Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

Lots of Innuendo, Few Facts

Reported by Ellen - September 23, 2004 -

The 9/22 installment of FOXNews.com's UN Oil-For-Food series is called, Did Terrorists Benefit From Oil-for-Food? FOX does its best to make the case despite the missing facts.

Reporter Eric Shawn uses a string of suppositions and innuendos to try to connect Al Qaeda to Saddam Hussein and the UN Oil-for-Food program.

"One of our grave concerns is that the money (from the oil-for-food program) … is still available to those who want to do us harm in Iraq," (assistant Treasury Secretary, Juan Zarate) said.

"Still available to those who want to do us harm in Iraq?" What does that mean? To Saddam loyalists? The terrorists who entered the country after we invaded? The "terrorists" still there after we liberated the Iraqi people, toppled their brutal dictator and restored democracy? Shawn doesn't say. He doesn't seem to have even considered the question.

"Another possibility is that Oil-for-Food money ended up in the hands of terrorists looking to strike in the United States — particularly Al Qaeda. It's something to think about in light of revelations in the report by the commission appointed to investigate the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America, which dispels the myth that Usama bin Laden financed Al Qaeda with a $300 million personal fortune."

How likely is that "possiblity?" Shawn never says that, either. What are the other possiblities? Could it be that Saddam just pocketed the money? We're not told.

Shawn goes on to say that bin Laden did not have enough money to fund Al Qaeda's budget. He speculates, without providing a single shred of hard evidence, that the needed funds "could" have come from one of the institutions "helping Saddam scam Oil-for-Food."

His "reasoning" is that Iraq and Al Qaeda began communicating, as per the 9/11 report in 1991. Bin Laden met with a senior Iraqi intelligence officer in 1994 or 95. In 1996, bin Laden began having serious money problems.

"Bin Laden sent out a number of feelers to the Iraqi regime in 1997, offering some cooperation. The next year, two Al Qaeda members reportedly went to Iraq to meet with Iraqi intelligence, and an Iraqi delegation traveled to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden.

"It was also in 1998 that Al Qaeda bombed two American embassies in Africa — after bin Laden called "for the murder of any American, anywhere on Earth." Suddenly, according to the Sept. 11 report, "Bin Laden had become the rich man of the jihad movement."

"One more thing about 1998: that was the year the Oil-for-Food program really started pumping billions into Saddam's secret accounts, according to U.N. figures.

That's a whole lot of circumstantial "evidence" and no direct proof.