Sunday, October 30, 2005


Lawyer: Tariq Aziz Says Galloway Is Innocent

From Reuters, via ABC News:

Oct 29, 2005 — AMMAN (Reuters) - Former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz has denied telling investigators that a maverick British lawmaker personally profited from the U.N. oil-for-food program for Iraq, Aziz's lawyer said on Saturday. [...] "These are lies … he (Aziz) denied this," Badia Aref told Reuters. "It is part of a media campaign aimed at smearing Galloway's reputation," said the lawyer, who last saw Aziz on Tuesday. Aref said Aziz confirmed that Iraq had participated with some $45,000 in the Mariam Appeal cancer charity set up by Galloway, but only to help sick Iraqi children. He said Aziz, now in jail in Iraq, had made the comments in a questioning session some three months ago during which Aziz, was asked 110 questions about Galloway. [...] Galloway himself told the committee that he was not an oil trader and had never spoken to Aziz about Iraq providing financial support for the Mariam Appeal. He has also rejected the latest U.S. accusations that he profited from the oil-for-food program. Aref said Aziz refused to "testify against anyone, including former President Saddam Hussein," whose trial started this month but has been adjourned until November. Aziz, a Christian who was the public face of Saddam's regime abroad, was arrested after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. No formal charges have been brought against him yet.
Think about this. Aziz has been held in prison for over two years now, most likely in conditions that make Judy Miller's comparatively-brief stint in jail look like an extended stay at a health spa. He has every reason, every incentive in the world to make nice with his captors and tell them what they want to hear. But he doesn't. That should tell you something. (So should the other evidence -- as shown here and here -- that the allegations against Galloway are bogus, and most likely originated with the known liar and convicted embezzler, Ahmad Chalabi.)

This is absolutely stunning.

Now, to be precise, it's theoretically possible that Aziz's lawyer is lying or just plain wrong. But there is more and more evidence of sloppy and adversarial staff work by Coleman and Levin's subordinates.

The goal of an investigator should never be to go after one man. Justice should be blind and impartial. This is what seems to be so greatly missing from the Senate Subcommittee.

What in God's name has happened to Carl Levin for him to lose his moorings this way?
The Usual Suspects will, of course, assert that Tariq Aziz's denial proves that it's true. Tariq Aziz was an associate of Saddam Hussein, therefore he's evil, therefore you shouldn't believe anything he says.*

(* Except, of course, when he says something the Busheviks want him to say.)
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