Ritter's Benefactor

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Remember Scott Ritter, the Marine weapons inspector who passionately rejected the notion that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction?

One might think that Mr. Ritter would be gloating about the failure so far to find WMD. Instead, he's been forced to react to a story about one of his benefactors, an Iraqi-American who now admits he took Iraqi oil credits from Saddam's regime.

Shakir Khafaji, who gave Scott Ritter $400,000 to produce a film about Iraq, told the Financial Times this week that he took oil credits used by Saddam to reward friends of the regime. Mr. Khafaji says that there were no connections between the oil credits and Mr. Ritter. But the credits were given to Mr. Kahfaji in the same period in which he financed Mr. Ritter's film.

Mr Ritter has long insisted he never received any money from the Iraqi government: "I would never take any money from anyone that was derived from any business relationship with the Iraqi government, whether a legal business relationship or an illegal business relationship."

And despite interviews in the Financial Times article from individuals who say Mr Khafaji introduced himself to oil contractors as Mr Ritter's "partner," Scott Ritter continues to place his trust in Mr. Khafaji: "I choose to believe (him) over anyone else. Until someone demonstrates this man has done something wrong, he is a hero in my book."

And that’s the Asman Observer.