|FROM ||Mike Richardson - NYLXS PRESIDENT
|SUBJECT ||Re: [hangout] Poor French are upset we discovered their corruption
>From what I rea the French are upset in the way this was handled, and the
nameing of non US persons without naming US persons.
On Sat, 9 Oct 2004, Ruben Safir Secretary NYLXS wrote:
> WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 - The Bush administration's handling this week of a
> report on Saddam Hussein's attempts to purchase weapons and buy
> influence has angered French officials and set back a year of American
> efforts to repair the rupture caused by the Iraq war, French and other
> European officials said Friday.
> The anger of France and others is focused on the assertions in the
> report by Charles A. Duelfer, the top American arms inspector in Iraq,
> that French companies and individuals, some with close ties to the
> government, enriched themselves through Iraq's efforts to gain
> influence around the world in the years before the war.
> Administration spokesmen said Friday that there was no intent in
> releasing the report to endorse its findings or blame France or any
> other country for corruption, or to link any alleged corruption to that
> country's subsequent opposition to the war in Iraq.
> On the other hand, Vice President Dick Cheney and others in the
> administration are citing the Duelfer report as evidence that Mr.
> Hussein had sought to corrupt foreign countries in order to have
> sanctions on Iraq lifted. Although Mr. Cheney did not say so directly,
> French officials say it was obvious that he was referring to France and
> other countries that had opposed the war.
> French officials say that the report's charges, based on documents and
> interviews in Iraq, have been denied in the past, but that Mr.
> Duelfer's report did not contain the denials. They also complain that
> France was not given more than one day's notice before the report was
> They were incensed that the report also mentioned Americans in
> connection with similar charges but that unlike the French they were
> not identified because of American privacy regulations.
> "You protect American citizens, but you put in danger a number of
> private citizens in other countries who may be innocent people," said
> Jean-David Levitte, the French ambassador to the United States. "These
> names are from an old list, published months ago, and those mentioned
> denied it flatly."
> A European diplomat said the damage to French-American relations was so
> great that it could disrupt a new spirit of cooperation with France on
> other fronts, namely the joint American and European efforts to put
> pressure on Iran to dismantle its suspected nuclear weapons program and
> to organize an international conference next month on Iraq.
> "This report does great damage," Mr. Levitte said. "There really is a
> sense of outrage in Paris. We don't want to create a situation that
> will put us back to one year ago. But these are dirty tricks at the
> expense of France, with the White House putting the finger on the name
> of France." Mr. Duelfer's main conclusion - that Iraq did not have
> unconventional weapons when the Bush administration was charging that
> it had them - got the most publicity when the 918-page report was
> But the administration highlighted charges that under Mr. Hussein, Iraq
> was successful in circumventing the sanctions placed on it by the
> United Nations by purchasing conventional weapons with money siphoned
> fraudulently from a program authorized by the United Nations in 1996,
> allowing Iraq to sell oil and use the revenue for food, medicine and
> other human necessities.
> To curry favor around the world, Iraq set up a system in which some
> individuals and companies were able to profit by manipulating the
> oil-for-food program. Among those enriched in this process, the report
> said, were French, Russian and other officials.
> Administration spokesmen said Friday that the United States did not
> endorse the allegations that anyone was enriched by Iraq's practices,
> only that Iraq was trying to buy influence and weaken sanctions.
> "It doesn't say that those transactions were completed," said Richard
> A. Boucher, the State Department spokesman. "It doesn't say whether or
> not governments intervened. It doesn't say whether or not the
> individuals declined. It doesn't really say what happened."
> But that was not the tone adopted by Mr. Cheney and other officials
> caught up in President Bush's tough re-election campaign. In Florida on
> Thursday, Mr. Cheney said Mr. Hussein had used oil funds to corrupt
> "some employees of the United Nations as well as other governments in
> the hopes that they would work with him to undermine the sanctions."
> A day before releasing the Duelfer report, the State Department called
> in officials from several embassies in Washington to give them a
> preview. That meeting itself stirred anger, according to those who
> attended. "We were not given the text of the report," said a diplomat
> from a country other than France. "We were directed to the C.I.A. Web
> site, and we couldn't download it," because the site was swamped.
> Mr. Levitte said he had called top officials at the White House and the
> State Department to protest "in very strong terms that I considered
> this very unfair and not good behavior from a great democracy, to
> protect your own citizens and give publicity to others in the Web site
> of the C.I.A."
> He said the officials had "noted with some embarrassment that I had a
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