Investigators have concluded that the former chief of the Iraq Oil-for-Food program, Benon Sevan, took kickbacks under the $64 billion humanitarian operation and refused to cooperate with their probe, his lawyer said Thursday.Presumably the author of this piece writes for a living and thus knows the importance of words, and that makes this coverage even more baffling. '...As little as $160,000"? "A major blow because of his stature"? $160,000 wouldn't be a big deal if he weren't the program head, is that the implication?
While the amount of money Sevan allegedly took wasn't immediately known - and may be as little as $160,000 - the findings would be a major blow because of his stature in the organization and the control he had over it.
This is somewhat akin to saying although most people think O. J. Simpson is a murderer, he 'only' killed 2 people. If Sevan is corrupt, he's corrupt - and $160,000 isn't the taking home of a few pens with the U.N. Oil-For-Food logo on them. Anything less than 2 years in prison would be a scandal if these allegations are proven.
UPDATE 08/05/05 3:04 p.m.: Many thanks to the Instapundit for the link!...