[Marxism] Re Galloway text

ilyenkova at netzero.com ilyenkova at netzero.com
Sat May 21 16:18:41 MDT 2005


Bonnie W: Website down here's text.

Published on Tuesday, May 17, 2005 by the Times Online (UK)
Galloway vs. The US Senate: Transcript of Statement
George Galloway, Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, delivered this 
statement to US Senators today who have accused him of corruption.

"Senator, I am not now, nor have I ever been, an oil trader. and neither 
has anyone on my behalf. I have never seen a barrel of oil, owned one, 
bought one, sold one - and neither has anyone on my behalf.

"Now I know that standards have slipped in the last few years in 
Washington, but for a lawyer you are remarkably cavalier with any idea 
of justice. I am here today but last week you already found me guilty. 
You traduced my name around the world without ever having asked me a 
single question, without ever having contacted me, without ever written 
to me or telephoned me, without any attempt to contact me whatsoever. 
And you call that justice.

"Now I want to deal with the pages that relate to me in this dossier and 
I want to point out areas where there are - let's be charitable and say 
errors. Then I want to put this in the context where I believe it ought 
to be. On the very first page of your document about me you assert that 
I have had 'many meetings' with Saddam Hussein. This is false.

"I have had two meetings with Saddam Hussein, once in 1994 and once in 
August of 2002. By no stretch of the English language can that be 
described as "many meetings" with Saddam Hussein.

"As a matter of fact, I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number 
of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him. The difference is Donald Rumsfeld 
met him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target those 
guns. I met him to try and bring about an end to sanctions, suffering 
and war, and on the second of the two occasions, I met him to try and 
persuade him to let Dr Hans Blix and the United Nations weapons 
inspectors back into the country - a rather better use of two meetings 
with Saddam Hussein than your own Secretary of State for Defense made of 
his.

"I was an opponent of Saddam Hussein when British and Americans 
governments and businessmen were selling him guns and gas. I used to 
demonstrate outside the Iraqi embassy when British and American 
officials were going in and doing commerce.

"You will see from the official parliamentary record, Hansard, from the 
15th March 1990 onwards, voluminous evidence that I have a rather better 
record of opposition to Saddam Hussein than you do and than any other 
member of the British or American governments do.

"Now you say in this document, you quote a source, you have the gall to 
quote a source, without ever having asked me whether the allegation from 
the source is true, that I am 'the owner of a company which has made 
substantial profits from trading in Iraqi oil'.

"Senator, I do not own any companies, beyond a small company whose 
entire purpose, whose sole purpose, is to receive the income from my 
journalistic earnings from my employer, Associated Newspapers, in 
London. I do not own a company that's been trading in Iraqi oil. And you 
have no business to carry a quotation, utterly unsubstantiated and 
false, implying otherwise.

"Now you have nothing on me, Senator, except my name on lists of names 
from Iraq, many of which have been drawn up after the installation of 
your puppet government in Baghdad. If you had any of the letters against 
me that you had against Zhirinovsky, and even Pasqua, they would have 
been up there in your slideshow for the members of your committee today.

"You have my name on lists provided to you by the Duelfer inquiry, 
provided to him by the convicted bank robber, and fraudster and conman 
Ahmed Chalabi who many people to their credit in your country now 
realize played a decisive role in leading your country into the disaster 
in Iraq.

"There were 270 names on that list originally. That's somehow been 
filleted down to the names you chose to deal with in this committee. 
Some of the names on that committee included the former secretary to his 
Holiness Pope John Paul II, the former head of the African National 
Congress Presidential office and many others who had one defining 
characteristic in common: they all stood against the policy of sanctions 
and war which you vociferously prosecuted and which has led us to this 
disaster.

"You quote Mr Dahar Yassein Ramadan. Well, you have something on me, 
I've never met Mr Dahar Yassein Ramadan. Your sub-committee apparently 
has. But I do know that he's your prisoner, I believe he's in Abu Ghraib 
prison. I believe he is facing war crimes charges, punishable by death. 
In these circumstances, knowing what the world knows about how you treat 
prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison, in Bagram Airbase, in Guantanamo Bay, 
including I may say, British citizens being held in those places.

"I'm not sure how much credibility anyone would put on anything you 
manage to get from a prisoner in those circumstances. But you quote 13 
words from Dahar Yassein Ramadan whom I have never met. If he said what 
he said, then he is wrong.

"And if you had any evidence that I had ever engaged in any actual oil 
transaction, if you had any evidence that anybody ever gave me any 
money, it would be before the public and before this committee today 
because I agreed with your Mr Greenblatt [Mark Greenblatt, legal counsel 
on the committee].

"Your Mr Greenblatt was absolutely correct. What counts is not the names 
on the paper, what counts is where's the money. Senator? Who paid me 
hundreds of thousands of dollars of money? The answer to that is nobody. 
And if you had anybody who ever paid me a penny, you would have produced 
them today.

"Now you refer at length to a company names in these documents as Aredio 
Petroleum. I say to you under oath here today: I have never heard of 
this company, I have never met anyone from this company. This company 
has never paid a penny to me and I'll tell you something else: I can 
assure you that Aredio Petroleum has never paid a single penny to the 
Mariam Appeal Campaign. Not a thin dime. I don't know who Aredio 
Petroleum are, but I daresay if you were to ask them they would confirm 
that they have never met me or ever paid me a penny.

"Whilst I'm on that subject, who is this senior former regime official 
that you spoke to yesterday? Don't you think I have a right to know? 
Don't you think the Committee and the public have a right to know who 
this senior former regime official you were quoting against me 
interviewed yesterday actually is?

"Now, one of the most serious of the mistakes you have made in this set 
of documents is, to be frank, such a schoolboy howler as to make a fool 
of the efforts that you have made. You assert on page 19, not once but 
twice, that the documents that you are referring to cover a different 
period in time from the documents covered by The Daily Telegraph which 
were a subject of a libel action won by me in the High Court in England 
late last year.

"You state that The Daily Telegraph article cited documents from 1992 
and 1993 whilst you are dealing with documents dating from 2001. 
Senator, The Daily Telegraph's documents date identically to the 
documents that you were dealing with in your report here. None of The 
Daily Telegraph's documents dealt with a period of 1992, 1993. I had 
never set foot in Iraq until late in 1993 - never in my life. There 
could possibly be no documents relating to Oil-for-Food matters in 1992, 
1993, for the Oil-for-Food scheme did not exist at that time.

"And yet you've allocated a full section of this document to claiming 
that your documents are from a different era to the Daily Telegraph 
documents when the opposite is true. Your documents and the Daily 
Telegraph documents deal with exactly the same period.

"But perhaps you were confusing the Daily Telegraph action with the 
Christian Science Monitor. The Christian Science Monitor did indeed 
publish on its front pages a set of allegations against me very similar 
to the ones that your committee have made. They did indeed rely on 
documents which started in 1992, 1993. These documents were unmasked by 
the Christian Science Monitor themselves as forgeries.

"Now, the neo-con websites and newspapers in which you're such a hero, 
senator, were all absolutely @#%#*-a-hoop at the publication of the 
Christian Science Monitor documents, they were all absolutely convinced 
of their authenticity. They were all absolutely convinced that these 
documents showed me receiving $10 million from the Saddam regime. And 
they were all lies.

"In the same week as the Daily Telegraph published their documents 
against me, the Christian Science Monitor published theirs which turned 
out to be forgeries and the British newspaper, Mail on Sunday, purchased 
a third set of documents which also upon forensic examination turned out 
to be forgeries. So there's nothing fanciful about this. Nothing at all 
fanciful about it.

"The existence of forged documents implicating me in commercial 
activities with the Iraqi regime is a proven fact. It's a proven fact 
that these forged documents existed and were being circulated amongst 
right-wing newspapers in Baghdad and around the world in the immediate 
aftermath of the fall of the Iraqi regime.

"Now, Senator, I gave my heart and soul to oppose the policy that you 
promoted. I gave my political life's blood to try to stop the mass 
killing of Iraqis by the sanctions on Iraq which killed one million 
Iraqis, most of them children, most of them died before they even knew 
that they were Iraqis, but they died for no other reason other than that 
they were Iraqis with the misfortune to born at that time. I gave my 
heart and soul to stop you committing the disaster that you did commit 
in invading Iraq. And I told the world that your case for the war was a 
pack of lies.

“I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims did not have 
weapons of mass destruction. I told the world, contrary to your claims, 
that Iraq had no connection to al-Qaeda. I told the world, contrary to 
your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11 2001. I 
told the world, contrary to your claims, that the Iraqi people would 
resist a British and American invasion of their country and that the 
fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the 
end of the beginning.

"Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and 
you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 people paid with their lives; 
1600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies; 
15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies.

If the world had listened to Kofi Annan, whose dismissal you demanded, 
if the world had listened to President Chirac who you want to paint as 
some kind of corrupt traitor, if the world had listened to me and the 
anti-war movement in Britain, we would not be in the disaster that we 
are in today. Senator, this is the mother of all smokescreens. You are 
trying to divert attention from the crimes that you supported, from the 
theft of billions of dollars of Iraq's wealth.

"Have a look at the real Oil-for-Food scandal. Have a look at the 14 
months you were in charge of Baghdad, the first 14 months when $8.8 
billion of Iraq's wealth went missing on your watch. Have a look at 
Halliburton and other American corporations that stole not only Iraq's 
money, but the money of the American taxpayer.

"Have a look at the oil that you didn't even meter, that you were 
shipping out of the country and selling, the proceeds of which went who 
knows where? Have a look at the $800 million you gave to American 
military commanders to hand out around the country without even counting 
it or weighing it.

"Have a look at the real scandal breaking in the newspapers today, 
revealed in the earlier testimony in this committee. That the biggest 
sanctions busters were not me or Russian politicians or French 
politicians. The real sanctions busters were your own companies with the 
connivance of your own Government."


























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