Only Senators Coleman and Levin were in attendance for the hearing of testimony by George Galloway, MP, on what part he may have played in the Iraq oil for food debacle. But Galloway knew he had a much larger audience and he used the opportunity well.
“Senator, this is the mother of all smoke screens,” he said and, by golly, Coleman, representing the entire administration, had to sit there and listen to it. The only downside is that none of the video I saw included an angle that caught his face. He got smacked down and he bloody well knew it. Levin was an ass too, but Coleman was the top stooge.
Brilliant stuff. Don’t know whether Galloway is guilty or not of the charges, though I suspect not, but he did a great thing today. You know he hit a nerve because all the officials in DC and all the big mouths on TV were attacking his personal life, charges by an ex-wife, et. al. Again, don’t know if true, but definitely more smoke. Anything, after all, rather than talk about the $300+billion dollar elephant in our communal living room.
Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 people paid with their lives; 1600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies; 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies.
If the world had listened to Kofi Annan, whose dismissal you demanded, if the world had listened to President Chirac who you want to paint as some kind of corrupt traitor, if the world had listened to me and the anti-war movement in Britain, we would not be in the disaster that we are in today. Senator, this is the mother of all smokescreens. You are trying to divert attention from the crimes that you supported, from the theft of billions of dollars of Iraq’s wealth.
“Have a look at the real Oil-for-Food scandal. Have a look at the 14 months you were in charge of Baghdad, the first 14 months when $8.8 billion of Iraq’s wealth went missing on your watch. Have a look at Halliburton and other American corporations that stole not only Iraq’s money, but the money of the American taxpayer.
“Have a look at the oil that you didn’t even meter, that you were shipping out of the country and selling, the proceeds of which went who knows where? Have a look at the $800 million you gave to American military commanders to hand out around the country without even counting it or weighing it.
“Have a look at the real scandal breaking in the newspapers today, revealed in the earlier testimony in this committee. That the biggest sanctions busters were not me or Russian politicians or French politicians. The real sanctions busters were your own companies with the connivance of your own Government.”
Blunt but eloquent and intelligent language (and no notes he was reading from as far as I could tell ) — no wonder it shook up Washington so!
I especially like this:
The culture clash between Mr Galloway’s bruising style and the soporific gentility of senate proceedings could hardly have been more pronounced, and drew audible gasps and laughs of disbelief from the audience. “I met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him,” Mr Galloway went on. “The difference is that Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns, and to give him maps the better to target those guns.”
American reporters seemed as fascinated as the British media: at one point yesterday, before it was his turn to speak, Mr Galloway strode from the room, sending journalists of all nationalities rushing after him – only to discover that he was going to the lavatory.
By condemning him in their report without interviewing him, the senators had already given Mr Galloway the upper hand. But not everything was in his favour. For a start, only two senators were present, sabotaging Mr Galloway’s efforts to attack the whole lickspittle lot of them – and one of the two, the Democrat Carl Levin, had spent much of his opening statement attacking the hypocrisy of the US government in allegedly allowing American firms to benefit from Iraqi oil corruption.
Even so, Mr Galloway was in his element, playing the role he relishes the most: the little guy squaring up for a fight with the establishment.
For these purposes, Senator Coleman served symbolically to represent all the evil in the world – the entire Republican party, the conscience of George Bush, the US government and the British government, too: no wonder his weak smile looked so nauseous.
So out of this, watch for a slew of new words to enter the American lexicon:
- schoolboy howler
and last but by no means least:
I think I will be using that last one to describe my feelings about George Galloway, Respect Party MP, at least as concerns his visit to the U.S. Senate today. Bravo!