Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Useful Idiots

WASHINGTON - Saddam Hussein's intelligence agency secretly financed a trip to Iraq for three U.S. lawmakers during the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

An indictment unsealed in Detroit accuses Muthanna Al-Hanooti, a member of a Michigan nonprofit group, of arranging for three members of Congress to travel to Iraq in October 2002 at the behest of Saddam's regime. Prosecutors say Iraqi intelligence officials paid for the trip through an intermediary.


The lawmakers are not named in the indictment but the dates correspond to a trip by Democratic Reps. Jim McDermott of Washington, David Bonior of Michigan and Mike Thompson of California. There was no indication the three lawmakers knew the trip was underwritten by Saddam.

"Obviously we didn't know it at the time," McDermott spokesman Michael DeCesare said Wednesday. "The trip was to see the plight of the Iraqi children. That's the only reason we went."

That's not an excuse. This is why *any* engagement with a totalitarian regime that is not of a strictly apolitical nature (such as the recent New York Philharmonic trip to North Korea) or is adversarial in nature is a bad idea, because you will be used as a propaganda tool. Claiming ignorance is no excuse.

Anyone see any parallels to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing?

Oops, wrong link. Freudian slip I guess.