I think I know why the White House is screaming about Newsweek. It’s diversionary.
They knew another story was about to break, and break it has:
The United States administration turned a blind eye to extensive sanctions-busting in the prewar sale of Iraqi oil, according to a new Senate investigation.
A report released last night by Democratic staff on a Senate investigations committee presents documentary evidence that the Bush administration was made aware of illegal oil sales and kickbacks paid to the Saddam Hussein regime but did nothing to stop them.
The scale of the shipments involved dwarfs those previously alleged by the Senate committee against UN staff and European politicians like the British MP, George Galloway, and the former French minister, Charles Pasqua.
In fact, the Senate report found that US oil purchases accounted for 52% of the kickbacks paid to the regime in return for sales of cheap oil – more than the rest of the world put together.
“The United States was not only aware of Iraqi oil sales which violated UN sanctions and provided the bulk of the illicit money Saddam Hussein obtained from circumventing UN sanctions,” the report said. “On occasion, the United States actually facilitated the illicit oil sales.
Read the full article for details. And here, too.
Let’s get this straight. Bush and the GOP have the gall to call for Kofi Annan’s head over the administration of the Oil for Food program, and now it turns out that Bush let a member of the Axis of Evil profit from illegal transactions. And then, mere months later, Bush cited Saddam’s noncompliance with UN requirements as a justification for the Iraq war. Feel dicked around yet?