Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Galloway asks for perjury charges

Senator Ron Coleman (R–MN) claims to have proof that British MP George Galloway (Respect Party, Bethnal Green & Bow district of greater London) lied under oath when he appeared on 2005-05-17 before the Senate subcommittee investigating the U.N. "Oil for Food" program scandal. Galloway flew to Washington in May to rebut claims the committee made that Galloway had personally profited from oil trading with the Saddam Hussein régime. His fiery testimony came as a major culture shock to the Senators; rather than meekly quibbling over technicalities, Galloway blasted back with his own accusations that Senator Coleman personally, and the Republicans in Congress and the White House generally, had taken the United States into a war against Iraq based on "a pack of lies."

I quoted this bit of Galloway's testimony back in May, but it bears repeating:

I gave my heart and soul to stop you committing the disaster that you did commit in invading Iraq, and I told the world that your case for the war was a pack of lies. I told the world that Iraq, contrary to your claims, did not have weapons of mass destruction. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to al Qaeda. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that Iraq had no connection to the atrocity on 9/11/2001. I told the world, contrary to your claims, that the Iraqi people would resist a British and American invasion of their country and that the fall of Baghdad would not be the beginning of the end, but merely the end of the beginning.

Senator, in everything I said about Iraq, I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong, and 100,000 people have paid with their lives — 1,600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies — 15,000 of them wounded, many of them disabled forever, on a pack of lies. — George Galloway, member of the British Parliament, testifying under oath before a U.S. Senate subcommittee, 2005-05-17
Senator Coleman now claims to have proof, including bank records, that Galloway's wife received approximately $150,000 in kickbacks from the oil-for-food program. Galloway is insisting that Coleman formally charge him with perjury, and has promised to return to Washington to answer the charges in court.

It looks to me like Senator Coleman just doesn't know when to give up. He now faces an utterly untenable choice: either humiliate himself by retracting the allegation, or risk further humiliating himself and the Bush administration by summoning Galloway to a courtroom. Even Fox News said that if Galloway lied under oath, he must be tried for perjury. Even if Galloway winds up convicted of perjury (something I view as highly unlikely), it would be at best a Pyrrhic victory for the Republicans. No matter the outcome, Senator Coleman has given the Honourable Mr. Galloway a podium and a megaphone to address the American public at a volatile moment.

Seriously, Normie, there are better ways to distract attention from the Harriet Miers nomination fiasco.