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Where's the Outrage? Why has the Oil for Food scandal not attracted the media's ire?
HARVARD CRIMSON.COM ^ | DECEMBER 21, 2004 | MARK A. ADOMANIS

Posted on 12/22/2004 8:06:12 PM PST by CHARLITE

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Imagine that a United States government program, Medicaid for example, had lost more than 20 billion dollars to blatant graft and corruption. Imagine that the executive director of that program had himself benefited personally to the tune of millions of dollars. Imagine that the President’s son was under serious suspicion of being involved in the scandal. Imagine that the “independent” government investigation was being paid for with funds from the program itself. Imagine that some of the money skimmed off was used to fund a terrorist insurgency. Finally, imagine that the scandal permeated the government to such a degree that national security decisions were influenced. Well it turns out that an active imagination really isn’t necessary—all of these things actually happened under the auspices of the vaunted United Nations (UN) oil for food program in Iraq. What is clearly the single biggest case of humanitarian fraud in history, and what might be the largest financial fraud of any kind in modern times, has gone rather unnoted in the American media.

To be fair, there have been some stories on the scandal, but the media has certainly not “flooded the zone” or applied the sort of consistent pressure that blows stories open. At a time when the UN’s role is under debate as never before, the lack of attention to this issue is troubling. Additionally, it is downright strange, because the American media are usually fascinated by “whistleblower” stories of institutional corruption and deceit. Surely we all remember the media attention lavished upon the Enron scandal, the ceaseless search for more documents and evidence and the sympathy heaped upon the poor souls who were victimized by Ken Lay’s malfeasance.

Where, though, are the sympathy pieces for the Iraqi children who died because of the systematic defrauding of tens of billions of dollars? Where are the hit pieces on the corrupt UN bureaucrats who cut deals with a mass-murderer to line their own pockets? Why has Kofi Annan, the person ultimately responsible for the UN’s conduct, not had his feet held to the fire as any other public figure would? What’s more, why have the people who blew the lid on this scandal not been honored? The women who blew open scandals at the FBI, Worldcom, and Enron were honored with extensive media coverage, interviews and eventually shared Time magazine’s person of the year award.

The reason is that the United Nations, especially among media types, still conjures up vague connotations of unselfishness, unity and peace-seeking; people find it hard to believe that the one significant institution of world wide governance is just as corrupt and dysfunctional as any third world autocracy. How is it possible that a program run to benefit Iraqi citizens could end up giving money to the terrorists who are now so regularly blowing them to pieces? Because the United Nations is, and has been for some time, corrupt. The media should lose their outdated awe for the United Nations and recognize it for what it is: not a utopian world-government but a Byzantine, unaccountable, deeply flawed and all too often selfish bureaucracy.

Mark A. Adomanis ’07, a Crimson editorial editor, is a government concentrator living in Eliot House.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: kofiannan; media; oilforfood; outrage; scandal; un; uncorruption; whistleblowers

1 posted on 12/22/2004 8:06:13 PM PST by CHARLITE
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To: CHARLITE
The oil for food program was approved by the US. Every transaction, including the ones to Saddam friends on the Security Council have been approved by the Clinton administration. Now, the media has dilemma, name Clinton as the bad guy, or shut up?
2 posted on 12/22/2004 8:11:12 PM PST by conservlib
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To: CHARLITE

The Left covers for its own, and cares not who (else) dies in the process. We have many decades of examples of this; it is nothing new.


3 posted on 12/22/2004 8:11:38 PM PST by sionnsar ( trad-anglican.faithweb.com || Iran Azadi || http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1304997/posts)
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To: CHARLITE

It's not bad news for the US, so therefore it is not news to the MSM. There is never anything in the news about any good going on around the world. Nothing beyond fluff crap anyway.


4 posted on 12/22/2004 8:15:56 PM PST by vpintheak (Liberal = The antithesis of Freedom and Patriotism)
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To: CHARLITE

What are they supposed to do when Willie Wonka George Bush sends out the clowns to ENDORSE Coffee ANNAN?

It's becoming much more clear that "W" is a new world order guy in sheeps clothing. No border protection, no assault on the UN for abiding the Hussein regime through oil for food shanagins, no massive military assault on the Iraq maggots, keeping Tenent and Mineta on as cooleys to the cause....

Ann Coulter for President.


5 posted on 12/22/2004 8:17:10 PM PST by Time is now (We'll live to see it......Does anyone see it yet?....)
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To: CHARLITE
Where's the Outrage? Why has the Oil for Food scandal not attracted the media's ire?

The UN is a corrupt turkey.

But it is the left's corrupt turkey. Therefore, sacrosanct and safe from carping by the mainstream media.

6 posted on 12/22/2004 8:18:01 PM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: Time is now

.....Zactly!!!!


7 posted on 12/22/2004 8:20:16 PM PST by Yaco ("split up and charge both ways !!" NB Forrest)
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To: CHARLITE
The MSM won`t condemn the UN because it is the liberal dream for a single world government.
The UN now is the closest that comes to this.
The libs are still in search of Marx`s utopian world and can`t bear to think that the UN could be caught up in that terrible capitalist (according to them anyways) thing called greed.
8 posted on 12/22/2004 8:25:45 PM PST by carlr
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To: Time is now
I just sent this note to President Bush:

Dear Mr. President, When is your administration going to enforce the law?

9 posted on 12/22/2004 8:28:47 PM PST by Cobra64 (Babes should wear Bullet Bras - www.BulletBras.net)
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To: Yaco

I figure, nobody is getting very upset because they're in one of two categories:
1. They are extremely pro-UN to the point of being able to ignore even such outrageous corruption.
-or-
2.They have been uncertain about or opposed to the UN and heard about this scam ages ago.


10 posted on 12/22/2004 8:29:43 PM PST by prayerwarriorJK (espresso saves my grades)
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To: conservlib
Let's trot out this "Clinton Connection" when the "empress" starts running for president! Let's remind everyone of how her husband pardoned Marc Rich, who - we now know - was up to his eyeballs in the entire U.N. Oil For Food scandal. Mr. & Ms. Kleen-Tone had to know all about it, although KILLERY is going to declare, in front of a bank of microphones as she did about her brother's (and his brother's) complicity in selling pardons, or the buying of New Square's entire town's votes for her Senate run......"I knew nothing. . . I had no knowledge of........."
11 posted on 12/22/2004 8:30:38 PM PST by CHARLITE ((very-angry-and-not-going-to-take-it-anymore))
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To: CHARLITE
How does Harvard allow this blasphemy?

Die UN uber alles!

12 posted on 12/22/2004 8:31:11 PM PST by Paladin2 (SeeBS News - We Decide, We Create, We Report - In that order! - ABC - Already Been Caught)
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To: CHARLITE

Ditto.


13 posted on 12/22/2004 8:35:10 PM PST by conservlib
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To: Time is now

"George Bush sends out the clowns to ENDORSE Coffee ANNAN?"

Let me explain it to you this way. If Bush wants to get Annan then he cannot attack him directly. That would rally the MSM to his defense. Bush knows that Annan is seriously wounded and prefers to let him twist in the wind. Annan is no longer a serious problem because no one believes that he is not corrupt and a puppet of the third world anti-American governments. The damage to Annan has been done by reporting in the MSM, and as such, has temendous impact. Bush did a similar thing when asked in the 1st debate to tell us why Kerry was not qualified to be president. Rather (gate) than taking the bait, he praised the man. In the same manner, he refused to endorse the Swift Boat Veterans, stating instead that Kerry had served this country honorably as a soldier in Vietnam. Bush understands that sometimes the best message is silence. The election proved him right. He is now been blessed with the oil-for-palace and corruption scandal which will gradually rip the heart out of the United Nations as long as Bush keeps silent about it. This President has the unusual ability to know when to fight and when not to. The Spector controversy is another example. Bush endorsed Spector when conservatives demanded his head. Now we see that the addition of two pro-life senators to the Judicary Committee will ensure that Spector keeps his promises. The clarity of his political vision with the ability to choose the time and place for combat has served this President well and will produce a lasting victory in the Middle East and the American government.


14 posted on 12/22/2004 8:44:34 PM PST by kralcmot (Duh-uhhhhhhh ....wake up! and smell the cordite)
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To: conservlib

Not only that, but the Left has a vested interest in blaming Bush for whatever it can.

In their minds, Bush didn't have the diplomatic skills to build the type of coalition that THEY felt was "legitimate". If they bury this Oil-for-Palaces scandal, they don't have to admit that maybe, just maybe, these nations that opposed Bush (France, Germany, etc.) didn't want to back him because they had a sweet, under-the-table deal with Saddam and didn't want it to be ruined. They can continue to pretend that Bush is the problem, and that the war is "illegal" (never mind 17 Security council resolutions over 12 years, including 678, 687, and 1441 -- "and THIS time we really, really, really, really, really, really, really mean it!!)


15 posted on 12/22/2004 8:46:57 PM PST by Purrcival
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To: kralcmot
The election was a resounding rejection of Kerry as much as the 52% endorsement of Bush. Mr. Bush better keep his eyes open 'cause he's dancing real close to the flame of "Billary" getting the next 4 years... Stone cold bitch knows how to steal an election, like her old man!
16 posted on 12/22/2004 8:55:13 PM PST by Time is now (We'll live to see it......Does anyone see it yet?....)
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To: CHARLITE

BECAUSE a republican is not running it.


17 posted on 12/22/2004 8:56:29 PM PST by TheEaglehasLanded
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To: Purrcival
just maybe, these nations that opposed Bush (France, Germany, etc.) didn't want to back him because they had a sweet, under-the-table deal with Saddam and didn't want it to be ruined

That is exactly correct. France, Russia, and China were all working on lifting the sanction. They even employed England to help them convince the US to lift the sanction. In fact there was so much pressure on the US to lift the sanction from all over the world; we almost did.

18 posted on 12/22/2004 8:56:54 PM PST by conservlib
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To: CHARLITE

If it doesn't make Bush or Haliburton look bad, the Media doesn't care. Period.


19 posted on 12/22/2004 9:03:09 PM PST by Zman516
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To: CHARLITE

Pretty good for Harvard, eh?

Either this guy is a conservative, or there's a new breed of leftist brewing.


20 posted on 12/22/2004 9:03:53 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

To: Baynative
Actually the Chief neo-con, Mr. William Kristol is asking for Rumsfeld head on a platter. Mr. Perle, and Kristol are going to use Rumsfeld as the fall guy.
22 posted on 12/22/2004 9:07:10 PM PST by conservlib
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To: CHARLITE

Socialist mass media = liberals = love United Nations = will not criticize


23 posted on 12/22/2004 9:07:22 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: conservlib

Y'know, that really ticks me off, because I love Rummy and I think he's getting a bum rap. I don't think he has mismanaged the war. There is no way to micromanage something like that, you just have to roll with the punches.
I also don't blame him for Abu Ghraib, etc. He has, what, 2-1/2 million people (?) under him, spread all over the world. Last time I checked, he is not omnipresent or omnipotent. He's also not clairvoyant. The CEO of the company where I work has "only" about 150,000 people under her, and she wouldn't even BEGIN to try to micromanage us. And if she did, she would drive all of us stark raving nuts.

I really don't understand why Kristol, Trent Lott, etc. are ganging up on Rummy all of a sudden. Well, I do understand McCain and Hagle (they're already trying to position themselves for '08). But thank God for Bush and his loyalty. I don't think it's misplaced in the case of Rummy.


24 posted on 12/22/2004 9:28:17 PM PST by Purrcival
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To: Purrcival
McCain is worthless. But this loser Kristol to demand Rumsfeld head on a platter is outrageous. First who the heck is he?
25 posted on 12/22/2004 9:35:11 PM PST by conservlib
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To: conservlib

Bill Kristol is Editor of the Weekly Standard, and also is a FOX News contributor. You'll see him from time to time on the talking head programs, and occasionally on Washington Journal on C-SPAN. Trying to find a picture for you...


26 posted on 12/22/2004 9:48:36 PM PST by Purrcival
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To: conservlib

Here ya go:

Darn...I copied a picture from a link I found on a google search, but I don't seem to be able to paste it here. Will have to hunt down a FAQ and find out how. In the meantime, here's the link:

http://www.washspkrs.com/speakers/Speaker.cfm?SpeakerID=1234

Hmmmm...I can copy and paste the link, but not the picture?


27 posted on 12/22/2004 9:52:18 PM PST by Purrcival
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To: Purrcival
I cannot stand to look at this guy Kristol. He looks like a fag or something?
28 posted on 12/22/2004 9:57:43 PM PST by conservlib
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To: conservlib

Well, I don't know anything about his state-of-"fagginess"
;-) but he's usually a lot more reasonable than he is being right now. Not sure I completely understand his position where Rummy is concerned.


29 posted on 12/22/2004 10:04:12 PM PST by Purrcival
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To: Purrcival
If you search the roots of neo-cons, you will quickly find the answer. The consevative magazine has a nice article about Kristol and the neocons using Rummy as scape goat., which I will try to post here soon.
30 posted on 12/22/2004 10:08:54 PM PST by conservlib
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To: conservlib

Great-thanks! I'm logging off soon, but will look for it Thursday night when I get on again.


31 posted on 12/22/2004 10:11:04 PM PST by Purrcival
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To: CHARLITE
"Because the United Nations is, and has been for some time, corrupt."

The U.N. is not simply corrupt and incompetent, it is EVIL!

We must remember the origins of the U.N.; that it was and is an organization which has its roots in Communism, and always favors Communism, terrorists, and Socialists whenever it takes a position on anything.

When the Neo-cons repeat the language of the MSM, they tend to buttress the widely-held (incorrect) belief that the U.N. has "noble intentions", it's just that they somehow keep getting it wrong. Time after time.

32 posted on 12/23/2004 6:06:11 AM PST by Designer (Sysiphus Sr. to Junior; "It was uphill, all the way, both ways!")
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