Roger L. Simon

SECOND Interim Report

The Second Interim report of the Independent Inquiry Committee into the United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme is now available on line here. I’m getting more coffee and starting to read.

UPDATE: I have been reading the report. So far I can say this much — anyone who thinks Kofi Annan is the man to reform the United Nations has the intelligence of a gnat or the morals of Saddam Hussein.

MORE: Reading the report, you come to the conclusion that in a normal (non-UN) situation many of the people involved would quite simply go to jail, but here there is no apparent jurisdiction. An example is the former UN Chef de Cabinet S. Iqbal Riza who directed his assistant to shred many documents concerning Oil-for-Food. His assistant wondered if she should be doing this with so many documents but Mr. Riza told her to go ahead and scrawled his gratitude on the memorandum: “Fine. Thanks. (A heavy task!)” Besides being hugely corrupt, Mr. Riza is evidently something of a nitwit for leaving a paper trail. Riza destroyed three years’ worth of documents!

MORE: Those who will still defend Kofi will have explain why the Sec’y General lied or “misspoke” to the committee when he said he had never met Elie Massey, the head of Cotecna, before that rather ethically-challenged company got the Oil-for-Food contract. According to the interim report,(p. 45 and thereabouts) Kofi’s own personal computer recorded two such meetings. The Sec’y General is evidently a forgetful man. He forgot he had lunch with his own son and Mouselli in Durban (also documented). Is this a case of like son like father or the other way around. Or is just the son really corrupt? Perhaps we will never know. But does it matter? What matters is change at the UN. Immediate change. I don’t care if Kofi Annan is depressed. He doesn’t get my sympathy. The innocent people of Darfur get my sympathy. Those Iraqi children who didn’t get the Oil-for-Food money that was skimmed get my sympathy.

BTW: The report indicates that Kojo Annan is no longer cooperating with the committee. According to my sources… and you know who they are if you have been following the posts below… this has been true since November.

UPDATE: Special praise must go to the London Daily Telegraph whose reporting seems to have driven many inspects of this investigation.

OBVIOUSLY: The report will doubtless be spun in a number of ways. But there is sufficient meat here for any enterprising investigative reporter to go much further. It will be interesting to see what our major publications do. Many of them seem to think that to write too much about this would tarnish the image of the UN, but in actuality the reverse is true. The UN is already tarnished. Only reform will save it. And reform will only come from a full airing. I can already see a few things that were left out from my small knowledge. You can be sure they will appear in the days to come.