6.25.2004

Fahrenheit Fact no. 12: Moore's congressmen have ties to terrorists and the U.N. "oil for food" scandal

As Debbie Schlussel points out in her "Fahrenheit 9/11" review, Jim McDermott, a Congressman Moore interviews during the film, has participated in a trip to Iraq funded by an organization called Life for Relief and Development. They seem like great organization. From the AP:
In the past three weeks, his group [Life for Relief and Development] distributed 30,000 medical books to hospitals and medical schools, he said. The group also has opened free medical clinics in Baghdad and other cities and has provided donations of food and medical supplies to needy Iraqis.
But there's a dark side to LRD- it's partially funded by Shakir Al-Khafaji. The Weekly Standard has this to say about him:
According to Knight-Ridder, the mysterious Iraqi was "employed with the aid of an Iraqi intelligence officer" and later "accompanied two Sept. 11 hijackers from the airport to a hotel where the pair met with Ramzi Binalshibh, a key planner of the attacks, and Tawfiz al Atash, who masterminded al Qaida's strike on the USS Cole in October 2000."
Al-Khafaji also is part of the Oil for Food Scandal. From Knight Ridder(1):
In January, Al-Khafaji's name was printed in the Iraqi newspaper Al Mada, on a list of 270 individuals who received oil allocations from Hussein's regime. Al-Khafaji was one of two U.S. citizens on the list.
Schlussel also points out deep ties between McDermott and Al-Khafaji:
Mr. Alkhafaji, one of two Americans named in Iraqi newspapers as a participant in Saddam's "Oil for Food" scam, gave Congressman McDermott $5,000
What's more, there are accusations against LRD that are extremely serious. Schlussel writes:
... Life for Relief and Development (LRD), a "charity" which laundered money to terrorist group Hamas' Jordanian operation...LRD's Iraqi offices were raided by US troops last week, and the Detroit-area "charity" is suspected of funding uprisings, such as the one in Fallujah. Its officials bragged of doing so at a recent private US fundraiser.
And that's just the first interview. Moore's second interview is with John Conyers, whom Schlussel points out has been linked with other militant terrorist groups:
Take the June 13 Muslim American Society fundraising dinner for Islamic Relief, a charity with links to the Muslim Brotherhood. Conyers and his wife were the guests of honor. They watched and clapped as the Sanabel Al-Quds "dancing" troop from Milwaukee—featuring boys as young as seven—sang in Arabic of martyrdom and jihad for Allah and Palestine. They didn't need to understand Arabic, as the young boys used a rifle to simulate killing and pistol-whipping, simulated throat-slittings and beheadings, and dishonored the American flag.
More on the American Muslim Society:
Two past conference speakers face terror-related indictments and a third is identified in FBI reports as a Hamas terror leader. In March 2002, American Muslim magazine _ described as "the voice of the Muslim American Society" _ interviewed assassinated Hamas leader Abu Bakr's wife, who said she was "willing to give my life and the lives of my children" and advocated "standing beside the families of the martyrs." Another article explained that "martyr operations are not suicide."
(2) So the two Congressmen that Moore interviews have known links with organizations both under investigation by the FBI and with strong terrorist ties, as well as having dealt with key players of the UN Oil for Food Scandal. --- (1)Copyright 2004 Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service Detroit Free Press April 24, 2004, Saturday SECTION: DOMESTIC NEWS KR-ACC-NO: K3883 LENGTH: 1445 words HEADLINE: Role of Detroit area man questioned in U.N. scandal BYLINE: By Dawson Bell and Tamara Audi (2)Copyright 2004 Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service Daily News (NY) January 30, 2004, Friday SECTION: WASHINGTON DATELINE KR-ACC-NO: K6485 LENGTH: 279 words HEADLINE: Clark sought support from group under FBI investigation BYLINE: By James Gordon Meek