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Americans' Role Eyed in U.N. Oil Scandal

Old 12-02-04, 01:53 PM
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Americans' Role Eyed in U.N. Oil Scandal

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=295926&page=1

Dec. 1, 2004 Former American fugitive Marc Rich was a middleman for several of Iraq's suspect oil deals in February 2001, just one month after his pardon from President Clinton, according to oil industry shipping records obtained by ABC News.

And a U.S. criminal investigation is looking into whether Rich, as well as several other prominent oil traders, made illegal payments to Iraq in order to obtain the lucrative oil contracts.


"Without that kind of middleman, the system would not work because the major oil companies did not want to deal with Iraq because there was a mandated kickback," said human rights investigator John Fawcett.

Another broker was New York oil trader Ben Pollner, head of Taurus Oil, who investigators say handled several billion dollars worth of the transactions now under investigation.


Pollner told ABC News he paid no bribes or kickbacks to the Iraqi regime.

Rich is still living in Switzerland and unavailable for comment.


The roles of several American oil companies, including ChevronTexaco and ExxonMobil, are also under investigation. ChevronTexaco received subpoenas requesting information for two separate grand jury proceedings, and said they were cooperating fully with both investigations.

The U.N. oil-for-food corruption scandal only continues to grow in scope. Today, Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., who is leading the congressional investigation into the program, said that U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan should resign because the scandal occurred on his watch.

"I think there's a terrible stain on the credibility and the reputation of the United Nations, there's no doubt about that," said Coleman. "If we're ever to get to the bottom, how can you get there if the guy who was in charge during the course of this fraud and corruption is the guy now who is supposed to be ferreting it out?"

Top officials of the United Nations, including Annan, are accused of looking the other way as some $21 billion meant for humanitarian aid was stolen by the Saddam Hussein regime.

Uncovered in the federal criminal investigation were previously undisclosed payments to Annan's son, Kojo, from his employer Cotecna. The Swiss company had been specifically hired to monitor the oil-for-food program.

Annan's son left the company in 1998 but received payments until this year.

Secretary-general since 1997, Annan said this week he was unaware of the payments. "Naturally I was very disappointed and surprised, yes," he said.

Also under criminal investigation is the U.N. official Annan put in charge of the program, Benon Sevan.

Documents discovered by U.S. forces in Iraq suggest Sevan received payments in the form of oil contacts from the Hussein regime, although Sevan has denied any wrongdoing.

Why was this jackass pardoned anyway?
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Old 12-02-04, 02:03 PM
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Originally posted by Nazgul
Why was this jackass pardoned anyway?
Certainly a question I've asked myself a few times.
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Old 12-02-04, 02:05 PM
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Re: Americans' Role Eyed in U.N. Oil Scandal

Originally posted by Nazgul
Why was this jackass pardoned anyway?
Oh, I can't imagine it had anything to do with a $1 million donation to the Democrat Party, a $100,000 donation to Hillary's senate race, and a $450,000 donation to the Clinton Library.
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Old 12-02-04, 02:07 PM
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I wonder how he got that kind of money. Hmmm...
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Old 12-02-04, 02:11 PM
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What would this world turn to without the UN.
[whatever]I'm thankful the UN exist.[/whatever]
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Old 12-02-04, 02:18 PM
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Chirac and Schroeder back embattled Annan

http://www.expatica.com/source/site_...mbattled+Annan

LUEBECK, Germany, Dec 2 (AFP) - German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and French President Jacques Chirac pledged their support here on Thursday for embattled UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

"Germany and France reiterate their full support for Kofi Annan whose commitment to the aims of the United Nations is total," Chirac said at a press conference after holding talks with Schroeder.

Schroeder also pledged his support for Annan, whose resignation is being sought by a US senator over the scandal-plagued Iraq oil-for-food program.

US Senator Norm Coleman, the Republican chairman of the Senate investigations subcommittee that is conducting its own probe of the oil-for-food program, wrote in The

Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that Annan should step down because of fraud that occurred "on his watch."

The oil-for-food program, launched in December 1996 and terminated in November 2003, was intended to ease the effects on Iraqis of the international sanctions imposed on the regime of Saddam Hussein.

But US congressional investigators say Saddam's regime may have skimmed billions of dollars from the program, and allegations have surfaced of pay-offs to officials and private individuals from around the globe.

US President George W. Bush, speaking in Washington on Thursday, called for a "full and fair and open" probe into the UN oil-for-food scheme in which Annan's son is implicated.

Bush did not sign on to Coleman's call for Annan to resign but nor did he distance himself from the demand.

A French official said on the sidelines of the press conference here that Schroeder and Chirac had telephoned Annan to offer their "friendship and support".

The two leaders also welcomed the proposals for a radical reform of the United Nations which were published this week.
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Old 12-02-04, 02:19 PM
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Originally posted by Myster X
Chirac and Schroeder back embattled Annan
Of course!!
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Old 12-02-04, 02:23 PM
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Originally posted by Mutley Hyde
Of course!!
Honor Among Thieves?
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Old 12-02-04, 05:18 PM
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Originally posted by Myster X
Chirac and Schroeder back embattled Annan
The 3 main people involved in this scam support each other - hey, go figure.
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Old 12-02-04, 05:29 PM
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Re: Re: Americans' Role Eyed in U.N. Oil Scandal

Originally posted by X
Oh, I can't imagine it had anything to do with a $1 million donation to the Democrat Party, a $100,000 donation to Hillary's senate race, and a $450,000 donation to the Clinton Library.
Yeah, this was one of the most flagrantly scandalous moves of Clinton's career. Can't believe this occurred. But, as we've seen, corruption is pandemic in American politics.

- David Stein
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Old 12-02-04, 07:18 PM
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Re: Re: Re: Americans' Role Eyed in U.N. Oil Scandal

Originally posted by sfsdfd
Yeah, this was one of the most flagrantly scandalous moves of Clinton's career. Can't believe this occurred. But, as we've seen, corruption is pandemic in American politics.

- David Stein
Hillary must be loving this. Not only was the entire pardon situation a complete scandal, but now people will say "Rich bought a pardon from Clinton and then went on to funnel money to Hussein so he could buy weapons." And another person pardoned by Clinton (who happened to have Hillary's brother as a high priced lawyer) was also arrested and convicted again last year.

I know Hillary != Bill, but she if she is going to ride on his coattails she is going to be held somewhat accountable, especially when her family is involved.

EDIT: I'm strictly refering to her hypothetical '08 presidential run here. This won't effect her as a senator, but you can bet it will be mentioned if she runs President.

Last edited by wmansir; 12-02-04 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 12-03-04, 02:10 AM
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Originally posted by Myster X
Chirac and Schroeder back embattled Annan
Was there any doubt?
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Old 12-03-04, 02:40 AM
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Re: Re: Re: Americans' Role Eyed in U.N. Oil Scandal

Originally posted by sfsdfd
Yeah, this was one of the most flagrantly scandalous moves of Clinton's career. Can't believe this occurred. But, as we've seen, corruption is pandemic in American politics.
I'm going to wait to see if this happens with GWB. Somehow I don't think it will.
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Old 12-03-04, 02:55 AM
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Originally posted by Myster X
US Senator Norm Coleman, the Republican chairman of the Senate investigations subcommittee that is conducting its own probe of the oil-for-food program, wrote in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that Annan should step down because of fraud that occurred "on his watch."
So if fraud occurs on your watch, you should step down? Wouldn't this take down many US presidents, and probably many world leaders?

Unless you are directly involved or have knowledge of the fraud before/while it was commited, should you really be expected to step down? I mean, shit, how many presidents have had scandals happen under their watch?

This statement seems a little hypocritical to me.

But anyway, that's beside the point. I wonder if the U.N. couldn't use new leadership and direction anyway. Maybe the U.N. needs more a authoritative leader. Because these days, the U.N. has only slightly more power and influence over warring countries than the Pope.
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Old 12-03-04, 03:52 AM
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The UN doesn't have any power because they refuse to assert their power when the times are needed. Need we mention Kosovo and a host of other incidents where they utterly refused to step in.

But oh no, god forbid the Ivory Coast crisis, which the UN has 6,000 troops there. What a joke.

The big deal about Kofi, is that he is alleged to have failed to disclose information relating to the oil-for-food scandal about a company who was under investigation. Interestingly enough, his son was receiving $2,500 a month for 5 years after his departure from the company, from this very same corporation who was to be investigated.

In March of this year, with the U.N. oil-for-food scandal by then on the boil, the U.N. was questioned again by the press about Kojo Annan's relations with Cotecna. The answer at that stage from the secretary-general's office was that the younger Annan had worked on Cotecna's staff from December 1995 through February 1998, and a few weeks later became a consultant for Cotecna, resigning in early December of 1998, about three weeks before Cotecna won the U.N. contract. This was offered by Secretary-General Annan's office as evidence that the younger Annan had severed his ties with Cotecna before the company got the U.N. job. A source familiar with the documents now says that Kojo's consultancy with Cotecna expired the same day the company got the U.N. contract, December 31, 1998.

http://www.nysun.com/article/5372

Kofi is as slimy as those he accuses and he needs to be replaced.

Last edited by DVD Polizei; 12-03-04 at 03:56 AM.
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Old 12-03-04, 04:38 AM
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Originally posted by DVD Polizei
The UN doesn't have any power because they refuse to assert their power when the times are needed. Need we mention Kosovo and a host of other incidents where they utterly refused to step in.
That's sort of what I'm getting at.

The big deal about Kofi, is that he is alleged to have failed to disclose information relating to the oil-for-food scandal about a company who was under investigation. Interestingly enough, his son was receiving $2,500 a month for 5 years after his departure from the company, from this very same corporation who was to be investigated.

~~~~~~~~~~

Kofi is as slimy as those he accuses and he needs to be replaced.
Do you have any links that actually prove his guilt? If I see that he's truly guilty, then he should go, regardless of whether I think he should go for other reasons (such as not being an effective leader). Although, even if he's not guilty, there's enough circumstantial evidence out there that it would seem his authority would be undermined and questioned, which in turn makes him (and the U.N.) even less effective.
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Old 12-03-04, 05:46 AM
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You have to ask yourself why Kofi Annan and the rest of the UN, decided against the US to not invade Iraq. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Iraq, i.e., Saddam, was selling vouchers from the oil-for-food program which could be resold at a profit. Kofi's friend, Benon Sevon who was in charge of the oil-for-food program, received $700,000 to $2 million, and I just can't think how Kofi didn't know what was going on. You'd have to be:

1) A complete idiot

or

2) Knowing what went on

In either case, it is clear he needs to go. The Iraqi oil-for-food program was one of the biggest financial endeavors, and it was corrupt. Who knows how many other programs were corrupt.
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Old 12-03-04, 01:19 PM
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Originally posted by DarkElf
Unless you are directly involved or have knowledge of the fraud before/while it was commited, should you really be expected to step down? I mean, shit, how many presidents have had scandals happen under their watch?
You mean to say Kofi have zero knowledge about his son's dealing?
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