Monday, December 06, 2004

Nobody told me it was Kofi Annan Appreciation Day!

But the all the usual suspects chimed in to make it a festive occasion. The New York Times allows as how "Oil for Food" was a big rip-off, but there were other big Saddam frauds going on because it was "the responsibility of member nations to adhere to sanctions imposed by the Security Council" and they didn't do it. Somehow that doesn't strike me as an affirmative defense.

The Minneapolis (Red) Star Tribune chimed in and attacked Sen. Norm Coleman in a juvenile rant that demonstrates why they are the envy of the other high school newspapers in Minnesota. Then there's the Boston Globe's Thomas Oliphant:
NOW THAT virtually all of official conservatism and the Republican legislative juggernaut have opened up on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, with President Bush's winking acquiescence, it's time to explore a simple question: Just what is it that the guy has done? The answer is nada. It turns out there is no evidence that he did anything while the notorious and corrupted oil-for-food humanitarian program was operating in Iraq during the 1990s and beyond.
Er, Tom, that's exactly the problem. Kofi Annan presided over the biggest financial fraud in human history. And he did nada.

There was also more sad news for Kofi fans today - Annan's son used UN link to lobby for business:
The son of Kofi Annan, the United Nations Secretary-General, lobbied for business contacts at gatherings of UN officials on behalf of a company in the same year as it won an oil-for-food programme deal, it has emerged.

The second disclosure in a week about Kojo Annan's role with the Swiss company Cotecna Inspection Services, which secured the $4.8 million (£2.46 million) UN contract to monitor goods entering and leaving Iraq in 1998, has raised embarrassing questions for his father. The details were revealed in Cotecna company documents handed over under subpoena to US congressional scrutineers who are investigating the oil-for-food scandal in which Saddam Hussein is thought to have creamed off more than $20 billion.

In one billing memo, a US investigator told The Telegraph, Kojo Annan, 29, claimed fees and expenses for eight days' work in July 1998, including six days in Abuja "during my father's visit to Nigeria". On another, he claimed expenses and $500 a day for a 15-day trip to New York and the UN General Assembly in September 1998 for meetings on "special projects".
$500 per day? Ole Kojo doesn't travel light, I guess.

Not to worry, though. The bureaucrats at the UN have a secret plan!
THE United Nations — desperately in need of some positive spin — is considering a ploy to steal some of the Norwegian Nobel thunder by launching its own annual peace prize. It doesn't hurt that the highly politicized Nobel Peace Prize has been bestowed to such unpeaceful types as Yasser Arafat and appeasers like Jimmy Carter.
The UN is going to do better? Bwahahaha!
"The United Nations peace prize would be announced each year with the fanfare of a Live Aid-like concert, to be broadcast on a youth channel like MTV," said one source.
Sure, that'll help!
In the face of widespread corruption in Iraq's oil-for-food program, weapons proliferation and terrorism, it strikes one as both tone-deaf and feckless of them even to have that on the table."
They haven't got even a whiff of a clue. But then we knew that.