Saturday, November 27, 2004

GIVE CLAUDIA ROSETT a Pulitzer! (sorry, Roger, I stole your trademark, but I'm sure you won't mind). On the New York Sun Claudia exposes Kojo Annan, the son of UN's secretary-general, who received payments from Cotecna Inspection Services (one of the main contractors of the corrupt Oil For Food program) all the war through as recently as February 2004. Much longer than previously thought and until precisely the time that the first list of recipients of Saddam's generosity appeared on a Baghdadi newspaper:
The secretary-general's son, Kojo Annan, was previously reported to have worked for a Swiss-based company called Cotecna Inspection Services SA, which from 1998-2003 held a lucrative contract with the U.N. to monitor goods arriving in Saddam Hussein's Iraq under the oil-for-food program. But investigators are now looking into new information suggesting that the younger Annan received far more money over a much longer period, even after his compensation from Cotecna had reportedly ended.

The importance of this story involves not only undisclosed conflicts of interest, but the question of the role of the secretary-general himself, at a time when talk is starting to be heard around the U.N. that it is time for him to resign, and the staff labor union is in open rebellion against "senior management."

"What other bombshells are out there being hidden from the public and U.N. member governments?" asked an investigator on Rep. Henry Hyde's International Relations Committee, which has held hearings on oil-for-food.

The younger Annan stopped working for Cotecna in late 1998, but it now turns out that he continued to receive money from Cotecna not only through 1999, as recently reported, but right up until February of this year. The timing coincides with the entire duration of Cotecna's work for the U.N. oil-for-food program. It now appears the payments to the younger Annan ended three months after the U.N., in November, 2003, closed out its role in oil-for-food and handed over the remains of the program to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad.
Let's see if all the people who shouted "Halliburton, Cheney" have something to say about this.

Of course, we all know they won't.

UPDATE. Over to Wretchard at the Belmont Club.