Sunday, February 13, 2005

The Saddam Oil Vouchers Affair

Inquiry and Analysis Series - No. 164 The Saddam Oil Vouchers Affair
By Dr. Nimrod Raphaeli*.

Introduction

On January 25, 2004, the Iraqi independent daily Al-Mada published a list of approximately 270 individuals and entities who were beneficiaries of Saddam Hussein's oil vouchers. [1] The report evoked reactions from many of those included in the list as well as from the Arab media, among them apologists for Saddam's regime. The fact that so many have opted for silence may give credence to the list's authenticity.

A former undersecretary in the Iraqi Ministry of Petroleum, Abd Al-Saheb Salman Qutb, said that the ministry possesses documents proving the authenticity of the list published by Al-Mada. The list was originally the property of the State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO), which was responsible for marketing Iraqi petroleum. [2] Mr. Qutb also said that the ministry was collecting the information for submission to Interpol, which could then pursue the voucher beneficiaries. [3]

The Iraqi Governing Council has focused on 46 foreign individuals and organizations included on the lists, primarily from neighboring countries, to determine appropriate action. [4] Council member Muwwafaq Al-Rabi'i said during a visit to Beirut that the council has "tons of documents" but emphasized that the publication of these documents will be handled in a constructive way and not "for the sake of vengeance and revenge." [5]

In describing what it called "the curse of the Iraqi vouchers," the London Arabic-language daily Al-Hayat said that it expects more names and details to be made public in the near future and anticipates the revelation of a scandal of vast dimensions transcending countries and continents, implicating many prominent individuals and organizations. [6]

Awesome overview of the UN"s oil for food program, and how they helped Saddam Hussein in his reign of terror. Lists the 270 individuals and entities who helped Saddam butcher people by providing him with a means to sell his oil.

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