Saturday, October 02, 2004

UN's "Peace Camp" Members Sabotaged Attempts to Investigate Saddam Hussein

Well, whaddya know?! Here is another corruption article from the (anti-Bush administration, anti-Iraqi war) New York Times, that the French press and France's independent newspaper, strangely, do not seem to have made much of an effort to pick upDécidément, c'est bien étrange
Congressional investigators say that France, Russia and China systematically sabotaged the former United Nations oil-for-food program in Iraq by preventing the United States and Britain from investigating whether Saddam Hussein was diverting billions of dollars.

… the investigators said their review of the minutes of a United Nations Security Council subcommittee meeting showed that the three nations "continually refused to support the U.S. and U.K. efforts to maintain the integrity" of the program.

The program, set up in 1996, was an effort to keep pressure on Mr. Hussein to disarm while helping the Iraqi people survive the sanctions imposed after the invasion of Kuwait in 1990. The briefing paper … suggests that France, Russia and China blocked inquiries into Iraq's manipulation of the program because their companies "had much to gain from maintaining'' the status quo. "Their businesses made billions of dollars through their involvement with the Hussein regime and O.F.F.P.," the document states, using the initials for the program. No officials of the three governments could be reached for comment.

[Among other companies] under scrutiny will be BNP Paribas, the French bank that handled oil revenues under the program and which "never initiated a review of the program or the reputation of those involved," the paper says. This "apparent incuriosity," it adds, "raises questions about its internal due diligence and ethical safeguards."

…A recent report issued in Washington by the Government Accountability Office, formerly the General Accounting Office, accused the Hussein government of having pocketed more than $10 billion from the six-year oil-for-food program, which used $64.2 billion in Iraqi oil sales to pay for food, medicine and other goods from 1997 to 2003. Last February, a document from Iraqi ministries reportedly cited [Benan] Sevan, the chief of the United Nations office that administered the program, as having received oil allotments himself. Mr. Sevan has denied the charges. …

(Thanks to Gregory Schreiber)

Two thoughts: Makes you wonder why this website was given the name it bears…

And: I can't wait until Germany becomes a permanent member of the Security Council!…

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