Claudia Rosett on UNSCAM
Commentary magazine (via Roger) and NRO have two Rosett articles that describe aspects of the story the dead tree press refuses to investigate. As early as June last year Marc Perelman was writing about Oil for Food Sales Seen As Iraq Tie To Al Qaeda. Rosett explains,
In brief (hang on for the ride): One link ran from a U.N.-approved buyer of Saddam’s oil, Galp International Trading Corp., involved near the very start of the program, to a shell company called ASAT Trust in Liechtenstein, linked to a bank in the Bahamas, Bank Al Taqwa. Both ASAT Trust and Bank Al Taqwa were designated on the U.N.’s own terror-watch list, shortly after 9/11, as entities “belonging to or affiliated with Al Qaeda.” This Liechtenstein trust and Bahamian bank were linked to two closely connected terrorist financiers, Youssef Nada and Idris Ahmed Nasreddin — both of whom were described in 2002 by Treasury as “part of an extensive financial network providing support to Al Qaeda and other terrorist related organizations,” and both of whom appear on the U.N.’s list of individuals belonging to or affiliated with al Qaeda.
The other tie between Oil-for-Food and al Qaeda, noted by Perelman, ran through another of Saddam’s handpicked, Oil-for-Food oil buyers, Swiss-based Delta Services — which bought oil from Saddam in 2000 and 2001, at the height of Saddam’s scam for grafting money out of Oil-for-Food by way of under-priced oil contracts. Now shut down, Delta Services was a subsidiary of a Saudi Arabian firm, Delta Oil, which had close ties to the Taliban during Osama bin Laden’s heyday in Afghanistan in the late 1990s. In discussions of graft via Oil-for-Food, it has been assumed that the windfall profits were largely kicked back to Saddam, or perhaps used to sway prominent politicians and buy commercial lobbying clout. But that begs further inquiry. There was every opportunity here for Saddam not solely to pocket the plunder, but to send it along to whomever he chose — once he had tapped into the appropriate networks.
Are there other terrorist links? Did Saddam actually send money for terrorist uses through those named by the Forward? Given the more than $100 billion that coursed through Oil-for-Food, it would seem a very good idea to at least try to find out.
As Rosett herself says, “what is clear is that no one has so far sat down with access to the full records and begun piecing together the labyrinth of Saddam’s financing with an eye, specifically, to potential terrorist ties“.
In the meantime, one’s hearing presidential candidates claim “Iraq had nothing to do with al-Qaeda”. Let the UN records be open to scrutiny before we make up our minds.