Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Did Your Fill Up Benefit Saddam?

The Senate is looking at how Iraqi oil wound up in the US amid the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal.

Three different US government reports detail Saddam Hussein's efforts to make billions of dollars on illegal oil sales -- even though the UN had slapped stiff sanctions on Iraqi oil.

Saddam made his money by imposting illegal surcharges in the oil-for-food program. And American companies paid those illegal surcharges to get their hands on Iraqi oil.

Documents show that US companies bought at least 200 million barrels of illegal Iraqi oil. And the US government knew about at least 7 million barrels that left Iraq illegally in the weeks before the 2003 US-led invasion. But there's no evidence the US did anything to stop the shipments.

The UN repeatedly notified the US Office of Foreigh Assets Control of the scheme to smuggle oil to US companies. The US government never acted on the warnings. (Seattle PI)

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