Obama's former friend
The kingpin of Iraqi corruption, Nadhmi Auchi, and his Chicago henchman, Antoin “Tony” Rezko, built a well-financed network of political. Barack Obama nears the Democratic presidential nomination, a corruption trial Federal prosecutors recently revealed that Nadhmi Auchi, an Iraqi about his relationship with indicted political fixer Tony Rezko that he could. Obama stood by Rezko even as his legal troubles mounted. The trial of Barack Obama's wheeler-dealer friend, Antoin "Tony" Rezko, was attend a party at Rezko's house for an Iraqi-born billionaire named Nadhmi Auchi. That money relationship continued, with Rezko raising as much as $,
While ideological bias and a predisposition towards inanity might explain some of the media ignorance, the August 24 article cites another cause: In its June 28 editionBritish satirical magazine Private Eye explains: They cited only two references. Here are some questions reporters should be asking Barack Obama: Auchi was a key financial backer of Tony Rezko. Sources indicate you met Auchi twice when he visited Chicago in If elected, how will your relationship with Rezko and Auchi affect your policy towards Lehman Brothers?
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If elected, would you look favorably on a US residency application from Auchi? Auchi has bought the leadership of the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties, and a measure of benign neglect from the Conservative party.
He found them no less pliable than their neighbors across the Channel, or around the Mediterranean, who have been available for sale all his adult life. Auchi has a clear, long-term strategy. He has been running a financial operation, parallel to that in the U. He was a central, but shadowy, figure in the so-called London Group, which the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction identified as the hub of in-country Iraqi corruption after the invasion.
As time went on, and I gained greater and greater involvement in the Middle East, I watched Auchi build his financial empire with his brilliant combination of political manipulation, financial genius, and ruthless opportunism.
I have spoken at length to people who know Auchi well, and to a legion of people who have observed him closely over decades. Most of them do not wish to be identified, either because they do not want their sources to dry up, or out of simple fear.
I know of three deaths, two of them outright murders, in which Auchi is a lingering spectral figure. Three days later, he and his partner were shot to death by a hit squad northwest of Baghdad. It is necessarily a puzzle with many of the pieces missing.Lapse In Judgment
But the pieces that are conjoined provide a sketch of Auchi in action. The myth propagated by Auchi is that he left Baghdad in because of disaffection with Saddam.
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The reality is that, for well over a decade, Auchi was the main financial operator in Europe for Saddam, who established him everywhere as his principal financial guy.
A researcher for the Volker Report on the U. His influence with successive presidents of France assured that he was only given a suspended prison sentence and a several million dollar fine. If Auchi now owns Maliki, he now owns everything. As the above shows, Auchi has parlayed his long time presence on the Iraqi scene into a position of even greater wealth and influence than he enjoyed under Saddam.
But it is his skill in buying his way to foreign leaders and funneling that advantage into a position of paramount influence into Iraq that is truly impressive. He simultaneously developed access to the nascent Iraqi leadership in London while he was buying access to the British leadership, and through that got access to US leadership and the Coalition Provisional Authority.
It was done largely through lavish donations and largesse to the British establishment over several decades, and to the Labour party in particular. Auchi's purchase of respectability included the grant of a coat of arms from the Queen, and the support of very senior members of the cabinet, some of whom sat on his GMH board. On the 20th anniversary of GMH activities in Britain, Auchi was given a print of the Houses of Parliament signed by virtually everyone with any political pretentions in the House of Commons.
His London sponsors then opened the doors to Washington, to the Pentagon and ultimately, to the White House. But he had bought his way into France as well: As a major arms dealer for Saddam he had cultivated President Mitterand and President Chirac, as well as key members of their cabinets. The trial showed that Auchi had developed direct relationships with the key players in the French political and business establishment, and was the largest single stockholder in the bank BNP Parisbas.
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He received a slap on the wrist in the form of a multimillion dollar fine and a suspended jail sentence. By that time, however, he had moved to the US market. He arrived with a laying on of hands from Lord Cavendish, the former head of British intelligence, and soon was a member of the Kennedy School board of Advisors at Harvard. He became, thru charitable donations and investments in the US, largely in the Chicago and Detroit areas, the embodiment of the Good Iraqi and the Good Arab.
REZKO, OBAMA, AND THE NADHMI AUCHI RAILROAD LINKING CHICAGO, WASHINGTON, AND BAGHDAD (Part 1of 3) «
He established an Auchi chair at the American University of Cairo, and there have been reports that he was a large donor to the Clinton library. His seemingly innocent investments with Rezko in the Middle West, however, went hand in hand with Rezko's extensive scheme to trade off campaign donations to Illinois politicians for jobs and multimillion dollar state and city contracts.
That strategy appears to have tied in as well to Joseph A. Cari is now managing director of a Middle East trade and investment fund in New York. How many of Rezko's donations and US investments originated with and were dependent on Auchi? Is there any evidence that Rezko had any other major source of funding? How long had the Auchi network been in place in Chicago?
And what were Auchi's connections to the Iraqi spy ring about to go to trial in Detroit, who in late paid two Democratic congressmen to go to Iraq and oppose the war, and which flourished on UN Oil for Food vouchers?
So we have a pattern of buying influence which tied directly into the Illinois Democratic Party, the Daley machine, and the Democratic National Finance Committee. It is no wonder that Barack Obama "has no recollection" of being at a welcoming dinner feting Auchi at Rezko's house in April At that moment Auchi was flying high despite his corruption conviction in France: He was then still the darling of the neocon cabal at the defense department, which was so heavily invested in Iraq.
He had been a welcomed guest at two White Houses, and appeared to own the entire Illinois government. We still do not have any sense of the full extent of his influence.