Saturday, April 04, 2009

Ward Churchill "Quotes" Denis Halliday (But the Wardo Can't Spell Halliday!)

"[T]he oil-for-food program... ultimately proved to be a cash cow masquerading as a humanitarian aid program."---Mark J. Mershon, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s New York office (NBC News 1-6-06)

"The [oil for food] scandal, quote, unquote, is, in my view, nonsense."---Denis Halliday, former United Nations Assistant Secretary General, November 2004

Who is Denis Halliday?

Denis Halliday is a former U.N. Assistant Secretary General who worked on the U.N. Oil-for Food Program.

Halliday was very briefly (September 1997-September 1998) the U.N.'s Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq and was involved with what turned out to be the corrupt Oil-for-Food Program.

NBC News (1-6-2006) explains:

The oil-for-food program ran from 1996 to 2003. It was created to help Iraqis cope with U.N. sanctions imposed after Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. It let the Iraqi government sell limited — and eventually unlimited — amounts of oil primarily to buy humanitarian goods.

I have some details about the program here.

When it came to light that Saddam was paying-off U.N. officials, government officials, and businessmen to evade the sanctions, The Wall Street Journal (9-9-05) reported that Denis Halliday mocked the Volcker investigation:

"The scandal, quote, unquote, is, in my view, nonsense." Thus did Denis Halliday, a former United Nations Assistant Secretary General, opine in November 2004 on the U.N.'s Oil for Food program. With the release Wednesday of Paul Volcker's fourth report on Oil for Food, we have the clearest account yet of what this quote-unquote scandal is really about.

In his 9-11 essay, the propagandist Ward Churchill cites the Denis Halliday as a reliable source and claims:

[F]ormer U.N. Assistant Secretary General Denis Halladay [sic--Halliday], repeatedly denounced what was happening [under the U.N. sanctions imposed on Iraq after Saddam's army invaded Kuwait, killed their people, and set their oil fields afire] as "a systematic program...of deliberate genocide." His statements appeared in the New York Times and other papers during the fall of 1998 [no cite], so it can hardly be contended that the American public was "unaware" of them. Shortly thereafter, Secretary of State Madeline [sic--U.N. Ambassador/Madeleine] Albright openly confirmed Halladay's [sic] assessment. Asked during the widely-viewed TV program Meet the Press [sic--60 Minutes, May 12, 1996] to respond to his "allegations," she calmly announced that she'd decided it was "worth the price" to see that U.S. objectives were achieved. [My comments and emphasis in red.]

In fact, as I have noted in my analysis of Churchill's dishonest 9-11 essay "Some People Push Back," Albright was responding clumsily to a loaded question Lesley Stahl asked on 60 Minutes (May 12, 1996). She wasn't confirming Halliday's alleged claim of genocide in the NYT in fall of 1998.

I have not been able to find Denis Halliday saying that what was happening in Iraq was "a systematic program...of deliberate genocide." Ward Churchill puts quotes around this and claims this is a quote from the New York Times in the fall of 1998.


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