Gorgeous George Galloway MP Dukes it Out With Senator Norm Coleman (Updated)

How dreadfully horrible and sad that it takes a raving loon like George Galloway, MP to read the riot act to the Senate. WATCH THIS VIDEO. I don't like the guy, and have a 'where there's smoke there's fire' feeling about him that may come from reading UK newspapers, but as regards the disaster of Iraq policy generally, I think Senator Norm Coleman had it coming in spades. “Pack of lies” sums it up.

Both the Washington Post story and especially the Reuters report (perishable link) are worth a look too.

Update: Great coverage at the Guardian. The straight news story, 'I am not, nor have I ever been, an oil trader', is fine and the color commentary, Galloway and the mother of all invective is super. The Telegraph's coverage is oddly subdued, perhaps because their ideological soulmates got roughed up a bit. [Probably not: see update 3 below]

Update2: A partial transcript. Includes goodies not in the video snippet linked above.

PS. Galloway claims the committee never sought to contact him before publishing its accusations. Wouldn't it be nice if some reporter could find out if there are actual letters from the Commitee addressed to him, say at his Parliamentary office? I'd think that ordinary decency, not to mention respect for a trusted ally's legislature, would require a Senate committee to at least seek his response before going nuclear.

I see there's also a separate controversy as to whether Galloway tried to contact the committee:

Mr Galloway also insisted the committee had never responded to his requests to give evidence in person.

Today a spokesman for the Senate's permanent subcommittee on investigations denied it had received correspondence from the MP, who was elected on an anti-war ticket last week to Bethnal Green and Bow in east London. The spokesman said the committee had offered to allow Mr Galloway to appear before them on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the US Senate committee earlier told the Press Assocation that “at no time” did Mr Galloway contact them by any means “including but not limited to telephone, fax, email, letter, Morse code or carrier pigeon”.

Republican senator Norm Coleman, the head of the committee, denied that Mr Galloway had made contact last year.

[Galloway spokesperson] Mr [Ron] McKay promised to produce evidence in letter or email form that Mr Galloway had attempted to contact the committee.

I hope some reporter will actually try to get to the bottom of who is lying here. I am not placing any bets.

Update3: Oops. I think the real reason the Telegraph's coverage might be a little weak here is that last December, Galloway won £150,000 in libel damages from the Daily Telegraph over stories claiming he received money from Saddam’s regime — the same charges being repeated by Senator Coleman's subcommittee.

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15 Responses to Gorgeous George Galloway MP Dukes it Out With Senator Norm Coleman (Updated)

  1. whatever says:

    Hmm, I don’t know that I agree with such negative characterization of the guy.
    First ,I admit, I was disappointed because I was expecting them to really duke it out a la fisticuffs in the Parliament. (You never know with those Brits.) I expected to see an off-camera MP suddenly come flying over the desk to throttle him.
    But I found Mr. Galloway to be a pretty powerful speaker and a relentless exponent of “the reality-based view” of the war in Iraq. You can hear his conviction in his voice and in the repetition. Really pretty good stuff.
    Kudos for the link.

  2. Phill says:

    Isn’t it nice the way our crappiest politician can wipe the floor with one of your most senior politicians?

    These folk are not used to being called on their bullshit. They are used to a totaly pliant and defferential press.

    They are not used to picking on someone and then have them turn round and attack them back.

  3. iFaqeer says:

    Kudos for the link!

    And as the other persons said, what’s with the weird characterization of Galloway? You been drinking the Right Wing cool-aid?

    I am just surprised that anyone would be surprised to find Galloway a “Powerful Speaker”. If Blair, Britian’s Mr. Squeaky Clean Nice Guy is such a good speaker, wouldn’t it stand to reason that their “Gorgeous George”; their most Down-to-Brasstacks politician, who took on his own party and beat it would be an even more amazing speaker?

  4. Cyberbug says:

    Not sure that I agree with the “where there smoke…..” chestnut
    With regard to the first email about fisticuffs…

    * http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/05/17/click_here_for_the_prescott/

    *http://www.urban75.com/Punch/prescott.html

  5. michael says:

    Some of the reasons I have my doubts about Galloway:

    Galloway’s contacts with Saddam Hussein, which earned him the nickname “the honourable member for Baghdad Central”, plus his bull-in-a-china-shop approach to every issue he pursues were a constant source of embarrassment and vexation for the Labour Party.

    He acquired a reputation – whether justified or not – for vanity, and a fondness for expensive clothes. He subsequently became general secretary of War on Want, which ultimately became insolvent.

    Galloway won Glasgow Hillhead … in 1987, but faced an almost immediate scandal.

    He was asked about a conference in Mykonos in Greece and replied: “I travelled and spent lots of time with people in Greece, many of whom were women, some of whom were known carnally to me. I actually had sexual intercourse with some of the people in Greece.”

    Earlier, in 1994, Galloway caused outrage when he was filmed telling Saddam: “Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability.”

    He claimed that the praise was intended for the Iraqi people collectively.

    This source happens to be The Scotsman, but there are tons more in the same vein.

  6. Patrick (G) says:

    This seems a bit more balanced:
    http://www.answers.com/topic/george-galloway
    two notes:
    1.

    In 1983 Galloway became General Secretary of the charity War on Want, which had strong Labour Party connections (it had been founded by Harold Wilson). He increased its income sevenfold in three years, but faced accusations of misuse of his expenses account, which was £21,000 in 1985-86, to stay in luxury hotels when on foreign trips. He paid back £1,720 after an audit identified a lack of controls, but was cleared of any dishonesty. War on Want was found to have been insolvent, and subsequently dismissed all its staff and went into administration. It was rescued and relaunched in 1991.

    War on Want’s insolvency seems a bit more complicated than presented.

    2.

    He had been filmed saying “Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability”. Galloway has always insisted that the praise was intended for the Iraqi people collectively, and has repeatedly expressed his regret over the remark.

    Certainly plausible. Then again, what would you say face-to-face with a despot whom recent war and civil war failed to dislodge ?

    Between a Galloway and a Tom Delay, Ithink more of the former, and less of the latter, would be better for us.

  7. ian says:

    What ever you think about George Galloway he at least gave a master class on how neo-cons like Senator Coleman should be dealt with.

    US Democrats should take note.

  8. Becquer says:

    George Galloway made a great impression on me and hopefully the rest of the C-Span cable audience. I am not used to hearing someone speak so fearlessly and effectively before our congressmen. I am aware of just how brainwashed the American mass media and the public have become. There is a free press somewhere out there outside the U.S.A. and it must be stimulating to breathe the fresh air of freedom of expression.

  9. Rouge Pundit says:

    The smear against Galloway is typical of the US political establishment and their intellectual lackies.

    Galloway’s ethical integrity, the substance of just one man, is equal to at least ninety percent of the US political class and their deluded ideological flunkies.

    This is what makes both cynical libs and craven neocons instinctively discomfited by the likes of Galloway.

    Let these hypocrites squirm and suffer—fun to watch.

    Wait until Jesus gets hold of the lot!

  10. Rouge Pundit says:

    The smear against Galloway is typical of the US political establishment and their intellectual lackies.

    Galloway’s ethical integrity, the substance of just one man, is equal to at least ninety percent of the US political class and their deluded ideological flunkies.

    This is what makes both cynical libs and craven neocons instinctively discomfited by the likes of Galloway.

    Let these hypocrites squirm and suffer—fun to watch.

    Wait until Jesus gets hold of the lot!

  11. Merkin says:

    Guys, he may seem to be a good guy to you, but he has a certain history. Yes, he was cleared by a court about his “War on Want” expenses, but the verdict was “Not Proven”, not “Not Guilty”. He was sucking up to Saddam at the height of the old devil’s chemical experiments with Kurdish villages, and even said in 2002, “If you are asking did I support the Soviet Union, yes I did. Yes, I did support the Soviet Union, and I think the disappearance of the Soviet Union is the biggest catastrophe of my life.” In his own admission, he’s only a shade off a self-confessed Stalinist.

    Just because he kicked rhetorical butt in DC for one pre-rehearsed speech, doesn’t make him the overnight poster boy of the anti-war movement. Funny how his cross-examination (where he repeatedly refused to answer simple yes/no questions) is less widely available than his admittedly-very impressive set piece.

    IMHO, it says more about the poor quality of the US movement that he’s even being talked about as their potential saviour. Be careful what you wish for, as it might just come true…

  12. ian says:

    Merkin has got it wrong. In a Glasgow park there is a memorial to the Kurdish victims murdered my Saddam in the poison gas attack. Of all the politicians who were invited to its commemoration, only one turned up, and that was George Galloway, where he made a blistering attack on the Saddam regime.

    On the same subject, the gas was dropped from a helicopter, and Rumsfeld was instrumental in Saddam getting Bell helicopters. It has since been revealed that the US goverment in a message to its embassies world-wide told them to blame Iran for the attrocity, but not to go into details.

  13. ian says:

    Merkin has got it wrong. In a Glasgow park there is a memorial to the Kurdish victims murdered my Saddam in the poison gas attack. Of all the politicians who were invited to its commemoration, only one turned up, and that was George Galloway, where he made a blistering attack on the Saddam regime.

    On the same subject, the gas was dropped from a helicopter, and Rumsfeld was instrumental in Saddam getting Bell helicopters. It has since been revealed that the US goverment in a message to its embassies world-wide told them to blame Iran for the attrocity, but not to go into details.

  14. ian says:

    Merkin has got it wrong. In a Glasgow park there is a memorial to the Kurdish victims murdered my Saddam in the poison gas attack. Of all the politicians who were invited to its commemoration, only one turned up, and that was George Galloway, where he made a blistering attack on the Saddam regime.

    On the same subject, the gas was dropped from a helicopter, and Rumsfeld was instrumental in Saddam getting Bell helicopters. It has since been revealed that the US goverment in a message to its embassies world-wide told them to blame Iran for the attrocity, but not to go into details.

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