Maintaining Optimism in the Face of Reality. Occasional observations on the state of the world, society, business and politics. Usually anchored by facts, always augmented by opinion.
French officials are angrily (according to Al-Jazeera), cautiously (according to the NYT) or indignantly (according to the IHT) denying the reports. The UK Independent reports the French think the report is an attempt to smear Chirac.
The NYT also reports: "Bernard Guillet, an adviser to Mr. Pasqua, has said the vouchers were given to people from the former interior minister's European parliamentary district who were interested in doing business with Iraq."
It sounds like Pasqua is not denying he got the vouchers, in contrast to Russia's Vladimir Zhirinovsky who claims to have never seen a voucher or a drop of oil. My suspicion is that Pasqua is setting up this spin because, in fact, the voucher lists will turn out to be pretty accurate.
The Houston Chronicle reports that Exxon Mobil, ChevronTexaco, Valero and El Paso have all recieved subpoenas from a federal grand jury investigating the Oil-for-Food program.
The Washington Post has a fairly decent piece, citing former assistant secretary of state Robert Einhorn (and had been with State under Clinton as well as Bush) as saying, "In the late '90s, we understood that lots of shenanigans were going on . . . under-the-table payments and so on, to curry favor and win support for eroding sanctions...We made various efforts to limit the scope of this." Of course Kerry is claiming that all of this discussion is some sort of retroactive explanation by the Bush administration for the war.
The Kansas City star carries the full AP piece on the story. CNSNews pulls some good highlights from the ISG report as well.
The Chicago Tribune reports that the Bush administration isn't planning to pressure any of the countries involved to get to the bottom of this, at least until after the election.
There's been more limited discussion of the amount of weapons technology that Russia was transfering to Iraq under the sanctions.
Also, Powerline takes AP reporter Scott Lindlaw to task for his coverage of the ISG report.
e-mail post | Link Cosmos | [Permalink] | | Friday, October 08, 2004