Skip to comments.Iraq calls for wider oil-for-food probe
Posted on 02/04/2005 7:52:00 PM PST by NormsRevenge
UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Iraq called Friday for a widening of the investigation of the U.N. oil-for-food program and demanded the immediate return of money in the U.N. account that paid for administration of the humanitarian relief effort.
Iraq's U.N. Ambassador Samir Sumaidaie also reiterated the government's demand that the United Nations stop using oil-for-food money to pay for the independent investigation into the program led by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.
"It is outrageous that Iraqi funds were mismanaged and then we have to pay for finding out about the mismanagement," he told a news conference a day after Volcker issued an interim report saying the program was undermined by mismanagement and political cronyism and that its chief was guilty of serious conflicts of interest.
The oil-for-food program, launched in December 1996 to help ordinary Iraqis cope with U.N. sanctions imposed after Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, quickly became a lifeline for 90 percent of the country's population of 26 million.
Under the program, Saddam's regime could sell oil, provided the proceeds went to buy humanitarian goods or pay war reparations. Saddam's government decided on the goods it wanted, who should provide them and who could buy Iraqi oil. But the Security Council committee overseeing sanctions monitored the contracts.
In a bid to curry favor and end sanctions, Saddam allegedly gave former government officials, activists, journalists and U.N. officials vouchers for Iraqi oil that could then be resold at a profit.
"Saddam used the sales of oil as a political instrument. He awarded millions of barrels of oil to newspaper editors, to ministers of neighboring countries, to opinion formers. People around Iraq and further afield were bought by Saddam for oil," Sumaidaie said. "Gradually the facts will appear."
He said Volcker's report raises serious questions about U.N. credibility and "political influence" on the U.N. Secretariat in the administration of the oil-for-food program.
"We found that in the early days the Secretariat bent over backwards to please the Saddam regime," Sumaidiae said.
Iraq wants Volcker to widen the scope of his investigation and determine "the extent to which the regime benefited by inflating prices on contracts, getting kickbacks, and basically getting what they want," the ambassador said.
Volcker said in the report there is no doubt that Saddam's government made money illegally and sought to reward friends and cultivate political influence. The major source of illicit funds to Iraq was from smuggling, to Jordan, to Turkey, eventually to Syria, and then to Egypt, he said. But what isn't clear, he said, is how much those involved in the oil-for-food program pocketed.
The report cites former U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali as saying that in shaping the program he was responding to political pressure from both the United States and Iraq, suggesting that the deal wouldn't have worked otherwise.
The report also details links between Boutros-Ghali and people implicated in the report for conflict of interest.
For example, it lists him as a cousin of Fakhry Abdelnour, the head of an oil company called AMEP that the report says got oil concessions through the executive director of the oil-for-food program, Benon Sevan. Boutros-Ghali is also the brother-in-law of Fred Nadler, who the report says was a middleman between Sevan and Abdelnour.
"I have no control over the member of the family," the former U.N. chief told NBC in a phone interview from Paris. "Ask the Iraqis. They will tell you that I never received a penny."
Boutros-Ghali is also the brother-in-law of Fred Nadler, who the report says was a middleman between Sevan and Abdelnour.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan has launched disciplinary proceedings against Sevan, who the report accused of conflict of interest and tainting the image of the United Nations, but on Friday withheld judgment on the actions of Boutros-Ghali.
"Each secretary-general has to do things his way and in accordance with the circumstances that he finds himself in," Annan said. "I think Mr. Boutros-Ghali has indicated in the report, the environment and the circumstance in which he was taking those decisions and I don't want to second guess him."
Sumaidaie said Iraq also wants Volcker's team to look at the management of the oil-for-food program in the field - not just at U.N. headquarters.
There are allegations that U.N. personnel and contractors in the field, including in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq, Jordan and ports where inspections took place, performed "in a manner which is not consistent with the integrity with which they should behave," he said.
Asked about specifics, he said, some shipments that weren't part of the oil-for-food program were allowed into Iraq at border points.
Sumaidaie claimed that a significant amount of money in the $64 billion oil-for-food program was "subverted, squandered, and misspent" and never reached the Iraqi people.
Annan rejected a previous Iraqi appeal to stop paying for the investigation from the oil-for-food administrative fund.
But Sumaidaie said Iraq will press its objection to paying for the Volcker inquiry - already over $30 million - with members of the U.N. Security Council. The Iraqi government also wants all money remaining in the administrative fund "returned to Iraq without delay," he said.
Koffi needs to return his takings to Iraq.
It really is Bush's fault!
He better stop rejecting this. Any court in the world, including the UN's pet World Court would stop him from using sanctioned funds like this I suspect.
It's a crime and a sin to double dip the Iraqi people like this. let the UN use their own funds.
If there IS not more oil-for-food program, why does the UN still have access to Iraqi money?
Just more opportunities for thievery by this band of knaves.
THE UN IS AN ORGANIZED CRIME ORGANIZATION!
I saw the Iraqi Ambassador on CSPAN and he is a very capable man.
Handled some of the more leftists reporters very well, and at one point , to one of their questions said that the Iraqi people were very appreciative to the American people and their soldiers for removing the tyrant Saddam.
And that they could not have removed him themselves..
Some of the questions were ( in my opinion ) were trying to get him to make some statement that they could use to portray the United States or George Bush as having committed some slights against the Iraqi people.....
Not sure when a replay might be shown again, but think it would be worth watching.
The Iraqi's have some major issues with the UN Secretariat...( that's Kofi Annan and his Organization )
Also said what Volcker has revealed in the report is just the tip of the iceberg.
Isn't freedom grand? Who would have thought that the Iraqi people would ever have a voice, much less a new power to demand their money back?
Watch out, tyrants, freedom is coming to a country near you. Then it will overtake you like a whirlwind, and you will not be able to stand.
Good, good, good!
Any of this money end up buried in a jar behind the Clinton Lie-brary?
Bump, bump, bump! Outstanding FReeper comments. Thanks for taking time to post great news!
After the despotates of the Moslem world are removed by the US military, the world will become an inherently more peaceful place. Other than perhaps Europe, which is just now acknowledging the problem with Moslems in their midst, but aren't doing much about it.
At that point GWB should get the Nobel Peace Prize. He will then accept it on behalf of the American people and particularly those who serve.
That would chap Clinton's ass, eh? :'D
Fred Nadler wouldn't be any relation to New York Democrat Jerrold Nadler, would he?
...Doubtful but anyway, lots of interesting stuff here.
Neal Boortz has the right idea- kick them off US soil, plop them down in Haiti, and tell them, "when you get this straightened out, give us a call..."
--Sex abuse charges rock UN in Congo-
-- Interesting this is being posted today. Talk show host Dennis Prager had the Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Doree Gold, on his show today. Mr. Gold has just written a book about the UN called the Tower of Babble(i think this was the title). Some of the things he was saying about the UN were unbelievable.
--TV campaign urging: Kick U.N. out of U.S.-
"I say we just give the entire country of Haiti to the UN."--or move them to Zimbabwe or another country in Africa. Let them see what the really do for the world.
--UN knew of Saddam's oil-for-food thefts: BBC-
The sooner we resign from this corrupt organization and kick them off our soil, the better.
Click this picture & goto "last" for the latest UN scandals:
Representative Nadler is a graduate of Crown Heights Yeshiva, Stuyvesant High School, Columbia University, where he was a Pulitzer Scholar, and Fordham Law School. The Congressman lives on the West Side of Manhattan with his wife, Joyce, and son, Michael.
From Carroll's Federal Directory, http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC:
Birth: June 13, 1947 in Brooklyn, NY
He was born in Brooklyn, spent part of his childhood on a farm in New Jersey, and then returned to Brooklyn for the remainder of his childhood. He now lives on Manhattan's West Side with his wife, Joyce Miller, and their son. http://www.house.gov/nadler/ 10/26/00
Family: spouse, Joyce; 1 son: Michael.
Also here's a list of some of his financial contributors, FWIW:
Go to: http://www.getusout.org/un/index.html . Then go lobby at http://www.conservativeusa.org/megalink.htm .
The United Nations is a corrupt disgrace and it is time for the USA to WITHDRAW from and defund the United Nations. Please tell your senators, congressmen and everyone you know to support Representative Ron Pauls bill H.R. 1146 which would WITHDRAW the USA from the United Nations, prohibit US funds going to the UN and prohibit US troops serving under UN command. H.R 1146 is the American Sovereignty Restoration Act.
From what volcker, himself, has said, he plans on only releasing "the tip of the iceburg". Talk about cover-up. The Iraqis have the full list of names and have said in the past that they would release the whole stinking list. I think they'll have to.
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