Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Mr. Galloway goes to Washington

British MP George Galloway gave grandstanding Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman the McCarthy treatment on Tuesday (all that wasy missing was "in the end, sir, have you no decency?"), firing from "both barrels" as the BBC analysis rather gleefully put it, over allegations he profited from oil-for-food.

Far from displaying the forelock-tugging deference to which senators are accustomed, Mr Galloway went on the attack. He rubbished committee chairman Norm Coleman's dossier of evidence and stared him in the eye.

"Now I know that standards have slipped over the last few years in Washington, but for a lawyer, you are remarkably cavalier with any idea of justice," the MP declared. The whole room scanned Mr Coleman's face for a reaction. The senator shifted in his seat - nervously it seemed.

It was the first time a British politician had been interrogated as a hostile witness at the US Senate - but Mr Galloway cast himself not as the accused, but the accuser.

The Guardian had even more fun with the story:

He entered the hearing room with guns blazing, telling journalists his inquisi tors were "crazed", "pro-war", "lickspittles" of the president, and predicting he would turn the tables on them. "I want to put these people on trial. This group of neo-cons is involved in the mother of smokescreens," he said.

That was the common theme in a feat of bare-knuckled rhetoric not often witnessed by the senators, who are accustomed to considerably more reverence for their positions. CNN called it a "blistering attack on senators rarely heard or seen on Capitol Hill".

Joltin' George even managed to get in a few shots at pro-war Trotskyite Christopher Hitchens:

Before the hearing began, the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow even had some scorn left over to bestow generously upon the pro-war writer Christopher Hitchens. "You're a drink-soaked former-Trotskyist popinjay," Mr Galloway informed him. "Your hands are shaking. You badly need another drink," he added later, ignoring Mr Hitchens's questions and staring intently ahead.

"And you're a drink-soaked..." Eventually Mr Hitchens gave up. "You're a real thug, aren't you?" he hissed, stalking away.

What other British papers are saying:

The Daily Mirror plays the story straight (probably for the best, given their highly publicized anti-war stance). The Times of London called Galloway's star turn a "powerful performance," while the more conservative Telegraph called it "one of the most extraordinary and ill-tempered exchanges seen on Capitol Hill" and then gives a very detailed account of the charges leveled at Galloway, as well as some of his more "evasive" answers. (A Telegraph editorial labels Galloway "machine gun George" and portrays his performance as "a little rattled" -- yeah, right....)

The New York Post's sister pub The Sun may have come up with the best headline: "Senate kicked in the Galls." The Independent ran a very thorough account, declaring " it would have to be an odd judge who did not score this transatlantic clash in Mr Galloway's favour."
posted by JReid @ 12:35 AM  
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"I am for enhanced interrogation. I don't believe waterboarding is torture... I'll do it. I'll do it for charity." -- Sean Hannity
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