Pierre Mouselli — the Franco-Lebanese businessman first reported on on this blog who told the Volcker Committee investigating the UN Oil-for-Food Programme of contacts he arranged between Kojo Annan and Iraqi ambassadors in Nigeria — will be the subject of profiles in the NY Sun and on Fox News in the next couple of days. Additional information on Kojo and Mouselli’s business will appear.
But why hasn’t the committee itself followed up on Mouselli’s several leads, most amazingly his encounter with the second Iraqi ambassador in 2002 who told him the Iraqis were looking for Kojo and that the Secretary General’s son had done them a favor? It wouldn’t take Sam Spade or Sherlock Holmes to figure out that was worth pursuing. But as far as I know they haven’t. The committee is moving on to the next phase of the investigation – operations – without having completed the first one.
Meanwhile, here are some photos the committee might have found interesting:
1. Kojo with Mouselli at the French Embassy in Lagos.
2. Mouselli with the Iraqi ambassador Taha Sukar… There’s evidently more in Mouselli’s scrapbook.
The folks on the Volcker Committee seem to be working overtime to do that most difficult of all things – go far enough not to be accused of a coverup while not going too far to do any real damage. This was the kind of tap dance done by the Thornburgh Committee over at CBS and it is being done all over again by the committee at the UN — a far more important venue than a mere television network (big as that may be). Of course, their “lawyerliness” is misguided. The horse of UN corruption is miles out of the barn by now. Continuing to obfuscate it at this point may have some short term benefits for a few, but over the long term will only contribute heavily to the institution’s destruction.
UPDATE: The NYSun article referred to above is here. Don’t miss it.