Socialist Worker

An Iraqi reveals how he forged an oil for food list

Issue No. 1952

There is other clear evidence of forgery surrounding the oil for food documents.

The first list of alleged “beneficiaries of Saddam Hussein’s oil vouchers” appeared on 25 January 2004 in the Al-Mada newspaper, published in the US-run Green Zone of Baghdad.

The paper claimed to have obtained a list (in Arabic) of 270 organisations and individuals awarded allocations of oil by Saddam’s regime. Al-Mada published the names, including George Galloway.

There is testimony that this document is also a forgery. On 10 February 2004 the newspaper Al-Watan published the account of Sajad Ahmad Ali.

He explained how he forged the original Arabic document obtained by Al-Mada:

“I’d like to indicate here that it was us who made — that is to say we forged — this list of names and titles of people who got money from the ministry of information, the palace and the oil for food programme.

“The person who took charge of this task is called Abu-Salim and he got four individuals to work on the project, one of whom was me.

“The first time Abu-Salim got in touch with us was about half way through December [2003]. Afterwards Abu-Salim brought us a list of names, titles and jobs. He also gave us a draft copy of what we had to write next to them.

“We worked for ten days, and then we steamed the papers a bit, then dried them out so that they would look old. I made a few mistakes in some of the lists.

“I neglected to put in the name of the Baath Party in Mali, and the name of the imam of the mosque in Taskhent and the name of an Iraqi teacher who works in a university in Libya.

“I pointed out these errors to Abu-Salim but he wasn’t bothered, saying ‘it isn’t important’.

“We didn’t know who asked for this list of names, and I still don’t know who he is, nor what he did with it.”

There is a link between the forged Arabic list and the English documents reproduced in the Duelfer Report.

We have confirmation of this from Claude Hankes-Drielsma. He was brought to Iraq after the US invasion as an adviser to the stooge Iraq governing council.

Having previously worked for international accountants KPMG, he was hired by Ahmed Chalabi — then an ally of the US on the governing council — to examine the oil trade under Saddam Hussein.

Hankes-Drielsma, giving evidence to the US house international relations committee in April 2004, said, “In December 2003 I was shown a list of those who purchased crude oil through the UN programme.”

He went on to confirm that “the lists I had seen in Baghdad were released to an Iraqi newspaper (Al-Mada)”.

The lists seen and collected by Hankes-Drielsma’s team were seized by the US in June 2004 and form the background to the Duelfer Report.

For the full article (in Arabic) go to www.alwatanvoice.com/articles.php?go=articles&id=3090


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