Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The UN, Bremer, Iraq and Corruption

It's not getting a lot of play because of the aftermath of the State of the Union speech etc but a committee lead by former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Paul Volker, has just released a report accusing a UN official from Cyprus of corruption including soliciting and paying bribes while running the UN's "Oil For Food" program.

This is interesting because this scandal is widely pointed to as justification for excluding the UN (and by implication the international community at large) from occupied Iraq. The argument, according to the neo-cons, is that Americans are more honest and efficient. Americans can do it better than the UN and the "Oil For Food" corruption case proves it.

But how honest and efficient has the US occupation been? Earlier this month an audit of the Bremer Viceroyalty has revealed that nearly $9 billion is missing. Now here is the fun part. Much of the money that Bremer lost is left over from the UN "Oil For Food" fund supplemented by the sale of "seized property!"

When the "Oil For Food" program was shut down by the occupation, $8.1 billion was transferred to the CPA. I mention that just to give you an idea of the scale of the $9 billion that went missing under Bremer's watch.

In response to the audit, the Bushies are insisting that the corruption wasn't their fault. It was the fault of the Iraqis who they assigned the money to. Funny, I bet the UN made similar excuses.

When Bush awarded Bremer, disgraced CIA chief George Tenet, and General Franks with the Medal of Freedom (the highest civilian award in the US), Jon Stewart of the Daily Show said, "That'd better be some sort of shame medal."

1 comment:

Dr. Strangelove said...

You might want to check out this webbsite on the Oil-for-Money program (as it more accurately could be called). One of the problems is that the UN officials overseeing the program had very little ability to enforce rules against smuggling--a toothlessness that is often the case. It was up to the nations patrolling the area to stop it, and that's where some of the hidden complicity lies. btw, I love RxR's term "Bremer Viceroyalty."