"The idea that we need the U.N. to help us was certainly not a popular thing in focus groups that I watched this fall," dryly remarks senior Democratic strategist Anita Dunn.And now President Bush is calling for a complete accounting.
"Democrats first and foremost need to make it clear that they have a commitment to protect this country's security regardless of what other countries say. We live in a dangerous world at a dangerous time � and I'm not sure our party communicated that."
Clinton's ol' pardon buddy Marc Rich has been added to the mix, with allegations that he served as a middleman in illegal Iraqi oil deals one month after Clinton pardoned him (good call, Bill!). I've dealt elsewhere with the $150,000 in payments to Kofi Annan's son Kojo by an Oil-For-Food contractor. And obviously, Saddam benefitted enormously while the UN looked the other way. Here is a partial list of other beneficiaries, just a sampling of the magnitude of the corruption involved:
- Bayoil (a Texas oil company) and ultra-nationalist Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky
- Benon Sevan (director of the Oil-For-Food program), George Galloway (Saddam-supporting British MP - now expelled) (see update 3 below), Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, and former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua
- the families of terrorists targetting Israel
- French bank BNP Paribas
- former French ambassador to the United Nations, Jean-Bernard Merimee
- and over 250 other companies and individuals from over 50 countries (hat tip to Friends of Saddam).
This is really only scraping the surface. The more you find out about the UN, the greater the stench.Update 8:52 pm central: One notable omission from the beneficiaries listed above, it occurs to me, is the Iraqi people.
Update 2 11:03 pm central: The amazing Claudia Rosett adds another to the list and it's a biggie - are you ready for this? - al Qaeda!
Update 3 11:55 am central: Reader Steve points out to me (thanks, I missed it!) that pro-Saddam British MP George Galloway won a 150,000 pound judgment against the Daily Telegraph concerning his alleged payments from Saddam. Steve also points me to this Christian Science Monitor investigation showing some documents used to back up these allegations were forgeries. I should have been aware of this controversy prior to posting. Therefore, although we can say with some certainty that Galloway is a Radical Leftie against our Iraq policy, it may not be true that he is paid for being an appeaser.
Update 4 4/14/05 12:42 pm central: Getting a lot of hits today based on searches for Bayoil, because of the indictment of David B. Chalmers. Here's the important stuff:
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A Texas businessman, as well as a British and a Bulgarian citizen, have been indicted in New York for reportedly paying millions of dollars in secret kickbacks to Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq as part of the United Nations oil-for-food program.
The Texan, David B. Chalmers, a principal of Bay Oil (U.S.A.) Inc., and an associate of the oil trading company, Ludmil Dionissiev, a Bulgarian and permanent American resident, were arrested this morning at their homes in Houston.