Oil and Grease

Oil and Grease

Oil and Grease

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
May 12 2005 6:01 PM

Oil and Grease

Bloggers contemplate a new Senate report about the United Nations oil-for-food scandal; they also discuss the plane that violated the White House's no-fly zone yesterday and respond to a photojournalist's criticisms of the media's Iraq coverage.

Oil and grease: A new Senate report accuses British MP George Galloway and Charles Pasqua, a French politician with close ties to Jacques Chirac, of profiting from Iraq's oil-for-food program. The report contains new charges, including the claim that Galloway used a children's leukemia charity to launder his money. Pasqua and Galloway vehemently deny the charges.

Most bloggers think that the politicians are guilty but wonder whether they can be prosecuted. "They do appear to have the goods on these characters, but whether or not any of it will be actionable in terms of criminal charges is unclear. What is clear is the earlier stories about Saddam paying off corrupt politicians in France, Russia and China to ease the burden of UNSC trade sanctions against Iraq were right on target," assertsSpartacus, a hedge-fund manager. Pointing out that Galloway has been dogged by corruption charges for more than ten years, Richard Waghorne of the Irish think tank Freedom Institute asserts that today's news is significant because "the naming of Galloway as corrupt, in the pay of the butcher of Baghdad, was made by Taha Yassin Ramadan, the former Vice-President of Iraq." Wagnorne asks, "Ought not there be a legal provision for pursuing citizens through law should they be in the pay of foreign dictators?" The Daily Ablution's Scott Burgess, a Brit, insists, "In the end, Mr. Galloway and his supporters have nothing to fall back on except for his forceful denial—which is admittedly compelling, given that real criminals invariably confess their crimes once confronted."

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Conservative stalwart Powerline notes that footnote 5 of the report states, "Terrorist individuals and entities who received [OFF] allocations include the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Abu Abbas and the Mujahedeen-e Khalq." GOP Bloggers' Mark Noonan suggests, "For the rest of you opponents of liberation, I hope you got your bribes because if you opposed this without at least collecting a little swag from Saddam, then its time to take an IQ test."

Read more about the new oil-for-food report.

I like bike: A two-man plane unwittingly violated the White House's no-fly zone yesterday, prompting a massive evacuation of government workers. Bloggers are wondering why President Bush didn't hear about the scare until after it was over.

"Were they afraid he would panic and fall off his two wheeler?" scoffsBlondesense's liberal Pissed Off Patricia. In And your little dog, too..., a woman whose dad is a pilot writes, "My dad said W should have gone to the roof of the White House, stood there with his hand in the air and his middle finger gloriously raised in triumph and utter disregard. I agree; I think we need to start showing some balls." Incensed by the fact that Secret Service agents were "running into the Capitol Rotunda screaming 'Run for your lives!' " Deep Thoughts' software engineer Michael King believes, "The government should handle these issues as best as possible, without concerning the public."

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But Watching Washington's Terry Turner feels, "[T]here seems to be a growing calm in the face of such alerts…. [M]aybe we're finally listening to the administration's insistence that we 'go about our lives as we normally would.' " And Attytood's liberal Will Bunch applies the Queen song "Bicycle Race" to Bush's behavior. He documents other significant moments, like the tsunami, Jenna Bush's graduation, and a crisis in Iraq, during which the President was bicycling, and writes, "After four-and-a-half years, one thing is clear: The people who are really running this country don't love George W. Bush for his brain, they love him for his body."

Read  more about the White House security breach.

Guevarra guerillas: In thisLouisville Courier-Journal essay, photojournalist Molly Bingham, who has reported extensively from Iraq, criticizes American journalists' coverage of the occupation. She claims they are unwilling to question the government and fail to understand why insurgents keep attacking.

Noting that Bingham "was one of the western journalists detained at Abu Ghraib by Saddam's regime at the beginning of the Iraq war," liberal blog All Spin Zone thinks that Bingham should be taken seriously. "Unfortunately," the blog continues, "I think Ms. Bingham is missing a key point—the vast majority of Americans don't want to understand." A commenter on Sivacracy.net, the blog of an NYU media professor, remarks, "I wish someone would cover the so-called 'resistance' in Iraq properly, because at the moment giving this qaeda funded sunni jihad against american forces a romantic gueverra-like symbolism I believe is somewhat incredulous."

Read more about Bingham's essay.

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