Mon 28 Apr, 2003 09:21 pm
I am thinking we will be finding all manner of interesting items in Iraq, and since the Big Iraq thread gerrymanders all over the place, I was hoping we could address buried treasure and archival prizes here.
I looked for the printed story of documentation reportedly found, wherein it is stated that a veddy vocal anti-war type in British Parliament was paid $10 MIL by Saddam for anti-war vociferations.... Galloway? Not sure about the name. He couldn't be reached for comment, as he was vacationing in his Portugese castle. Hmmmm.
Also, saw good news on the ancient pottery front. Will bring back this article.
Anyone else having heard the British Parliament/Saddam link story, feel free to share info. All related comments and articles appreciated.
the US dangled 15 billion to Turkey. If that is true the man is an idiot. :-)
Antiquities 'handed in by Iraqis'
Looters cleaned out much of the national museum
More than 100 items looted from Iraqi museums have been handed in to US-led coalition forces, according to the American military.
They are said to include priceless manuscripts, a 7,000-year-old vase and one of the oldest bronze bas-relief representations of a bull.
The United States pledged to recover and repair priceless antiquities looted from Iraq's national museum in Baghdad and other institutions in the wake of the rout of Saddam Hussein's forces, and has offered rewards for their return.
Coalition forces were criticised for not protecting the national museum, which housed many treasures from "the cradle of civilisation".
Over the last 96 hours, we have had a whole lot of Iraqis contact our people up in Iraq and say: Actually, we know where a great many of these artefacts are
General Tommy Franks
Coalition forces commander
Iraqi antiquities summit meets
In a statement, US Central Command in the Gulf state of Qatar said: "Iraqis started to return the items after coalition forces began urging local residents to return any artefacts taken during the looting in Baghdad.
"One man returned a chest filled with priceless manuscripts and parchments to a nearby mosque, a local pianist returned 10 pieces including a broken statue of an Assyrian king dated to the 9th Century BC and one of the oldest recorded bronze bas-relief bulls.
"And after some negotiation, a man arrived with 46 stolen antiquities, then with eight more pieces, and finally with a 7,000-year-old vase.
"Every day, Iraqis approach coalition forces with information about missing antiquities, and coalition forces follow up and investigate those tips. Coalition forces will continue to work with the Iraqi people to recover priceless antiquities."
Leading international experts in Mesopotamian antiquities are due to meet in London on Tuesday to discuss ways to save Iraq's cultural heritage.
The meeting, jointly organised by the United Nations cultural organisation, Unesco, and the British Museum, will focus on how to help Iraqi curators and archaeologists following the looting of the country's museums.
Interpol has launched a worldwide hunt for stolen Iraqi treasures, and has warned collectors not to buy items they suspected had been stolen.
Two cultural advisers to the administration of US President George W Bush resigned in protest after US forces failed to prevent the looting and ransacking of the national museum in the chaos that followed the fall of Baghdad to US forces on 9 April.
Well, it's a start.
From the Associated Press
Report: Saddam Protected British Pol
Thursday April 24, 2003 6:10 PM
LONDON (AP) - A document found in Iraq shows that Saddam Hussein took steps to protect the reputation of a British legislator who vehemently opposed the U.S.-led war in Iraq, a British newspaper reported Thursday.
The front-page report in The Daily Telegraph was the latest in a series of allegations against George Galloway, a maverick member of the governing Labor Party who had met with Saddam and established a charity, the Mariam Appeal, that supported Iraq.
Galloway dismissed the Telegraph's allegations as lies and has instructed his attorneys to sue for libel.
The attorney general's office said the Charity Commission would investigate allegations that the Mariam Appeal used money for non-charitable purposes, such as Galloway's travel expenses, despite its promise to only fund the treatment of sick Iraqi children.
In addition, the Labor Party is investigating a report by the Telegraph that Galloway received money from Saddam's regime through the oil-for-food program. Galloway denied that report, too, calling it part of a ``smear campaign.''
In a Baghdad-dated story, The Telegraph reported Thursday it found a letter dated May 6, 2000, in files of the looted Iraqi Foreign Ministry showing Saddam sought to protect Galloway by severing his contacts with Mukhabarat, the Iraqi intelligence and secret police service.
``It is better not to engage the Mukhabarat in the relationship with George Galloway, as he has been a well-known politician since 1990, and discovery of his relationship with the Mukhabarat would damage him very much,'' Izzat Ibrahim, one of Saddam's deputies, said in the letter reported by The Telegraph.
The newspaper said the memo emerged from a committee that had been established to examine Galloway's alleged request for more money.
On Tuesday, The Telegraph produced a memo from a senior Mukhabarat officer that it said suggested Galloway was receiving about $600,000 a year from Saddam's regime.
The newspaper later reproduced a memo allegedly written in response to the request by a senior aide to Saddam. It said Galloway asked for ``exceptional support which we cannot afford.''
However, the committee agreed that existing arrangements with Galloway about the oil contracts should continue, The Telegraph said. Under U.N. resolutions that followed the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq was allowed to sell some oil to buy humanitarian supplies.
Galloway has said the documents were forgeries or had been doctored in a ``smear campaign against those who stood against the illegal and bloody war on Iraq and against its occupation by foreign forces.''
On Thursday, he told the British Broadcasting Corp., ``This is a lie of fantastic proportions which only the most credulous would believe. ... The idea that the Iraqi regime was channeling to me, personally, hundreds of thousands of pounds is simply absurd.''
Galloway has represented a district in Glasgow, Scotland, since 1987. In 1999, he drove from London to Baghdad in a red double-decker bus, receiving a hero's welcome.
During the Iraq war, Galloway gave an interview with Abu Dhabi TV accusing President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair of attacking Iraq ``like wolves,'' and calling on British soldiers to refuse to fight.
From the BBC. Interested to see the follow up. A reporter on the tube today said England is all over this story. Can any Brits give insight to what is being said across the pond?
I think it would require an enormous amount of imagination to believe that someone went to the trouble of composing a forged document in Arabic and then planting it in a file of patently authentic documents and burying it in a darkened room on the off-chance that a British journalist might happen upon it and might bother to translate it. That strikes me as so wildly improbable as to be virtually inconceivableSlate is full of good stuff.
Slide your cursor over 'News' on the left side of the page.
The story about Galloway broke in two media: the Daily Telegraph and the Christian Science Monitor. The latter has now retracted the entire story, publishing details about the forgeries it had gone on and expressing regret and self-reproach in an editor's note. The Telegraph, meanwhile, based its story on different documents and seems to be standing by it for now.
Christian Science Monitor
from the June 20, 2003 edition
Galloway papers deemed forgeries
Iraq experts, ink-aging tests discredit documents behind earlier Monitor story.
By staff writers of The Christian Science Monitor
On April 25, 2003, this newspaper ran a story about documents obtained in Iraq that alleged Saddam Hussein's regime had paid a British member of Parliament, George Galloway, $10 million over 11 years to promote its interests in the West.
An extensive Monitor investigation has subsequently determined that the six papers detailed in the April 25 piece are, in fact, almost certainly forgeries.
The Arabic text of the papers is inconsistent with known examples of Baghdad bureaucratic writing, and is replete with problematic language, says a leading US-based expert on Iraqi government documents. Signature lines and other format elements differ from genuine procedure.
The two "oldest" documents - dated 1992 and 1993 - were actually written within the past few months, according to a chemical analysis of their ink. The newest document - dated 2003 - appears to have been written at approximately the same time.
"At the time we published these documents, we felt they were newsworthy and appeared credible, although we did explicitly state in our article that we could not guarantee their authenticity," says Monitor editor Paul Van Slambrouck. "It is important to set the record straight: We are convinced the documents are bogus. We apologize to Mr. Galloway and to our readers."
Read rest of story
See also editor's note
Thanks for the update, nimh. I'd forgotten the story.
Guess he'll sue.
You are exactly referring to ...what?
Thanks for the update: I remembered this thread but couldn't find it the last few days :wink:
There were materials of the dissident former KGB general Kalugin available in Russian media in early '90s. I do not know whether any English or German versions are available online.
The same source disclosed direct financing of the Communist parties throughout the world by the CPSU Central Committee. And we must take into consideration that there were sufficient Communist factions in the parliaments of France and Italy.
Galloway wasn't paid, steissd, if you the responses/links above.
And it was no secret at all that the communist parties in Western Europe were paid by the Soviet Union - the DKP and any other.
More on the Chrisitian Science Monitor story re: Galloway:
The second to examine the papers was Gerald Richards, a forensics document examiner. A former chief of the document operations and research unit at the FBI, Mr. Richards is now an independent consultant based in Laurel, Md.
Mr. Richards scanned the Galloway papers under ultraviolet and infrared light for obvious physical signs of forgery.
In his tests, Richards found nothing untoward. Pen usage in the papers was consistent with standard bureaucratic procedure, he noted. For example, the pen used to sign the documents was different from the one that was used to write the date. That might indicate that an official signed the document, while an aide dated them.
"There is nothing that would indicate to me they are forgeries," says Richards. "If they are, it's somebody who knows what he's doing."
Richards cautioned that his type of examination is just one aspect of document forensics. Another, of equal or greater importance, is textual analysis.
For that, Bruce Fudge directed the Monitor to Hassan Mneimneh. As head of the Iraq Research and Documentation Project in Washington, Mr. Mneimneh has custody of some 3.2 million Iraqi government documents captured by the US or its allies in the 1991 Gulf War. He and his analysts have been poring over this trove for years in an effort to learn more about Iraq's intelligence services, military, and bureaucratic operations.
Mneimneh's first instinct was that something was not quite right about the Monitor's documents.
"I have literally reviewed hundreds of thousands of documents, and these [are] by far the neatest, tidiest I have ever seen," he says.
There is, for instance, the matter of the papers' handwritten dates. Purportedly, the documents as a whole cover a period starting in 1992 and ending in 2003. Yet the dates are written in nearly identical fashion - as if the same person were dashing them off all at once.
According to their dates, each individual document moved remarkably quickly through the Iraqi bureaucracy. From initiation at the lowest level to approval at the top allegedly took two or three days. Also, there are no reference numbers next to the signatures of officials who allegedly reviewed them and passed them on to other departments, for example. The Iraqi bureaucracy typically included such numbers for filing purposes, this expert says.
In addition, Mneimneh observes that signatures are followed by the official's name, written out, and then that person's rank, such as colonel, rather than the customary signature followed only by a title.
Finally, this expert found the language in the Monitor's six documents to be suspiciously blunt. The papers describe specific amounts of money requested and paid out, and to whom.
The Iraq Research and Documentation Project has many papers detailing payments to informers and government agents, and typically the language used in them is indirect. Invariably they do not name the person who is actually getting the money.
"They usually use a euphemism.... Then there is a file somewhere else where they correlate the euphemisms to actual names," Mneimneh says.
After examining copies of two pages of the Daily Telegraph's documents linking Galloway with the Hussein regime, Mneimneh pronounces them consistent, unlike their Monitor counterparts, with authentic Iraqi documents he has seen.
Moreover, a direct comparison of the language in the Monitor and Daily Telegraph document sets shows that they are somewhat contradictory.
The papers in the Monitor's possession alleged that Galloway began receiving funds from Iraq in the early 1990s. One of the Daily Telegraph's, dated January 2000, alleges that Iraqi officials were just beginning their consideration of a financial relationship with Galloway.
Of the Monitor's papers, he says, "My gut reaction to [these documents] is that they are extremely suspicious."
With growing doubts about the authenticity of the Galloway documents, Monitor editors decided to have the age of the ink analyzed, as well as to revisit the source of the documents in Baghdad.
Determining the age of a document by dating its ink is far from an exact science. Only a handful of US private labs do such work. Ink analysis generally isn't admissible in court.
On the recommendation of several forensic experts the Monitor turned to Valery Aginsky, an ink chemist with Riley & Welch Associates, Forensic Document Examinations, Inc., in East Lansing, Mich.
Dr. Aginsky first tested ink from the two alleged Galloway documents with the oldest dates - 1992 and 1993. He found that the ink components had not yet finished aging, a process that typically takes no more than two years.
The documents tested simply could not have been prepared when their dates said they were, according to Aginsky.
Aginsky then compared the ink from these older-dated documents with that from a document dated 2003. He determined that they were aging at the same rate - meaning that these papers had most likely been written at approximately the same time and not over a period of a decade, as their written dates claimed.
"It is 90 percent probable that these documents have been prepared recently," he says.
Meet General Rasool
In Baghdad, Monitor reporter Ilene Prusher met with General Rasool, the source of the Monitor's documents. Rasool repeated most of the account he had earlier given Smucker.
In April, the general had told Smucker that his whole family had been killed by the Hussein regime, and that he himself had served time in prison. When the Americans neared Baghdad, and the Baath Party melted away, Rasool said, he and some associates had stormed into a house used by Qusay Hussein.
Rasool said that they were in pursuit of deeds to property stolen from him by Hussein's henchmen. While in the house, they carted off numerous sacks of official-looking paper, according to the general.
As the discussion with Ms. Prusher progressed from there, a number of things became apparent:
The general was offering other documents alleging malfeasance on the part of a wide array of foreign public figures noted for their support of the Hussein regime. (When Smucker met the general earlier, Rasool denied having documents dealing with any foreign politicians other than Galloway.)
The papers from Qusay's house also "proved" that six of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers learned to fly in Iraq, according to the general.
Rasool did not directly ask for money, but he described current negotiations to sell documents to other parties.
After the Mail on Sunday published its May story questioning the veracity of documents from Rasool, and acknowledged paying for its own alleged Galloway papers, the Monitor published a short piece summarizing the Mail story and adding that "the Monitor did not pay for any of the Iraqi documents in its possession, nor was any payment ever discussed."
In fact, it's now clear that statement was technically accurate but incomplete. There was no direct payment to the general. But he let Smucker carry off three boxes of files, including the Galloway papers, only after Smucker paid the general's neighbor $800 to translate the documents during the next two days.
Smucker recalls that it was the general who brought up George Galloway's name first at their initial meeting. After the reporter indicated an interest, the general said he knew where those documents were, and that he could have them for Smucker in 24 hours. Smucker says Rasool told him that one of his neighbors, who left Baghdad to attend a Shiite pilgrimage in Karbala, held the documents.
Upon Smucker's return the next day, the general showed him the Galloway documents as well as the boxes of others on various subjects. After hiring the neighbor, Smucker left with the boxes.
"I had no knowledge that the general received any of the $800, though now that I know the documents are forgeries, I have my suspicions," says Smucker. "At the time I was operating on the premise that these were entirely authentic."
Staff writers Faye Bowers in Washington and Ilene R. Prusher in Baghdad contributed to this report.
Improving Schools With Citizen Involvement
New Parent-Teacher Association guides Baghdad school repairs
"It's making a big difference. Before, we were begging for money from the government. Now organizations come to us and ask to reconstruct our school."
- Khalde Ibrahim, headmistress of the Ibn Al-Haitham Elementary School in central Baghdad
The Ibn Al-Haitham Elementary School, located along a busy neighborhood street in central Baghdad, was being repaired with a $40,000 grant -- from USAID, working under the Coalition Provisional Authority -- plus $2,100 collected by the community.
But beyond the materials and workmen's salaries, the long-neglected school system for 460 students is embarking on self-government for the first time through a new Parent Teacher Association (PTA) -- set up through the USAID aid program.
The five parents and six teachers in the new PTA are also acting as advocates for the school. They asked aid officials for computers, chairs, tables, coolers and other equipment. PTA members supervised the repairs and volunteered to clean the school. This is a new role for parents and teachers in Iraq which had long been controlled by remote and dictatorial government officials.
Ibrahim said she is thankful to Americans for helping improve salaries for teachers, which increased from $5 per month under Saddam Hussein to $180 per month, and for improving the condition of the school.
Schools becoming self-governed...
Never came back to this thread to post an update about how Galloway eventually won 150,000 GBP in damages in a libel suit against the Telegraph over its allegations and the way it reported them.
Was reminded now by Steve's thread about Galloway's performance in the US Senate
today, where he faced allegations roughly mirroring the Telegraph's last year. Here's two links about the libel case:
The Times: Galloway wins £150,000 in Telegraph libel case
The Guardian: Galloway wins libel case against Telegraph
Having been expelled from the Labour Party last year, Galloway was spectacularly elected back in as an MP for Respect
, a coalition of far-left groups that's openly going for the Muslim-British vote, in London's East End constituency Bethnal Green and Bow in this month's elections. It was a fierce, at times even violent race
that brought back memories of the East End's raucous past of fascists and communists.
I doubt, Sofia/Lash is/was interested in such updates
15 times as many tanks and none of them any good