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George Galloway Got FNC's Goat

Reported by Nancy - May 18, 2005 -

After George Galloway's bravura performance yesterday at the Senate Subcommittee hearing on the investigation of the Oil-for-Food program, FNL today (5/18) just had to try to discredit him. So they called on one of their usual suspects, Claudia Rossett, who repeated some of the lies & distortions the reactionary echo chamber has been tossing around & whose assertions went unchallenged by David Asman.

At 12:24pm (ET) Asman showed a clip of Galloway talking about his testimony. Asman described Galloway as "ANGRY" -- which he certainly was yesterday, but not in this clip. Asman then interviewed Rossett (reactionary ideologue, whom Asman described merely as being from the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies). Asman opened by calling Galloway a "good politician" (in the skeptical tone of voice that implies the phrase is not a compliment) & asking if Galloway got the better of Sen NColeman (R-MN). Rossett didn't answer directly, but said that "trusting George Galloway makes as much sense as sending your kid for an overnight w MJackson." Asman liked that allusion, so emphasized it by piously proclaiming that "like Jackson he [Galloway] is innocent until proven guilty" then stating that the "charge" against Galloway is that he got money through Zureikat [comment: there is no "charge" against Galloway; there are only allegations & accusations]. Rossett said that Zureikat "was doing big business with" SHussein & claimed that their books of their foundation [comment: Fawaz Zureikat was chair of the Marian Appeal set up by Galloway to help a 4-year-old Iraqi girl with leukemia] "have not been completely reviewed" because "some vanished."

Asman asked about Galloway's "charge" that the list on which his name appeared was a "phony list". Again, Rossett didn't answer the question, but instead veered off into what she called "interesting developments." She claimed that it "turns out there's very much there" & named Benon Savan, Samir Vincent, & Zhirinovsky. Asman jumped on that, noting that Vincent has cut a "plea deal". Rossett said that Coleman is "showing us a pattern" with SHussein.

Asman went back to attacking Galloway, saying that "perception is sometimes 90% of the argument" & Galloway "wouldn't answer specific questions" so "he seemed to win" the PR battle. Again, Rossett didn't answer Asman's question & repeated the lie that the Oil-for-Food program was the "biggest financial scam in history". She did, however, deign to call Galloway's testimony a "complete sideshow." Asman persisted, asking "will Coleman be able to get information from Sammy Vincent to go after" Galloway. Again, Rossett didn't answer Asman's question but said the "same names turn up over & over" & called those names a "gang of 400 or 4000", which both she & Asman thought was a clever turn of phrase.

General comments: Fascinating that Asman (falsely) accuses Galloway of not answering questions, when his guest is doing precisely that. Aside from the smear she tossed out at the beginning of this interview, Rossett made no attempt to be specific about Galloway, instead choosing to make broad, unverifiable claims that imply shady connections & nefarious dealings by corrupt foreigners ... Wait! That's the whole Oil-for-Food "scandal" I just described! A classic tactic: throw enough mud & hope some of it sticks. Another desperate attempt to smear any opponent of the war on Iraq.

Please see my post from yesterday for the first installment of this latest episode in the Oil-for-Food "scandal", as well as the entire category (in the list at right) for additional background info. Thanks especially to "Briton" for posting the link to an online site exposing the forged document being used to smear Galloway.

The "biggest financial scam in history" was the BCCI scandal -- but you'll never hear about that on FNC because it involved GHWBush, Jim Baker & a host of other radical reactionaries. And the Savings & Loan scandal was bigger than anything Saddam Hussein could have dreamed up -- but that involved, among many others, Neil Bush.

Claudia Rossett is usually identified only as a journalist with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. The FDD is an aggressive neocon think tank designed to shape US thinking on war, terrorism, & the Middle East, according to a gushing piece in "American Conservative". Rossett is described by conservative columnist Victor Davis Hanson (also a frequent Fox talking head) as the single brave maverick to take on the oil-for-food "scandal". But FDD has been attacking the UN for many years. Rosett also appeared on Fox's recent discredited "expose", "Breaking Point: UN Blood Money: Kofi Annan Under Fire".

According to the information of their website, the Board of Directors of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies consists of Steve Forbes, Jeane Kirkpatrick & Jack Kemp. They list Newt Gingrich & James Woolsey as "Distinguished Advisors." And their Board of Advisors includes Gary Bauer, Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, Richard Lamm, Frank Gaffney, Zell Miller, Marc Ginsberg & Richard Perle, while Senior & Adjunct Fellows include (in addition to Rossett) Victoria Toensing & Andrew McCarthy. If those names look familiar, it's because they're all FNC talking heads.

And if Samir Vincent gets lucky, maybe his conviction will be overturned on a technicality, like that other FNC talking head, the felon Ollie North.

NOTE TO READERS: Please stay on topic (FNL's "coverage" of Galloway or the Oil-for-Food program & investigations, Rossett, & the FDD, as listed above). O/T comments will be deleted. Thanks.