Tuesday, December 14, 2004

My Maugein Is Rich

Niles Lathem's exclusive New York Post piece is mainly about "pardongate billionnaire" Marc Rich's (and other Americans') involvement in the oil-for-food scandal at the UN, but (notes GS) there is also a passage on France:
Of particular interest to investigators is a series of deals outlined in recently released Iraqi Oil Ministry documents that show allocations of more than 72 million barrels of oil to … Patrick Maugein.

Maugein, [a French] oil trader, is a longtime business associate of Rich and oil-trading firm Trafigura and has also been identified as a close friend of French President Jacques Chirac. A report in October by CIA weapons inspector Charles Duelfer said members of Saddam's regime "considered Maugein a conduit to Chirac."

Incidentally, the (unsurprizing) fact that the "U.S. attorney's office in New York and [the] Manhattan District Attorney" are going after American individuals and American oil companies puts the lie (if such were needed) to the French rumor that there is a conspiracy Stateside to whitewash the presence of American participants in the scandal while scapegoating the French.

But don't expect members of the French press or élite to issue retractions; after all, this rumor is typical of the deliberate rumorizing (always self-serving) that the French are poor, (relatively) innocent victims of the big bad Yankees. And… isn't there a school of psychology that states that what we see in others — and what we accuse others of — is often something that exists in ourselves…?

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