Thursday, October 13, 2005

The French discover "petrole contre nourriture"

The United Nations' Iraq Oil for Food program is huge. Saddam Hussein was allowed to control billions of dollars that was supposed to feed his people; he was able buy almost anyting. And he was allowed to control people - to buy influence - with the money. It is clear that Kofi Annan allowed this misuse of the program. His highest diplomat Benon Sevan was involved. Kofi's son was involved. Now a high French displomat has been arrested. Claudia Rossett reports in the National Review.
Even the French have finally discovered the United Nations Oil-for-Food scandal. With the arrest in Paris this week of a former French ambassador to the U.N., Jean-Bernard Merimee, alleged to have received illicit and lucrative contracts to buy oil from Saddam Hussein's U.N.-sanctioned regime, the French newspapers are now aflutter over "petrole contre nourriture." The funny thing is, while France had plenty to do with Oil-for-Food, Merimee's main trail leads not to the Quai d'Orsay, but to the doorstep of the U.N. secretary general.
Rossett has done an outstanding job on this. It is by far the largest scandal ever in the humanitarian area. No one paid attention. But Rossett, working for the Wall Street Journal, kept following the crumbs without a big story for years. Then she fouhd the cake! Don't pay attention to the Pulitzer prize awards. They passed her over in favor of some reporter scandalizing President Bush. And why are we US taxpayers paying to keep corrupt Kofi in office?

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