise.

So was Zureikat using Galloway's name for financial gain for himself? 'No, I
never for a minute suspected he would have. [Zureikat] was a very prominent
person in Iraq long before he met me. He'd been doing business in Iraq since
1986. He had no need of me to make him a bigger man.'

Galloway recalls that Zureikat had once shared a prison cell in Syria with
Tariq Aziz, the implication being that the two men share a common bond and
that Zureikat 'does not need George Galloway'. But Galloway did use the
financial help of Zureikat, a man he met through his Jerusalem-born wife, Dr
Amineh Abu-Sayyad, a relative of the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat.
Galloway separated from his first wife in 1987, and divorced 12 years later.
He married Sayyad in 2000 .

The two years before his second marriage will be central to the dissection
of Galloway's financial affairs. The investigation that promises to be a key
part of the libel case concerns a child lying in a Baghdad hospital
suffering leukaemia. In 1998 Galloway launched a public appeal to bring the
child, Mariam Hussein, to Britain for specialist treatment. He claimed
uranium-tipped weapons used during the Gulf war in 1991 had been a
contributory cause to her illness. The high- profile campaign promised to
first save Mariam then with residual funds help others in the same
situation.

However, from an initial humanitarian appeal Galloway appeared to change its
nature into a highly politicised anti-sanctions campaign. And because
Galloway had never registered it formally as a charity, there was no public
scrutiny of its books.

Now both the attorney-general's office and the Charity Commission have
Mariam under the microscope.

The questions are clear enough: did Galloway steer it well clear of formal
charitable status to avoid financial scrutiny? And was it used to deliver
money from Zureikat that came directly from the Iraqi regime?

Galloway is adamant: 'It was always a political campaign from the very
beginning. It was not charitable, it was humanitarian.' He says it was
'preposterous' to claim he never wanted the accounts made public. 'Look at
the press treatment when we brought Mariam back. Everyone was accusing me of
politically campaigning. No-one was saying, 'Look there's George Galloway
bringing this girl back for charitable purposes.''

Zureikat also claims he never traded in oil and never received any Iraqi
money that was supposed to be channelled to Galloway.

But openness there will be, especially during the dissections that will
legally accompany the libel case. Galloway seems prepared. 'Every single
journey [to Middle East countries and beyond made in connection with the
Mariam anti-sanctions campaign] now being referred to as a revelation, has
been systematically registered in the House of Commons register year after
year. And there had not been a whisper of complaint.'

So where did the money inside the campaign come from? Galloway admits that
'not many people gave money' and the 'vast bulk' came from only three
sources, one being Zureikat.

He delivers the arithmetic: 'Around 500,000 came from the United Arab
Emirates. Saudi Arabia gave 100,000 and, of the total, 900,000 -- the bulk
-- came from Zureikat.'

Zureikat, based in Jordan, was recently arrested along with other prominent
businessmen who had financial links with Saddam Hussein's regime. He has
since been released.

The traditional paranoia of the left emerges when Galloway tries to explain
why he didn't want the Mariam accounts out in public display. 'Just like the
Socialist Worker Party would not publish its accounts to the Institute of
Directors, or open its books to the Daily Mail, neither would we, we are not
obliged to.' That privacy will now go. 'In the libel case,' he promises,
'every jot and tittle will be in front of the judge.'

Despite some reports to the contrary, Galloway says Mariam is still being
supported. 'She still gets all her medicine, her house, her clothes, her
education, her special blind needs [she recovered from the leukaemia, but it
left her without sight] her family get fed and clothed, and in addition to
all of that she gets $100 a month -- which is three times the average Iraqi
wage.'

Asked if there was anyone involved in the running of the appeal who received
money from the Iraqi government, Galloway is clear: 'No, never.'

Privacy for Galloway's own finances will also soon go. Asked if he would
open all his accounts, he says: 'Don't accentuate the 'all'. I've only got
one account in Britain [held at the Co-operative Bank in Glasgow] and one
holiday account in Portugal which contains  [sic $? (hope not)] 500. There
are no hidden accounts in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, the Bahamas or the
Virgin Islands.'

On his own assets, he admits only two properties. A house in Streatham in
London bought in 1996 for 220,000, with a mortgage of 290,000 (recently
valued at 500,000). His home in Burgau on the Algarve cost 82,000 when
bought in 1998. It has a mortgage of 76,000 (recently valued at 125,000).
'I have no other houses.'

He drives an N-registration Mercedes (bought from MP Jimmy Wray) and has an
N registration Range Rover kept in Portugal.

He admits to owning one share in a company called AVL Media, described in
the Companies House register as a 'motion picture and video production/radio
and television activities/news agency activities'.

AVL's director is Ron McKay, a journalist (and occasional Sunday Herald
contributor) and long-term friend of Galloway's. McKay's other broadcasting
venture is ATV (Arab Television), a London-based satellite channel that
filmed and distributed the worldwide rights to the pre-war interview
conducted in Baghdad between Tony Benn and Saddam Hussein.

Profit ATV made from that interview has been kept private. Industry sources
say that global media interest could have delivered a multi-million pound
profit. McKay in a newspaper interview says the figure is below 500,000.

AVL Media is listed with a book value of 35,320. Galloway says: 'I've never
made a penny from AVL.' He admits to two salaries: one from being an MP
(50,000 a year) and another from a weekly column in the Mail on Sunday,
'which last year gave me 82,000'. He adds: 'I don't own anything else.
There is no cafe in Cuba or anywhere else.'

On the Pakistan-sponsored London-based newspaper, East, which Galloway
helped set up and staff, he claimed to have 'never received a penny'. An
extensive investigation by BBC Newsnight into East -- focusing on 'lobbying'
money totalling 360,00 -- eventually determined that despite suspect
judgement by Galloway, he received no money for his own benefit.

Similarly, an investigation into the charity War on Want by the Charity
Commission in 1991 found 'mis management' during the period when Galloway
was general secretary. The report said Galloway lacked 'expertise in crucial
areas', had mingled his own funds with the charity funds, and had failed to
keep separate accounts. But the charity's own investigation cleared
Galloway, saying he had repaid the money spent on his own, rather than the
charity's business.

These two episodes highlight Galloway's ability to both get into deep water
and to get out of it unscathed.

This time, the allegations against him are on a different scale. He says:
'Michael Foot [the former Labour leader] called me, offering his full
support. He said he cannot remember, and he is an old man, any politician
who has ever been more gravely libelled.

'Foot was smeared by Sunday Times as a Soviet agent,' recalls Galloway. 'And
going back to the Zinoviev letter [a 1924 British intelligence forgery that
destroyed the re-election chances for Ramsay MacDonald's Labour-led
government], people on the left have been smeared in this way.'

Galloway adds: 'Forgery is salient to the entire Iraq issue, everything from
the so-called dossier, to fake invoices for uranium from Niger, now
discredited and under investigation by the UN.'

If so, is there more to come? 'Frankly,' shrugs Galloway. 'I don't know what
will come next -- illicitly marrying a camel ... who knows?'




_______________________________________________
Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss
To contact the list manager, email casi-discuss-admin@lists.casi.org.uk
All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk


[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]