Tony Rezko and Nadhmi Auchi: More of Obama's gifts (that keep on giving)
By Soren Dayton Posted in Archived | Barack Obama | Nadhmi Auchi | Obamafiles | Rezko — Comments (7) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
The Chicago Sun Times Rezko blog is reporting that Barack Obama attended a reception organized by his mentor, Tony Rezko, for Iraqi zillionaire Nadhmi Auchi:
When Tony Rezko held a reception at his home for Iraqi-born billionaire Nadhmi Auchi on April 3, 2004, White House hopeful Barack Obama and his wife were also there, Stuart Levine testified just now at Rezko's trial.
Who is this Mr. Auchi? This is not entirely clear, but the allegations include "former accomplice of Saddam Hussein", "convicted for fraud in France", among others.
Read on for more.
London's left-wing Guardian newspaper described him like this in 2003:
He was charged in the 1950s with being an accomplice of Saddam Hussein, when the future tyrant was acquiring his taste for blood. He was investigated in the 1980s for his part in alleged bribes to the fabulously corrupt leaders of post-war Italy. In the 1990s, the Belgium Ambassador to Luxembourg claimed that Auchi's bank held money Saddam and Colonel Gadaffi had stolen from their luckless peoples. In 2002, officers from the Serious Fraud Squad raided the offices of one of Auchi's drug companies as part of an investigation of what is alleged to be the biggest swindle ever of the NHS. With allegations, albeit unproven, like these hanging over him, wouldn't you think that British MPs would have the sense to stay away?
Last month, Jack Kelly wrote at Real Clear Politics:
A great deal of Mr. Auchi's money was made doing business with the regime of Saddam Hussein, much of it under the table. In 1987, Mr. Auchi helped French and Italian firms win a huge oil pipeline contract in Iraq, chiefly by paying off Iraqi officials, according to testimony given by an Italian banker to prosecutors in Milan. In 2003, he was convicted for his role in what was then the largest scandal in French history, involving payoffs from executives of the oil company now known as Total to political figures in Spain, Germany and Africa. ...
Mr. Auchi was a leading supplier of arms to Saddam's regime. A former Belgian ambassador to Luxembourg charged that a bank in Luxembourg owned principally by Mr. Auchi laundered funds -- including oil for food money -- for Saddam and other Islamic dictators.
In addition, he is known to have given Tony Rezko a big loan, just prior to Rezko helping Obama purchase his house.
Now, to what extent is there a problem here for Barack? It is clearly another association he does not want. Like the one with Rashid Khalidi, who did a fundraiser for Obama in 2000. (Phil Klein at the Ameican Spectator has more on this) There is Edward Said and Ali Abunimah. Rev. Jeremiah Wright's anti-semitic remarks and Trinity United Church of Christ's alliances with anti-semitic individuals end up fitting a pattern rather than being independent moments of hatred. (Remember that bomb that only kills Arabs and blacks?) As Wright himself noted to the New York Times:
“When his enemies find out that in 1984 I went to Tripoli” to visit Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, Mr. Wright recalled, “with Farrakhan, a lot of his Jewish support will dry up quicker than a snowball in hell.”
How much smoke before there is fire?