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Congressional trip to Iraq brings criminal charges

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    This is so outrageous, the Zionists will stop at nothing! They should be criminalized for giving free trips to Israel. This was a fact-finding mission aimed at
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2, 2008
      This is so outrageous, the Zionists will stop at nothing! They should
      be criminalized for giving free trips to Israel. This was a
      fact-finding mission aimed at educating legislators about the effects
      of the Iraq war. "Life" has been saving Iraqi civilians' lives. They
      have always been working amicably with the US government until now.

      Man charged as Iraqi agent over Congress trip
      Wed Mar 26, 2008
      By Randall Mikkelsen

      WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An Iraqi-American who helped organize a
      controversial U.S. congressional trip to Baghdad in 2002 was charged
      on Wednesday with working for ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's
      government, which paid for the visit, the Justice Department said.

      The indictment against Muthanna al-Hanooti said Iraq's foreign
      intelligence service funneled $34,000 through the Islamic charity Life
      for Relief and Development to pay delegation expenses.

      It said al-Hanooti had been a lobbyist and public-relations
      coordinator for the charity, based in Southfield, Michigan.

      The indictment did not name the three lawmakers who took the trip in
      September-October 2002, less than six months before the U.S.-led
      invasion to oust Saddam.

      But during the time in question, Democratic U.S. Reps. Jim McDermott
      of Washington, Mike Thompson of California and David Bonior of
      Michigan, who were all opposed to war against Iraq, took a highly
      publicized trip to Iraq.

      Delegation members said during their trip they warned Saddam's
      government it must allow U.N. arms inspections, and McDermott charged
      that President George W. Bush was willing to "mislead the American
      people" about the need for war.

      Republicans accused delegation members at the time of sounding a bit
      like spokesmen for the Iraqi government and threatening to undermine
      U.S. efforts to assemble an international coalition against Iraq.

      Thompson said on Wednesday the trip had been approved by the U.S.
      State Department and the United Nations.

      "I was determined to learn as much as I could before voting on whether
      or not to commit US troops to war," he said.

      "Obviously, had there been any question at all regarding the sponsor
      of the trip or the funding, I would not have participated."


      McDermott spokesman Mike DeCesare said the congressman, a medical
      doctor, had gone on the invitation of a Seattle church group. "We went
      to see the plight of children under economic sanctions in Iraq,"
      DeCesare said. "In terms of who or whatever from Michigan, we didn't
      know them or anything about them."

      The indictment said al-Hanooti traveled to Baghdad with the delegation.
      Bonior left office in 2003. He later served as manager of John
      Edwards' unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign.

      Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said, "None of the
      congressional representatives are accused of any wrongdoing, and we
      have no information whatsoever that any of them were aware of the
      involvement of the Iraqi Intelligence Service."

      Al-Hanooti was arrested on Tuesday when he entered the United States
      from abroad, Boyd said.

      He was charged with working as an unregistered Iraqi agent, violating
      economic sanctions against Iraq and making false statements. He was
      released on $100,000 bond with an electronic monitor after an initial
      court appearance in Detroit.

      The indictment said Saddam's oil ministry gave al-Hanooti two million
      barrels of oil in exchange for his help, and he resold the oil.

      It said al-Hanooti traveled to Iraq and met with Iraqi intelligence
      agents, who asked him to publicize the negative effects of economic
      sanction against Iraq, and he reported to the agents information about
      members of Congress.

      The charity says on its Web site it was founded in 1992 by
      "Iraqi-American professionals" to respond to a humanitarian crisis
      after the 1991 Gulf War. It said it has provided more than $50 million
      in humanitarian assistance worldwide.

      The group was not immediately available for comment on the al-Hanooti

      (Additional reporting by Joanne Allen, editing by Todd Eastham)



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