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

Forged Documents -- Again

Reported by Nancy - May 17, 2005 -

Today (5/17) during the last hour of FNL there was a series of reports, comments & teasers on the Oil-for-Food investigation that illustrated how FNC staff insert opinion into what they pretend are "news" reports. What FNL didn't mention (but which has been reported elsewhere) is that the "documents" the Senate investigation is relying on were previously cited by 2 newspapers who made the same allegations against Galloway, who successfully sued both those newspapers for libel.

11:59am (all times ET) - Asman read the top story, about George Galloway testifying at the Senate Subcommittee, saying in his most aggrieved 'you-ain't-gonna-believe-this' voice that there was a "report THROWN at a Senate panel ...".

12:00pm - Eric Shawn reported on Galloway's testimony, saying that Galloway claims he's "being framed by pro-war" GOPs orchestrated by Bush. Shawn characterized Galloway as a "firebrand British MP." Shawn tried to show a clip, then live footage of the testimony, but there were some technical problems that were quickly cleared up. Shawn described Galloway's testimony as "flamboyant & eloquent answers" & Coleman's questions as "Coleman trying to show ...". Shawn summed it up as a "verbal match of the first order" as "Galloway tries to defend himself."

12:02pm - Asman commented at the end of Shawn's report, again in that aggrieved voice, that there was "evidence Galloway first THREW" at the panel.

12:05pm - FNL went back live to the Subcommittee hearing, with Sen CLevin (D-MI) asking if Galloway "would ... be troubled" by kickbacks. Galloway (a brilliant practitioner of parliamentary debate) took the opportunity to tell Levin what *really* troubled him: the "deaths of 1 million people, mostly children, in Iraq" that resulted from the Oil-for-Food sanctions. Galloway said the "UN had no right to starve Iraq's people" & noted that former Rep David Bonior (D-MI) called the program "infanticide masquerading as politics" adding that "it was a murderous policy of killing huge numbers of Iraqis." Levin repeated his question, at which point Asman said "All right, lots of back & forth" there & FNL went back to the studio so Asman could continue to opine (Galloway "goes on kind of a rant", Galloway "refused to get pinned down by investigators").

12:13pm - teaser: "British politician in the hot seat", "HURLING the committee's report right back in their faces"

12:16pm - teaser: "fireworks over at least for the time being" [the Subcommittee was taking a break], Galloway is "accused of receiving some of these vouchers & there's a "lotta back & forth going on today."

12:16pm - Asman segued into an interivew allegedly about the Senate filibuster ("we're gonna be talking with" Sens DFeinstein (D-CA) & JCornyn (R-TX) but his first question -- which he thought clever enough to chortle about -- was whether they were "kinda disappointed you weren't at the Galloway hearings?"

12:21pm - teaser: "that man, George Galloway, on the hot seat"

12:32pm - Page Hopkins read headlines, leading with the "fiery" Galloway who "defiantly denied the charges" against him. [NOTE: There are no criminal charges against Galloway, only over-the-top & demonstrably false accusations; see below.]

12:34pm - Asman commented that there were "locking horns" & "fireworks" to intro an updated report from Eric Shawn, who said that Galloway is "condeming" Bush, US policy in Iraq, the Senate investigation & claiming that the documents the investigators are using are "bogus." Shawn siad that Galloway is a "firebrand" who "gave as good as he got," who called Coleman "crazed," & who described the hearings as the "mother of all smokescreens."

12:36pm - Asman interviewed Claudia Rossett (reactionary ideologue), saying "she's the person who really broke this wide open". Asman started by saying that "the only thing they [Coleman & Galloway] agree on is that Galloway had a relationship with Zureikat" & asked Rossett who Zureikat was. Rossett said he's a "Jordanian businessman" who "did oil deals with" the SHussein regime. Asman observed that "what Coleman is sayin is Galloway himself did not receive the allocations, Zureikat laundered them for Galloway." Rossett agreed, "that is the pattern he is pointing to ... [a pattern] established with others." Rossett's cell phone then "went out", cutting the interview short.

Comments: What's left out is often as revealing as what's mentioned in any news report.

Here's what Galloway told Reuters: ""I have no expectation of justice from a group of Christian fundamentalist and Zionist activists under the chairmanship of a neocon George Bush who is pro-war."

Here's what Rossett didn't mention: Fawaz Zureikat was chair of the Marian Appeal set up by Galloway to help a 4-year-old Iraqi girl with leukemia & has strongly denied making any arrangements linked to oil sales on behalf of Galloway. The UK's Independent reported -- nearly 15 hours before FNL aired -- that Zereikat is once again trading in Iraq & making trips to the US with the approval of the US authorities.

Most importantly, here's some additional background, reported by the UK's The Guardian on May 13, in reference to the "evidence" cited by the Senate panel:

The central allegations first surfaced in the Daily Telegraph in April 2003 when the paper claimed that Mr Galloway had personally profited from Iraqi oil deals. He sued for libel and last December won a resounding victory in the high court with ÂŁ150,000 in damages.

A few days after the Telegraph's reports, another paper, the Christian Science Monitor, alleged it had documents to show that Mr Galloway had received $10m from the regime over 11 years. It, too, had to apologise and pay damages when the documents were shown to be forgeries.

The senate committee appears to have mixed up these two events.

Keep in mind that libel is *hugely* more difficult to prove in UK courts than in US courts.

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (FNL's "coverage" of Galloway or the Oil-for-Food program & investigations, as listed above). O/T comments will be deleted, especially irrelevant chitchat & personal attacks. Please use the O/T category from the list at right to post unrelated comments. Thanks.