The "Oil for
Food" program that the United Nations started in 1996 to help the citizens of Iraq, is turning out to be the largest scandal in human history. Under
the program, Iraq was allowed to sell oil for purchasing food and medical supplies for Iraqi people in general. The first major flag that comes up is
the fact the U.N. Secretary General, Kofi Annan, appointed a Swiss company that his son was a consultant at, a contract to review what was shipped to
Iraq. No one brought up this huge conflict of interest. The Oil for Food program became a cash cow for the U.N. who received 2.2% commission on every
barrel of oil sold, which accounts for over $1 billion dollars in revenue. French and Russian companies were also profiting in the amounts of $3.7
billion and $7.3 billion respectively. No wonder these countries vetoed every decision to take Saddam out of power. George Bush should rename the
"coalition of the willing", to the "coalition of the honest."
There is mounting evidence that the United Nations Oil-for-Food program, originally conceived as a means of providing humanitarian aid to the
Iraqi people, was subverted by Saddam Hussein's regime and manipulated to help prop up the Iraqi dictator.
Saddam's dictatorship was able to siphon off an estimated $10 billion from the Oil-for-Food program through oil smuggling and systematic thievery, by
demanding illegal payments from companies buying Iraqi oil, and through kickbacks from those selling goods to Iraq--all under the noses of U.N.
The members of the U.N. staff administering the program have been accused of gross incompetence, mismanagement, and possible complicity with the Iraqi
regime in perpetrating the biggest scandal in U.N. history.
Read the full article from heritage.org. (A must read)
In keeping with the conflict of interest theme, the U.N. Secretary General, Kofi Annan, has handpicked a team of U.N. members to investigate the Oil
for Food program. This is illogical in the same manner that a bank cannot audit itself. This decision is a laughable as George Bush handpicking the
9/11 Commission. An independent team that has no personal interest or involvement in the U.N. must be used to make an unbiased decision.
Who benefited from the illegal sales and trading of oil under this program, and how? The list includes a number of high ranking politicians and
officials such as former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua, and U.N. Assistant Secretary General Benon V. Sevan, executive director of the
Oil-for-Food program. Sevan denied any wrongdoing, has taken an extended vacation, and has decided to retire from the U.N. this month. The list of
names goes on to include 46 Russian, and 11 French names of individuals who benefited from the program. Saddam was smuggling oil through a pipeline to
Syria, where the oil was sold to companies at below market value. Saddam then demanded kickbacks from these companies to keep the cheap oil
The political and military ties between Baghdad, Paris, and Moscow were extensive. Russia is believed to have sold weapons and arms to Iraq right up
until a week before the war started. Documents found in Baghdad show that Paris shared sensitive information from talks with U.S. Secretary of State
Colin Powell, and President George W. Bush with the Iraqi Foreign Ministry.
President George W. Bush was correct in saying that the U.N. risked becoming irrelevant as a decision-making authority. As more and more evidence
comes to light, it will be clear that the U.S., Britain, and their allies in ousting Saddam, were the most honest members of the world community. Now
the U.N. wants a larger role in the restructuring of Iraq, but can they be trusted to make honest decisions.
Information in today's New York Post
reads," The vast majority of the United Nations'
oil-for-food contracts in Iraq have mysteriously vanished, crippling investigators trying to uncover fraud in the program, a government report charged
Unless the U.N. is reformed, it appears to have lost most if its credibility, and influence.
U.N. OIL PAPERS VANISH
UN chief hits out at fraud claims
How to Buy a French Veto
GAO denied access to oil-for-food audits
Kerry and Kofi's scandal
Related ATS Discussions:
Anti-war nations 'took bribes' before war began.
[Edited on 30-4-2004 by dbates]