It did, according to the Senate Committee hearings yesterday, up through 2003.
But first, the Oil-for-Food quote of the day from the New York Post Online: Juan Zarate, a Treasury official investigating terrorist financing, told the [Senate] committee, “It is likely that some of these funds ended up in the coffers that are now available” to finance “the Iraqi insurgency and terrorism inside and outside of Iraq.”
As we now know that fund worked from a base of 21.3 billion and counting. That’s some number from which to finance an insurrection. plenty of financial wiggle room. No wonder things are so complicated at present in Iraq, though I remain optimistic they can be overcome and am prepared to stay the course. We have to.
But here’s my thought for the day. Suppose the US had not invaded Iraq and the Oil-for-Food scam had continued apace, netting billions a year for Saddam and his cohorts? What would that money have been used for? Well, probably some variation of what it had always been used for — castles, cars, planes and more and more weapons of all kinds, some manufactured and some bought, distributed to Saddam and his allies. Soon enough the already fat spigots would expand (with UN endorsement, no doubt) and the gush of money increase. Think about that in light of the brain dead, self-immolating incantation of “No WMDs!” offered us by the self-described left as justification for their naive isolationism. A cash flow like that provided by UNSCUM could finance enough WMDs to destroy the world many times over with the resources to hide them simultaneously under practically every sand dune from Mongolia to the Mojave (they probably already have). Left alone, the United Nations and Saddam would have put civilization in tremendous jeopardy. Sound exaggerated? Think about it. The UN Oil-for-Food Scandal was justification by itself to invade Iraq – far more than enough.