April 28, 2004

UNSCAM update

Glen at Instapundit has more on the UNSCAM (The United Nations Oil-for-Food scam which is slowly unraveling). He links to this New York Post article: bq. Why did France and Russia oppose efforts to topple Saddam Hussein's regime? And why did they press constantly, throughout the '90s, for an expansion of Iraqi oil sales? Was it their empathy for the starving children of that impoverished nation? Their desire to stop the United States from arrogantly imposing its vision upon the Middle East? bq. It now looks like they it was simply because they were on the take. Saddam was their cash cow. If President Bush has suffered some discredit over his apparently false - but not disingenuous - claims of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, the lapse is minor compared to the outright personal selfishness and criminality that appears to have motivated many of those who opposed his efforts to rid the world of one of its worst dictators. And just who was getting the money? bq. Now we know why the French and Russians were so insistent. Iraqi government documents list at least 270 individuals and entities who got vouchers allowing them to sell Iraqi oil - and to keep much of the money. These vouchers, and the promise of instant great wealth they carried with them, bought vital support in the United Nations to let Saddam stay in power. bq. The list of those receiving these bribes includes France's former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua (who's a leader of Chirac's party) and Patrick Maugein, the head of the French Oil firm Soco International. France's former U.N. ambassador, Jean-Bernard Merimee, got vouchers to sell 11 million barrels. bq. In Russia, the payoff chain reached right into the "office of the Russian president." President Vladimir Putin's Peace and Unity Party also got vouchers, as did the Soviet-era Prime Minister Nikolai Ryzhkov and the Russian Orthodox Church. Nationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky shared in the largesse. This is finally starting to get the coverage that it deserves. Posted by DaveH at April 28, 2004 8:40 AM