David Marr, The Sydney Morning Herald
The liberal and media efforts to smear the Bush Administration at every turn consistantly use Saddam and his "illegal" removal from power as the victim in their play book plot. The brutal dictator's history and intents are played down, facts totally ignored because it interferes with their goals.
Over and over, despite the abandoned proscribed missiles in a Netherlands junk yard, presence of various nerve gases, report after report that Saddam's attempts to revive his WMD programs by either thwarting sanctions (Oil for Food) or getting them removed, we are innudated with history-deficient journalists parroting "there were no WMD's".
I'm not sure what it takes for the world to wake up and smell the coffee. But this little ditty from the Sydney Herald is just one more piece of evidence that Saddam is not a victim of US thuggery, and that he was doing just as the Bush Administration says.... deeply involved in terrorism.
AWB's kickbacks to Saddam Hussein may have financed terrorism, according to the final, confidential submission of counsel assisting the Cole inquiry into the oil-for-food scandal.
This is one of many damning conclusions contained in the 1300-page submission by John Agius, SC, being examined by lawyers representing AWB and more than a dozen of its past and present managers and directors.
Mr Agius is understood to conclude that AWB misled the Federal Government and the United Nations, and that key AWB figures may have committed criminal and corporate offences in paying kickbacks to Saddam's regime in breach of UN sanctions.
The submission singles out for criticism the former chairman, Trevor Flugge, and the former managing director, Andrew Lindberg. But it also makes adverse findings against the AWB managers who first set up the kickback scheme, which funnelled almost $300 million to Iraq disguised as trucking fees.
While the "trucking fees" involved some hundreds of millions of dollars, it is understood the toughest criticism from Mr Agius involves the $US8 million Tigris transaction. Evidence before the Cole inquiry revealed that AWB executives and the head of Tigris Petroleum, Norman Davidson Kelly, siphoned $US8 million from the UN Food Fund. This was part of an old deal designed to help BHP gain access to a huge new oil field in Iraq. Lawyers for BHP-Billiton are currently examining.
The lawyers have only a fortnight to reply to Mr Agius's findings. It is understood they will rely heavily on claims that the conduct of AWB and its managers during the oil-for-food program was not misleading because both the Commonwealth and the UN knew about the trucking fees and turned a blind eye to any breaches of sanctions.
Not only is this another "heads up" that Saddam was not the innocent bystander in the terrorist world as currently portrayed, but that the only defense the accused corporations have is that the UN fully cooperated with Saddam's active thwarting of sanctions by turning a convenient blind eye.
New news? Heck no. Ignored facts about the UN, the OFF scandal and it's use by Saddam? Absolutely. How long can the world look at history thru tunnel vision?