Thursday, April 14, 2005


A Bold Prediction

Remember how the right-wing media pundits have spent the past couple of years wetting themselves over "the UN Oil-for-Food Scandal"? And how they tried without proof to accuse UN Secretary General Kofi Annan of helping to rip off his own agency? Well, first off, Kofi Annan has been exonerated of any wrongdoing. And by the Volcker Commission, which isn't exactly stacked with Noam Chomskys. And second off, it turns out that the scandal should more properly be called "the Texas Oil-for-Food Scandal":

A Texas businessman and two of his companies were charged with paying secret kickbacks to Iraq in a federal indictment unsealed on Thursday as part of an investigation into the scandal-plagued U.N. oil-for-food program. David Chalmers Jr., his oil company Bayoil of Texas, and Bayoil Supply & Trading Ltd., based in the Bahamas, faced federal criminal charges as part of the scheme to pay millions of dollars in secret kickbacks to Iraq. Two others also were charged in the plot: Ludmil Dionissiev, a Bulgarian citizen living in Houston, and John Irving, a British citizen, according to the indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. The indictment charges that the kickbacks were paid so the Bayoil companies could participate in selling Iraqi oil under the United Nations' program.
There you have it. Of the people facing charges in this scandal, two are Texas residents, and one's a Brit. Unfortunately for the race-baiters in the conservative pundit's universe, there are no Arabs of any sort listed in the indictments, and nobody named "Kofi Annan". A bold prediction: From here on out, unless it can somehow be made to look as the prime crooks involved in ripping off the UN are guys named Pierre or Mohammed or Gunter, instead of fair-haired Texan boys from George W. Bush's and Tom DeLay's home turf of Houston, we will hear as much about this scandal from the right-wingers as we heard from them about Chinagate, once it was clear that James Smith, the main US intelligence guy working on digging up the Chinagate "info" for his Clinton-hating Republican boss Louis Freeh, had as his longtime mistress one Katrina Leung, longtime California GOP fundraiser and intelligence operative for Communist China. That is to say: Not very much at all.

Thanks. Good follow-up on a damning story.
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