Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Rep McDermott's Iraq Trip Bought and Paid for by U.N. Scandal Money

The following Press Release was brought to you by the NRCC. Jim McDermott is a super lefty, super commy and clearly always votes to end the embargo. I am not shocked one bit he is particiating in less the perfect situations...

Jim McDermott's Iraq Trip Bought and Paid for by U.N. Scandal Money
Congressman traveled to Iraq with accused friend

Washington – Just when it seemed U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott's (WA-07) ethical rap sheet couldn't get any more scandalous, it appears he's adding his ties to one of history's greatest scandals. When Paul Volcker's final report on the United Nations oil-for-food scandal was released recently, a friend of McDermott, who traveled with him to Iraq, was listed as a beneficiary.

Detroit-area businessman Shakir Al-Khafaji is alleged to have received oil money from Saddam Hussein's government under the failed U.N. program that was ravaged by illegal kickbacks and bribes. During a 2002 trip to Iraq, McDermott not only traveled on the dime of an organization financially supported by Al-Khafaji, but was actually accompanied by the scandal-ridden businessman with ties to Hussein's Baath Party.

"Jim McDermott will stop at nothing to be in the spotlight, even if it means traveling with one of Saddam Hussein's accomplices in the U.N. Oil-for-Food scandal," said National Republican Congressional Committee Communications Director Carl Forti. "Jim McDermott's cozy relationship with Shakir Al-Khafaji truly makes him the poster child of House Democrats' questionable ethics and shady friendships."

According to Crain's Detroit Business, "Al-Khafaji led a delegation of anti-war Congressmen to Iraq in 2002 that included former Rep. David Bonior and Jim McDermott. ... Al-Khafaji and his wife ... gave ... more than $5,000 to McDermott for a legal defense fund..." McDermott has since returned the money, though he has characterized his relationship with Al-Khafaji as "... a friend [who] gives me money."

"Sadly, the very money that Saddam Hussein bilked from the Iraqi people made its way back into the pocket of Jim McDermott's traveling partner and helped finance his Iraq adventure," added Forti.