Roger L. Simon

More Food-for-(Oil) Thought

I know – this blog seems obsessed with the Oil-for-Food scandal, but it is one of the greatest mysteries of our time and this blog is written by a mystery writer. And, as with any good mystery, you never know the identity of Mr. Big until the very last minute. Of course, in this case it has seemed for some time that Mr. Big’s initial (pace Kafka) would be K. But who knows? There are nooks and crannies as far North as Ontario now. Surprises could occur.

Meanwhile, the reliably-left Independent has logged in with its coverage of the Parton/Duncan resignations:

The resignations exposed serious divisions among the panel’s three committee members. One, the Swiss law professor Mark Pieth, appeared to side with the two departing investigators. He said: “You follow a trail and you want to see people pick it up.” The committee “told the story” that the investigators presented, “but we made different conclusions than they would have”. Another committee member, Judge Richard Goldstone, said it was not his understanding that the pair had left in protest and that they had been due to leave after completing their work.

Hmmm… The Swiss connection Professor Pieth sides with whom we can assume… at least for now… are the “good guys.” But why hasn’t the professor himself stepped forward and offered to resign? Perhaps he seeks to reform the committee from within. We shall see. In the meantime, that ubiquitous fellow the “senior official” has a comment:

A senior UN official said Mr Annan was alarmed that American conservatives who have been demanding his resignation would have been given more ammunition. Mr Volcker is due to issue his final report in the summer, but five other investigations are continuing.

Well, one thing we know – the “senior official” is not this man.

UPDATE: The State Department is now taking a stonger position against Kofi:

The statement from Mark Lagon, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, was the first time the United States had rebutted Annan’s claim [of exoneration], made shortly after the release of the report on March 29, that he had been cleared by the committee.

Annan’s claims came under fresh scrutiny a day after The Associated Press reported that two senior investigators with the Independent Inquiry Committee resigned because they believed the report that cleared Annan of meddling in the $64 billion program was too soft on him. Lagon said the resignations were further reason to suggest Annan wasn’t cleared.