Sunday, June 05, 2005

Saddam's Aides: Singing 'Like a Canary' - Newsweek Periscope - MSNBC.com

Saddam's Aides: Singing 'Like a Canary' - Newsweek Periscope - MSNBC.com:

"June 13 issue - Some of Saddam Hussein's most notorious former lieutenants have been dishing dirt. Senate investigators looking into prewar U.N. Oil-for-Food deals have named Saddam's former personal secretary and security chief, Abid Hamid Mahmoud al-Tikriti, former vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan and former foreign minister Tariq Aziz as key witnesses who have provided inside info about Saddam's regime.

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Senate staffers traveled to Baghdad earlier this year to interview Iraqi officials, and their reports are among the first official accounts of what captured Iraqi leaders are saying. 'In interview after interview, the officials were generally forthcoming and quite proud—even boastful—of their creativity in undermining U.N. sanctions,' says Sen. Norm Coleman, who leads one of several congressional probes into Saddam-era oil deals. According to Senate documents, Ramadan is one of the most talkative captives, supplying pithy quotes about how Saddam allegedly manipulated the prewar oil program to buy support from influential foreigners. Senate investigators quote Ramadan saying that Saddam's regime gave foreigners oil allocations—which could be cashed in for lucrative brokerage fees—as 'compensation for support.' "

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