Thursday, March 27, 2008

US: Saddam Paid for Lawmakers' Iraq Trip

Democrat Congressmen David Bonior, Jim McDermott, and Mike Thompson went to Baghdad at Saddam's expense???: "WASHINGTON (AP) - Saddam Hussein's intelligence agency secretly financed a trip to Iraq for three U.S. lawmakers during the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion, federal prosecutors said Wednesday. The three anti-war Democrats made the trip in October 2002, while the Bush administration was trying to persuade Congress to authorize military action against Iraq. While traveling, they called for a diplomatic solution. Prosecutors say that trip was arranged by Muthanna Al-Hanooti, a Michigan charity official, who was charged Wednesday with setting up the junket at the behest of Saddam's regime. Iraqi intelligence officials allegedly paid for the trip through an intermediary and rewarded Al-Hanooti with 2 million barrels of Iraqi oil. The lawmakers are not named in the indictment but the dates correspond to a trip by Democratic Reps. Jim McDermott of Washington, David Bonior of Michigan and Mike Thompson of California. None was charged and Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said investigators 'have no information whatsoever' any of them knew the trip was underwritten by Saddam."
The only person charges is Al-Hanooti. These three members of Congress used the trip as an occasion to argue against the use of force to oust Saddam. So if Saddam paid for the trip it doesn't look good.

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