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March 24, 2005
UN: Kofi Annan Will Be Exonerated
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, UN Oil For Food - Oil For Fraud, War on Terror

Fox news reports:

Kofi Annan will be exonerated in the Oil-for-Food scandal, according to the U.N. secretary-general's chief of staff.

Of course he will be - the investigation that they are talking about has been conducted by a compromised investigator.

Annan will NOT be exonerated by the truth. The truth will out. Congress must continue to ferret out the truth and the American people must continue to demand it.


Pulled by Emcee on March 24, 2005 at 07:54 PM
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February 15, 2005
Claudia Calls Out Kofi Annan - Again
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, UN Oil For Food - Oil For Fraud

This time in the New Republic (of all places - The New Republic requires paid subscription to read the whole article. H/t reader Charles.) Claudia Rosett squarely calls Kofi Annan to account as well as Paul Volcker for his squeamish report that simply focuses on OFF Director Benon Sevan. Claudia adds this tantalizing tidbit based on Volcker's disclosure as to the source of some of Sevan's ill gotten gains:

Investigators are now pondering Volcker's disclosure that Sevan's aunt, while living on a government pension in Cyprus, sent Sevan a series of payments from 1999 through 2003 totaling $160,000. The aunt then died in 2004 after falling down an elevator shaft, right around the time the United Nations, after much stonewalling by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and assorted protests of innocence from Sevan, agreed to launch an official probe into Oil-for-Food. (Ed: Emphasis added)

Gosh, if his family name was Foster instead of Sevan it would sound almost like the Clinton administration.

Claudia references the clear international treachery that should create worldwide outrage in commenting on Saddam's arms smuggling business and how its increase coincided with the OFF program:

Investigators for Senator Norm Coleman's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found roughly the same inflection point [Ed: a key turning point for the regime decimated by sanctions] when they looked at the oil-smuggling that became an especially large source of illicit sustenance for Saddam--helping him pay not only for palaces but also, as Duelfer documents, the import of clandestine arms. Under U.N. sanctions from 1991 to 1996, prior to Oil-for-Food, Saddam's estimated smuggling totaled $3.9 billion. Once Oil-for-Food kicked in, from 1996 to 2003, Saddam's smuggling volumes more than doubled to an estimated $9.7 billion. (Ed: Emphasis added)

And she points out that Volcker missed out on showing any culpability for Annan (remember that Annan was not mentioned in a single investigative context in the report):

What Volcker did not mention is that the proposals to revive Saddam's oil industry, supported by Sevan, were made to the Security Council by Kofi Annan. (Ed: Emphasis added)

Drawing to her conclusion Claudia provides the denoument once again:

In the run-up to Volcker's interim report, and in the debate now following, much discussion of Oil-for-Food has focused on procedure. Not yet addressed is that, in a system as secretive and creaking as the U.N.'s, the only true safeguard is the character of the boss. And, if anyone is boss at the United Nations, it is the secretary-general, who enjoys the prerogative to speak above the cacophony of the member-states. Nor is Annan shy about doing so. Last fall, during the U.S. presidential campaign, he was willing to pronounce his view that the United States overthrow of Saddam was "illegal." Since the Oil-for-Food scandal broke in early 2004, Annan's spokesmen--presumably with his approval--have repeatedly, and publicly, blamed the Security Council. That Annan would in effect point a finger at the Security Council in order to defend himself--but decline to speak up during Oil-for-Food on behalf of the defrauded people of Iraq, the betrayed trust of the world public, or the integrity of the United Nations itself (as opposed to its image)--should be troubling. (Ed: Emphasis added)

It is troubling Claudia. Thank you once again for standing in the breech and so clearly telling the truth. This is still the Mother of All Stories and will continue to be until the United Nations is cleansed of this outrage.


Pulled by Emcee on February 15, 2005 at 08:05 PM
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February 04, 2005
UN: It's a start - just don't let it be a whitewash
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, UN Oil For Food - Oil For Fraud, War on Terror

Just when the heat is being turned up on him, Paul Volcker issued an interim report (file link from Fox News) on the UN OFF (Oil For Food/Oil For Fraud) program.

What are we to make of this 246 page document? What is it about and what has been accomplished by the investigation so far?

One way to get a snapshot is to search for salient terms that are of interest to those of us following this fiasco.

Let's take a look:

Saddam Hussein: 19 mentions (there are other Hussein's in the document that are not him.) While there is acknowledgment that he had some involvement in selecting who he would do oil business with, there is little examination of all his activities. So this really isn't a Saddam report.

Kofi Annan: 9 mentions - most of these references are to correspondence or statements referred to him. Two of these mentions are about the issue with his son Kojo - whose part in this is still 'under investigation'. So there is no investigation of Kofi at all.

Kojo Annan: 3 mentions - These are all references to his past employ with Cotecna and any reporting on any findings will have to wait until some future report. There is no mention of his involvement with Air Harbour Technologies or the family of Sheik Yamani.

France, French: 58 mentions. This is pretty significant - until you look at the report and see that almost all of these references are concerning how the BNP Parabas bank was selected to conduct the banking transactions between (Saddam) Iraq and its customers. Most of this is muddied in the report by it defending the choice of BNP over other French banks and Swiss banks. Though there is evidence that Iraq exerted pressure to have a French bank friendly to its cause - the report seeks to muddy that with conflicting discussion. There is no mention of French government officials and business officials and their treacherous involvement with Saddam Hussein or (Saddam) Iraq's influence on France in the Security Council. Not one word.

German, Germany: 4 mentions. I found one more listing (on page 76) in a graphic table for Deutche Bank being in Germany so it is possible that there are more. The only purpose of citing Germany in the report is about bank selection. There is no mention of the relationship between German government officials or business people and their treacherous involvement with Saddam Hussein or the influence that Saddam Iraq had on Germany in the Security Council. Not one word.

Russia: 0. Nothing about dual use or military equipment deals with Iraq in relationship to the Oil For Food Program.

China: 0. Nothing about dual use - Iraq's entire military communication system, for example - or military equipment deals with Iraq in relationship to the Oil For Food Program.

ESD: 112 mentions. This acronym is for the United Nations administrative account (ESD) to which the 2.2% of the OFF oil proceeds were placed. The report investigates this account thoroughly but notes that it wasn't audited. They don't think anything happened - but they don't really know since it wasn't audited. It is interesting to read.

IAD, OIOS: 366 mentions. These acronyms are for the internal auditing (IAD = Internal Audit Division) and oversight services (OIOS = Office of Internal Oversight Services). The report significantly evaluates the performance of these internal UN departments and finds that their 'effectiveness was severely diminished', that 'management did not implement a significant portion of ... critical recommendations', 'did not fill its mandate', 'unable to adequately resolve disputes', 'poor coordination', 'reporting was unsatisfactory', etc. Generally they failed to keep up with what happened with the dollars and personnel they were supposed to keep track of - but I guess, most importantly, everyone got paid - paid very well thank you. No missed paychecks at the UN.

Benon Sevan OIP AMEP: A whopping 889 mentions. We know that the internal functions of the UN were broken. This report makes it clear that the UN head of the OFF program - Executive Director of the United Nations Office of the Iraq Program (OIP), Benon Savan, used his office and a front company called AMEP to enrich himself utilizing oil contracts, enriched some others, and curried favor with Saddam's Iraq.

While what Savan did is certainly inexcusable and deserves harsh retribution, it appears that the bulk of the focus of this report is Benon Savan and I certainly hope it isn't just a witch hunt to mollify the world public. Benon Savan is just a marker for a much wider corruption, a kleptocracy entrenched at the UN and with countries and companies that are neck deep in these scandals.

I applaud chairman Volcker for reporting in detail what he has, but this falls far short of the most important things that need to be investigated. The UN OFF program remains the single most important international collusion and treachery in history and it must be fully exposed.

And who is going to investigate Mr. Volcker? And Mr. Volcker's friends? We know that a selection process occurred to select BNP as the transaction bank for OFF? What did they do to assist Saddam's Iraq in the process? Will their friend Mr. Volcker explain that in an upcoming report? Do we just leave that to Fox News?

Please see my complete history on the UN OFF program here, for background and additional links.


Pulled by Emcee on February 4, 2005 at 10:57 AM
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February 02, 2005
UN: Paul Volcker compromised in UN OFF investigation
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, UN Oil For Food - Oil For Fraud, Video, War on Terror

Volcker

Everything about the UN Oil For Food/Oil For Fraud program is dirty - including its own investigation into the program.

Former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker has such significant financial conflicts of interest that - were he even the most activist judge asked to take a court case - he would recuse himself to take away any semblance of partiality.

Mr.Volcker has had a long term advisory relationship with the UNA USA Business Council - a pro UN organization funded by BNP Parabas - the bank that administered all of the OFF transactions.

He also has had a long standing relationship with the Power Corporation of Canada also associated with BNP and the French oil giant Total which did almost $2 billion in OFF transactions.

Contrary to UN regulations, Kofi Annan did not require the necessary financial disclosure by Mr. Volcker when the UN brought him aboard to 'investigate' the OFF program. The UN maintains that this is just a matter of trust. We're out of trust Mr. Annan. Having someone that has a fiduciary relationship with parties to the crimes just doesn't work.

Click on the picture above for a video of an excerpt of a FOX investigative report on Volcker by the tenacious Jonathan Hunt - who is on the hunt at FOX News.

UPDATE: A Western Heart has additional details.


Pulled by Emcee on February 2, 2005 at 07:46 AM
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January 31, 2005
UN: Kojo Admits additional OFF involvement
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, UN Oil For Food - Oil For Fraud, War on Terror

I asserted on November 29th:

...if they have been deceitful about that [Kojo's participation in Cotecna], can we trust their assertions about Kojo's participation at Air Harbour Technologies (AHT)? And isn't the question - not did Kojo influence Kofi in his role as an AHT director - but was it really Kofi and Sheikh Yamani (former Saudi Oil Minister) in an influence peddling scheme with Saddam?

The London Sunday Times reports that Kojo admits to oil dealing efforts in his Air Harbour role after all. This ostensibly links the Annan and Yamani families in the UN Oil For Fraud kleptocracy. If the LSM were interested in news, this would be a headline.

How long will the world suffer these fools?


Pulled by Emcee on January 31, 2005 at 11:37 AM
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January 24, 2005
UN: Condom Gate, er, "Expands"
Filed in: Bioethics, Current Affairs, Politics, Satire, UN Oil For Food - Oil For Fraud

<truth>

I recently posted on the significant initiative by the UN to promote condom use in 41 countries by issuing a series of animated public service announcements (PSAs) aimed primarily at the 15-to-24 year old demographic.

Over this past weekend, the Catholic Church was quick to respond to the question, renewing its opposition to condom use - just when it seemed that some leadership within the faith was softening its stance - favoring, rather, faithfulnees and abstinence as the only certain methods to prevent the contraction of STDs.

This only reflects a longstanding debate between the Catholic Church - along with other conservative and faith based organizations - and the United Nations in its various guises.

See here, here, here, here, here, and here for details about Africa, abstinence, the Catholic Church, the current administration and other issues in this debate.

I realize that this is a difficult issue to discuss - or to write about - but it is instructive to consider the implications of the UN effort under way.

Ask a simple question: What does someone need a condom for? Answer it: To have sex with someone that they don't know or trust.

It is also factual that even though abstinence and faithfulness are surety against the spread of STDs - such behavior is far from universal. People are going to have sex with people that they don't know. It's just going to continue to happen.

But where the moral issue and the behavioral issue meet - there is legitimate question as to what condom promotion produces as a result. It is a reasonable point of view to take that condom promotion encourages having sex with someone outside of abstinence and faithfulness. It is also reasonable to find that, since the studies show encounter effectiveness rates somewhere between 80% and 87%, condoms only make such sexual encounters a game of Russian Roulette relative to STD contraction and the possibility, in some cases, of undesired pregnancy.

But beyond effectiveness rates are the more telling rates of use. The studies (you can find in the links above) all show that condom usage in sexual encounters is significantly less than 50% for anyone willing to talk about it. That means that even though participants have condoms and have perhaps been emboldened by such posession, something about the process of the encounter prevents them from being used. Use of a condom requires restraint. Restraint, it is fair to say, is likely not characteristic of a substantial number of such encounters.

As in many issues, the stance of some conservatives and the Catholic church is not rooted simply in moral conviction. It is also rooted in rational thought that should be pursued in debate. Such debate is not occurring - not when the UN can pursue its agenda with almost no press coverage about the rationale against it. (And to be fair - although it has not been advertized much - the US Agency for International Development donates hundreds of millions of condoms every year to poor countries as well.)

</truth>

<satire>

Contacted for comment, an unidentified UN spokesperson said "The United Nations is certainly no respecter of religion. We're not going to allow the views of some podunk form of Christianity foil us from achieving the goal of distributing 10,000 condoms for every man, woman, and child on the planet by 2007. If it takes covering the earth to a depth of several inches in condoms so that people will use them - so be it. We will distribute them and we will continue the stream of revenue that we require from this program." The spokesperson continued "It is obvious that abstinence and faithfulness, despite the unverified studies coming from Uganda, are not effective in the STD and HIV/Aids epidemic. The roughly 600 million Catholics in the world are just going to have to stand aside."

Asked what it is going to take to stem the epidemic, the spokesperson said "More condoms. We must have more condoms."

Asked about the fact that many African countries especially, already have large numbers of condoms available, but have no vital medicines and health care supplies, the spokesperson said "That's not my problem. It's all condoms for me."

Asked if the spokesperson preferred to have sex with or without a condom, the spokesperson declined to answer.

</satire>

There are other significant issues to this debate - some so significant that they bear another telling.


Pulled by Emcee on January 24, 2005 at 07:16 PM
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January 14, 2005
UN: "Shaft"ing the World
Filed in: Bioethics, Current Affairs, Politics, Satire, UN Oil For Food - Oil For Fraud

You can't make this stuff up. Well, some of it anyway.

<truth>

Ssandd On January 11th, the United Nations launched the world's largest safe-sex initiative featuring 20 animated public service announcements starring the Three Amigos: Shaft, Stretch, and Dick - three animated talking condoms. Ostensibly, these humorous shorts are meant to promote condom usage and other responsible sexual behavior among 15 to 24 year olds.

The Three Amigos official site.

< /truth>

<satire>

Reached for comment, Kofi Annan said "We have desperately needed to find something to replace the Oil For Food program which the United States illegally deprived us of by invading Iraq. With this new initiative, we have reached agreement to receive 2.4% of the proceeds of all condom sales worldwide from the major condom manufacturers. We will help prevent the spread of HIV/Aids and replace our flagging revenue stream as well. It is a win-win situation."

"This is how the program will work" Annan said. "We will use member nation contributed funds and donations for world relief for natural disasters to acquire condoms. The UN will take its fee from these transactions to administer the program world wide. We hope to have 10,000 condoms distributed for every man, woman, and child in the world by the end of 2007" he added, noting that, unfortunately, some backward countries consider that 15 year olds are still children.

Also disclosed today, Kojo Annan, Kofi's son, is a director or consultant for 4 out of 5 of the world's largest condom manufacturers. "While this is true, it is also the case that Kojo Annan receives no compensation from any of these companies" an unidentified UN spokesman said. "He did, at one time, have several consulting contracts in place, but no longer receives any monetary compensation" the spokesman added. Indeed, it has been learned, Kojo's current compensation is limited to a lifetime supply of condoms - which has already been the case for the entire UN administration where, for example, (and thankfully) in the UN building in New York, condoms are freely available to all visitors and administrative staff.

Also admitted, is that the names Kofi, Kojo, and Chirac were discussed for use with the animated characters. "But", said the spokesman, "the UN staff thought that, while it would increase awareness in the public square, it also made the UN vulnerable to derision." He added, "With condom characters having the names of these high profile individuals we could imagine, especially some citizen journalists, writing such things as Kofi Shafts the World Again, Kojo Stretches the Limits of Credulity, and Chirac: What a Dick! Since we have been able in the last few weeks to keep the public's attention away from the UN scandals, we didn't think it was worth the risk. Serendipitously, though, going through this exercise helped provide the actual character names that the producers decided to go with. So, something good came out of it."

Breaking: HBO and LA Films threatened to file a suit against the UN over copyright infringement and story concept for the film ¡Three Amigos! (1986). "Everyone knows that Chevy Chase is the biggest dick in show business" a spokesman said. "If the UN had just worked with us, we believe that we could have gotten the original actors to do the voices for these animated characters." For now, the production companies are seeking an out of court settlement with the UN.

< /satire>

(Hat Tip: LifeSite)

UPDATE: Of course, it is SHOCKING to learn about yet another UN scandal from Powerline.


Pulled by Emcee on January 14, 2005 at 01:32 PM
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December 29, 2004
Claudia Rosett calls for Regime Change
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, UN Oil For Food - Oil For Fraud, War on Terror

At the banana republic of the United Nations! My favorite word-trooper says it best once again.

Go hither and please read every word.

UPDATE: Claudia was on Hannity and Colmes tonight! She articulated her Regime Change message with great skill in the time they had alloted to her. A treat for the FOX audience.


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December 13, 2004
UN: Zuckerman weighs in
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, UN Oil For Food - Oil For Fraud, War on Terror

Reader Charles provided the link to media mogul Mortimer Zuckerman weighing in from US News and World Report (this link will break in a couple of weeks) with a good summary piece on the UN OFF scandal: "A devil's brew at the U.N.".

Zuckerman rightly credits OFF champion Claudia Rosett for breaking this story calling her initially "intrepid journalist" and later says of her: "...[Rosett] first alerted the public to the bribery and graft in the oil-for-food program...". He cites Claudia by name four times and her previous work underpins his entire editorial. Let's not miss the fact of her strong influence here. Concrete recognition by media peers like this cannot help but aid her in her grand opus. That's a very good thing.

It is interesting to me how shades of what I've been calling "The Iraq Question" are entering into the public dialogue. Zuckerman opines:

The U.N.'s Iraqi employees, all handpicked by Saddam, used the program to set up a series of business deals to benefit Saddam's pals, including France, Russia, and Syria, with the hope that all that money would encourage them to support the end of sanctions. A veil of secrecy was flung over billions of dollars in contracts, creating a safe haven for every kind of corrupt practice. Saddam was able to stand the oil-for-food program on its head, pocket enough money, and blithely ignore the U.N. sanctions while he continued to rebuild his military--using money that should have gone to help his desperate countrymen.

He stops short of saying what is still the most significant issue in this multifaceted story: "...set up a series of business deals to benefit Saddam's pals, including France, Russia, and Syria, with the hope that all that money would encourage them to support the end of sanctions and [to subvert any Security Council action against Iraq"]. (Ed. Italicized text added by me.)

He doesn't quite go there - but it isn't unreasonble to think that the mention of the end of sanctions won't be coupled by readers with the certainty of the use of veto within the Security Council when the time came.

Bit by bit, piece by piece, story by story, all of this will unfold and the Mother of All Stories will be known to everyone. No defense is sufficient to assuage the consequences of the international treachery at the core of the scandal.


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December 10, 2004
Claudia takes down Kojo
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, UN Oil For Food - Oil For Fraud

Claudia Rosett has rendered the Kojo Annan aspect of the OFF scandal into an exercise of shooting fish in a barrel - that is if congressional staffers can read.

In her New York Sun piece today, Claudia connects all the dots between Cotecna and Kojo. Please take the time to read it.

Notice please the coup de gras near the end: "...any indication of what Kojo Annan's employment either on staff, or as a consultant, actually delivered in the way of results for Cotecna; or what services he was providing for which he submitted expenses during the noncompete period following his employment." (Ed: italics mine.)

Claudia didn't shout this - and she shouldn't have to. Anyone who has ever worked for a corporation staff or who is slightly knowledgeable about noncompete agreements would instantly recognize the explicit kleptocracy. Hopefully, committee staffers on the investigating bodies will too.


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