Sunday, July 31, 2005

Oil for Food Clues

The MSM and the dem/leftists are all running around in circles over this Plame nonsense. Meantime there are other, more important issues that need to be looked into. One of these is the Oil-for-Food scandal. More information is coming to light, but you would never know that from the MSM. Of course, the MSM thinks the UN is just a wonderful place that is going to save the world. OpinionJournal has some startling revelations on the investigation into this very corrupt UN program.

'Last month we learned that U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan may have been aware that Swiss inspections company Cotecna was bidding for an Oil for Food contract it eventually won later that year. "We had brief discussions with the SG and his entourage," says a memo written by Cotecna executive and Annan family friend Michael Wilson. "Their collective advise [sic] was that we should respond as best we could to the Q&A session . . . and that we could count on their support."

Mr. Annan has denied having any prior knowledge of the Cotecna bid in testimony to Paul Volcker's committee investigating Oil for Food. But if the substance of the Cotecna memo is accurate--the company confirms its authenticity--it means the Secretary General may have misled investigators. Mr. Volcker is checking the matter out, and we now know he plans to issue at least three more reports--two more than had been originally planned--in the coming weeks. It'll be interesting to see if Mr. Annan will then be able to claim exoneration, as he did earlier this year.'

What exactly was Annan's involvement? What did he know and when did he know it? Is he trying to cover for his son? These are questions that need to be answered and questions the MSM should be asking and looking into.

'Then there is the continuing investigation of Benon Sevan, the senior U.N. bureaucrat formerly in charge of Oil for Food. Back in February, Mr. Volcker cited Mr. Sevan for "placing himself in an irreconcilable conflict of interest," after he allegedly received oil allocations from Saddam Hussein's regime worth up to $1.2 million.

It later emerged that Mr. Sevan had mysteriously inherited $160,000 from a Cypriot aunt of modest means. Mr. Sevan is now the target of a probe by Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, although he enjoys diplomatic immunity on account of a $1 annual U.N. salary. (Mr. Annan has pledged to lift Mr. Sevan's immunity if criminal charges are filed; we'll have to see if he honors it.)'

Seems Sevan is very dirty here. I will be interested to see how Annan reacts to any indictment handed up in Manhattan. I suspect Annan will reneg on his promise to lift Sevan's diplomatic immunity. If he does, it may give Sevan a good reason to make a deal and tell all he knows. There is more in the commentary that is worth reading. - Sailor

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