Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Oil For Food - Kofi is a false target

Ten Things Progressives Should Know About the United Nations Oil-for-Food Scandal

Who was responsible for overseeing the UN Oil-For-Offod program? The UN Security Council member states - primarily the United States. There were 70 reports of oil overcharging presented to the oversight committee - none were investigated no contracts were held up. It has been charged the United States is now not cooperating with the UN investigation which involves some US companies and US officials.

UNITED NATIONS The Right-Wing's Smear Campaign

The right-wing has found an excuse to dust off its plans to undermine the United Nations. Without a doubt, the illegal exploitation of the United Nations' oil-for-food program by Saddam Hussein is a serious matter that deserves careful scrutiny. But it does not justify the dishonest and manipulative campaign by the right-wing lynch mob, led by Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN), against U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Fox News, predictably, has skipped over the question of whether Coleman's allegations - which he claims oblige Annan to resign - are true, and jumped right to the broader conclusion that the United Nations itself is hopelessly corrupt and incompetent. This Sunday, Fox News' Brit Hume said "The deeper problem here, of course, is the U.N. itself. This scandal is really, really a sign of what the U.N. has become. It is an enormously corrupt bureaucracy up there. It's a world unto itself. Self-dealing, I think, is rampant." For anyone sick of the bluster from people like Hume, here are the facts - we report, you decide: SECURITY COUNCIL MEMBERS IGNORED U.N. OFFICIALS: Since the Security Council ran the program, its members were responsible for rejecting or accepting contracts to do business with Iraq. On 70 occasions, U.N. officials - who were under the control of Annan - reported evidence of oil pricing scams to the council. The Security Council, including officials from the United States, ignored all of these warnings. They ended up approving 36,000 contracts to do business with Iraq, but didn't hold up a single one on the basis that it could be used to siphon money.

In the last two weeks Blogger has dropped four large posts - I will take this Christmas break to decide the future of this space.

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