Roger L. Simon

Oil-for-Food Follies Continued

Behind the NY Sun subscription firewall, Benny Avni is reporting this morning the chief UN investigator Paul Volcker is now denying that his committee’s findings exonerate Kofi Annan.

In an interview with Fox News’ Eric Shawn, to be broadcast today, Mr. Volcker said of Mr. Annan, “I thought we criticized him rather severely. I would not call that an exoneration.”

In the same interview, however, Volcker admits his own connection with the Power Corporation and tainted Canadian tycoon Maurice Strong:

“I have an acquaintance with Maurice Strong as many people do over the years,” Mr. Volcker told Fox. “I was on the advisory board of the power corporation in 1988, 22 years after Maurice Strong was chief executive. And I asked about it, they had no business interest with Maurice Strong in their whole ownership of the power corporation. It’s a ludicrous stretch. There is no, absolutely no conflict of interest.”

I’m sure not.

In the same article, Swiss investigator law professor Mark Pieth issues the following Orwellian pronouncement:

“The committee is always in agreement,” Mr. Pieth, who is one of two lieutenants for Mr. Volcker on the committee, told the Sun. “We all three [Volcker, Pieth, Goldstone] agreed.” He added, however, that the two investigators who have stepped down from the committee, Robert Parton and Miranda Duncan, might have disagreed with its conclusions.

Meanwhile, Chris Dodd tells us on Face the Nation that UN ambassadorial nominee John Bolton “brings too much heavy ideology to this.” (Does the Senator mean anti-corruption?) Speaking of faces, it’s hard to know how Dodd looks at himself with a straight one. If the Senator could get beyond his jejune party politics, he might realize that history is looking over his shoulder, laughing at him. If more Volcker investigators start coming out of the woodwork, as well they might, even Dodd might get the joke. Too bad it will be on him.