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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Galloway Gave False Testimony

SWashington Post:

An anti-war British lawmaker gave false testimony to Congress when he denied receiving U.N. oil-for-food allocations from deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, a Senate investigative panel said Monday. Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., chairman of the subcommittee, and his investigators presented evidence that they say shows British lawmaker George Galloway's political organization and his wife received nearly $600,000 from the oil allocations. Congressional investigators said Galloway could face charges of perjury, making false statements and obstructing a congressional proceeding, with each charge carrying a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
While I am not surprised that Galloway took bribes, I must say that I don't understand what authority we would have to hold him accountable. Galloway isn't a U.S. citizen and I don't think we could have compelled him to testify, and thus I don't know that we can hold him accountable for not telling the truth.

12 Comments:

Blogger RFTR said...

Maybe we should join the International Criminal Court.

Har har har.

I agree with you completely. And that's the way it should be. The Brits, on the other hand, should string him up by his toenails.

10/25/2005 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Laura Brown said...

While I was still half-asleep this morning, I dreamed that Saddam was ranting about his trial on the clock radio. It turned out the Today programme was actually interviewing Galloway about these allegations. I think he was about as lucid and convincing as Saddam would have been, though.

On a side note, I'm getting really tired of the media referring to Galloway as an 'anti-war' politician. As a look at his party's platform makes clear, he's not opposed to war at all; he's simply on the other side.

He and his supporters are unspeakably vile. I'm not really bothered about who holds him accountable for his actions, as long as somebody does.

[/rant]

10/25/2005 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger The probligo said...

He has said that if charged he will return to the US to defend and challenge them.

Good on him I say.

Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"?

10/25/2005 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger The probligo said...

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12956,1600118,00.html

""I am demanding prosecution, I am begging for prosecution," Mr Galloway told Sky News. "I am saying if I have lied under oath in front of the senate, that's a criminal offence. Charge me and I will head for the airport right now and face them down in court as I faced them down in the senate room.

"Because I publicly humiliated this lickspittle senator Norman Coleman - one of [George] Bush's righthand men - in the US senate in May, this sneak revenge attack has been launched over the past 24 hours."



and

"The Respect MP recently won £150,000 in libel damages after suing the Telegraph over documents published in 2003, in which he was said to have asked for an increased allocation from the oil-for-food programme. The newspaper is currently appealing that ruling."

Watch with interest, rather than base judgement on the statements of people with a vested interest. F'rinstance, how "right" was Chalabhai in the "intelligence" he gave the CIA?

10/25/2005 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

Probligo,

Are you saying you don't believe that Galloway took oil-for-food bribes from Saddam?

Leave asside whether it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, for example I believe OJ did it, Michael Jackson did it, and Galloway did it.

Galloway may have succeeded in hiding his crimes well enough that he wouldn't be convicted, but that doesn't mean he didn't do it.

10/25/2005 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger The probligo said...

"Are you saying you don't believe that Galloway took oil-for-food bribes from Saddam?"

Well, it is of sufficient doubt that a British newspaper (that published just one small portion of the accusations) is now appealing a judgement for L150,000 damages (I think that is about USD300,000) for defaming Galloway. The evidence to that trial would have been given under oath, and in the face of a "fair comment" and "honest belief" defence.

That for starters.

"Galloway may have succeeded in hiding his crimes well enough that he wouldn't be convicted, but that doesn't mean he didn't do it. "

No wonder your "justice" system has such a low reputation internationally.

We have an MP here in NZ, I am certainly no fan of his, and he is now our Minister of Foreign Affairs. I know of at least four people whom he has "broken" through using parliamentary privilege to publish what would otherwise be actionable libel.

One of those, a gent from Whangarei named Simenoff was accused of offering secret commissions and bribes to establish ownership of fishing quota. His fishing business - reputedly worth in excess of NZD3mill - has been destroyed.

He is still trying to break through the parliamentary privilege barrier to right the libels. He has been fighting for some 10 years and more... It has been acknowledged by the government administration (Ministry of Ag and Fish) that the accusations were unfounded.

Coleman sounds like another specialist in "protected character assassination". Galloway may well be guilty, but he deserves a better standard of proof than what has been produced to date by Coleman.

He deserves that evidence to be given under oath. He deserves the right to challenge the evidence.

Will he get it? I will be eating icecreams in Hell if he does.

Given where Coleman sits politically, my guess would be that his attack is a preliminary skirmish to divert any threats that might exist to the main column and the General's camp.

10/25/2005 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger Cubicle said...

"Maybe we should join the International Criminal Court."

heh heh, you beat me to it

10/25/2005 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger Cubicle said...

"Well, it is of sufficient doubt that a British newspaper (that published just one small portion of the accusations) is now appealing a judgement for L150,000 damages (I think that is about USD300,000) for defaming Galloway. "

there libel laws are different in britian, that case would not have flown in the US.

10/25/2005 05:47:00 PM  
Blogger The probligo said...

cublicle -

In what way are the libel laws different between the US and Britain?

If I were to say that you are a liar, a thief and a charlatan; do you have to prove that my statement is wrong to prove the libel, or do I have to prove that I am right?

10/25/2005 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger Laura Brown said...

Differences between U.S. and British libel law

HTH.

10/26/2005 01:48:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

No wonder your "justice" system has such a low reputation internationally.

I didn't say we should convict or punish without proof. In fact, in my original post I question if there is legal resource even if there is definate proof, and Galloway can say he wants it tried in court all he wants, if we don't have jurisdiction, we can't try him (and he may well know that.)

I also find it odd that you would assume Sen. Coleman would have plenty of motive to be lying about this (which he does, he has long disliked the U.N.) but that Galloway cannot possibly be lying. Galloway would have even more motive.

Personally, I would hope for Galloways sake that he is guilty, at least then he has a reason for supporting a murderous thug of a dictator. I would hate to think he is the sort of man who would do that for free.

10/26/2005 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger The probligo said...

Thanks Laura.

Having read what is in that site, I would say that Cubicle has a point. The British libel case may well not have stood up in the US.

But, I must point out, the British case results from the defendant publisher not being able to prove that his statement is true.

On the other hand, there are so many defences available to the US defendant - from Freedom of Speech to honest belief - that one could say virtually anything about another person without fear of penalty or censure. That is in line with the difference I suggested in the original post that the defamation stays unchallenged until proven wrong.

What I said - " do you have to prove that my statement is wrong to prove the libel [US law, but only part of the proof required], or do I have to prove that I am right[British law]?

Like I said, I hope that Galloway does get his day in a US Court. The chances of that happening are zero.

10/26/2005 04:23:00 PM  

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