Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 19, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

GEORGE GALLOWAY UPDATE....A couple of months ago I blogged about a Daily Telegraph reporter who had rummaged around burned out Iraqi ministry buildings and found documents indicating that lefty MP George Galloway had accepted about half a million dollars a year from Saddam Hussein via oil sales starting in 2000. The Christian Science Monitor ran a similar story based on different documents alleging that Galloway had accepted $10 million over the past decade from Saddam's government.

Today, via TBOGG, I find that the Christian Science Monitor has found that its documents were forgeries:

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.

The Telegraph documents still appear to be genuine, but they are also somewhat fuzzier about exactly what Galloway allegedly did and when he did it.

So where did the forgeries come from? And isn't it odd that they would coincidentally be on the exact same subject as the Telegraph's documents? As so often with supposed smoking guns in the Iraq war, I suspect this story will eventually turn out to contain less than meets the eye.

Kevin Drum 10:58 PM Permalink | Trackbacks

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