Like Christopher Hitchens, I was appalled by the inept response of the Coleman Committee to the testimony of George Galloway last week. The Senators are supposed to be up to speed on the Oil-for-Food follies, yet they seemed flummoxed by the British MP whose reputation, one would have thought, preceded him. And Coleman himself has a reputation as a prosecutor. Let’s hope the committee has a card to play up its sleeve (lying before Congress?). Anyway, here’s Hitchens:
After about 90 minutes of this cumulative testimony, Galloway was seated and sworn, and the humiliation began. The humiliation of the deliberative body, I mean. I once sat in the hearing room while a uniformed Oliver North hectored a Senate committee and instructed the legislative branch in its duties, and not since that day have I felt such alarm and frustration and disgust. Galloway has learned to master the word “neocon” and the acronym “AIPAC,” and he insulted the subcommittee for its deference to both of these. He took up much of his time in a demagogic attack on the lie-generated war in Iraq. He announced that he had never traded in a single barrel of oil, and he declared that he had never been a public supporter of the Saddam Hussein regime. As I had guessed he would, he made the most of the anonymity of the “senior Saddam regime official,” and protested at not knowing the identity of his accuser. He improved on this by suggesting that the person concerned might now be in a cell in Abu Ghraib.
Well, as Hitchens points out further on, there indeed may be grounds for indicting the MP, but Galloway has a genius for ‘slip-sliding away.’ You have to admire the rat’s language skills. Apropos of which, if we are to believe my buddy Gerard, another ‘old lag’ could use a dollop – or an infusion.