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    Calls for Annan resignation as oil for food scandal continues PRINT FRIENDLY EMAIL STORY
    PM - Tuesday, 30 November , 2004 18:25:58
    Reporter: Alison Caldwell
    MARK COLVIN: The United Nations oil for food scandal, already known to involve up to $20-billion, is starting to lap at the very top of the UN.

    The Secretary General, Kofi Annan, has been forced to distance himself from the business dealings of his son Kojo. The reason - revelations that Kojo was paid by a company involved in the oil for food program as recently as February this year.

    Kofi Annan has been forced to express his disappointment in his son's lack of disclosure on the matter, which has dogged the UN chief for the past three months.

    The pressure on Kofi Annan has intensified in recent days with high profile columnists in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal now calling for him to resign.

    It comes just two days ahead of the release of a major report recommending widespread reform of the UN, a report requested by the Secretary General himself.

    Alison Caldwell reports.

    ALISON CALDWELL: The controversy surrounding the UN's oil for food program is now threatening to destroy the credibility of the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

    The latest chapter involves his son Kojo Annan and payments he received from a firm that had a contract under the oil for food program in Iraq.

    Late last week, a spokesman for Kofi Annan was forced to admit that the monthly payments continued up until February this year, six years later than previously reported.

    Today UN Spokesman Fred Eckhard fronted the media in New York to express the Secretary General's disappointment.

    FRED ECKHARD: As to his son Kojo, and the specific allegations that he continued to receive payment from Cotecna until February of this year, the Secretary General said he had been under the impression that those payments had stopped in 1998. When he recently found out that had in fact continued until this year, the Secretary General said he was surprised and disappointed.

    ALISON CALDWELL: Nigeria based Kojo Annan once worked for the Swiss company Cotecna Inspections. The UN had claimed that Kojo severed ties with the company in February 1999, but the monthly payments of more than $3,000 continued until February this year.

    Fred Eckhard again.

    FRED ECKHARD: He added that his son is a grown man, and that the Secretary General doesn't get involved in his son's business, and that his son doesn't get involved in the UN's business.

    ALISON CALDWELL: The United Nations hired Cotecna to check civilian supplies reaching Iraq under the UN's oil for food program, from 1998 until 2003.

    There's no evidence that Kojo Annan worked on Cotecna's Iraqi program, and according to Fred Eckhard, the Secretary General had no role in the distribution of UN contracts.

    The oil for food scandal is the subject of six separate US congressional inquiries. Kofi Annan commissioned the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Paul Volcker, to conduct his own independent inquiry.

    Conservative commentator Frank Gaffney was a senior Defence Department official in the Reagan administration. Now with the Centre for Security Policy in Washington, he believes the story about Kofi Annan's son is just the tip of the iceberg.

    FRANK GAFFNEY: It will be simply one more instance in which the integrity of the Secretary General is called into question. And my guess is that the institution will decide that if it's a question of his survival or its reputation, that it will be time for Kofi Annan to go.

    ALISON CALDWELL: This has been the subject of an inquiry by Paul Volker's there, and Kofi Annan has also said that reporters should be patient and wait for the outcome of that inquiry. That's not going to stop the discussion is it?

    FRANK GAFFNEY: I don't think so. There are a number of congressional investigations now in the United States that are going forward apace. It's a question of how long will it take for all of the relevant information to come out, not a question of whether it will come out. And the longer it takes, I think the more the damage will be to the reputation and the authority of the United Nations.

    MARK COLVIN: The neo-conservative Frank Gaffney from the Centre for Security Policy in Washington, with Alison Caldwell.

    http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2004/s1254955.htm

    UN chief's son in Iraq oil-for-food scandal
    December 1, 2004

    Kofi Annan did not know his son, Kojo, received as much as $US150,000 ($193,000) from a Swiss company linked to the UN's scandal-plagued Iraqi oil-for-food program.

    The UN Secretary-General said this yesterday as he accepted that the payments created a "perception of conflict of interests and wrongdoing". He was "very disappointed and surprised" that his son had not told him about them.

    Kojo Annan's ties to the company, Cotecna Inspection Services, are the subject of US congressional inquiries and a UN investigation into influence peddling and mismanagement in the oil-for-food program.

    Kofi Annan said he thought his son had severed financial links to Cotecna in 1998, shortly before the company received a contract to oversee UN-managed trade with Iraq.

    He denied any wrongdoing. He had played no role in granting UN contracts to Cotecna or any other companies, he said.

    "Naturally, I have warm, family relations with my son, but he is in a different field. He is an independent businessman. He is a grown man, and I don't get involved with his activities and he doesn't get involved in mine."

    The oil-for-food program began operating in December 1996 as a way to allow Iraq to export oil to buy humanitarian goods for its people.

    The UN oversaw the export of $US64 billion in oil before the program was transferred to US-led authorities in Iraq a year ago.

    Allegations of wrongdoing by UN officials surfaced after the fall of Saddam Hussein and set off investigations by Congress and US prosecutors into the diversion of billions of dollars in oil money and kickbacks from the UN program to Saddam's government.

    Kofi Annan appointed Paul Volcker, the former US Federal Reserve chairman, to investigate UN misconduct. He urged reporters to be patient until Mr Volcker, who has been looking into Kojo Annan's relationship with Cotecna, concludes his inquiry.

    The US ambassador to the UN, John Danforth, said on Monday that his country took the allegations of UN misconduct "very seriously" but there should be no "rush to judgement until all of the facts are in".

    Mr Danforth also urged Mr Volcker to release 55 internal UN audits and other documents to congressional investigators as "quickly as possible".

    Mr Volcker said in a recent interview that he would hand over the audits when he finishes the first stage of his investigation in January.

    Kojo Annan worked for Cotecna, first as a trainee and later as a consultant in Africa, from December 1995 to December 1998. The United Nations had previously asserted that his commercial relations with Cotecna ended in December 1998, the same month the company received a $4.8-million contract to monitor the import of humanitarian supplies in Iraq for the United Nations.

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/World/UN-...577486829.html

    My blood is boiling. I am enraged this is suppose to be a body which helps keep the world peaceful, make sure no country is bullied, ect. I never trusted the UN but this only confirms my belief not to. I am also very angry about their unwilliness to put sanctions on Iran.

  • #2
    Kofi Annan and his son still aren't the UN. That's made up of its member States. So if it's broke, ultimately they're all to blame.

    Time to really start getting interested in all these, sometimes very dubious, allegations, when the US Congress starts demanding full and frank disclosure of the documents concerning US involvement in the 'Oil For Food' programme. And there's no sign of that, yet.

    Comment


    • #3
      Oh, I am sure Clinton probably was part of it. That wouldn't suprise me or that many people.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Galadriel
        Oh, I am sure Clinton probably was part of it. That wouldn't suprise me or that many people.
        And which Oil Corporation did ex-President Clinton work for?

        Comment


        • #5
          Well, off with their heads, whoever was involved!

          But the true scandal is that a country got strangled so badly that at least half a million people, mainly children, died for lack of food and medication! Maybe more ... Regardless of the fact that the leader of the country was a ruthless dictator this was already a nail in the coffin of the myth of the "merciful, humane, generous and free West"!
          Google ergo sum

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by LEtranger
            Well, off with their heads, whoever was involved!

            But the true scandal is that a country got strangled so badly that at least half a million people, mainly children, died for lack of food and medication! Maybe more ... Regardless of the fact that the leader of the country was a ruthless dictator this was already a nail in the coffin of the myth of the "merciful, humane, generous and free West"!
            Whoever thought, when they started talking about the World "returning to Middle Ages" sometime back in the Eighties, that that return would start off with a 12 year seige?

            Although, it's hard to tell how much of the tales of child starvation and death is actually true, or is the result of Saddam's propaganda machine.
            Telegraph UK Online: Saddam's parades of dead babies are exposed as a cynical charade
            (Filed: 25/05/2003)

            UN sanctions did not kill the hundreds of infants displayed over the years - it was neglect by the former regime, Iraqi doctors in Baghdad tell Charlotte Edwardes

            The "baby parades" were a staple of Saddam Hussein's propaganda machine for a decade. Convoys of taxis, with the tiny coffins of dead infants strapped to their roofs - allegedly killed by United Nations sanctions - were driven through the streets of Baghdad, past crowds of women screaming anti-Western slogans.

            The moving scenes were often filmed by visiting television crews and provided valuable ammunition to anti-sanctions activists such as George Galloway, the Labour MP, who blamed Western governments for the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children.

            But The Telegraph can reveal that it was all a cynical charade. Iraqi doctors say they were told to collect dead babies who had died prematurely or from natural causes and to store them in cardboard boxes in refrigerated morgues for up to four weeks - until they had sufficient corpses for a parade.

            Many of the children died, they say, as a result of the Iraqi government's own neglect as it lavished funds on military programmes and Saddam's palaces in the knowledge that it could blame sanctions for the lack of medicines and equipment in hospitals and clinics.

            "We were not allowed to return the babies to their mothers for immediate burial, as is the Muslim tradition, but told they must be kept for what became known as 'the taxi parade'," said Dr Hussein al-Douri, the deputy director of the Ibn al-Baladi hospital in Saddam City, a Shia district in eastern Baghdad.

            "The mothers would be hysterical and sometimes threaten to kill us, but we knew that the real threat was from the government."

            ...
            I know the Telegraph's an 'unreliable witness' (to say the least, a lot of fortuitously recovered papers, providing evidence of treason and corruption, were "found" by Telegraph journalists), but this has the ring of truth about it.

            All those gold taps and bathroom fittings in Saddam's palaces could certainly have fed a lot of kids.

            Comment


            • #7
              The Telegraph seems just as proficient in propaganda as it says saddam was, obviously. Well, why would Saddam have instrumentalized the deaths of these children, he wasn't an idiot! But there were enough reliable observers in the country at all stages who reported ... they have seen these children die and the accurancy of numbers doesn't matter.

              And it is also not the point how many golden taps Saddam had (but weren't they really pre-Golf War I?). It was again the innocent that suffered and there's no good in saying:"But they' were Saddam's innocents!" We are one world or we aint. I can't split up my conscience into bailiwicks.
              Google ergo sum

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by LEtranger
                It is not that point how many golden taps Saddam had (but weren't they really pre-Golf War I?). Independent witnesses have seen these children die and the accurancy of numbers doesn't matter. It was again the innocent that suffered and there's no good in saying:"But they' were Saddam's innocents!" We are one world or we aint. I can't split my conscience in bailiwicks.
                Accuracy is everything. I'm not going to play into NeoConservative hands by defending figures and claims which may be based on Saddam Hussein's propaganda.

                Kids did die under the Hussein regime, but the real scandal is that it now appears that the Iraqi health system is worse a year and a half later.
                BBC News Online: Iraq health care 'in deep crisis'
                30 November, 2004

                Iraq's health system is in a far worse condition than before the war, a British medical charity says.

                Doctors from the group Medact conducted surveys with international aid groups and Iraqi health workers in September.

                They exposed poor sanitation in many hospitals, shortages of drugs and qualified staff and huge gaps in services for mothers and children.

                Medact, which monitors healthcare in post-conflict areas, called for an inquiry into the situation.

                It has also challenged the British government to set up a commission to establish the level of civilian casualties in Iraq.

                ...

                Comment


                • #9
                  AndroMan,
                  I slightly changed the tone of my above posting, misunderstood yours at first...
                  Accuracy doesen't matter if it is about 500,000 or 200,000 or so, I find.
                  What you now call the "real scandal" is, I'm afraid, just the "next scandal", non realler than the one before.
                  Yes, it is so obvious that the "Coalition of the Willing" knew how to fight a war, but didn't spend a milligramme of brain-power on what to do then.

                  And on top of it, the American voters have just put their signature under it all saying: Mr Bush, you did right!

                  God, where's the doggie bag on this ride?
                  Google ergo sum

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by LEtranger
                    ...

                    God, where's the doggie bag on this ride?
                    When you're struggling to understand what's really going on and the main faction intent on stopping you from finding out has no scruples about turning everything to their advantage, the ends apparently justifying a "by any means necessary" approach, so that any truth becomes subservient to a good lie and well presented spin (unless the truth can be carefully tailored to suit their purpose), then insisting on accuracy and getting closest to the truth whenever possible is the only defence.

                    The very fact that you can say that "... there were enough reliable observers in the country at all stages who reported ... they have seen these children die and the accurancy of numbers doesn't matter." does not allow for the fact that, the anecdotal nature of such reports aside, Saddam Hussein may have been able to carefully manage such spectacles of observation, in his totalitarian dictatorship and the evidence of the "taxi death parades' does seem to reek of stage managed propaganda.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It will be interesting to see how the Deadly Torygraph fares in the "Gorgeous" George Galloway libel case; http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/...353687,00.html.
                      \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sadly, US troops have this reputation. They can storm the hill and take it, but then don't know what to do with it once they've got it. This was remarked on frequently during WW2. You'd think they'd have learned by now, but maybe that's what happens when an army is run by politicians. What amazes me is that the British seem to have forgotten this, or maybe that's why the Black Watch were so reluctant to go to Fallujah and fight the few insurgents remaining there...
                        I was disgusted when we went to war because going to war involves all the various brutalities we've heard about since -- it's a fact of war. There's still too much fiction which depicts war as an heroic adventure and still too many idiots who actually enjoy living out that fiction.
                        I feel overwhelmed by this, mourning the dead on all sides. I would not like to have that amount of blood on my hands. As it is, I feel that my taxes are mostly being spent on spilling that blood. That's another reason I want to move to a country which is not involved in this horror.

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                        • #13
                          Yes, I've been strongly anti-war for as long as I can remember. I refused at Fleetway to write WW2 stories, for instance, though I was prepared to write WW1 flying stories, since there was at least a real element of chivalry in those early days of flying, but I was still aware of how horrendous trench warfare had been. Because of my anti-war stance, in fact, some people at Fleetway decided I had to be a communist, which was another thing I'd also been very antagonistic about, though it was clear long before Vietnam that communism was a crumbling institution, as likely to die from inner decay as from anything else (as depicted, indeed, in The Chinese Agent and The Russian Intelligence). My own view about Islamic dictatorship (Saddam, of course, was a secular dictator, strongly anti-Islamic as was most of the Baath Party then) is that it, too, would crumble under its own inner contradictions. Of course, our going to war (rather than using our intelligence or Intelligence to track down Osama and his at the time relatively small force) has helped strengthen that form of dictatorship and increase the number of fundamentalists ready to destroy us and if necessary themselves.
                          In all my books I attempt to show violence and warfare as singularly unpleasant qualities which tend to have equally unpleasant consequences -- violence perpetuates violence. This hasn't stopped some people from attacking me for writing stories which are 'too violent' or which support immoral actions. One's never free from that kind of literal-minded folly.

                          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                          The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                          Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                          The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                          Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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