Saturday, March 05, 2005

Oil-for-Fraud: insiders covering tracks

Paul Volcker has to resort to referring to an “unnamed UN official” implicated in his inquiry report. Here’s the rub – he couldn’t name this official because the official, Louise Frechette, is the number 2 leader of the “blessed” U.N., the Deputy Secretary-General of the U.N.
Frechette is also a former Canadian Ambassador to the U.N., and is on the Volker Committee, and is a subject of it’s investigations.

Fox News

Frechette intervened directly by telephone to stop United Nations auditors from forwarding their investigations to the U.N. Security Council. This detail was buried on page 186 of the 219-page interim report Volcker’s Independent Inquiry Committee released Feb. 3.

Who, then was she helping? An energy company! After all it’s all about OILLLLL!

Frechette had connections to a number of Oil-for-Food figures. She had direct oversight of both U.N. watchdog Nair and Oil-for-Food director Sevan, although both reported to the Secretary-General. She also has an interesting tie to an important member of the Volcker committee’s 65-member staff. When Frechette served as Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations from 1992 to 1995, her boss during most of that time was Canadian Deputy Minister Reid Morden, who is now executive director of the Volcker team.
-Fox News

The Shotgun calls a job of this sort “tailor made” for the likes of Frechette, and sites the following:

Frechette also falls under a cloud of suspicion for the cover-up of the torture and murder of 16 year old Shidane Arone by Canadian Peacekeepers in Somalia.

UN probe–subpoenaed crates of documents from the bank, which earned $700 million for its work, ostensibly to investigate the companies that had been doing business through Paribas that may have ripped off Oil-for-Food.

Because the more that Americans came to know about Oil-for-Food, which has been called the largest corruption scandal in history, the more the name of this little-known Montreal firm kept popping up. And the more links that seemed to emerge between Power Corp. and individuals or organizations involved in the Oil-for-Food scandal, the more Fox News and other news outlets sniffing around this story began to ask questions about who, exactly, this "Power Corp". is.

Paribas violated "know your client"—style banking regulations, which require banks to be vigilant in watching for money laundering and other criminal activities being conducted through their bank.

-Canada Free Press

They all have one common link: Montreal based Power Corp. reported annual revenues of $16 billion and was closely linked to BNP Parisbas, which handled funds transfers for the U.N. Oil-for-Food program. Power Corp is run by billionaire political power broker Paul Desmarais. Together Frechette and Desmarais sit on the board of the influential Trudeau Foundation.

While the [Desmaraises] family, worth an estimated US$4 billion and ranked the sixth richest in Canada, has always kept a fairly low profile, they have been in the news for decades--even if most Canadians never really noticed. The fact that the family happens to be friendly with the man who once ran the U.S. Federal Reserve won’t surprise those who know them: the Desmaraises are as well connected politically as they are corporately. And it’s arguable, based on the circumstantial evidence anyway, that nothing happens on Parliament Hill that isn’t, in some way, a product of the Desmarais family’s design. Prime Minister Paul Martin and former PMs Jean Chrétien, Brian Mulroney and Pierre Trudeau have all been close, personal friends of Paul Desmarais Sr. The story on Parliament Hill was that Trudeau’s leadership bid was cooked up in Power headquarters in Victoria Square in Montreal. In the hiatus of his political career in the 1980s, Chrétien cooled his heels sitting on the board of a Power Corp. subsidiary, Consolidated Bathurst, and Power executive John Rae ran Chrétien’s leadership campaigns in 1984 and 1990, as well as the 1993 election campaign that brought Chrétien to office. Martin got his start in the business world in the early sixties, working for then Power Corp. president Maurice Strong, and was made a millionaire, thanks to an undisclosed 1981 deal in which Desmarais sold him Canada Steamship Lines. Strong continues to act as one of Martin’s senior advisors.

The Canada Free Press tries to further unravel the entangled and sleazy relationship. It proved complex enough to require a diagram.

It gets even stranger. Volker, Ronald Reagan’s chairman of the United States Federal Reserve is an advisor to Power Corp. as well. His timidity of reprisal notwithstanding, he release the preliminary report critical of the UN, the Power Corp connection, the BNP Paribas connection, and quite consciously HIMSELF. A sacrificial lamb, or a cover up man? Volcker may have even been set up by Desmaraises in the belief that a senior American figure would be able to pacify the Congressional investigation, and cover up the links based on their fate being tied to one another. A kind of corrupt suicide pact – not abnormal at all with Canada’s
Liberal party, great “peacekeepers”, "freers of the oppressed", “alternate Americans”, and wind-up-toy type critics of the United States, and countless other unproved platatudes, regardless of the policy or who’s sitting in the Oval office...

The United Nations has refused to co-operate with the U.S. Congress investigations into the US$67-billion Oil-for-Food program and Security Council members Russia and France have refused to give Volcker the right to subpoena witnesses in the internal UN probe.

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