Jaded by the political corruption the state of Illinois is immersed in, one might be tempted to shrug off the Rezko trial today as simply another showpiece for U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. After all, he's put away close to 150 corrupt Daley and Ryan administration workers and the Illinois public mumbles, but no shows no outrage.
One wonders if public sentiment would change (Yes, "CHANGE!") if it could be shown that Barack "CHANGE" Obama's strong opposition to the War in Iraq was based on financial ties to a Saddam Hussein arms dealer?
Obama buys a house in a land deal with Tony Rezko's wife, whose income at the time was $35k/year. In the days before the papers were signed, Rezko gets a loan from Auchi. Auchi and Rezko are pizza and real estate partners -- you know, little ol' harmless "Tony" Rezko, the small time Chicago operator.
Then mysteriously last month, Rezko goes to jail for breaking a bail agreement because he gets another $3.5 million loan from Auchi, the man who became the 279th richest man in the world partially by making arms deals with Saddam Hussein.
No, not a discredited urban legend about Obama's connections to terrorists, but this time a viable direct connect? RealClearPolitics.com's Jack Kelly comes thisclose to connecting the poisonous dots between Obama and Nahdmi Auchi:
A British citizen of Iraqi descent, Mr. Auchi, 70, is a billionaire, the 279th richest man in the world, according to a Forbes magazine survey last year.
A great deal of Mr. Auchi's money was made doing business with the regime of Saddam Hussein, much of it under the table. In 1987, Mr. Auchi helped French and Italian firms win a huge oil pipeline contract in Iraq, chiefly by paying off Iraqi officials, according to testimony given by an Italian banker to prosecutors in Milan. In 2003, he was convicted for his role in what was then the largest scandal in French history, involving payoffs from executives of the oil company now known as Total to political figures in Spain, Germany and Africa.
Kelly tells more:
Mr. Auchi was a leading supplier of arms to Saddam's regime. A former Belgian ambassador to Luxembourg charged that a bank in Luxembourg owned principally by Mr. Auchi laundered funds -- including oil for food money -- for Saddam and other Islamic dictators.
Stay tuned . . . federal jury selection begins today in Chicago.