June 18, 2003


It’s been nearly two months since documents turned up in Baghdad apparently linking George Galloway to Iraqi oil money. “They are forgeries!” screamed George, who now says that the dates in the documents are accurate - and that he needs yet more time to prove his case:

George Galloway confirmed for the first time yesterday that he was in Iraq on the day that documents found by The Telegraph allege he met an Iraqi intelligence officer there to discuss "continuous financial support".

The suspended Labour MP also admitted that he was "not yet" in a position to disprove the documents, which he claimed were forgeries and which were discovered in the looted foreign ministry in Baghdad.

The papers purport to show that Mr Galloway received money from Saddam Hussein's regime - a slice of oil earnings worth at least £375,000 a year.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 18, 2003 03:46 PM

What a slowpoke - why, he's almost as reluctant to talk about it as you are to talk about the lack of WMDs in Iraq.

Posted by: Bon Scott at June 18, 2003 at 05:13 PM

Bon, ever wonder why the French, Germans and Russians haven't done a little stulted, awkard, hopelessly white victory dance about WMDs yet? Hint: They also have intelligence services - pretty good ones, in fact. AC/DC does not have an intel branch, I don't think, unless that's what Shoot to Thrill and Moneytalks were all about.

Yeah, I know that joke sucked.

Posted by: Dylan at June 18, 2003 at 05:37 PM

Read my Bulletin column, Scotty.

Posted by: tim at June 18, 2003 at 06:29 PM

Now that supporting Saddam Hussein's regime is much more difficult, Galloway should demand a significant pay raise. He can call it a cultural exchange.

Posted by: Perfectsense at June 18, 2003 at 07:56 PM

Mr. George has major problems to put forward his case because his own evidence to refute it is misplaced and shredded. Moreover, even if he did have any evidence (which he doesn't) he would do well to roll over on this one and take one for Mr. Blair. He would be rewarded for his candour. Perhaps he should go to the new Commons inquiry on WMDs and confess to any knowledge he might have, although he has none.

Posted by: G at June 18, 2003 at 09:49 PM

have they checked george's flat for any vases from the museum...?

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at June 18, 2003 at 10:09 PM

And the Juice is still trying to find the real killers.

Posted by: LB at June 18, 2003 at 11:44 PM

Hey Tim, didn't I "nexis the bastard" when the story broke, and you published an obscure news reference to his presence in Iraq on that day?

Posted by: Diana at June 19, 2003 at 02:49 AM

Oh, come on Tim, this isn't the REAL scandal. The REAL scandal is how Bush, Blair & Howard deceived their respective nations by hyping the conclusions from their respective intelligence agencies that claimed that Saddam had massive stockpiles of WMD.

I mean, come on! It's not like the Iraqi government ever lied about their WMB program in the past, or obstructed the efforts of the UN disarmament commission before the invasion or otherwise behaved in a manner which would allow any reasonable person to conclude that they were still lying. And its not like the French, German, Russian or Chinese intelligence agencies came to the exact same conclusion or anything, or that this invasion was justifiable as a strictly humanitarian matter. And besides, we know for a fact that the WMD stockpiles never existed because they haven't turned up in 8 whole weeks.

Posted by: Sean at June 19, 2003 at 04:54 AM

No! The Real Scandal™ is the way Bush Stole the Election! And the way that he is really Hitler's clone! And he shot JFK too! And -- and -- the real Dick Cheney is stashed away in Area 51 with the aliens! Who are ruling the world behind their puppet Bush! Soylent Green is people! Soylent Green is people!

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 19, 2003 at 09:24 AM

Well yes, but that all goes without saying.

Posted by: Sean at June 19, 2003 at 10:47 AM

Tim, I just went and read your column. This is the whole of the part that deals with WMDs:

Will Saddam's weapons of mass destruction ever be found? We don't know. We do know this, however: he possessed WMDs in the past, he blocked UN attempts to locate whatever WMD stocks he maintained, and, if allowed to remain in power, he would most likely have rebuilt those stocks.

That's it. You then go on to talk about deaths under Saddam's regime. Come on, that's pathetic. Where are the WMDs? Were we lied to? If we can have a blow-by-blow account of every word a tool like Phil Adams utters, why can't we have some sort of coverage of the utter embarrassment currently going down in the UK, where former Cabient ministers have been giving evidence that that the WMD claims were - at the very least - exaggerated? Where are the attacks on Howard for refusing to set up an inquiry?

Come on Tim, you're supposed to be a journalist. Don't you want to know the truth?

Posted by: Bon Scott at June 19, 2003 at 11:02 AM

Bon, The Left often unfairly accuses those of us on and in the Right of behaving Machiavellian. Well in this case they may have finally got something correct.

Does the ends justify the means? You really would have to be a psychotic sociopath to say No.

To answer your question, do we need an enquiry as to why we acted on information from some of our oldest and staunchest allies that led us to a source of action that nobody in their right mind could call wrong?

Ummm, NO, but listen, if we agree that the terms of reference should include all of the total bullshit that was sprouted by the Left leading up to and since the war in Iraq, the lies, fabrications and bias of the A(lp)BC, then I think we would all agree to hold it.

Posted by: Todd at June 19, 2003 at 01:11 PM

Oooh, a utilitarian - sorry, all that stuff about how it's okay to deceive the masses as long as you're right is a little bit hard to understand for a poor dead rock star like me.

I mean, I start to ask awkward questions - like, who gets to decide if the ends justify the means? By what process? Who made them the boss of me anyway? How?

But, y'know, I'm not one of those sophisticated thinkers...

Posted by: Bon Scott at June 19, 2003 at 05:04 PM

...You're just a dead rock star! Whose handlers forgot to order the tinfoil-lined coffin.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 19, 2003 at 05:35 PM

Bon, you know what is hilarious? You're type has been wrong about everything so far in this war:

* Vietnam-style quagmire
* 250,000 civilian deaths
* 1,000,000 refugees
* Widespread famine and disease
* Widespread military and civilian resistance

and you're going to be proven wrong again on this issue.

Then again you'll never admit it. People like you will just say it was planted or conveniently dismiss it as a non-threatening arsenal. As they say, never let any facts get in the way of a good piece of America/Howard bashing propaganda.

Posted by: AndyM at June 19, 2003 at 09:44 PM

BTW Bon,

As an Aussie who has lived in London on and off (for work) over the last six years, I can tell you that Claire Short can barely chew gum and walk at the same time, let alone tell whether or not an intelligence dossier is correct or not. She is also an avowed Bush hater and is letting her hate for the man blind her judgement.

Posted by: AndyM at June 19, 2003 at 09:55 PM

The coalition forces have also been unable to find Saddam Hussein. Does that mean he never existed?

Posted by: Sean at June 20, 2003 at 06:02 AM


"GALLOWAY DOCUMENTS ARE FORGERIES -- at least some of them"

Posted by: Gary at June 20, 2003 at 01:15 PM