Roger Simon on his blog today wonders if anyone has taken a look lately at the bank account of the IAEA chief, Mohamed El Baradei. He’s the UN’s Egyptian-born Nobelist philosopher king who has spent years pondering such existential questions as whether, if a nuclear bomb is built in Iran, but the IAEA doesn’t notice, is it really a bomb?
So who’s inspecting El Baradei? Why the UN, of course. The same folks who by their own account “audited to death” Oil-for-Food, who assured us there was no room for foul play in what turned out to be the bribe-riddled procurement department, who after each new peacekeeper sex scandal produce new pronouncements about a zero-tolerance policy. No one is saying here that El Baradei’s accounts might be anything other than impeccable. But under Ronald Reagan’s excellent old rule of “trust, but verify,” full disclosure by El Baradei and his UN cohorts would be a good first step — starting with something more revelatory than the Secretariat’s policy of financial “disclosure” which does not actually require disclosing anything at all to the public.
While we’re at it, how about also setting up an IAEA Political-and-Moral-Myopia index? Here’s El Baradei in a Feb. 19 interview with the Financial Times, in which he makes no distinction between Iran’s support for terrorism and the U.S. efforts to stop it; Iran’s mullocracy and American democracy; Iran’s campaign to subvert the free world and America’s efforts to defend it.
“The nuclear issue is the tip of the iceberg, it masks a lot of grievances, security grievances, competition for power in the Middle East, economic issues, sanctions, it has to do with human rights, support for extremist groups, there are a lot of other issues that need to be resolved. Iran could be very helpful as a stabilising force in the Middle East. The US could be very helpful in providing the security assurances that obviously lie at the heart of some of the Iranian activities.”
Let us assume this is nothing worse than pure idiocy, utterly untainted by any other consideration. But as a matter of UN policy, in the interest of providing “security assurances” to the rest of us, it’s high time for a UN inspection regime that includes at least a publicly transparent baseline for inspecting the inspectors.