Socialist Worker

Paper admits that documents were fake

Issue No. 1857

THE spectacular libel against George Galloway by the US paper the Christian Science Monitor has come crashing down. The paper admitted last week that its story about Galloway receiving $10 million from Saddam Hussein's regime was based on documents that were crude forgeries. It has apologised to Galloway. Rightly, he has refused to let the paper off the hook.

The paper published the damaging claim against Galloway without bothering to authenticate the documents it was based on, which quickly turned out to be forgeries. Now belatedly it has admitted the truth. Galloway is still pressing for damages from the Christian Science Monitor, which splashed its lie in 93 countries.

Many other questions remain. Who forged the documents? And who knew about them? The journalist who wrote the libellous story in the Christian Science Monitor was Philip Smucker. Smucker has also worked for the Daily Telegraph. The Telegraph was the paper which kicked off the witch-hunt against Galloway with claims that he was paid £375,000 by Saddam Hussein.

Galloway has demanded that the British government investigate the conspiracy against him. Instead, New Labour has suspended Galloway from the party for comments he made denouncing the war. New Labour's deputy general secretary Chris Lennie met George Galloway last week and simply refused to go through the substance of why he has been suspended from the party.

The issue will now be raised at a subcommittee of Labour's National Executive Committee on 7 July, and could rumble on to the party conference in the autumn.

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