Tuesday, May 10, 2005

OIL FOR NEWS PROGRAM IN SADDAM'S IRAQ

'Uday's Oil-for-News Program'

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross emails Solomonia about his latest piece in the Weekly Standard -

...My article discusses never-seen-before footage that recently aired on the U.S.-funded Arabic satellite network al-Hurra that shows Uday Husseins interactions with various Arab journalists, and fully displays the journalists sycophancy. Among other things, this footage recorded by Saddams regime itself shows Uday meeting with a former al-Jazeera managing director. Some of the journalists who Uday met with were also covertly on the Baathist payroll, taking kickbacks courtesy of the oil-for food program. I thought your readers might be interested in knowing about the al-Hurra tapes.

While this article can't be accessed on the Weekly Standard's website without a subscription, it can be found at the Counterterrorism Blog.

You can download the article there in Word. Here is a clip from it -

...al-Ali never denies saying that Al Jazeera was Saddam's station. Instead, his cloying remarks provide Uday every reason to believe that this is so. Al-Ali gives Uday his "unequivocal thanks for the precious trust that you put in me so that I was able to play a role at Al Jazeera; indeed I can even say that without your kind cooperation with us and your support my mission would have failed." Al-Ali also tells Uday that, in his mission at Al Jazeera to serve Iraq, "the lion's share of the credit goes to you personally sir, yet we would be remiss not to mention our colleagues here who constantly strive to implement your directive."

Al Jazeera isn't the only Arab media outlet implicated in the Al Hurra tapes. It was recently discovered that Hamida Naanaa, a Syrian writer based in France who was known for her pro-Saddam slant, had received coupons under the Oil-for-Food program in exchange for her favorable coverage. Al Hurra alleges that Saddam's regime would hand out two types of oil coupons to Arab media figures: silver coupons that entitled their holders to a maximum of 9 million barrels of oil, and gold coupons that were good for even more. Naanaa had received a gold coupon.

Bribery evidently yields its privileges; in its exposé, Al Hurra showed new footage of a meeting between Naanaa and Uday that reveals her obsequiousness and sycophancy toward the dictator's son. After Uday greets Naanaa, she gushes, "Hello to you, the dear son of the dear and the precious son of the precious. Hello, is kissing allowed?" Kissing was indeed allowed...

I wonder if they show any of this in the movie Control Room? LOL!

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