After dogged reporting by Dagens Næringsliv reporter Trond Sundnes, Peter Galbraith has now admitted what for years he kept hidden: A relationship with Norwegian oil firm DNO which was conducting operations in Iraqi Kurdistan. Today’s story from DN, translated by Google.
Farah Stockman breaks the story in the Boston Globe, highlighting Ambassador Galbraith’s denials that his multimillion-dollar stake influenced his views about U.S. policy. The New York Times, however, somehow managed to excise the Galbraith affair from its coverage of the DNO-Iraqi Kurdistan dispute. Galbraith is a prominent Democratic pundit (and one-time potential candidate for the Vermont governorship), though, and perhaps can be excused a little corruption, so far as the New York Times is concerned.
Perhaps its time for the New York Review of Books to append a note to Galbraith’s online essays, noting the conflict of interest? And perhaps it’s also time for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to review Ambassador Galbraith’s answers to queries they made about potential conflicts of interest?
To be fair, Ambassador Galbraith has done honorable work over the years in highlighting the human-rights abuses suffered by the Kurds. He is also correct to uncover election fraud in the Afghan elections. Indeed, the story there is deeper, as it appears that the State Department, too, exaggerated the reach of international election observers in order to suggest that the elections had greater legitimacy than they did. Ambassador Galbraith should now hold himself to the same standards he seeks to hold the United Nations. The ends don’t justify the means. It’s time for the Peter Galbraith to come clean.