Wednesday, May 18, 2005

British MP blasts Senator

British Minister of Parliment, George Galloway, voluntarily crossed the Atlantic to sit before Senator Norm Coleman's (R-Minn) committee Tuesday to answer charges leveled against him by Coleman. It was probably a good thing the committee was seated as well.

Galloway proceeded to launch into a speech that will have Senate watchers buzzing for a while. As the MP noted, standards of decorum have declined in the Senate in recent years, but the treatment he received in absentia from Sen. Coleman's committee was not something he was willing to abide by.
"Senator, I am not now, nor have I ever been, an oil trader. and neither has anyone on my behalf. I have never seen a barrel of oil, owned one, bought one, sold one - and neither has anyone on my behalf.

"Now I know that standards have slipped in the last few years in Washington, but for a lawyer you are remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice. I am here today but last week you already found me guilty. You traduced my name around the world without ever having asked me a single question, without ever having contacted me, without ever written to me or telephoned me, without any attempt to contact me whatsoever. And you call that justice.
Coleman's committee is one of several investigating the Oil-for-Food scandal that has given anti-U.N. Republicans plenty of ammunition. Yet the committee's treatment of Galloway as well as revelations regarding U.S. indifference to U.S. companies profiting from the same corruption is likely to fly back in Republican's faces.

Galloway himself needed no help in chastising the committee. He appeared under oath to answer charges that he received kickbacks from Iraq and the following charges that those kickbacks have spurred him to be a leading figure in the anti-war movement before the U.S. invasion.
Now, Senator, I gave my heart and soul to oppose the policy that you promoted. I gave my political life's blood to try to stop the mass killing of Iraqis by the sanctions on Iraq which killed one million Iraqis, most of them children, most of them died before they even knew that they were Iraqis, but they died for no other reason other than that they were Iraqis with the misfortune to born at that time. I gave my heart and soul to stop you committing the disaster that you did commit in invading Iraq. And I told the world that your case for the war was a pack of lies.

"I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims did not have weapons of mass destruction. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to al-Qaeda. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11 2001. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that the Iraqi people would resist a British and American invasion of their country and that the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.

"Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 people paid with their lives; 1600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies; 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever on a pack of lies.
I have to pull the C-Span footage of this testimony up. Galloway ran rings around the committee and completely refuted every point they tried to make, including correcting incorrect data they had used to try and tarnish him

I can only assume that the committee felt that they could simply make their charges and something in the MP's background would have given him pause to sit, under oath, before a Senate committee. That's a proposition even a saint would be hesitant to accept.

As if to add insult to injury, Galloway appeared on Charlie Rose and was treated to a re-airing of all the Republican accusations that he had essentially proven wrong in his testimony. Rose is usually pretty good, but I was quite disappointed by his efforts.

Go and read the whole speech at Daily Kos.

- Murphy

No comments: