June 20, 2003


George Galloway was framed! The documents were forgeries!

Well, some documents were. Specifically those obtained by the Christian Science Monitor:

On April 25, 2003, this newspaper ran a story about documents obtained in Iraq that alleged Saddam Hussein's regime had paid a British member of Parliament, George Galloway, $10 million over 11 years to promote its interests in the West.

An extensive Monitor investigation has subsequently determined that the six papers detailed in the April 25 piece are, in fact, almost certainly forgeries.

So, is George off the hook? Out of jail? Home free? Not exactly:

On April 22, London's Daily Telegraph reported that papers retrieved by their correspondent David Blair from the ruins of Iraq's Foreign Ministry described alleged government payoffs to Mr. Galloway, a Labour Party MP and longtime critic of the West's hardline toward Mr. Hussein. The Daily Telegraph report received widespread attention in the European press and throughout the world.

However, the Monitor's documents were different in many details from those of the Daily Telegraph, and came from a different source.

One of the experts consulted by the CS Monitor has few immediate doubts about the Telegraph’s documents:

After examining copies of two pages of the Daily Telegraph's documents linking Galloway with the Hussein regime, Mneimneh pronounces them consistent, unlike their Monitor counterparts, with authentic Iraqi documents he has seen.

Looks like the CS Monitor was duped by one General Rasool, who quickly realised after the Telegraph’s scoop that documents bearing Galloway’s name might earn him a few quick bucks. Meanwhile Galloway is still trying to prove that the Telegraph’s documents are fake. Keep at it, George!

Posted by Tim Blair at June 20, 2003 02:41 PM