Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Galloway by a knockout - before round five

/ accused / to / accuser /

Say what you will about Gorgeous George, the man has got perseverance. An anti-war Labour MP, he was slandered as being on Saddam's payroll on both sides of the Atlantic, he won one apology and two legal victories, against his detractors.

He then proceded to be re-elected as a member of parliament for the Respect coalition, winning the seat from a pro-war Blairite.

[This is not the first time a Leftist British political figure has been politically "assasinated" through slander. It's just that this time - Galloway is fighting back.]

Yet the accusations resurfaced. and were taken up by the US Senate. Never mind that the oil smuggling went on with Washington's tacit approval.

So Galloway flew to Washington to give his accusers both barrels of the gun. And, boy, did he do just that. The quotes linked to from the post title above are quite delicious. He turned the tables on the US Senate:

Far from displaying the forelock-tugging deference to which senators are accustomed, Mr Galloway went on the attack.

He rubbished committee chairman Norm Coleman's dossier of evidence and stared him in the eye.

"Now I know that standards have slipped over the last few years in Washington, but for a lawyer, you are remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice," the MP declared.

The whole room scanned Mr Coleman's face for a reaction. The senator shifted in his seat - nervously it seemed.

It was the first time a British politician had been interrogated as a hostile witness at the US Senate - but Mr Galloway cast himself not as the accused, but the accuser.

[Faint echoes of Dimitrov in the Reichstag trials? (yes, I exaggerate)]

"I have met Saddam Hussein exactly the same number of times as Donald Rumsfeld met him. The difference is that Donald Rumsfeld met him to sell him guns and to give him maps the better to target those guns."

"Senator [Coleman], in everything I said about Iraq I turned out to be right and you turned out to be wrong and 100,000 have paid with their lives, 1,600 of them American soldiers sent to their deaths on a pack of lies."

Meaders over at Dead Men Left, points out to a Socialist Worker story, proving that the central documents in the case against Galloway are quite clumsy forgeries. What's more they have the testimony of a guy that took part in the forgeries:

...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...

Watching Coleman today "all reactionaries are paper tigers" didn't seem to be much off the mark.


kkk said...

Nice post talos,

I was going to write something about it myself, but in the end I couldn't be arsed.

Now I am not the world's greatest fan of the Left, and much less so of "Respect" (candidate for Misnomer of the Decade), but as a religiously devout believer in Credit where Credit is Due I take off my hat to, and salute mr. Galloway on his perormance.

Truth be told, the Yanks walked into that one!!

Long used to the inane deference to Senate committees which you mentioned, they have probably long forgotten what a militant lefty, out for a scrap, looks and sounds like. Galloway probably couldn't believe his luck when he was subpoenaed.

Well done George, you made my day, anyway. If circumstances ever force me to live in Bengal Green and Bow, I'll even for you. We sorely need the entertainment.

Yup, they were dancing in the streets of Dakka with that little performance. But what the hell, give'em.

Anyone who can still fluster those complacent morons (and believe me, flustered they were) is good news in my book.

kkk said...

Yes, I meant to write "I'll even vote for you".
Obviously my unconcious caught up with me, and almost put paid to that little idea.

SOL said...

This is what i was missing. Thanks Talos.

talos said...

The Senate website is mysteriously missing Galloway's testimony as of 3:00 am Athens time 19/05/05. No real media multimedia file either. If it isn't there in a few hours, I would be hard pressed to see this as a simple mistake.

Also the New York Post seems quite impressed by Galloway.

lazopolis said...

I'd heard nothing about the story until two days ago when i watched Galloway as a guest in BBC's "question time". I enjoyed his performance there too and it looked like the audience acknowledged his Senate defence, which, as a member of the audience said, "might help in kicking out the war criminal that is currently occupying Downing street"!

I didn't know british politics could be that interesting...