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2002-08-09

British Mp Meets with Saddam Hussein As Iraqi Opposition Groups Meet with State Department

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British Labor MP George Galloway met with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein yesterday in Baghdad. He described the Iraqi leader as calm and determined.

This comes as leaders of 6 so-called Iraqi opposition groups are in Washington today for meetings with the Bush administration on its plan for attempting to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Then talks are being hosted by Senior State Department and Pentagon officials. And though Vice President Dick Cheney hasn’t answered a question from a journalist in more than 80 days, he will speak to the groups via video conference on Saturday.

The opposition figures say they see the invitation as a positive sign that the Bush administration is taking them seriously. Iraqi opposition leaders have not met with a U.S. vice president since a session with Vice President Al Gore in June 2000. Last month, the Pentagon agreed to fund what it called covert operations of the Iraqi National Congress, a London-based group led by Ahmed Chalabi that is favored by some Pentagon officials and members of Congress. Former CIA director James Woolsey’s law firm Shea and Gardener is the paid representative of the group in Washington. Under the Clinton administration, the INC received the lion’s share of more than $78 million in tax payer dollars to bring down Saddam Hussein.

Guests:

  • George Galloway, British member of parliament with the Labor Party who just met with Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.
  • Andrew Cockburn, veteran journalist and documentary maker who has worked extensively in Iraq. Along with his brother Patrick he is co author of "Out Of The Ashes: The Resurrection Of Saddam Hussein".

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