But hey, we should put more trust into the UN. lol
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The Central Intelligence Agency has published hundreds of names of people, firms, political parties and government officials Saddam Hussein purportedly tried to buy off to get U.N. sanctions lifted.
At the same time, Saddam and his government managed to amass some $11 billion through shadowy deals to circumvent the sanctions, first imposed in 1990 and lifted after the U.S.-led invasion a year ago, said the report, released on Wednesday.
The report was part of a 1,200-page survey for the CIA by Charles Duelfer, a former U.N. weapons inspector, who concluded Iraq had no stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons or a nuclear arms program before the U.S. invasion last year.
It was published on the CIA's Website: www.cia.gov.
The former government's scheme included making deals with firms in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen to acquire prohibited items, the report said.
The published lists show how much oil individuals, political parties or firms from more than 40 countries purportedly were allocated and the names of the companies contract to lift oil on their behalf.
The list cited names from France, Russia and China, all permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, which supervised the program.
Accusations again emerged against Benon Sevan, head of the now-defunct U.N. oil-for-food humanitarian program that handled $67 billion. He is listed as a U.N. official, called Mr. Sifan, and has vigorously denied the allegations.
The United Nations has said it had turned over all documents to an investigatory commission headed by Paul Volcker, the former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman.
13 SECRET FILES
Others on the lengthy list include Russian ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky and his Russian Liberal Democrat Party, Charles Pasqua, a former French interior minister, Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, the son of Lebanese President Emile Lahoud and the Peoples Liberation Front of Palestine.
The lists, parts of which had been published previously, were compiled from 13 secret files maintained by former Iraqi vice-president Taha Yassin Ramadan and the former oil minister, Amir Rashid.
But there was no independent verification. "We name those individuals and entities here in the interest of candor, clarity and thoroughness," the report said, adding that it did not "investigate or judge those non-Iraqi individuals."
Several U.S. firms were on the list but their names were not released because of privacy laws.
Iraq was under a sweeping U.N. trade embargo beginning August 1990 after it invaded Kuwait. The sanctions were lifted after the U.S. invasion.
At the end of 1996, the United Nations and Iraq began the oil-for-food program that allowed Baghdad to buy civilian goods and sell oil to pay for them under U.N. monitoring. But since 1990, Iraq, openly shipped oil by truck to Jordan and Turkey, with the United States and others turning a blind eye.
The report said oil deals with various governments generated over $7.5 billion for Saddam from the early 1990s until the start of the 2003 war.
Iraq earned an additional $3 billion from kickbacks or surcharges on oil, smuggling and other schemes, the report said.
Oil companies were forced to pay surcharges, which by late 2000 amounted to 25 to 50 cents per barrel, industry sources said at the time. Britain and the United States eventually stopped the practice by insisting U.N. oil prices be set retroactively to cut the surcharge.
U.S. oil companies purchased Iraqi crude from middlemen rather from Baghdad. But by early 2003, the United States was consuming 67 percent of Iraqi crude, by far the largest buyer.