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July 27, 2006
Someone Makes An Honest Living At The UN

The New York Sun found someone who supports free-market economics and property rights at the United Nations. Unfortunately, Osman Osman put those principles to use in a drug-smuggling operation and got busted by the FBI:

A U.N. employee used U.N. diplomatic pouches to smuggle illegal drugs as part of a ring that brought 25 tons of contraband into New York in the past year and a half, federal prosecutors and the FBI said yesterday.

The shipments of khat — an illegal stimulant grown in East Africa — were received by a mail clerk employed by the United Nations, Osman Osman, who sent them across America, according to an indictment unsealed yesterday.

Prosecutors say Mr. Osman, a Somali citizen who had been employed at the United Nations for 29 years, was an important cog in the largest khat trafficking enterprise America has known. Forty-four defendants were named in yesterday's indictment, and 14 were still at large, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's office said.

Let's give credit where due. When was the last time you heard anyone at the UN described as "important" to a market economy?

Osman's business, unfortunately, funded a lot of misery, especially in Somalia. Osman's operation rang up around $10 million over the last eighteen months or so, and a lot of that money went back to Somali warlords. That helped pay for wars between each other and Islamist armies, which resulted in the fall of Mogadishu to an al-Qaeda affiliate. Osman might try to plead that he wanted to fight Islamofascism, but I doubt that argument will fall on sympathetic ears.

The UN unwittingly provided the lines of communication for this trade over several years, perhaps decades; Osman started working in the mail room in 1977. We used to think that Turtle Bay was useless, but Osman has proven us incorrect. It turns out that UN diplomatic pouches do have some purpose, other than promoting the causes of oppressors like Cuba and Iran and enforcing the status quo no matter how tyrannical it may prove.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 27, 2006 7:44 AM

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