United Nations and Corrupation
American conservatives seize on any opportunity to discredit the UN, the latest being the Oil for Food scandal. Europeans question these charges. Christopher Jones writes from France: I am not a fan of the current French president. However, Randy Black spreads his CIA inspired propaganda against Europe and in particular against France when the "facts" state the contrary. First, there is no proven trail of corruption in the "Oil for Food" program that leads to the French president. Charles Pasqua has been on the fringe of Gaullist politics for some time now. According to the Duelfer report there is no connection to Chirac. So who do WAISers believe? Mr Black or the arms inspector? However, it looks like Mr Black is conveniently forgetting a small detail in his attack; that we still have no accounting fort the Oil Trust Fund administered by his beloved Bush administration. Mr Black also forgets in his tirade against France that the US administration regularly accepted half baked lies concocted in Israel as a justification for its illegal war on Iraq (the African uranium story). So if French intelligence planted dubious information in the US for the purpose of dissuading the US from launching an illegal war on Iraq, and so prevent beheadings and killings, and 100,000 Iraqi deaths, all in an effort to keep the world a safer place, I can only say, Bravo, bien fait, Monsieur le Président de la République. I would now like to refer Mr Black to the following New York Times article which appeared in the International Herald Tribune (10/7/04):
" . . . The Duelfer report charges that Charles Pasqua, a former French interior minister, received vouchers for almost 11 million barrels of oil, and that a French businessman, Patrick Maugein, received 13 million barrels in part, the report states, because the Iraqis considered him "a conduit to" President Jacques Chirac. The authors say "we have not confirmed" any connection to Chirac.
Pasqua and Maugein have in the past denied any wrongdoing related to the oil-for-food program. Several U.S. firms were on the list but their names were not released because of privacy laws, Reuters reported . . . "
The New York Times: "U.S. report describes $11 billion in illicit revenue in decade"
In an examination of the United Nations oil-for-food program for Iraq, the top American arms inspector has described how Saddam Hussein created a web of front companies and used shadowy deals with foreign governments, corporations and officials to amass $11 billion in illicit revenue in the decade before the U.S.-$ led invasion last year.
A report by the inspector, Charles Duelfer, adds considerable detail to previous findings of impropriety in the oil-for-food program by congressional committees and the Government Accountability Office.
Duelfer's report, which was done for the CIA, says that Iraq created a global bribery network, directing lucrative oil vouchers to Russia, France, Belarus and other countries "on a lavish and almost indiscriminate scale." The vouchers allowed the recipients to buy oil from Iraq and resell it at a profit, a lucrative opportunity to benefit by acting as middlemen. They were doled out by Iraq in part to build opposition to UN restrictions imposed on Iraq after its invasion of Kuwait.
Through secret government-to-government trade agreements, Saddam's government earned more than $7.5 billion, the report says. At the same time, by demanding kickbacks from foreign companies that received oil or that supplied consumer goods, Iraq received at least $2 billion more to spend on weapons or on Saddam's extravagant palaces. In Russia, "oil voucher gifts were directed across the political spectrum targeting the new oligarch class, Russian political parties and officials," the report states. In France, Saddam's intelligence agents, working through the front companies, focused on government officials and prominent citizens who they thought could influence the French government. [The accusations in the report against businesses and politicians in France are "unverified," the French Foreign Ministry said, Agence France-Presse reported from Paris.] The report accuses dozens of companies and people of profiteering. Some were named in documents examined by Duelfer's group, while others were named by officials of the former Iraqi government, the report says.
"We name those individuals and entities here in the interest of candor, clarity and thoroughness," the report says, adding that it is not the inspector's "mandate or capabilities to investigate or judge those non-Iraqi individuals or entities." The Duelfer report charges that Charles Pasqua, a former French interior minister, received vouchers for almost 11 million barrels of oil, and that a French businessman, Patrick Maugein, received 13 million barrels in part, the report states, because the Iraqis considered him "a conduit to" President Jacques Chirac. The authors say "we have not confirmed" any connection to Chirac.
RH: Talk about the kettle calling the pot black! Mutual insults simply muddle the issue. Obviously those accused will deny the changes. It is hardly credible that France planted stories in the US simply in the interest of peace. I would hesitate to charge the CIA with lying.We can only hope that the affair will be clarified. I have not seen much about the Oil for Food scandal recently. Why?
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Ronald Hilton 2004
December 5, 2004