Kofi Flips On Outside Saddam-bribe Probe

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by MtnBiker, Mar 20, 2004.

  1. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    By NILES LATHEM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan

    March 20, 2004 -- WASHINGTON - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan reversed himself yesterday and said an outside investigation was needed into the mushrooming Iraq oil-for-food bribery scandal, conceding it is "highly possible there has been quite a lot of wrongdoing."
    Annan's announcement came the day after congressional investigators reported that Saddam Hussein had stolen an estimated $10.1 billion from the U.N.-run program.

    Bowing to pressure from Iraq's new government and Capitol Hill, Annan admitted the internal U.N. probe of widespread corruption he ordered this week would not be enough to restore the world body's shattered credibility.

    "I think we will need to have an independent investigation and an investigation that can be as broad as possible to look into all these allegations which have been made and get to the bottom of this, because I don't think we need to have our reputation impugned," Annan told reporters.

    "It is highly possible there has been quite a lot of wrongdoing."

    Annan's announcement came as the House International Relations Committee and the House national security subcommittee announced they will hold hearings on the scandal next month. "This is a pretty outrageous circumstance . . . Saddam was getting payoffs at both ends, you have people and companies who were willingly going along and allowing Saddam to clean up at the expense of his own people," Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), the chairman of the security subcommittee, told The Post.

    "We are talking billions of dollars here and we need to make sure something like this will never happen again."



    The oil-for-food program was set up in 1996 to allow Saddam's government to sell enough oil to purchase food, medicine and other humanitarian goods for the Iraqi people during a time when world sanctions were in place.

    Profits from the oil sales were placed in a giant escrow account in the French bank BNP-Paribas.

    The General Accounting Office reported Thursday that Saddam stole a staggering $10.1 billion through a series of scams that included oil smuggling and imposing surcharges on oil sales and demanding kickbacks of 10 percent from suppliers of food and medicine.

    So pervasive was the corruption that Iraq was knowingly spending millions of dollars on rotten food and outdated medicines just to get the kickbacks, according to information obtained by the Iraqi Governing Council from meticulous records kept by Saddam's henchmen.

    The Iraqi Governing Council has also unearthed thousands of documents indicating that Saddam created a giant $2 billion influence-peddling scheme within the U.N.-run program, in which he gave out sweetheart middleman oil contracts to 270 sympathetic international politicians in as many as 15 countries.






    Link

    10 Billion dollars in fraud from the UN. The US contributes something like 25% of the moneys that fund the UN. It will probably take years to sort out where all the money went, but I sure it goes well beyond Iraq. In fact I believe most the of the money was transferred through a French bank, hmmmm.
     
  2. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    what kind of power would this investigation have?
     
  3. lilcountriegal
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    lilcountriegal Senior Member

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    We need an outside investigation. I read an article a few days ago that Kofi's son was somehow involved in one of the companies affiliated with the oil-for-food program.

    Him conducting the investigation would be like putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.

    I'll have to see if I can find that link again....
     
  4. spillmind
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    spillmind Member

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    more like arnold investigating his groping allegations!

    better yet, the 'independent' investigation over the 'bad intelligence'! :laugh:

    fairness apparently isn't a two way street for some people! :rolleyes:
     
  5. Palestinian Jew
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    Palestinian Jew Member

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    Looks like the UN shows its worthlessness yet again.
     
  6. lilcountriegal
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    lilcountriegal Senior Member

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    Maybe not much there, but it is a bit coincidental....

    UN OIL BIZ HIRED KOFI SON

    March 18, 2004 -- WASHINGTON - The son of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan worked for a company the United Nations hired to police the notoriously corrupt Iraq oil-for-food program, raising new questions about the role of top diplomats in the growing bribery scandal.
    Fred Eckhard, spokesman for the secretary-general, confirmed yesterday that Annan's son, Kojo, worked for three years for the Swiss company, Cotecna, which the United Nations hired in 1999 to inspect food and medicine being shipped into Iraq under the program.

    Eckhard denied that there was any conflict of interest, saying the younger Annan was not involved in the contract bidding and resigned from the company in October 1998, just as the United Nations was reviewing Cotecna's contract proposals.

    "His last affiliation with the company was a three-month consultancy with the company's operations based in Nigeria," Eckhard said. "We are surprised that this has come up."

    But questions have arisen about how Cotecna managed to get the contract when its CEO, Robert Massey, was, at the time, under indictment in Switzerland in a bribery and money laundering case involving former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

    Cotecna offered a bid that was $1 million lower than any of its 13 competitors.

    Charges of corruption, smuggling and delivery of rotten food have been leveled against the program.

    NY Post article
     
  7. mr right
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    mr right Guest

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    Sounds like standard third-world country M.O.

    But then again, it happens here too.....Enron....etc.

    Greed knows no color, race, ethnicity, religion.
     
  8. MtnBiker
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    MtnBiker Senior Member

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    Agreed. Makes me wonder why many people put trust into the UN in regard to peacekeeping missions as well?
     
  9. tim_duncan2000
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    tim_duncan2000 Active Member

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    Yeah, the UN sure was handling the Iraq situation great by letting this crap go on. Because of things like this, it amazes me that people still want the UN to handle a lot of things.
     
  10. jon_forward
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    jon_forward Active Member

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    the senor senator from Mass was on meet the press or nation this morning begging for the UN to get more involved with Iraq. All the alcohol he has ingested has rotted his brain. The UN is ball-less with out the USA, clueless as to what to do or when to do it. In a word...useless
     

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