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April 21, 2004
Everything You Need To Know About UNSCAM

Claudia Rosett wrote a lengthy and detailed explanation for today's Commentary website which takes readers on a well-written tour of the disaster that the UN Oil for Food program became. Rosett, who has been tenacious in her investigative reporting on this subject for the Wall Street Journal, collects the sorry mess into a coherent and chronological narrative that lays out the scandal in devastating fashion (via Hugh Hewitt):

The tale has been all very interesting, and all very complicated. For those who look yearningly to the UN for answers to the worlds problems, it has provoked, perhaps, some introspection about the pardonable corruption that threatens even the most selfless undertakings. For those who believe the UN can do nothing right, Oil-for-Food, whatever it was about, is a delicious vindication that everyone and everything at the world organization is crooked, the institution a fiasco, and politicians who support it fit for recall at the next electoral opportunity.

The excitement may be justified, but a number of important facts and conclusions have gone missing. Oil-for-Food, run by the UN from 1996 to 2003, did, in fact, deliver some limited relief to Iraqis. It also evolved into not only the biggest but the most extravagant, hypocritical, and blatantly perverse relief program ever administered by the UN. But Oil-for-Food is not simply a saga of one UN program gone wrong. It is also the tale of a systematic failure on the part of what is grandly called the international community.

Oil-for-Food tainted almost everything it touched. It was such a kaleidoscope of corruption as to defy easy summary, let alone concentration on the main issues.

Be prepared to spend some significant time with this article. I don't think excerpting it will do it justice.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at April 21, 2004 8:39 PM

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» Claudia Rosett's Summary from Friends of Saddam
The Oil-for-Food Scam: What Did Kofi Annan Know, and When Did He Know It? The tale has been all very interesting, and all very complicated. For those who look yearningly to the UN for answers to the world’s problems, it... [Read More]

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» OFF* with their heads from sisu
"But Oil-for-Food is not simply a saga of one UN program gone wrong. It is also the tale of a systematic failure on the part of what is grandly called the international community," writes Claudia Rosett in a long Commentary [Read More]

Tracked on April 22, 2004 5:37 AM



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