Thursday, December 20, 2007

A bag full of gifts

In a few short days Australia will pretty much close down for a month, but the political goodies look to keep coming right up to Christmas this year. With a new regime in place each day is bringing a new stocking filler.

I’ve reported heavily, over the past few years, on the AWB wheat scandal. This former semi-government wheat marketing outfit were caught up in the Food for Oil fiasco, funnelling hundreds of millions into Saddam’s war chest.

We had a long running commission of inquiry here, then nothing. Now the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has launched Supreme Court action against six former directors and officers of wheat exporter AWB Ltd.

I feared that with so many other pressing issues the Rudd government might let this one pass. But ASIC are the regulator and it is their role to prosecute commercial miscreants. Wonderful Christmas news!

Mind you, I’m still hoping those in the former government involved in this scandal are also called on to answer, that is Howard, Downer and Vaile in particular. I’m still hoping the US will start looking seriously at US officials involved, including former Secretary of State, Colin Powell.

This was a back room deal between US and Australian government officials, and part of the great lie constructed to justify Iraq invasion. Senator Coleman has tried several times to get a US inquiry up, but was smothered by the Bush admin. Perhaps with the Aussie moves he can try again. That would be the star on top of the tree.


abi said...

Looks like there's a lot of culpability there on your side of the globe and mine. But wanna bet nothing comes of this?


D.K. Raed said...

Let justice prevail. I'd not heard Powell was involved. So ... maybe he had a bit more interest in proving WMD in his UN speech than we realized, huh?

Cartledge said...

abi, no money on that one.

d.k. I was floored when I first found Powell's role in all this, but it is there with ample evidence.

The real problem is that there are invariably more pressing priorities than punishing former office holders.