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Senators Accuse U.N. Leader of Blocking Their Fraud Inquiry [Oil-for-Food Coleman, Levin write Kofi]
New York Times ^ | Nov 10, 2004 | JUDITH MILLER

Posted on 11/10/2004 4:55:47 PM PST by Mike Fieschko

Leaders of a United States Senate subcommittee investigating allegations of fraud in the oil-for-food program in Iraq have accused Kofi Annan, the United Nations secretary general, of obstructing their inquiry.

In a letter sent to Mr. Annan yesterday, the Republican chairman and ranking Democrat on the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations charged that the secretary general and a panel he appointed to conduct an independent investigation into the charges of abuses appeared to be "affirmatively preventing" the Senate from getting documents from a former United Nations contractor that inspected goods bought by Iraq.

The senators also complained that Mr. Annan was blocking access to 55 internal audit reports of the program and other relevant documents and refusing to permit United Nations officials to be interviewed by the subcommittee's investigators.

The United Nations-administered program, which ran from 1996 to 2003, allowed Iraq to sell oil to buy food and other essential supplies for Iraqis hurt by economic sanctions.

The senators said it had taken four months for Mr. Annan to reply to the subcommittee's requests, and when he finally did, he refused to cooperate with the Senate inquiry.

"We are concerned that the U.N.'s nondisclosure policy is being used as both a sword and a shield," the senators wrote, "sharing such 'internal records' when it favors the U.N., but then declining to do so when such disclosure could have negative implications."

The blunt letter is signed by the subcommittee's chairman, Senator Norm Coleman, Republican of Minnesota, and Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan.

Edward Mortimer, director of communications in the secretary general's office, said United Nations officials would "carefully look into what is clearly a very awkward and troubling letter."

He said he would also consult with Paul A. Volcker, who heads the United Nations-appointed investigation panel. Mr. Mortimer emphasized that Mr. Annan had instructed all United Nations staff to cooperate with Mr. Volcker's panel, known as the Independent Inquiry Committee.

Neither Mr. Volcker nor members of his staff, who have had a tense relationship with several House and Senate committees investigating the program, could be reached for comment last night.

The subcommittee also announced yesterday that on Monday it would hold the first of several hearings into allegations of widespread corruption in the $64 billion program. Among the first witnesses scheduled is Charles A. Duelfer, the chief American adviser on Iraq's unconventional weapons programs. Mr. Duelfer, the head of the Iraq Survey Group, recently published a lengthy report on Iraqi weapons programs that documented Saddam Hussein's use of the program not to buy civilian supplies as intended, but to generate billions of dollars in illicit money, undermine sanctions and buy conventional arms.

In their letter to Mr. Annan, the senators cited the United Nations' refusal to permit Lloyd's Register, which the United Nations had hired to inspect Iraq's purchases, to provide documents to the Senate investigators.

In an Aug. 31 letter, the director of the United Nations' legal affairs office told Lloyd's that while Lloyd's should cooperate fully with Mr. Volcker's panel, "under no circumstances" was it authorized to provide documents to the subcommittee.

The letter also asks Mr. Annan to permit the Senate investigators to interview 11 senior United Nations officials, including Benon V. Sevan, who headed the program. Mr. Duelfer's report said Mr. Sevan might have received oil allocations from Saddam Hussein. Mr. Sevan has denied any impropriety.



TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Michigan; US: Minnesota
KEYWORDS: israel; kofiannan; napalminthemorning; oilforfood; religionofpeace; uncorruption; wot
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1 posted on 11/10/2004 4:55:47 PM PST by Mike Fieschko
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To: Mike Fieschko

I'm in shock. This is the first thing, in recent memory, that Levin has done that I agree with.


2 posted on 11/10/2004 4:58:28 PM PST by Dolphy
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To: Mike Fieschko

A Democrat actually thinks the UN is obstructing their investigation? Are pigs flying?


3 posted on 11/10/2004 4:59:58 PM PST by Peach (The Clintons pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed)
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To: Dolphy

The OFF program must be taken care of. The people must know what went wrong there.


4 posted on 11/10/2004 5:01:00 PM PST by Angry Republican (yvan eht nioj!)
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To: Dolphy

great, ever coalition member should agree to withhold funding until criminal annan coughs up the goods, otherwise shut this worthless organization down.


5 posted on 11/10/2004 5:01:08 PM PST by michaelbfree
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To: Mike Fieschko
Annan not cooperating with the US? That is just so uncharacteristic of him. NOT. Time for the UN to pack up and move to Dutchland or Froggyville.
6 posted on 11/10/2004 5:01:12 PM PST by crazyhorse691 (We won. We don't need to be forgiving. Let the heads roll!!!!!!!!!)
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To: Mike Fieschko

Of course he is blocking any investigation because his son has been implicated in the early investigations this past summer. United Nations, right--the most worthless organization in the world, as far as I'm concerned.


7 posted on 11/10/2004 5:01:18 PM PST by charwel (charwel--Proud sister of a Swiftie)
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To: Peach; Dolphy

Levin might be going along with being a tough guy to help land Slick closer to the Sec. Gen. role.

??


8 posted on 11/10/2004 5:01:24 PM PST by prairiebreeze (George W Bush: Spending well-earned political capital.)
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To: prairiebreeze

Bush's Revenge!!!!!!!!!!!!Nukem Cowboy!!!!!!!!


9 posted on 11/10/2004 5:02:32 PM PST by JessieHelmsJr
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To: prairiebreeze

Anyone surprised?


10 posted on 11/10/2004 5:02:42 PM PST by Montresor
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To: Dolphy

I'm with you as to Levin. As to the UN, no surprise there. They are a most corrupt lot. May the light shine on them...


11 posted on 11/10/2004 5:03:13 PM PST by eureka! (It will not be safe to vote Democrat for a long, long, time...)
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To: Dolphy
I'm in shock. This is the first thing, in recent memory, that Levin has done that I agree with.

Same here.

I blinked a few times to make sure I read the article correctly, only then put it in the title.
12 posted on 11/10/2004 5:05:57 PM PST by Mike Fieschko ("A q should always be followed by a u. I dont make the rules, Iraq, but I will enforce them.")
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To: Mike Fieschko
In an Aug. 31 letter, the director of the United Nations' legal affairs office told Lloyd's that while Lloyd's should cooperate fully with Mr. Volcker's panel, "under no circumstances" was it authorized to provide documents to the subcommittee.

Says it all.

13 posted on 11/10/2004 5:05:58 PM PST by prairiebreeze (George W Bush: Spending well-earned political capital.)
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To: Dolphy
I'm in shock. This is the first thing, in recent memory, that Levin has done that I agree with.

But we have every reason to be suspicious....about his REAL motives.

14 posted on 11/10/2004 5:07:04 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach (A Proud member of Free Republic ~~The New Face of the Fourth Estate since 1996.)
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To: Mike Fieschko

Will this hearing be public? Will it be on cspan?


15 posted on 11/10/2004 5:07:21 PM PST by processing please hold (All I ever need to know about Islam, I learned on 9-11)
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To: Mike Fieschko

Okay.

Umm. Why is Levin doing the right thing?


16 posted on 11/10/2004 5:08:04 PM PST by Soul Seeker
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To: Peach
A Democrat actually thinks the UN is obstructing their investigation? Are pigs flying?

Don't worry, he'll find some way to blame the corruption on Republicans or Haliburton. The French, Germans, and Russians were innocent victims!

17 posted on 11/10/2004 5:09:08 PM PST by Auntie Dem (Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Terrorist lovers gotta go!)
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To: Soul Seeker
Im sick and tired of old europe.
18 posted on 11/10/2004 5:09:46 PM PST by lulo_08
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To: Soul Seeker
Why is Levin doing the right thing?

Kofi's term ending soon? Any replacement candidates?

Typing the first thing which came to mind.
19 posted on 11/10/2004 5:10:09 PM PST by Mike Fieschko ("A q should always be followed by a u. I dont make the rules, Iraq, but I will enforce them.")
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To: Dolphy

Judith Miller writing an article? Isn't she supposed to be in jail somewhere?


20 posted on 11/10/2004 5:11:16 PM PST by what's up
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To: Mike Fieschko

Lets hold up our UN funds and see how fast the come up with the docs.


21 posted on 11/10/2004 5:11:17 PM PST by luv2ndamend
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To: Mike Fieschko

We should leave the UN, its fundamentally UNAMERICAN institution.


22 posted on 11/10/2004 5:11:49 PM PST by lulo_08
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To: Montresor
Anyone surprised?

I'm not surprised at Annan's attempts to block the investigation. I am disappointed in Volcker.

I am surprised at Levin signing the letter and I am thrilled (but not surprised, since I knew they'd be held eventually) to learn about the hearings being scheduled.

23 posted on 11/10/2004 5:12:03 PM PST by cyncooper (And an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm)
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To: Mike Fieschko
I seem to recall that before our CIA raided Achmed Chalabi's offices, carried off truckloads of document boxes, didn't charge Chalabi with anything, but planted rumors in the press about his collusion with Iran, that his office was busy copying a warehouse full of documents detailing oil-for-food payoffs. At the same time a senior US military officer, perhaps Secretary of the Army, said on MSNBC that Chalabi's information had saved the lives of many GIs. Whose hand is in whose pockets? Best reporting I've seen is Claudia Rozzett in WSJ. Is Volcker just a patsy to give the appearance of some activity till the dust settles? Even some US companies, and probably some politicians too, received Saddam's "chits" - fungible oil contracts, good as cash.
24 posted on 11/10/2004 5:12:56 PM PST by Spaulding (Wagdadbythebay)
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To: Mike Fieschko; JediForce

If I may say so,Coffee Anan has little real power.He is mired by baseless accusations of corruption-the Democrats are in charge now -in my opinion....


25 posted on 11/10/2004 5:14:06 PM PST by Senator_Palpatine
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To: lulo_08
Mieseur Coffee, how big was that envelope this time, Si vu pleu?
26 posted on 11/10/2004 5:17:23 PM PST by rodguy911 ( President Reagan---all the rest.)
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To: Mike Fieschko
Bubba wants the job,lots of payoffs, travel ,chicks, it's

right up his alley.
27 posted on 11/10/2004 5:18:56 PM PST by rodguy911 ( President Reagan---all the rest.)
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To: cyncooper

I wonder if there is any chance GW will have a little "chat"

with Volcker?


28 posted on 11/10/2004 5:20:09 PM PST by rodguy911 ( President Reagan---all the rest.)
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To: what's up
Judith Miller writing an article? Isn't she supposed to be in jail somewhere?

No. The ruling is being appealed.

29 posted on 11/10/2004 5:21:27 PM PST by cyncooper (And an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm)
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To: Mike Fieschko

Not one more penny until they fully comply.


30 posted on 11/10/2004 5:22:27 PM PST by Natural Law
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To: EllaMinnow

Scandal ping (and a shocker on who signed a letter).


31 posted on 11/10/2004 5:23:34 PM PST by cyncooper (And an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm)
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To: lulo_08

That hand holding looks a little too intimate for my homophobic eyes.


32 posted on 11/10/2004 5:29:12 PM PST by revealerls
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To: charwel
Of course he is blocking any investigation because his son has been implicated in the early investigations this past summer.
33 posted on 11/10/2004 5:29:16 PM PST by World'sGoneInsane (LET NO ONE BE FORGOTTEN, LET NO ONE FORGET)
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To: charwel
Of course he is blocking any investigation because his son has been implicated in the early investigations this past summer.

Bump. There were people on the Charlie Rose show discussing this a couple of months ago. Unfortunately, I woke up and dozed off. These were not Republican politicians discussing it. They were people (probably liberals)that worked on behalf of the U.N. They seemed very nervous and very upset about the whole thing.

34 posted on 11/10/2004 5:29:49 PM PST by World'sGoneInsane (LET NO ONE BE FORGOTTEN, LET NO ONE FORGET)
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To: charwel

35 posted on 11/10/2004 5:29:51 PM PST by jrewingjr (WWLAD - What Would Lee Atwater Do?)
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To: Mike Fieschko

There is one quick way to get results from the UN. Cut of the $$. The bastards are useless without US $$.


36 posted on 11/10/2004 5:30:21 PM PST by caisson71
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To: Mike Fieschko

Levin signed the letter, and The New York Times actually reported on it. If this had happened a week ago, they never would have run this story.

I'll be curious what page they put this article on. But I believe Judith Miller is one of their few honest reporters.

Interestingly, she has been blamed by the leftists for supporting both Iraq wars. Do a Google search on her and you'll turn up a whole slew of attacks on her by the usual suspects, such as Alexander Cockburn.

It looks as if pigs are flying today, all right.


37 posted on 11/10/2004 5:33:26 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Senator_Palpatine

The zipper-heads in the blue states often confuse the United Nations with the United Federation of Planets from Star Trek. They can't tell the difference.

And they call red staters' dumb.


38 posted on 11/10/2004 5:39:01 PM PST by JediForce (To gloat or not to gloat ? That question is far to easy to be on the Global Test. GLOAT ! :-))
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To: Mike Fieschko




Get US Out of the UN Now!
39 posted on 11/10/2004 5:39:54 PM PST by Issaquahking (Hat trick! Bush won, Dasshole dethroned, Arafat "trying" to remain dead. Can't wait for next week!)
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To: Mike Fieschko
Kofi's term ending soon? Any replacement candidates?

Bill Clinton has be gunning for that job since before his re-election

40 posted on 11/10/2004 5:43:41 PM PST by sure_fine (*not one to over kill the thought process*)
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To: Soul Seeker
Umm. Why is Levin doing the right thing?

Smells fishy, doesn't it?

41 posted on 11/10/2004 5:45:31 PM PST by Fedora
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To: Spaulding
Is Volcker just a patsy to give the appearance of some activity till the dust settles?

That's what I've always assumed. I trust Volcker as much as I trust Kofi.

42 posted on 11/10/2004 5:47:01 PM PST by Fedora
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To: Mike Fieschko
This is an interesting excerpt from an article written some time ago

Annan’s critical view of Christians who struggle against the culture of death was made evident in December 2000 at a farewell event for Nafis Sadik, the former head of the UN's population control arm, UNFPA.

Annan praised Sadik for her promotion of population control around the world. "You have done more than anyone to bring about a radical change in the way the world sees population issues,” he said. In a revealing quote Annan lauded Sadik's "willingness to brave the wrath, if not of the Almighty Himself, then certainly of those who claim to speak for Him here on earth. ... And what is more, you have won your point."

After comments like these, I would think that Annan's blocking access to 55 internal audit reports and other relevant documents to the leaders of a United States Senate subcommittee, is mere child's play.

43 posted on 11/10/2004 6:00:01 PM PST by WhatNot ( B.I.B.L.E, Basic, Instructions, Before, Leaving, Earth.)
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To: prairiebreeze

You have a devious mind. I like it : -)


44 posted on 11/10/2004 6:08:34 PM PST by Peach (The Clintons pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed)
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To: Senator_Palpatine
"If I may say so,Coffee Anan has little real power.He is mired by baseless accusations of corruption-the Democrats are in charge now -in my opinion...."

In my opinion, you should step back from the crack pipe and then remain away from it for a period of several days. Unless of course you merely forgot the /sarcasm tag.

Coughing Anus wields plenty of power when you consider he is the official leader of a completely irrelevant organization that is rapidly heading to its' demise. He gets to determine which countries will attempt to undermine the US on which issues, and he also gets to issue those "stern warnings" and "threats of sanction" which help mold the very fabric of our daily existence. Without him, the UN may have actually become a world government, so he is actually owed our thanks.

His complete ineptitude at administering the UN has accelerated its' hypersonic ride into oblivion. I can't think of more than a couple of other leaders who could've done nearly as well in dooming the UN. Clinton comes to mind, along with Jimma Carter,or just about any head of state from the EU. Hell, I'll admit it. The much awaited death throes of the UN are all Bush's fault.

If that doesn't put him on Mt Rushmore, nothing will. Not even The Gipper was able to kill the UN.

45 posted on 11/10/2004 6:10:46 PM PST by datura (Rabies and lead poisoning combined with advanced syphilis approximates liberalism.)
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To: prairiebreeze
When it comes to Levin, being suspicious of his motives, whatever they may, is well warranted. Either Annan is so far over the top in his obstruction that even Levin can't figure out a way to blame Republicans or he has made a calculated political judgment in joining Coleman.
46 posted on 11/10/2004 6:15:56 PM PST by Dolphy
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To: datura
Actually, the second Bush term would be a good time to push for dissolving the UN as it exists today and starting over again. The current rules are based on the world as it existed in 1945, and that world has changed.

And the new organization should have a termed life of 50 years. Then we start over again, based on what the world looks like then.

47 posted on 11/10/2004 6:16:31 PM PST by Bernard (Let Freedom Reign)
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To: Peach

Naa. I honestly can't voluntarily atribute high-ground motives to any Demoncraps any more. I honestly have to think that a lot of RATS are squirming pretty hard at the scrutiny that Kofi and Co. are under. They'd rather it go away, because the UN is their solution to world peace, but they can't speak out against the investigation because of the scope and magnitude of the scandal.

A real pickle for the RATS. Heh.

Prairie


48 posted on 11/10/2004 6:18:34 PM PST by prairiebreeze (George W Bush: Spending well-earned political capital.)
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To: prairiebreeze
"under no circumstances" was it authorized to provide documents to the subcommittee.

Sounds an awful lot like "No controlling legal authority."

49 posted on 11/10/2004 6:39:04 PM PST by nonliberal (Up the feces tributary without a means of locomotion.)
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To: Mike Fieschko

why would a criminal allow you to investigate him? we need to get out of the UN and stop financing these terrorists.


50 posted on 11/10/2004 6:45:20 PM PST by CaptainAwesome2
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