The MSM & Oil For Food


More then 2,200 companies in the Oil For Food program paid kickbacks to Saddam Hussein, and where do you think most of these companies are based? Russia and France, surprise surprise. But CNN decides to run a story about One American based company instead of focusing on the fact that the two countries who had the most to lose financially, Russia & France, we’re also the ones who opposed the Iraqi war….coincidence? (h/t A Blog For All)

One prominent American businessman was Texas oil trader Oscar Wyatt, Jr., who in a case of bad timing for him, was also arraigned last week in federal court charged by the government with paying millions of dollars of kickbacks to win oil contracts with Iraq.?

As the report stated, Wyatt was indeed indicted last Friday. However, one has to wonder if Wyatt were from California instead of Texas if he would even have been mentioned in this report. Moreover, Roth waited until the end of the segment to inform the viewer that most of the companies identified by Volcker to have illegally participated in the oil-for-food program were from either France or Russia.

They didn’t focus on this either:

The report pointed to a number of contracts with Russian companies, which it said accounted for about 30 percent of oil sales.

“By far, the largest portion of surcharge payments went through the Iraqi Embassy in Moscow between March 2001 and December 2002,” when more than $52 million in surcharges was paid through the embassy there, the report said.

If they were going to focus on an American why not Marc Rich:

The report also said Marc Rich & Co. financed 4 million barrels of oil under a 9.5-million-barrel contract awarded to the European Oil and Trading Co. (EOTC), a French-based shell company.

“Surcharges were imposed on the oil,” the report said, and “Marc Rich & Co. directed BNP Paris not to disclose its identity to BNP NY in connection with its financing of the U.N. contract.”

It added, “According to an individual familiar with the companies, EOTC and Marc Rich & Co. agreed that the premium paid to EOTC would cover a commission and a surcharge.

“The premium paid by Marc Rich & Co. of 30-40 cents per barrel was sufficiently high to cover both.”

From Dec, 2004:

Former American fugitive Marc Rich was a middleman for several of Iraq’s suspect oil deals in February 2001, just one month after his pardon from President Clinton, according to oil industry shipping records obtained by ABC News.

Maybe this is why Clinton pardoned him huh? Will there be a grand jury seated to investigate Rich and his dealings with the Clintonista regime?

“The news comes as a federal grand jury in New York continues to probe the Clinton pardon. Rich’s ex-wife, Denise, also gave more than $400,000 to the Clinton presidential library and prosecutors have continued to investigate if that was a payoff; Clinton and Denise Rich (search) both deny those allegations.”

The fact that a couple received illegal money from Saddam and then gave mightily to the Clinton’s, and was then pardoned by Clinton would be worthy of a grand jury investigation.

But I digress, some in the MSM are doing a bit of actual reporting and are highlighting the ties between those in the anti-war crowd and the kickbacks:

Many of these companies are little known, and some are probably fronts. But others are giants: The construction equipment division of Sweden’s Volvo is alleged to have “knowingly” paid $535,000 in kickbacks to push $11.8 million in construction equipment, while various subsidiaries of Germany’s Siemens paid a total of $1.6 million out of $124.3 million in sales of electrical equipment. (For the record, Volvo denies the allegation and Siemens “cannot confirm” it.) Other major companies named in the report for paying kickbacks include Daewoo, Australian food exporter AWB and Scottish engineering giant Weir.

The report also provides a list, which runs to 60 pages, of influential individuals or groups awarded lucrative oil allocations by Iraq because they “espoused pro-Iraq views or organized anti-sanctions activities.” Here again, the range is astonishing. In addition to Messrs. Galloway and Pasqua (each of whom was given oil allocations of 11 million barrels), one finds the names of a pro-Iraq Vatican priest (2.5 million), the Palestinian Liberation Front (nine million), the French-Iraqi Amity society (11.8 million), Burma’s forestry minister (27 million), the Orthodox Church of Russia (two million), and the Presidential Office of Russia (21.3 million).

Among the handful of Americans named by Mr. Volcker is Shakir Al-Khafaji (12 million barrels), a well-connected Detroit-area businessman who led a delegation of anti-war Congressional Democrats to Baghdad in September 2002 and who funded an anti-sanctions documentary produced by former weapons inspector Scott Ritter. Mr. Al-Khafaji’s financial involvement with Saddam was first documented in these pages by our Robert Pollock in March 2004.

Notice a name there? Mr. Scott Ritter.

Will the rest of the MSM continue to report on one Texas company or will they do some actual unbiased reporting? I’m taking bets they let this story fall to the backpage while they peddle the indictments of a low level Rove staffer.

Others Blogging:

Say Anything
Shuggy’s Blog
Planet Moron
The Houston Conservative

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I think your wager is money in the bank, for what it’s worth.