After the first gulf war, a deal was worked out between Iraq and the UN, allowing Iraq to export a limited amount of crude oil…this was to be sold, and the money ONLY to be used to purchase food, medical supplies, etc., for the poor people of iraq. Now, there are rumors that , to the contrary, much of the money from the oil sales was stolen, misappropriated, or diverted into saddma’s hands and his cronies. There are even stories that Kofi Annan profitted from the scheme.
My question: where are the records? Dispite all the talk, Annan hasn’t said anything about these accusations.hould we interpret his silence as an admission of complicity?
Anybody have the facts on how much money is missing? :eek:
In a nation as corrupt but crippled by sanctions as Iraq was, it became increasingly difficult to get the food and medicines directly to the people who needed it. As I understand it, even exchanging the very tangibles themselves was vulnerable - what often happened was that a UN truck containing grain or medicines would be driven to a distribution centre in Iraq and exchanged for barrels of oil, only for the Baathist official to sell the food/medicine on the black market or leave it rotting in a warehouse.
Now, in this case, is the UN driver also responsible? If UN medicines are discovered in a black marketeer’s house, is the UN offical responsible for them corrupt also?
OTOH, I too have heard rumours and allegations about fraud and misappropriation by UN officials themselves. If anyone has any actual evidence of this I would be interested in seeing it.
Incidentally, the three biggest buyers of Iraqi oil were Exxon Mobil, ChevronTexaco and Valero . Also, nobody has seriously proposed that Kofi Annan’s personal involvement, and we should not forget the great good that was done when the food and medicine did get where it was intended.
I would suggest that the heads of governments whose companies dealt with Iraq had at least as much responsibility for any dodgy deals as Kofi did - we shall see what the UN, US and Iraqi investiagtions come up with.
I’ll wait and see what comes out of the various investigations currently in progress. I know Fox has been running a series on this but I haven’t been paying much attention to it, since its mostly speculation at this point.
At a guess though I’d say there will be some surprises about the food for oil program…who knows, maybe even links to AQ fronted companies (thats what Fox is tenitively claiming…as I said, its all pure BS at this point). But I can tell you one guy that profited…Saddam did.
For those who might be a little hazy about what he is talking about here because you only listen to the “liberal media” and not the real liberal media (like The Nation or The American Prospect), here is a link.
I guess if our current standoff in Iran somehow ends in Iran being subjected to Iraq-style economic sanctions, Cheney (if back in private sector by that time – if “back” is the appropriate word) will find some way to make money off of that.
Actually, I would suggest that whoever was in charge of administering the program is responsible. They should have kept track of the food/medicine and ensured that it went to the populace and not on the black market/in a warehouse. Given that the regime was known to be corrupt, you would think that this would be standard protocol.