Thursday, February 03, 2005

Who mentioned "Oil for Food"?

CNN has a hotster of a story about that "Oil for Food Scandal!" that the Right has been hyperventilating about. The short version is that, according to official documents, the US Government was happy to ignore the smuggling of oil out of Iraq because it served other purposes, specifically keeping Jordan and Turkey sweet. This policy was carried over into the Bush administration, and apparently right up to H-Hour on D-Day of the invasion. Both Strobe Talbott (Clinton official, 1998) and Richard Armitage (Bush official, 2002) are quoted as saying that the illegal oil exports served the national interest.

I'll leave the analysis to Representative Robert Menendez:
"Rep. Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, one of five panels probing the oil-for-food program, told CNN the United States was "complicit in undermining" the U.N. sanctions on Iraq.

"How is it that you stand on a moral footing to go after the U.N. when they're responsible for 15 percent maybe of the ill-gotten gains, and we were part and complicit of him getting 85 percent of the money?" Menendez asked. "Where was our voice on the committee that was overseeing this on the Security Council? The reality is that we were either silent or complicit, and that is fundamentally wrong."

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