US Democrats to launch second AWB probe:
The US Democrats are planning another investigation into kickbacks paid by the Australian Wheat Board (AWB) to Saddam Hussein's former regime in Iraq...Keep in mind that Australia's Cole enquiry has closed down shop, but still has not released its finding.
They claim the Republican Party went soft on the prior investigation as "pay-off" in exchange for Prime Minister John Howard sending Australian troops to Iraq, The Australian reports...
The new House agriculture chairman, Collin Peterson, from the wheat state of Minnesota, and the new Senate agriculture chairman, Tom Harkin, from Iowa, have promised to review the circumstances that led to the scrapping of a 2004 probe into AWB by the US government.
"Keep in mind that AWB was the worst violator of the oil-for-food program, the worst," Senator Harkin was quoted as saying in the Congress Daily in Washington.
And keep in mind this recent warning from a US Democrat to the Howard government:
A former Clinton administration official says: "Your Government made a one-way bet during its 10 years in office and neglected the Democrats. Parties change and governments change and the Australian Government has forgotten that - it has not maintained its ties with Democrats and it is seen as a front-row cheerleader for the Bush Administration. Democrats won't especially hold it against them, but they won't be special friends either."