September 5, 2005

Annan Hopes Report is "Survivable"

Kofi Annan is said to believe that he has done nothing that should compel him to resign as U.N. Secretary General even though the final report of Paul Volcker's investigative commission will find him to have been primarily responsible for mismanagement in the billion dollar fraud that corrupted the U.N. Oil-For-Food program. From the L.A. Times:

UNITED NATIONS — Investigators confronted Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Thursday with findings of their probe of the $64-billion Iraqi oil-for-food program, concluding that he bore primary responsibility for mismanagement and faulting him for not acting to halt suspected abuses by contractors and laxity by member states, said diplomats who spoke to Annan after the meeting.

The investigators, led by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, are expected to issue a public report Wednesday about abuses in the relief program. A committee spokesman said it would be at least 700 pages and would also examine the responsibility of Security Council members who knowingly allowed Saddam Hussein to reap billions from smuggling and kickbacks.

Annan's office refused to comment publicly Thursday on the meeting between the secretary-general and the investigators. Diplomats who talked to Annan afterward, but asked to remain anonymous, said he told them that the investigators had "no smoking gun" or evidence of wrongdoing on his part.

A senior aide to Annan, who also asked to remain anonymous, said, "I very much hope that while it may be a damaging report, it will be a survivable report.

No smoking gun? No evidence of wrongdoing? I guess the swindling of billions of dollars from the Iraqi people by the murderous dictator the program was set up to sanction and contain, all personally supervised and presided over by Kofi Annan, doesn't constitute "evidence."

The "evidence" is the missing 10 billion dollars!

The U.N. under Kofi Annan has become known for corruption and ineptitude, its "peace-keeping" forces guilty of participation in bribery, child sex scandals, rape, prostitution, and all manner of exploitation of the people they are charged with protecting. Can it be unreasonable to suggest that the leader of this tragically compromised organization consider stepping down so that new leadership can emerge, and some level of increased transparency and accountability might result?

Does the U.N.'s incompetence in most everything they touch, from their impotence in stopping genocide in Darfur, to Annan's complicity in the looting of Oil-For-Food, to the reprehensible behavior of the peace-keeping troops add up to "a smoking gun"?

Annan's track record coupled with the continuing presence of Annan defenders makes one wonder what a person would have to do in this job in order to lose it?

Annan must go.

Posted by dan at September 5, 2005 11:09 PM