Saddam and those Playstations from Dec. 2000
I was watching the Fox News follow-up on the "Oil for Food" Scandal, and I recalled something that occurred back in 2000 that just has to be part of the debacle. First, let me give a quick outline of the different techniques he was using...and then I'll provide what I think is an example of one of the deals...
Saddam was allowed to pick his own business contacts and partners. Therefore, he was able to choose (exclusively) who would be involved in each deal.
1. He sold oil and extreme discounts. The purchaser then pocketed a huge profit and placed a kickback from the profits into an outside account accessible to Saddam.
2. Saddam purchased very low quality goods at high premium prices. Again, the business partners made an extremely high profit, and placed a kickback into Saddam's account.
3. Direct Aid workers were over paid for services and, again, a portion was placed in Saddam's account.
These kickbacks were used to purchase military equipment as well as items of luxury not related to the International Aid. Tanks listed as farm equipment. High end Scotch listed as medicine...you get the idea..
Now...search your memory back to December of 2000. Who recalls all the jokes being made about Iraq purchasing 4,000 Sony Playstation II's??? The purchases were made through the US and raised the attention of the FBI and the US Custom's Service.
Everyone had a theory. Even Intelligence agencies were saying that the Iraq might produce a primitive super computer and provide computer power to control an Iraqi unmanned aerial vehicle...or calculate ballistic data for long range missiles...They even suggested the possiblity of the parts being used in design of nuclear weapons.
That's not what I think went on here...but before I get to that...here is Joseph Farah's piece on the issue back in December of 2000.
Playing games with Iraq
© 2000 WorldNetDaily.com
What does Saddam Hussein have in common with the Grinch?
Probably more than any of us can imagine. Not only does he continue to be a menace to his neighbors, this year, in his quest to make Iraq a powerhouse of weapons of mass destruction, he is buying up thousands of Sony PlayStation 2s, and, thus, creating a high-tech game shortage in America this holiday season.
Both the U.S. Customs Service and the FBI are investigating the apparent transfer of large numbers of Sony PlayStation 2s to Iraq, according to military intelligence sources.
A secret Defense Intelligence Agency report, obtained by WorldNetDaily, states as many as 4,000 of the popular video game units have been purchased in the United States and shipped to Iraq in the last two to three months. (snip)
Joseph Farah Dec. 20, 2000
Ok, I think we all watch too much TV. I think this was all a sham. Sure, the Sony Playstations existed. They were probably checked box for box by the US Customs when they left The States....but somewhere between the US and Iraq I'll bet the shipping order and Bill of Lading got a tad bit skewed. The Playstations were probably off loaded and replaced with something else a bit less innocuous. Or, perhaps a portion were offloaded and turned over to a third party for sale with a portion of the profit ending up in the Iraqi coffers.
While we all had a nice chuckle thinking of a bunch of Iraqis in white lab coats playing Duke Nukem and building 21'st century weapons to the Mario Theme...chances are Saddam was having a nice laugh knowing that he took US products and turned a nice tidy profit right under our noses...
Just a thought.