Dec. 1, 2004 — Former American fugitive Marc Rich was a middleman for several of Iraq's suspect oil deals in February 2001, just one month after his pardon from President Clinton, according to oil industry shipping records obtained by ABC News.First of all, if Mr. Rich did business for Saddam's Iraq, that's despicable. As for his pardon, well, it was controversial from the get-go. For one thing, it was granted by Clinton on his last day in office...January 20, 2001...yeah, on Inauguration Day...for the new president. Tacky? Maybe a little bit.
A scandalous Oil-For-Food connection (for said pardonee) just makes it ridiculous altogether. Seriously, what was Clinton thinking? Even Jimmy Carter said it was disgraceful! That's saying something, folks.
Clinton tried to explain himself in an op-ed to the New York Times, but he's tried to explain a lot of things and frankly, we're not buyin'. The most honest reason he did it is likely, "Because he could."
For those interested in the saga of Marc "The, uh, Rich...Fugitive" Rich, here's the, ahem, 51-page criminal indictment against Rich filed in 1983 by then-U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani. More than that, here's a whole set of documents. Just for kicks, here's his "virtual" wanted poster.
Who knows, maybe Rich's ex-wife is really persuasive. Of course, it probably wouldn't have taken too much for Bill. She was a fan, however, and an official F-O-B. Just to make sure, she reportedly donated $450,000 to his presidential library. Seems all parties involved got what they wanted.