April 6, 2004

U.N. Oil-Food scandal gains public awareness

The growing U.N. Oil-for-Food corruption and kickback scandal is starting to be brought out in mainstream media. Yahoo/USAToday has this article (Hat tip to Instaman): bq. Today, evidence suggests U.N. officials abused the program, enriching themselves, Saddam and favored foreign companies. The Iraqi Governing Council has hired accountants and lawyers to investigate Iraqi documents it says provide proof of corruption and fraud in the oil-for-food program. bq. Iraq's media have cited at least 270 suspects, including French and Russian firms, a senior U.N. official and a company linked to the son of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Last month, a U.S. congressional investigation estimated that Saddam siphoned $10 billion or more from the program in kickbacks and bribes. bq. The charges could be shrugged off as the unfortunate but all-too-typical type of corruption that defines both dictators and international aid programs, except for one thing: The scandal tars an organization that could play a crucial supporting role in U.S. efforts to turn Iraq into a stable democracy. This is the tip of the iceberg folks... Posted by DaveH at April 6, 2004 9:15 AM