Friday, March 25, 2005

Oil-For-Food Update: Kofi Met With Son's Employers, Mismanaged Program

I'm saving a full-blown update until after the report is released next week, but today the Wall Street Journal (subscribers only, so we'll have to make do with this link) leaked some very damning details from the Volcker investigation. Kofi Annan met with Cotecna, the oil-for-food contractor that paid his son Kojo over $300,000 (a sum that was deceitfully disguised), four times. This would be quite unusual for a man in Kofi's position. After all, the program was headed by Benon Sevan (who has, in fact, been implicated in corruption), not Annan.

The report will also state that Annan mismanaged the program and could have put a stop to the abuses, according to the Journal's report. Watch the reaction of the Kofi defenders carefully - it will go something like this:

"Yes, mistakes were made, but there is no proof that Kofi Annan himself was corrupt."

Don't fall for it. No one I know of ever accused Annan himself of corruption. Our case all along has been built on the premise that the program itself was a hotbed of corruption and mismanagement, not Annan personally. However, his meetings with Cotecna are potentially explosive . If not a sign of corruption, this revelation is surely a sign of poor judgment. I'll be waiting to see the full report quite anxiously...

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