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November 15, 2004
UNSCAM Put $21B In Saddam's Pockets

The Senate Committee on Government Affairs has discovered that corruption in the UN Oil-For-Food program put over twenty-one billion dollars into Saddam Hussein's hands, more than double the previous estimates, which already boggled the mind:

Saddam Hussein's regime made more than $21.3 billion in illegal revenue by subverting the U.N. oil-for-food program more than double previous estimates, according to congressional investigators.


"This is like an onion we just keep uncovering more layers and more layers," said Sen. Norm Coleman (news, bio, voting record), R-Minn., whose Senate Committee on Government Affairs received the new information at hearing Monday.

New figures on Iraq's alleged surcharges, kickbacks and oil-smuggling are based on troves of new documents obtained by the committee's investigative panel, Coleman told reporters before the hearing. The documents illustrate how Iraqi officials, foreign companies and sometimes politicians allegedly contrived to allow the Iraqi government vast illicit gains.

The findings also reflect a growing understanding by investigators of the intricate schemes Saddam used to buy support abroad for a move to lift U.N. sanctions.

Apparently this new figure only includes those transactions that the committee could verify. Coleman told reporters that he was angered at the UN's refusal to cooperate more fully with their probe. This lack of cooperation should temper any enthusiasm for using the UN to solve global issues of any import, let alone nuclear disarmament and security. Saddam proved that the UN could be bought, along with a healthy chunk of the Security Council, and the Senate committee final report hopefully will point out who bought whom, and at what price.

Senator Joe Lieberman concurred in Coleman's analysis, saying that Saddam corrupted UNSCAM in order to fund his military ambitions. Unfortunately, not all Democrats had the scales fall from their eyes:

But the committee's ranking Democrat, Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, said "for the most part the U.N. sanctions achieved their intended objective of preventing Saddam from rearming and developing weapons of mass destruction."

Oh, really? Why did Levin think Saddam took the $21B -- to build a university in Baghdad? The AP obtained testimony from the counsel to the committee that specified exactly where the money went (emphasis mine):

"Saddam Hussein attempted to manipulate the typical oil allocation process in order to gain influence throughout the world," Mark L. Greenblatt, a counsel for the Senate panel's permanent subcommittee on investigations, said in prepared testimony obtained by The Associated Press.

"Rather than giving allocations to traditional oil purchasers, Hussein gave oil allocations to foreign officials, journalists, and even terrorist entities, who then sold their allocations to the traditional oil companies in return for a sizable commission."

The reference to terrorist groups referred to evidence that the regime had allocated oil to such organizations as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the Mujahadeen Khalq, a group seeking to overturn the government of Iran, Greenblatt said.

Foreign leaders and journalists -- the same people who kept telling us that Saddam was safely in a box and that sanctions were all that were necessary to keep him toothless. Saddam also funded terrorist entities -- the same people who bomb civilian targets, the ones we're presently trying to stamp out. So much for the "wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time".

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 15, 2004 12:53 PM

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» Hussein Used UN Oil For Food Money to Support Terrorism from rightpundit.com
The US Senate committee investigating the UN's Oil for Food scandal released new evidence today that showed Sadaam Hussein pocketed over $21 billion dollars from the UN Oil for Food program. (Hat tip: Captain's Quarters) Hussein used that money... [Read More]

Tracked on November 15, 2004 2:35 PM

» 21 Billion? from King of Fools
That's alot of weapons & mosques er food items: The Senate Committee on Government Affairs has discovered that corruption in the UN Oil-For-Food program put over twenty-one billion dollars into Saddam Hussein's hands, more tha... [Read More]

Tracked on November 15, 2004 3:18 PM

» Billion with a "B" from The Desert Tusk
New evidence shows that Saddam Hussein scammed at least $21.3 billion from the U.N. Oil-for-Food Program. [Read More]

Tracked on November 15, 2004 4:07 PM

» $21 Billion of Corruption from EagleSpeak
$21 Billion! You know, you could buy a lot of "friends" for that kind of money. All right, Kofi, the ball is your court to explain how this happened. Try to keep a straight face. [Read More]

Tracked on November 15, 2004 4:56 PM

» 21 Billon In Saddam's Pockets from gutrumbles.blog-city.com
Captain Ed sums up the Oil for Food scam: "The Senate Committee on Government Affairs has discovered that corruption in the UN Oil-For-Food program put over twenty-one billion dollars into Saddam Hussein's hands, more than double the previous esti [Read More]

Tracked on November 21, 2004 3:17 PM



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