Post-9-11 events and analyses
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Bush special envoy embroiled in controversy over Iraq debt: "President Bush's special envoy, James Baker, who has been trying to persuade the world to forgive Iraq's crushing debts, is simultaneously working for a commercial concern that is trying to recover money from Iraq, according to confidential documents.
Mr Baker's Carlyle Group is in a consortium secretly proposing to try to collect $27bn (£15bn) on behalf of Kuwait, one of Iraq's biggest creditors, by using high-level political influence. It claims Mr Baker will not benefit personally, but the consortium could make millions in fees, retainers and commission as a result. ..
One international lawyer described the consortium's scheme as "influence peddling of the crassest kind". Jerome Levinson, an expert on political and corporate ethics at American University in Washington, told the Guardian: "The consortium is saying to the Kuwaiti government, 'Through us you have the only chance to realize a substantial part of the debt. Why? Because of who we are and who we know'." " This proposal was put on hold upon Baker's appointment, but other deals continue, including a fund to manage $1b in investments for Kuwait. 8:53:57 AM
The CIA 'old guard' goes to war with Bush
: "In the latest clash, a senior former CIA agent revealed that Mr Cheney "blew up" when a report into links between the Saddam regime and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the terrorist behind the kidnappings and beheadings of hostages in Iraq, including the Briton Kenneth Bigley, proved inconclusive. Other recent leaks have included the contents of classified reports drawn up by CIA analysts before the invasion of Iraq, warning the White House about the dangers of post-war instability. Specifically, the reports said that rogue Ba'athist elements might team up with terrorist groups to wage a guerrilla war.
Critics of the White House include officials who have served in previous Republican administrations such as Vince Cannistraro, a former CIA head of counter-terrorism and member of the National Security Council under Ronald Reagan. "These have been an extraordinary four years for the CIA and the political pressure to come up with the right results has been enormous, particularly from Vice-President Cheney. "I'm afraid that the agency is guilty of bending over backwards to please the administration. George Tenet was desperate to give them what they wanted and that was a complete disaster."" 12:07:29 AM