Reporters on the Job
• Galloway Matter Settled: The Christian Science Monitor and British Member of Parliament George Galloway have reached a settlement, including a payment to him, over an article based on documents the Monitor obtained last April in Baghdad.
The documents purported to show payments from the Saddam Hussein regime to Mr. Galloway over a period of 12 years, but the Monitor eventually performed ink-dating tests that discredited the documents, suggesting they were almost certainly forged.
The Monitor ran a front-page story last June outlining the ink tests and other expert examinations that included an apology to Galloway and to Monitor readers. (That article can be seen at: www.csmonitor.com/2003/0620/p01s03-woiq.html)
Later that summer, Galloway threatened to sue the Monitor in Britain, which does not have the same free-press or free-speech protections as American law. The settlement also includes a statement that was read in open court, endorsed by the Monitor, which reiterates that the aspersions the original documents cast on Galloway are unfounded.
Galloway has filed a libel suit against the London-based Daily Telegraph over articles based on an entirely different set of documents, also found in Baghdad last April, that also alleged payments to him by the Hussein government.
In recent weeks, an Iraqi newspaper reported on other documents discovered by officials in the Iraqi oil ministry. These documents are said to list profitable concessions under the UN oil-for-food program doled out by Mr. Hussein's government to foreigners, including Galloway associates, who provided funding for a charity he ran. Galloway himself has reportedly denied receiving any oil concessions and has said he is unaware that his charity received any proceeds from such deals. None of these documents repeats or offers any evidence of the transactions described in the documents that led to the Monitor article.
David Clark Scott