Decision ‘08 » Blog Archive » Claudia Rosett: Oil-For-Enron

If Claudia Rosett doesn’t ultimately write a book about Oil-For-Food, it will be a crime of major proportions. The intrepid journalist has looked under a few more rocks, and out pops – Enron. Just to spice things up a little, under other rock is Houston’s Bayoil engaging in anti-Semitic protocols to get oil from Saddam’s regime:

Layered into this scene is collaboration by Bayoil with Saddam in treating democratic Israel as a pariah state. Mr. Hyde’s investigators have discovered a letter, signed by Mr. Giangrandi on Sept. 9, 1999–and duly notarized–which appears to be a document solicited by Saddam’s regime as part of the deal for lucrative rights to buy underpriced oil via the U.N. program. “For and on behalf of Bayoil,” wrote Mr. Giangrandi. “We herewith confirm never to have sold directly or indirectly to Israel and further confirm that this policy will remain permanently in force during the entire validity of our contract.” A fax out of Houston from one of Mr. Chalmers’s associates now under indictment, a Bulgarian, Ludmil Dionissiev, stipulates in reference to a 1998 shipment of Iraqi oil that the vessel used “had never traded in Israel.”

Overseeing all this was a U.N. where the former head of Oil for Food, Benon Sevan, was evidently on the take from Saddam, and where investigators are still exploring a growing list of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s family and crony business connections to the program. And among those waiting to buy the Kirkuk crude and Basrah light thus filtered in the name of humanitarian aid out of Saddam’s Iraq was–could anyone make this stuff up?–Enron.