Saturday, February 28, 2004

# Posted 9:20 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

ISN'T THE FRONT PAGE FOR NEWS? The NYT has a major story about the massive corruption that Iraqi officials embedded in the UN's Oil-For-Food program. Of course, it was on the NYT's own op-ed page -- ten months ago -- that WSJ correspondent Claudia Rosett argued that the Oil-For-Food program had become a total fiasco.

While the NYT cover story contains a lot of interesting information, its criticism of the UN's role in the affair is too light to even be described as a slap on the wrist. While Rossett's op-ed makes clear that widescale corruption was only possible because of ridiculously lax UN oversight, all the NYT gives us is a pathetic denial from the UN official in charge:
The director of the Office of Iraq Programs, Benon V. Sevan, declined to be interviewed about the oil-for-food program. In written responses to questions sent by e-mail, his office said he learned of the 10 percent kickback scheme from the occupation authority only after the end of major combat operations.
Yeah, right. Just this week, Rosett published another column which provides considerable evidence that either that the UN is hiding a lot of information from the public or that its accountants don't understand basic arithmetic.

On a related note, one also has to ask to what degree the French and Russians were involved in Saddam's massive kickback scheme. To its credit, the NYT raises the issue briefly at the end of its lengthy report. Hopefully, it will follow up on the issue, because even the little bit it has found is quite incriminating.
(0) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments: Post a Comment