Galloway blasts Iraq oil accusers

Senators who claim a British MP was given credits to buy Iraq oil from Saddam Hussein are branded 'cavalier'.

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By  Rhys Jones Published  May 22, 2005

British MP George Galloway last week told US senators who accused him of profiting from Iraq oil dealings their claims were the “mother of all smokescreens”. Senators claim he was given credits to buy Iraqi oil by Saddam Hussein. However, in a combative performance before a Senate committee, the Respect Coalition MP accused the US lawmakers of being “cavalier” with justice. He said: “I am not now nor have I ever been an oil trader and neither has anyone on my behalf.” Galloway travelled to Washington to clear his name before the Senate sub-committee on investigations. He claims the evidence against him is false and claims forged documents had been used to make claims about him before. The UK-based MP went on the offensive from the start of his testimony, saying the committee had “traduced” his name around the world without asking him a single question. He told committee chairman Senator Norm Coleman: “I know that standards have slipped over the last few years in Washington but for a lawyer you are remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice.” Galloway said he had met Saddam Hussein on two occasions — the same number of times as US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld. “The difference is Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and maps — the better to target those guns. I met him to try to bring about an end to sanctions, suffering and war,” he said. The biggest sanctions busters were American companies “with the connivance” of the US Government, he argued. He also denied being an “apologist” for Saddam Hussein adding that he had been a long-term opponent of the former Iraqi leader, and had a much better record of opposition to his regime than members of the American or British governments.

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