DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> PELICANPOST.BLOGSPOT.COM: The United Nations' "independent" investigation by compromised Paul Volcker only scratches the surface, finding $1.1M in fraud.... out of billions....

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The United Nations' "independent" investigation by compromised Paul Volcker only scratches the surface, finding $1.1M in fraud.... out of billions....

Well, today is our lucky day.... There is another *****Five Star, must read column here by Claudia Rosset, my favorite expert investigative journalist on the subject of the United Nations and the U.N. Oil-for-Food program fraud---the biggest fraud in history.

So far, the compromised Paul Volcker has provided an incremental, piecemeal pseudo-"investigation" that, with every new interim report that is released, takes on an odor of coverup and an appearance of whitewash that is unmistakeable.

Last week, a new report was released by Volcker that was little more than an exercise in tossing us a bone---as he announced the uncovering of the phenomenal amount of $1.1M in fraud, with no indication as to what has happened to the rest of the billions in Oil-for-Food program money that belongs to the Iraqi people and that they have never gotten.

We were thrown Benon Sevan as a token pacifier---a top assistant to Kofi Annan, who is now being made a scapegoat only after he has been kept on the U.N. payroll at $1 a year so he could hang on to his diplomatic immunity and get safely out of the country. He is accused of getting ca. $147K in bribes/kickbacks---small potatoes in the overall scheme of things, when you consider that billions are missing. No telling how much he will get to keep his mouth shut.

It is, and always has been, an exercise in total stupidity for the United States to belong to and continue to pour millions upon millions of U.S. taxpayers' dollars into an international organization that is anti-U.S., anti-democracy, pro-terrorism and totally corrupt in almost everything it does. And into an organization that operates in secrecy and is not held accountable for the money it takes in or the crimes it commits.

The United Nations is an organization that does not even follow its own charter. It stands by and does nothing as millions are killed by genocidal third-world dictatorships. And its own U.N. "peacekeepers" commit murder, rape and acts of pedophilia on defenseless victims they are supposed to be protecting from harm. In other words, the U.N. is a criminal farce---led by a third-world tinpot kleptocrat that thumbs his nose at his host country that provides 22% of U.N. dues.

It's time for klepto-Kofi to go.... and take all his kleptocrat comrades with him. And, absent total reform from the top-down and inside-out, the United Nations also needs to go. Sooner.... rather than later.

Read more below and at the above link.
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"Scratching the Surface The Volcker committee details $1.1 million in fraud--out of billions."

"A single dollar lost to corruption is a dollar too much if you're handling international public monies": With this pious utterance did United Nations chief of staff, Mark Malloch Brown, greet the findings that the head of the U.N.'s Oil for Food program, Benon Sevan, was on the take from Saddam Hussein.

Mr. Malloch Brown has a point, of course. Every dollar of public money should be handled as a sacred public trust. But his words are hard to reconcile with the workings of today's U.N., where it seems about the only thing top management is unwilling to do with cold cash is actually account for it....

In tracking even a small portion of the money that flowed through Oil for Food--and in this case into Mr. Sevan's hands--Paul Volcker's U.N.-authorized investigation has performed a service, as far as it goes.

Mr. Volcker's latest report, released Monday, documents bribes Mr. Sevan took from Saddam, via an Oil for Food contractor who happens to be a cousin of former Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, as well as what appears to be more garden-variety graft collected by a Russian staffer in the U.N. procurement department, Alexander Yakovlev, who among other matters was involved in the U.N. Secretariat's hiring of Oil for Food inspectors.

These tales, dramatic though they are, only begin to dabble in the river of graft that flowed through U.N.-administered deals under Oil for Food....

Following the denials, stonewalling and outrage with which not only Mr. Sevan but Secretary-General Kofi Annan greeted allegations of graft in the program, the first lesson ought to be that at the U.N., protestations of honesty and promises of virtue are cheap.

We don't need more words. We need to see what, exactly, the U.N. does with its money--or, for that matter, with anyone else's money. The funds grafted out of Oil for Food never belonged to the U.N.; they were by rights the property of the people of Iraq. Any ill-gotten gains spent by Mr. Sevan on New York restaurants and his Hamptons home were swiped from the same Iraqi children the U.N. was entrusted to care for.

Inside today's U.N., immune from law and veiled from public view, the gritty details and motivating effects of money are presumed to take a backseat to grand visions and good works. The two chronic demands of U.N. senior officials are that they need more money and that we should trust them to monitor themselves.

As it happens, Mr. Malloch Brown provides an excellent case in point. Press reports earlier this year disclosed that he has been renting a house for $10,000 a month from tycoon George Soros, who has collaborated extensively with the U.N. Development Program, which Mr. Malloch Brown has run since 1999 and until next month is still heading, concurrently with serving since January as Mr. Annan's chief of staff.

Mr. Malloch Brown has declared that under U.N. rules it is no conflict of interest for him to rent a house from Mr. Soros, and that he is under no obligation to disclose his personal financial affairs to the public. We are asked simply to trust him, and he has implied at U.N. press briefings that it is very bad manners to raise the subject at all....

Insisting at every turn that we must simply trust them, U.N. officials since the end of the Cold War have been channeling a rising tide of public funds, as well as private donations--seeking ever more ways both to raise money and spend it....

Ted Turner's billion-dollar bequest in 1998 blazed the way for big private donors to leverage their own agendas via the U.N. brand name. And around the so-called core U.N. annual budget of roughly $1.5 billion, there now orbits an asteroid belt of agencies, programs, special initiatives and chronic drives for emergency funding, totaling billions more--great chunks of it funded by U.S. taxpayers....

Kofi Annan.... had some acquaintance with money matters himself, having worked in the early 1990s as U.N. controller--picked in 1997 to run Oil for Food, the biggest relief program in U.N. history, administering tens of billions in oil sales and relief purchases by Saddam. Even then Saddam was notorious both at the U.N. and beyond as one of the kickback kings of the Middle East....

Mr. Sevan's take, as far as Mr. Volcker was able to document, came to just over $147,000. Compared with the billions grafted out of Oil for Food by the true pros, this is a sum so low it suggests Mr. Sevan sold himself and the U.N.'s integrity for chump change. Indeed, if Mr. Volcker's figures are in the ballpark, then Mr. Sevan as head of Oil for Food collected less in bribes than Kofi Annan's son, Kojo, collected in payments from 1999 through 2004 from a major Oil for Food contractor, his former employer....

It was only after the U.S.-led coalition toppled Saddam and secret documents began turning up in Baghdad that the U.N. was finally forced by press headlines and congressional pressure into launching an investigation....

Mr. Sevan, kept on by Mr. Annan since last year on a $1-a-year salary to "assist" in the investigation, had enough warning to skip the country, possibly to his native Cyprus, and from his undisclosed location resigned last weekend....

Mr. Volcker's latest report, after more than a year of investigation, is the first from his team to document actual bribes. It covers a grand total of $1.1 million in graft and runs to 130 pages, annexes included...."

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