January 28, 2004

Iraq oil - Saddam's gift to foreign 'helpers'

The Arab newspaper Al-Mada (blogged here) published a list from Baath documents outlining all of the people who helped Saddam's regieme during the time of U.N. sanctions. Saddam rewarded them with money from Oil shipments (which were supposed to be used in the Oil for Food program). The French newspaper LeMonde has this list. Running it through Google to translate into English, here it is: bq. For France, not less than eleven names are published with the quantity of oil barrels which were allocated to them. bq. 12 million barrels would in particular have been allocated to Charles Pasqua, four other Mr. Kaspereit and three with Mr. Mérimée while Patrick Maugein would have profited from 25 million barrels. And oil sells for about $30/barrel so this is not pocket change... And more: bq. George Galloway, former Labour deputy with the Communes, appears in good place in the list. bq. In this very long list appears also Khaled, the son of Egyptian president Nasser, the son of the Syrian Minister for defense, the son of the president of Lebanon, Emile Lahoud, the girl of the president Indonésien Sukarno, Megawati, today Prime Minister, the Russian orthodoxe church and the Russian Communist Party. bq. The Russian ultranationalist Vladimir Jirinovski, it, particularly are also well parceled out (79,2 million barrels). Swiss companies, Italian nationals, Jordanian deputies, Egyptian politicians, the Popular Front of release of Palestine (FPLP), the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) are quoted. The list is not exhaustive. bq. Among the quoted countries appear inter alia: South Africa, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Bahreïn, Bielorussia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Cyprus, Spain, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Oman, Panama, the Philippines, Qatar, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine, Yemen and Yugoslavia. And of course, what would a scandal be without the French Oil Company Total Fina Elf or in this case, a subsidiary Elf Aquitaine... bq. A list, already, in the Elf business bq. The revelations of newspaper Al-Mada point out a precedent, appeared in the Elf business. A list of 44 paid - of which some appeared under code names - of international Elf Aquitaine (EAI), the Swiss subsidiary company of the oil group, had been addressed anonymously to French justice, at the end of 1997. In addition to the mistress of Roland Dumas, Christine Deviers-Joncour, political personalities, close to Charles Pasqua and François Mitterrand, were suspected there to have profited from fictitious employment, which would have been exempted by Alfred Sirven, director of the "general affairs" of the group. Now why am I not surprised. George Galloway as a particularly nasty bit of work. For a good chuckle, check out the Guestbook feature on his personal website. Some of the comments are fantastic. Posted by DaveH at January 28, 2004 10:41 AM