Friday, November 26, 2004

Oil for Fraud update

This has not been getting that much attention lately, but it may soon change:

Oil-for-food has become the biggest financial scandal in the UN's history. Senior officials are under intense scrutiny. The UN has been known for decades to play host to pockets of patronage and cronyism, but never before has it been linked to fraud on this scale.

Benon Sevan, the director of the oil-for-food program, continues to deny he profited from oil vouchers allocated in his name. He, like others, will be awaiting anxiously an interim report, expected by January, from a UN-appointed inquiry.

It's bad enough for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan that somebody he appointed to a position of trust may be implicated. But what has most besmirched the UN's reputation is the accusation it was linked organically to a multibillion-dollar scam set up to sustain the Iraqi dictator in power.

The question is where this sordid money trail might lead - not just at the UN, but in the government and business elites of leading powers on the Security Council.

Where indeed:

One of the next big chapters in the United Nations oil-for-food scandal will involve the family of the secretary-general, Kofi Annan, whose son turns out to have been receiving payments as recently as early this year from a key contractor in the oil-for-food program.

The secretary-general's son, Kojo Annan, was previously reported to have worked for a Swiss-based company called Cotecna Inspection Services SA, which from 1998-2003 held a lucrative contract with the U.N. to monitor goods arriving in Saddam Hussein's Iraq under the oil-for-food program. But investigators are now looking into new information suggesting that the younger Annan received far more money over a much longer period, even after his compensation from Cotecna had reportedly ended.

The importance of this story involves not only undisclosed conflicts of interest, but the question of the role of the secretary-general himself, at a time when talk is starting to be heard around the U.N. that it is time for him to resign, and the staff labor union is in open rebellion against "senior management."

"What other bombshells are out there being hidden from the public and U.N. member governments?" asked an investigator on Rep. Henry Hyde's International Relations Committee, which has held hearings on oil-for-food.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Well lookie here...

Look what they found in a terrorist hideout:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A laboratory for the manufacture of chemical weapons has been found in Falluja after a U.S. offensive to drive out guerrillas who had controlled the Iraqi city, Minister of State Kassim Daoud says.

"Soldiers from the Iraqi National Guard found a chemical laboratory that was used to prepare deadly explosives and poisons," Daoud told a news conference on Thursday. "They also found in the lab booklets and instructions on how to make bombs and poisons. They even talked about the production of anthrax."

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

About those forgeries, Dan...

It seem that a problem over forged documents for Mr. Rather wasn't just in 2004.

Why are we not surprised that this happened in California

I guess something like this was only a matter of time:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California teacher has been barred by his school from giving students documents from American history that refer to God -- including the Declaration of Independence.

Steven Williams, a fifth-grade teacher at Stevens Creek School in the San Francisco Bay area suburb of Cupertino, sued for discrimination on Monday, claiming he had been singled out for censorship by principal Patricia Vidmar because he is a Christian.

"It's a fact of American history that our founders were religious men, and to hide this fact from young fifth-graders in the name of political correctness is outrageous and shameful," said Williams' attorney, Terry Thompson.

"Williams wants to teach his students the true history of our country," he said. "There is nothing in the Establishment Clause (of the U.S. Constitution) that prohibits a teacher from showing students the Declaration of Independence."

Sunday, November 21, 2004

What the...

There are some congressional staffers who need to be removed. Pronto. This is why:
“WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congress passed legislation Saturday giving two committee chairman and their assistants access to income tax returns without regard to privacy protections, but not before red-faced Republicans said the measure was a mistake and would be swiftly repealed.”

Why we shoot "injured" terrorists

This will not get wide reporting in the MSM:
In Fallujah, where U.S. Marines and soldiers are still battling pockets of resistance, insurgents waved a white flag of surrender before opening fire on U.S. troops and causing casualties, Marine spokesman 1st Lt. Lyle Gilbert said Saturday without elaborating.

Why France is not our friend

Just some clips from GeoPoliticalReview:
...the following two situations are incredibly concerning regarding France's role as an ally in the worldwide War on Terror. The first example comes from the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) which reveals that France has become an outpost for the Iraqi resistance:...

The second development is that France has approved a Hezbollah-linked TV channel to broadcast within the European Union which is all but guaranteed to increase the already large amount of anti-Semitic propaganda in France and Europe:...

The fact that a terrorist-linked media network is permitted to broadcast in France might explain the revelation that three Frenchmen were recently killed fighting with insurgents against US-led troops in Iraq. We should also note that the Fox News channel is not allowed to broadcast in France. ...

Sensing the growing French hostility towards the United States, and especially their Iraq venture, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage stated yesterday that Chriac is "fearful that we'll be successful…since he's made the decision not to be involved in Iraq." ...

Oh, and we did not even have time to discuss Chirac's assertion that only the United Nations should decide wars or his reiteration that the Iraq war was illegal. It really has been a busy week.
Read the whole thing. Meanwhile. take a look at this video of the French gunning down unarmed civilians in the Ivory Coast (Link via Instapundit.)