Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Game is a Foot, an arm, a leg, and whatever else we find in the woodchipper when it's done.

I've mentioned before that the UN's food for oil program was a corrupt, glorified money laundering scheme for Saddam Insane. The Iraq Daily, Al-Mada, had noted 270 recipients of Saddam's oil vouchers for bribes, men such as George Galloway, the British version of Michael Moore, and Tony Blair's opposition. Galloway was allocated to received 18 million barrels of discount crude in return for his anti-war stance. Apparently, twas only the beginning. We've found a few more companies.

About 2,122 more of them.

That's right, 2,392 companies turned the oil-for-food program into a cesspool of mass corruption. Paul Volcker's comission has found 2,392 of the 4,500 companies from 66 countries that did business in the giant program allowed Saddam to rip off $1.8 billion in kickbacks and surcharges and another $10.9 billion through oil smuggling. Oh, yeah, we also have old friends involved.

Billionaire commodities trader Marc Rich, for one, pardoned by Clinton in his last wave of pardons as he was smuggled out the white house door. He was apparently the middle man in the deal, providing the financing, lifting the oil and overpaying by 30 to 40 cents a barrel so that a kickback could be paid to Saddam's regime. The deal took place just weeks after Rich received his midnight pardon from President Bill Clinton .

Taurus Petroleum is also listed as a major player in Saddam's sleazy oil dealing. Taurus financed the purchase of 256 million barrels of oil, even though it never had a single U.N. contract.

Between March 2001 and December 2002 — just months before the war — $52 million in surcharge payments were routed through the Iraqi Embassy in Moscow.

And should we talk about the French? Their bank handled the account for the U.N. oil-for-food program and provided letters of credit needed for the deals to go through. Contracts were being given to shell companies but "did not recognize a particular responsibility to adequately inform the U.N" [the Volcker report].

NOW can we use RICO to shut down the UN?

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