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windansea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 09:35 PM
Original message
Hussein's Regime Skimmed Billions From Aid Program
BAGHDAD, Iraq In its final years in power, Saddam Hussein's government systematically extracted billions of dollars in kickbacks from companies doing business with Iraq, funneling most of the illicit funds through a network of foreign bank accounts in violation of United Nations sanctions.

Millions of Iraqis were struggling to survive on rations of food and medicine. Yet the government's hidden slush funds were being fed by suppliers and oil traders from around the world who sometimes lugged suitcases full of cash to ministry offices, said Iraqi officials who supervised the skimming operation.

The officials' accounts were enhanced by a trove of internal Iraqi government documents and financial records provided to The New York Times by members of the Iraqi Governing Council. Among the papers was secret correspondence from Mr. Hussein's top lieutenants setting up a formal mechanism to siphon cash from Iraq's business deals, an arrangement that went unnoticed by United Nations monitors.

Under a United Nations program begun in 1997, Iraq was permitted to sell its oil only to buy food and other relief goods. The kickback order went out from Mr. Hussein's inner circle three years later, when limits on the amount of oil sales were lifted and Iraq's oil revenues reached $10 billion a year.

more...
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/29/international/middleeast/29FOOD.html?ex=1393390800&en=1630b4e7c2aa6da9&ei=5007&partner=USERLAND

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MSgt213 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 09:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. Isn't this old news. I seem to recall everyone knew full well he was
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windansea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 09:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. read the whole article??
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burrowowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 10:54 PM
Response to Original message
3. Don't worry
Haliburton et al will pick up the slack and even siphon off more money.
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 11:07 PM
Response to Original message
4. Bush's regime skimmed trillions from US treasury
AND billions from Iraq.
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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 02:56 AM
Response to Original message
5. yup skimmed it right into bushco's croonies pockets..yup yup yup
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windansea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. actually no
if you read the article completely

"Iraq's suppliers included Russian factories, Arab trade brokers, European manufacturers and state-owned companies from China and the Middle East. Iraq generally refused to buy directly from American companies, which in any case needed special licenses to trade legally with Iraq."
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loudnclear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 10:38 AM
Response to Original message
6. Sound to me like we taught him well to be a capitalist.
What is different about this from what our Congress does?
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MrPrax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 11:10 AM
Response to Original message
7. Outrageous...
We should invade Iraq and put Saddam on trial for this...

:eyes:
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 11:13 AM
Response to Original message
8. We knew this all along, but thank God it's finally being reported.
Shame we couldn't have pointed this out earlier. It would have helped in molding world opinion regarding the sanctions against Iraq.
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windansea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. more on this
It appears nobody at the UN noticed that Iraq went for the lowest instead of the highest bidders in its oil for food programme. Why do that? Because then there is more room to add kickbacks of 10% of more on top of oil deals, money that came back to Saddam's government as unaccounted for cash.

The new Iraqi independents have been reporting about the massive fraud scheme for some time now, and many bloggers have been writing about it, but now the New York Times publishes Susan Sachs' great and detailed article on the Oil for Palaces programme, having investigated the documents available through Iraq's oil ministry.

From this article it appears that not only some, but most (if not all) companies involved in contracts with Iraq through the UN programme paid kickbacks to Saddam. And the UN body set up to monitor the deal claims ignorance to this day, as billions were flowing into Iraq to Saddam, his sons and associates.

Not only were they paying huge sums to Saddam's corrupt regime, in many cases the products sold to Iraq were pure shams: like useless, outdated medical equipment and non-essential medicines. Thus the businesses contributed not only to Saddam's corruption, they added to the suffering of the Iraqi people.

http://blogs.salon.com/0001561/2004/02/29.html#a4723
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windansea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. and more
In the high-flying days after Iraq was allowed to sell its oil after 10 years of United Nations sanctions, the lobby of the Rashid Hotel in Baghdad was the place to be to get a piece of the action.

That was where the oil traders would gather whenever a journalist, actor or political figure would arrive in Iraq and openly praise Mr. Hussein. Experience taught them that the visitor usually returned to the hotel with a gift voucher, courtesy of the Iraqi president or one of his aides, representing the right to buy one million barrels or more of Iraqi crude.

The vouchers had considerable value. With the major oil companies monopolizing most Persian Gulf oil, there was fierce competition among smaller traders for the chance to buy Iraqi oil. And as long as Iraq kept its oil prices low enough, traders could make a tidy profit, even after buying the voucher and paying the surcharge.

"We used to joke that if you get one million barrels, you could make $200,000," Mr. Faraj, of SOMO, added, referring to a period when the vouchers sold for about 20 cents per barrel. "And yet the ones who got it were those people who used to come here and praise Saddam for his stand against imperialism."

http://blogs.salon.com/0001561/2004/02/29.html#a4723
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spanone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 12:46 PM
Response to Original message
12. Yea, and they used the money to build WMD's
I guess if bush* can't find wmd's he'll accuse Hussein of stealing money. That should REALLY piss off Americans.
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Serendipity36 Donating Member (23 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
13. Just another reason to abolish all governments of the world...
It was once said that Power corrupts so Absolute Power Corrupts, Absolutely. All this proves is how power and money greedy governments of the world have become. Too often now these governments use fear of the people and promises of fortunes to gain power. Lie after LIE. They even use the religions and beliefs of the peoples for power and money like Saddam. Pure evil!!!!

Governments ought to be abolished!!! National borders and boundaries ought to be abolished so we the peoples can exist as one in peace!! Let the local communities decide what kind of society they wish so each of the peoples of the world can find a spot on earth where they can be most happy because of the diversity that would be created.

Peace is a world without greed, power and hate.

Peace.
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windansea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-29-04 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. don't hold your breath
:hi:
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