he just released examination into the abuse of the
United Nation's Oil For Food scandal issued by the Volcker
Commission is laughable on its expensive face. These morons just spent
$34 million dollars of other people's money to produce a fancy document
that excludes significant evidence of obvious corruption on the part of
the UN's Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
By soundly criticizing Annan in the report, but at the
same time absolving him of any criminal misconduct, the New York Times
"The Volcker report dispels lingering
allegations by U.N. critics that Mr. Annan himself may have been
corrupt. It absolves him of influencing the award of a contract
to a company that employed his son, and found insufficient
evidence to conclude that he had even known about the contract."
(NYT editorial, 9/8/05)
Significantly, the corruption money that involves Annan
comes in on multiple tracks. The most obvious channel is related to the
awarding of a contract to the Swiss based Cotecna for inspection services.
The procurement officer at the UN that personally made the award has
already pleaded guilty to soliciting bribes for this very contract -- but
he says he tried to get the bribe from a different company that refused to
pay his price.
Now we're supposed to believe this Russian procurement
executive gave up on trying to get a bribe for this contract (at a time
when no-one was paying any attention to the corruption in his department),
and he just awarded it to the company run by Kofi Annan's family friend.
That "family friend," a vice president of Cotecna,
a man named Michael Wilson, has close ties to the Annan family.
Kofi's brother Kobina, as well as Kofi's son Kojo, are also both deeply
involved in contacts with Cotecna through Wilson.
Although his only connection to the UN is his
father's influential post, Kojo received hundreds of thousands of
dollars from Cotecna for his "work" as a "consultant." When
questioned on the contract award to Cotecna, Kofi has changed his story
repeatedly, as has Kojo. First he knows nothing. He's had no contact.
Then, well, there may have been some contact. Finally, an email surfaces
from Cotecna executive Wilson which indicates Kofi was closely monitoring
the contract award. This shows Kofi Annan to be a liar
-- and a liar who has lied under oath in an investigation involving
billions of dollars in graft.
Incredibly, the Volcker Commission stated in the
report that they gave no credibility to the Cotecna memo implicating Kofi
Annan. The report claims Wilson was just bragging, and Annan actually knew
nothing about the lucrative contract award.
On another track of the investigation, evidence
indicates that Saddam Hussein set aside $15 million and tried to
bribe then Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to treat Iraq
favorably during the forthcoming Oil For Food program. In 1996, as the
program was being planned, Iraq forwarded millions of dollars to an Iraqi
man named Samir Vincent, who in turn, funneled money to a shady
Korean named Tongsun Park. Although saying there is no evidence that Ghali
received any money or was even aware of the planned bribery, the
Investigators have hinted this money may have ended up in Boutros-Ghali's
The problem is the timing. The report shows
Tongsun Park gave $1 million of this influence peddling money to UN
official Maurice Strong in 1997 -- but Ghali's term
expired at the end of 1996. Indeed, Oil For Food was only
inaugurated in December of 1996 -- at a point when Ghali had known he was
to be ousted from his post for at least 4 months.
We might ask if anyone would be stupid enough to take a
million dollar bribe from someone as deadly as Saddam Hussein to influence
a series of contracts if you knew you had already been fired, and would
have no way to deliver the goods. Boutros-Ghali has his critics, but very
few of them think he's that foolish.
The fact remains, the Volcker Report shows the only
link showing any bribe money actually directed to the UN was during
1997 -- when Kofi Annan was in charge.
Furthermore, there was another connection between
the dirty money and Maurice Strong that included one of his family
members, so the nepotism involved the rich Canadian as well as Kofi and
company. This is the same bunch now asking the US to pony up $845
To borrow an old phrase, in the light of this
ridiculous whitewash of the UN's massive fiscal misdeeds, "just say no!"
September 8 2005 -- James Lloyd
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Waiting For Leviathan