The AWB wheat deals with Iraq also involved the Export Finance Insurance Corporation (EFIC) which, as the name implies, insures exporters like AWB when they sell goods on credit. I actually did some work on this fifteen years ago, and concluded that the operations of EFIC were likely to lead to cross-subsidisation of bad customers by good ones. Even then, Iraq was at the top of the list of bad customers. As Ken Davidson points out (via VVB), the involvement of EFIC in the deals also implies high-level involvement by government departments like Treasury and Finance that have so far not been mentioned.
Meanwhile, as the hearings roll on, it’s clear that the government knew nothing about the bribery in exactly the same way as Bill Clinton did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. Indeed, looking at the things they didn’t know, it’s testimony to their organisational ability that they could manage to know exactly what they needed not to know, without ever being told.