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November 23, 2004
UN: Billing The Victims For The Investigation

Iraq has formally protested a decision by the UN to use $30 million of the money that Turtle Bay kept for administrative services to investigate the massive corruption of the Oil For Food program -- and themselves:

Iraq has protested a U.N. decision to use $30 million in revenue from the U.N. oil-for-food program for Iraq to help pay for the investigation of alleged corruption in the humanitarian effort.

In a letter obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, Iraq's U.N. Ambassador Samir Sumaidiaie argued that Security Council resolutions don't support the use of oil-for-food money "for an investigation into the internal practices of the United Nations in carrying out its duties." ...

Last month, Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the council that money for the probe headed by former U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker would come from an account earmarked to pay U.N. administrative and operational costs for the embattled humanitarian program.

Here's what the UN proposes: They want to pay for the investigation of UN complicity in allowing Saddam to skim $21 billion from the money that Iraqis paid the UN to protect them from Saddam in the first place. The concepts of shame and remorse apparently have no application at Turtle Bay. In any other business, the complete and abject failure of an organization to safeguard its customers would result in the refund of the money paid for the service.

For that matter, in any other crime, the victims would not get the bill for arresting the criminals, although I highly doubt that the UN intends on concluding that they did anything wrong. Kofi Annan will likely wind up charging the Iraqis to whitewash the entire scandal. It will become the UN's final indignity to the Iraqi people.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 23, 2004 7:01 PM

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