Sunday, May 22, 2005

Norm Coleman's useful stupidity

Wayne Masden has an excellent article in which he begins to flesh out the Oil-For-Food-For-Money-For-Republicans scandal. Here are few of the choicest nuggets with a few of my comments:

  1. The document which purports to damn Galloway was 'translated' by - get this! - MEMRI, the Ultra-Ultra-Ultra-Likudnik disinformation organization. You still think Israel hasn't got a hand in all this? A founder of MEMRI is ultra-Zionist Meyrav Wurmser, who is married to David Wurmser, who is none other than Dick Cheney's Middle East adviser.

  2. Another target of the MEMRI 'translation' is Father Jean-Marie Benjamin. I wrote about his odd story on November 27, 2002. Let me quote the original story (see also here; September 7 is September 7, 2001):

    "On September 7, when he officiated at a wedding in Todi, Italy, French-born Father Jean-Marie Benjamin, 55, explained informally to a judge and several politicians that he had been told that a terrorist commando was preparing an attack, with hijacked passenger planes, on US and British population centres."


    and:

    "On September 11, a quarter-hour after the first attack on the World Trade Centre, a former European parliamentarian called the priest in great distress, realising his prediction came true. The priest would not name the official out of respect for his privacy."


    and (the best part; my emphasis in bold):

    "Father Benjamin told Zenit that in recent months the organization of Muslim terrorist groups has changed.

    'In the past, these organisations had autonomous activity, without any links to other bodies,' he explained. 'But now they have developed a very different apparatus.'

    '(Osama) bin Laden alone is linked to 70 of his organisations in some 30 countries,' he added. 'In turn, these groups are in touch with some 900 Muslim organisations, located in all the continents, and they have thousands of militants, some of whom are Westerners, who do not have an Arab surname and who don't even believe in Islam.'"


    You can see why MEMRI might have it in for him.

  3. Masden's five paragraphs on BayOil encompass just about every conspiracy theory in the past twenty years:

    "Bayoil is incorporated in the Bahamas with affiliates in Switzerland and Luxembourg. A Chilean-Italian named Augusto Giangrandi, a resident of Florida, served as chairman of Bayoil. Although Bayoil principals David Chalmers, Jr., Briton John Irving, and Ludmil Dionissiev, a Bulgarian citizen and permanent resident of Houston, were indicted, Giangrandi was not touched.

    Giangrandi has a history that goes back to the Iran-Iraq war when Donald Rumsfeld was helping to arm Saddam and when the Reagan-Bush administration was violating UN arms sanctions imposed against both warring parties. During the war, Iraq bought hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cluster bombs and other weapons from Carlos Cardoen, a Chilean arms manufacturer who was close to Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet. In 1983, Cardoen hired Giangrandi, then a resident of Florida, to ship zirconium from the United States to Iraq. Zirconium is used in the manufacture of cluster bombs. Giangrandi falsely stated in his expert license application that the zirconium would be used for mining explosives in Chile. Giangrandi also owned Cosmos of Livorno, Italy, the manufacturer of mini-submarines and served as president of Swisstech, Cardoen's marketing unit.

    According to a 1995 deposition by Howard Teicher, a Reagan National Security Council official, Cardoen was working for the CIA to illegally ship military hardware to Saddam. Giangrandi's operation was part of a much larger criminal conspiracy involving agricultural loans guaranteed by the Department of Agriculture's Commodity Credit Corporation and funded by Italy's Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL). The failed Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) (also known as the Bank of Crooks and Criminals International) had connections to both BNL and Ahmad Chalabi's Petra Bank. In 1992, The Wall Street Journal reported that George W. Bush and Jeb Bush had been named as potential witnesses in the class action lawsuit brought about the clients of BCCI who had been defrauded in the bank's collapse. During the time, George W. was involved in various failed oil companies in Houston and Jeb, operating from a base in Miami, was involved in suspicious real estate deals.

    There was another Florida connection to the illegal arms shipments to Iraq. Iraqi arms dealer Ishan Barbouti worked with Iran-contra felon Richard Secord to secretly ship large amounts of cyanide from Product Ingredient Technologies, a food-flavoring factory in Florida, to Iraq for use in Saddam's nerve gas production during the 1980s. All of these transactions involving Bayoil's Giangrandi, Cardoen, Secord, and Barbouti, were known to President George H. W. Bush and Secretary of State James Baker.

    Between 1990 and 1991, three journalists who were investigating various aspects of Cardoen's secretive arms trading activities were found dead in suspicious circumstances. They were freelance writer Danny Casolaro, found dead from wrist slashes in a bathtub in a Martinsburg, West Virginia, hotel; Lawrence Ng, a stringer for the Financial Times, found shot to death in the bathtub of his apartment in Guatemala City; and Jonathan Moyle, a British aviation journalist found hanging in the closet of his hotel room in Santiago, Chile. Moyle had uncovered details of Cardoen's role in the Bush 41 deal to illegally ship weapons to Iraq."


  4. Masden goes on to note that one of the largest recipients of BayOil Iraqi oil shipments was Enron. Of course Enron CEO 'Kenny Boy' was a great pal and financier of George Bush, and Cheney has fought successfully to hide the nature of the Energy Task Force meetings between major American oil interests, including Enron, and Cheney in which they decided how to carve up the Iraqi oil fields after the inevitable war against Iraq (which of course was not supposed to be inevitable).

  5. Masden on the possible Bush crime family connection:

    "The Iraqi Oil-for-Food scandal also involves one of the Bush children - Dorothy 'Doro' Bush Koch, sister of George W. Bush and married to Bobby Koch, reportedly a cousin in the oil industry Koch family, the owner of Koch Industries, which is also one of Bush's largest political donors. The minority committee report indicates that Koch Industries was also a major recipient of illegal Iraqi oil and a huge source of kickbacks to Saddam Hussein . . . ."


  6. I note that the friend of Galloway named by Coleman as the key player in the oil-for-food scandal is Fawaz Zureikat. Indeed, after Coleman's case fell apart under Galloway's withering attack, all that was left was that Galloway was friends with Fawaz Zureikat. Zureikat and Galloway were both on the same obviously forged line of the documents used by Coleman. Fawaz Zureikat, if you can believe it, is still involved with the United States in Iraq. A firm run by him has the exclusive rights to sell highly sensitive military encryption technologies made by a US firm, Middle East Advanced Semi-conductors, to the Iraqi military, police and government. This contract had to be authorized by the U. S. government under strict export control rules. If he is such a bad guy, how did he meet the extremely strict American security tests to be involved in sales of such secret encryption technology?


As we dig further into this scandal, it appears that the attack by Coleman was an ill-advised attempt to hide the real scandals - real scandals involving supporters of the Republican Party and even Dick Cheney and George Bush themselves - behind an attack on a British politician who Coleman thought couldn't, or wouldn't, defend himself. These scandals go back to illegal support for Saddam in the 1980's, and tie into the Republican nexus of corruption involving Iran-Contra, BNL, BCCI, and more recent scandals involving illegal support for Saddam in the 1990's. Coleman's timing, right after the revelations in the Downing Street Memo that the attack was inevitable (as was the divvying up of the oil fields planned by Cheney and American oil interests), and right after the revelations that the main players in the oil-for-food scandal were none other than big American oil companies connected to the highest levels of the Republican Party, is so bad it's almost comic. When you add the involvement of Chalabi and MEMRI (an arm of the Likudniks in Israel) in the defaming of Galloway you have pretty much a summary of all the co-conspirators in the war crimes against the people of Iraq.

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