Step clear of blinkered Washington politics, and terror webs become a lot easier to spot. From Australia, where the government-authorized Cole inquiry has been investigating alleged kickbacks paid to Saddam Hussein’s regime via the UN Oil-for-Food program, comes word that a number of officials of AWB, Ltd., one of the world’s largest wheat exporters, could face terrorism-related charges.
What for? For deals done under Oil-for-Food — a program that helped bankroll some of Saddam’s atrocities.
Here’s an excerpt from the AP story: “Australian laws that ban funding terrorist organizations could have been breached, according to evidence that AWB staff knew that $222 million in bribes paid to the former Iraq government through the U.N. Oil for Food program could have been funding atrocities, said an official inquiry’s senior investigating lawyer, John Agius.”
Note: Credit Australia as possibly the most honest country on the planet. While many of the worst offenders involved in Oil-for-Food — such as China, Russia, Syria — have done nothing whatsoever to penalize those who profited by colluding with Saddam to skim money meant for baby milk and medicine, Australia seems determined to delve into the matter and clean up its own mess. What a pity the UN itself hasn’t done that — instead we’ve had Kofi Annan describing the biggest humanitarian scam in history in terms such as “If there was a scandal… .”