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nicecakes Donating Member (126 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 11:14 PM
Original message
William Safire: UN kickbacks in Iraq
WASHINGTON The cover-up in the office of the United Nations secretary general of a multibillion-dollar financial fraud known as the Iraqi oil-for-food program is beginning to come apart.

The scandal has been brewing for years. The first I learned of it was in a New York Times Op-Ed article last April by the journalist Claudia Rosett charging that the secretive UN oversight of more than $100 billion in Iraqi oil exports and supposed humanitarian imports was "an invitation to kickbacks, political back-scratching and smuggling done under cover of relief operations."

After checking with Kurdish sources in Iraq, I reported that half the money allocated to their people had been blocked by Saddam Hussein "conspiring with bureaucrats in the UN Plaza."

Kofi Annan's right-hand man, Benon Sevan, had been named by the secretary general to head the oil-for-food program and report directly to him. Though he could not deny a favored French banking connection, Sevan branded as "inaccuracies" charges by Rosett and me of secrecy, citing a hundred audits in five years. But he refused to make public what companies in what countries got Saddam's largess.

http://www.iht.com/articles/510722.html
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thebigidea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 11:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. uh huh. Hey, Safire. Cough. Halliburton. Cough.
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nicecakes Donating Member (126 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 11:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Good point but it would not excuse any foolery in the food for oil program
The UN can't afford to have any scandals like this ongoing right now.
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thebigidea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. as opposed to Cheney, who can shoulder a billion scandals
Edited on Wed Mar-17-04 11:31 PM by thebigidea
as he shovels a million dollars a year into his oily gullet. How much does he get from Halliburton in trust, again?
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nicecakes Donating Member (126 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Agreed on the cheney oily gullet.
Still, it has little to do with and certainly does not lessen any corruption between the UN and the food for oil program.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
4. Tsk, are they annoyed with Kofi now?
It's getting hard to keep up with all the "corruption"
the press has suddenly developed an interest in. How
is the Enron investigation coming, anyway? Who was it
that Cheney met with on that energy task force?
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nicecakes Donating Member (126 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. That's still a good question about the ETF and cheney
Again however, the report focused on the UN and oil for food corruption and a thousand cheneys and crooked dealing does not lessen any criminal act on the part of the UN and the oil for food program.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 11:47 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Indeed, but it does lead one to question their priorities,
in choosing which stories to focus on, and which to ignore.
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nicecakes Donating Member (126 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 11:53 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. I wonder what the priorities of the NYT should be?
Crime within a US company or the leadership of the UN? Or both?
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 11:56 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. I personally am a lot more interested in corruption
in the US Government, it affects me a lot more.
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Kool Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-18-04 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. I agree.
Especially when it's MY goddamn tax money that's paying for it. Take of both problems, no argument there, but I would rather have my tax money go to take care of more important things than VP Crash-cart's retirement entitlements.
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nicecakes Donating Member (126 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-18-04 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. Maybe starting a LBN thread about those issues would be a good start
Agreed?
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Kool Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-18-04 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #15
19. Sure.
Feel free.
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nicecakes Donating Member (126 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-18-04 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. That would be in another thread don't ya think?
This one is about UN corruption. Thread hijacking is more suited for lounge threads.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-18-04 12:11 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. Hey, you asked. You don't want to know, don't ask. nt
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nicecakes Donating Member (126 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-18-04 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #17
21. Fine...you can have the thread
You could have avoided the subject of the thread instead of trying to hijack it. It's all yours now. Goodnight.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-18-04 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. Aw, now I feel so guilty. nt
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Kool Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-18-04 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #21
24. Okay, wait.
Yes, if there is corruption in the program, then they should investigate it, goddamnit. Without question. And responsible parties should be held accountable and punished. The problem I have personally with this is that Mr. Safire, a very conservative columnist, seems to have absolutely NO problem with anything that is going on in the current administration. The corruption there is rampant and obvious. The conflict of interest problems are massive, and yet he makes not a peep. They get brushed aside by Mr. Safire. That is why I don't really want to give a second thought to anything he says. That may be my mistake, but I would rather put my energy into getting this misadministration to own up to their own corruption and get them dealt with.
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
8. Another smokescreen
Illegal invasion - 'hey look over there, I might have spotted some corruption'.

Thousands of innocents dead - 'forget about that, there might have been corruption'.

Lies about weapons of mass destruction - 'what are a few war causing lies, next to the possibility of corruption'.

These appear to be the new right wing talking points. If corruption in government becomes the standard for invading countries and overturning governments, then there is no country in the world that couldn't be invaded on a nearly daily basis, including of course the U.S. The idea of right wing republicans lecturing the rest of the world on corruption in government would be laughable if it weren't so dangerous.

Saffire and his bunch should remember the admonition about pointing out a mote in the other person's eye, when you have a beam in your own.

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nicecakes Donating Member (126 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Question about Saffire
What beam does he have in his eye?
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-17-04 11:59 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. I am referring to corruption in U.S. politics of course
I believe there could be a bit. After he has cleansed the world of that scourge, he can move onto the U.N. and other countries.
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nicecakes Donating Member (126 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-18-04 12:08 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. OK
This thread is about UN corruption and your other concerns would need their own thread. How do you feel about this case of corruption?
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thebigidea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-18-04 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. pardon us, we were unaware of a strict anti-UN posting policy here
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Kool Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-18-04 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. I must have missed that memo, too.
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steely Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-18-04 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #16
23. Is Kofi implicated? Would an independent investigation
by the US have teeth? What the hell is goin' on around here??
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-18-04 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. I like that.
Edited on Thu Mar-18-04 12:26 AM by bemildred
That sounds good.
Let's have the US investigate the UN, or Kofi anyway.
Let the chips fall where they may.
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-18-04 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #23
27. It is hard to say if the U.S. would have jurisdiction
That is for someone who knows a lot more about international law than I do to speculate about. However, if any U.S. oil companies are involved in the slightest way, I am sure Bush and Cheney will be very diligent in pursuing the matter.
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-18-04 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #16
25. Touche
Until I see more about Saffire's oil for food claims, all I can say is he and other right wing pundits have not been particularly reliable sources in the recent past on Iraqi matters. If there have been illegal kickbacks, they should be investigated and addressed, naturally. If crimes were committed, wrong doers should be punished. Given the turmoil of invasion, and the disputable legitimacy of any government that comes out of it, I doubt this will be an easy job.

Do you not get the sense that corruption claims are being used for propaganda purposes lately?
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DulceDecorum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-18-04 01:11 AM
Response to Original message
28. The US/UK spying on the UN must have paid off
New York Times, Networks Shun U.N. Spying Story
http://www.fair.org/activism/un-observer-spying.html

The new allegations, which have the ring of truth, are now coming from ex-secretary of international development Clare Short. "I have seen transcripts of Kofi Annan's conversations," she said in an interview with BBC Radio. "In fact I have had conversations with Kofi in the run-up to war thinking 'Oh dear, there will be a transcript of this and people will see what he and I are saying.'" Short added that British intelligence had been explicitly directed to spy on Annan and other top U.N. officials.
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0226-13.htm

Now, thanks to evidence of systematic thievery on a huge scale, discovered by free Iraqis in Baghdad, the whole rotten mess of 10 percent kickbacks on billions in contracts is coming to light. In detailed accounts, Susan Sachs in The Times, Therese Raphael in The Wall Street Journal, and Charles Laurence and Inigo Gilmore of London's Daily Telegraph have flipped over the flat rock of corruption.

Oooh look.
Safire is giving credit to the investigative prowess of Inigo Glimore of the Daily Telegraph.
http://www.newsinsider.org/madsta/inventing_evidence.ht...

You remeber Inigo,
he is the one who linked George Galloway
and Saddam Hussein and
Osama bin Laden.

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beanball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-18-04 03:07 AM
Response to Original message
29. Safire
just another lying shill for the Bush crooks,shut the f---up you ass wipe.
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