Thursday, February 03, 2005

Oil for Food: Volcker Finally Delivers (or Does He)?

The Interim Report from Paul Volcker's Independent Inquiry Commission investigating the UN Oil-for-Food scandal has been out for barely two hours, and already the blogosphere is on the case (via instapundit) declaring it at once damning and a whitewash. Of course, it's one thing to react to the report, it's another to actually read through the (unbelievably boring) 246 page report.

Here is Annan's statement, and here are some pre-release complaints about the Volcker Commission from Heritage suggesting it is likely to try to whitewash or downplay the scandal.


Blogger Kevin Jon Heller said...

I hope you'll spend as much time analyzing what is (or would be, if the media didn't allow the right to dictate its agenda) the far more important scandal: the US's conscious decision from 1998 and 2002 to allow Saddam to violate the UN sanctions by selling oil to Jordan and Turkey -- willful blindness justified, as always, in the name of "national security."

As CNN International notes:

Estimates of how much revenue Iraq earned from these tolerated side sales of its oil to Jordan and Turkey, as well as to Syria and Egypt, range from $5.7 billion to $13.6 billion.

This illicit revenue far exceeds the estimates of what Saddam pocketed through illegal surcharges on his U.N.-approved oil exports and illegal kickbacks on subsequent Iraqi purchases of food, medicine, and supplies -- $1.7 billion to $4.4 billion -- during the maligned seven-year U.N. oil-for-food program in Iraq.

CNN-I appears to be the only major media outlet focusing on the story -- the LA Times relegates it to paragraph 16 of an article misleadingly entitled "All Players Gain from Oil-for-Food."

The CNN-I story is here:

2/03/2005 9:27 PM  
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The fundamental problem with the U.N. is that it has no accountability for its actions.

2/03/2005 10:53 PM  
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