Marc Rich at The Bad Hair Blog, slightly ahead of . . . Paul Volker?
Here at TBHB, Maria and I have found articles on subjects that surface several months later. Take, for instance, Marc Rich. Last December I did these three posts on Rich’s involvement in the Oil-For-Food UNScam.
Now the last installment of the Volker report spells it out for us:
The report said Marc Rich & Co. financed 4 million barrels of oil under a 9.5-million-barrel contract awarded to the European Oil and Trading Co., a French-based shell company.
“Surcharges were imposed on the oil,” the report said, and “Marc Rich & Co. directed BNP Paris not to disclose its identity to BNP NY in connection with its financing of the U.N. contract.”
It added, “According to an individual familiar with the companies, EOTC and Marc Rich & Co. agreed that the premium paid to EOTC would cover a commission and a surcharge. The premium paid by Marc Rich & Co. of 30-40 cents per barrel was sufficiently high to cover both.”
The company responded that it “continues to dispute vigorously” the report’s conclusion.
The dealings were done through French bank BNP, and as The Telegraph points, out,
France’s relationship with Saddam dated back to the mid-1970s when Jacques Chirac, the then prime minister, visited Baghdad. Between 1974 and 1990, more than 20 French ministers from all the main parties travelled to Iraq to expand France’s commercial interests, which ranged from construction to armaments and a nuclear reactor that the Israelis promptly bombed.
But I digress.
The NYT titles its article The Many Streams That Fed the River of Graft to Hussein, or as I said last December, Rich flows the Don. Carmelo Jordá (in Spanish) has a better title: Encontradas las Armas de Corrupción Masiva (Weapons of Mass Corruption Found).
Last December Captain’s Quarters was asking,
At the time of the pardon, many people puzzled over why Bill Clinton would pardon a man who fled the country and whose status as a fugitive had been under negotiation with the FBI just prior to Clinton’s action. Instead of cutting a deal with Rich to get him back to the US to face charges, Clinton pulled the rug out from under the FBI. Without the leverage of the charges, Rich had no further motivation to cooperate with the DoJ on any outstanding investigations.
At the time, the presumption was that Rich’s wife had donated enough money to buy the pardon. Now, however, the question may be whether Clinton knew about the corruption and feared that an aggressive Bush administration policy would uncover Rich’s participation in undermining Iraqi sanctions while Rich raised funds for both his presidential library and Hillary’s election. Or maybe the issue runs even deeper than that?
Marc Rich has a history of prominent DC lawyers, and at the time of the infamous pardon was represented by former Clinton White House Counsel and Gore Chief of Staff Jack Quinn. Prior to that, Nixon White House Counsel to the President Leonard Garment represented Marc Rich for eight years.