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Old 05-06-2004, 08:02 AM   #1
chukzombi
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Default Massive Coverup in UN 'Oil for Food' scandal

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,119116,00.html


U.N. Warns Oil-for-Food Companies on Documents

Thursday, May 06, 2004

UNITED NATIONS — The office of the senior U.N. official in charge of the scandal-plagued Iraqi oil-for-food (search) program has sent letters to companies involved in the program telling them they should not hand over any documents or information without first clearing it with the United Nations.



According to the letters obtained by Fox News, the companies "should retain and safeguard" any documents related to the program and should provide them to U.N. officials upon request. The letters came from the office of Undersecretary-General Benon V. Sevan (search), though aides signed the letters on his behalf.

One of the letters was sent to a company called Cotecna Inspection S.A. (search), which for five years had the job of authenticating all goods being shipped into Iraq under the oil-for-food program.

It's also the company that once employed the son of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (search). Annan has said his son Kojo stopped working for the company before the Cotecna contract was awarded.

The second letter, dated April 27, was provided to Fox News with the company name hidden. The source who provided the letter said it was one of the hundreds of companies authorized to do business with the oil-for-food program.

Both letters — as well as a third one made public earlier this week to Saybolt Corp. (search), an inspection agency hired by the United Nations to monitor the loading of Iraqi oil — remind the companies of their contractual confidentiality agreements. For example, the April 2 Cotecna letter says all documents and data "shall be the property of the United Nations, shall be treated as confidential and shall be delivered only to United Nations authorized officials."

All three of these letters came from Sevan, who ran the oil-for-food program and who is accused of personally profiting $3.5 million through alleged illegal oil transactions.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill expressed concern about the potential conflict of interest, saying that U.N. officials who are themselves being investigated appear to be trying to control the information investigators can access.

"We view our role in many cases as a catalyst. Ultimately, the truth has to be known and the U.N. has to disclose it," said Rep. Christopher Shays (search), R.-Conn. "We can't ignore the serious allegations of malfeasance. The U.N. is under an ominous cloud."

Sen. John Ensign (search), R-Nev., said the most scandalous actions may still be to come.

"We're afraid there could be a major cover-up that could (dwarf) the original scandal," Ensign told Fox News. "We all know in America the cover-up can be worse than the crime and we certainly don't want this covered up ... The United Nations certainly shouldn't be above the law."

U.N. officials said the letters are standard procedure to remind companies of their contractual obligations.

But a senior congressional aide involved in the investigation said that the longer the United Nations clings to these confidentiality agreements, the more it will suffer potentially irreparable credibility problems.

Sevan ran the program for seven years and is retiring on May 31, but U.N. officials said he would remain available for the investigation.

"Benon has stated quite clearly that he is innocent," Annan said last month. "He has indicated he will cooperate, as I expect all other staff members to cooperate."

The U.N. chief declared that he was "very keen" for the three-member panel led by former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker (search) to report "as soon as possible." And he promised that any U.N. official found guilty of accepting bribes or kickbacks would be dealt with "very severely."

Sevan is currently out of the United States and has declined requests to speak to Fox News about his role in the program. He has maintained in the past that he did nothing wrong, and would cooperate fully with the Volcker investigation.

The Volcker panel doesn't have subpoena authority and will rely on voluntary cooperation from governments, U.N. staff, members of Saddam's former government and current Iraqi leaders. They claim they have evidence that dozens of people, including top U.N. officials, took kickbacks from the $67 billion oil-for-food program.

John Ruggie (search), a former U.N. assistant secretary general, told Fox News on Wednesday that he did not see the letters as a tactic to prevent investigators from getting needed information but rather as a way of conforming to the United Nation's general bureaucracy.

"The letter did not state that no documents will be released. The letter stated 'check with us,'" Ruggie said. "They will be turned over to Paul Volker and that's where they belong ... Volker owns every document that's relevant to the oil-for-food program."
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Old 05-06-2004, 08:10 AM   #2
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And how is this pertinent to anything?
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Old 05-06-2004, 08:18 AM   #3
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Lawmakers on Capitol Hill expressed concern about the potential conflict of interest, saying that U.N. officials who are themselves being investigated appear to be trying to control the information investigators can access.

"We view our role in many cases as a catalyst. Ultimately, the truth has to be known and the U.N. has to disclose it," said Rep. Christopher Shays (search), R.-Conn. "We can't ignore the serious allegations of malfeasance. The U.N. is under an ominous cloud."

Sen. John Ensign (search), R-Nev., said the most scandalous actions may still be to come.
Funny thing is that these Republicans weren't questioning the potential conflict of interest of having Dick Cheney on the ticket as vice president in the 2000 election. I smell the stinky hole of pure politics.
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Old 05-06-2004, 08:24 AM   #4
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And how is this pertinent to anything?
Do people often drop 67 billion dollars into your lap and say oh here ya go ? There is a reason why this happened and why those monies ended up where they did. This is just tip of the iceberg. More to come.
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Old 05-06-2004, 08:27 AM   #5
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Why does this matter now? I thought the UN was irrelevant.
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Old 05-06-2004, 08:38 AM   #6
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What Chuk is pointing out is WHY the UN is irrelevant.
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Old 05-06-2004, 08:41 AM   #7
chukzombi
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Why does this matter now? I thought the UN was irrelevant.
We might think of the UN as irrelevant becuase they revolve around our actions, but other countries like France Russia Germany and some others who rely on the UN policies have more of a stake in what goes on. Its interesting the countries who voted against our policies just so happen to be the countries receiving kickbacks from this corrupt program the UN was in charge of.
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Old 05-06-2004, 09:50 AM   #8
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I fail to see where this is relevant at all to anything we do.
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Old 05-06-2004, 11:04 AM   #9
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It is relevant in that is shows that seeking UN approval for anything is like asking a mob Don for permission to make a hit. The UN is full of corrupt self serving bastards and for anyone to make claims that the US "must act on UN approval" for anything we do is a fucking moron.

Hmm..why do I feel like I just called John Kerry a fucking moron...
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Old 05-06-2004, 11:10 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Trith
The UN is full of corrupt self serving bastards...
I agree...

Partial list of full members of the UN:

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland-- (24 Oct. 1945)
United Republic of Tanzania -- (14 Dec. 1961)
United States of America -- (24 Oct. 1945)
Uruguay -- (18 Dec. 1945)
Uzbekistan -- (2 Mar. 1992)
Vanuatu -- (15 Sep. 1981)
Venezuela -- (15 Nov. 1945)
Viet Nam -- (20 Sep. 1977)
Yemen -- (30 Sep. 1947)

Full list of "corrupt bastards" here.
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Old 05-06-2004, 02:25 PM   #11
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You left out the most important ones...

France
Germany
Russia
China

All of whom have been implicated to varying degrees in the Oil for Bribes....err Food scandle.
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Old 05-06-2004, 02:30 PM   #12
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Maybe some one should take the time and post links to the threads where people complained about the US going against the UNs decisions regarding Iraq. Maybe then it will have some relevance to the people complaining about our "illegal" war.

The UN was bought and paid for.
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Old 05-06-2004, 02:30 PM   #13
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Heh. Luri made sure to place the USA on her short list.
There are no words to describe the ignorace portrayed by
you leftist jokers.



God Bless America
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