December 13, 2004

UN Fights Back

The UN is fighting back regarding UNSCAM - a new web site attempts to sort out their own version of facts vs. fiction. However, it is extremely disappointing that not only is there no way to contact anyone at the website other than some experts on general UN issues, there also is no explanation of who exactly has put the site up. The site also publically attacks Claudia Rossett, a reporter, without whom, some would argue, information about UNSCAM would never have seen the light of day. For a site that publically attacks someone in this way, the least they can do is explain who they are or how to contact them to find that information out.

A look at WHOIS, though, points to the United Nations Foundation in Washington with the domain being registered to Anand Venkatesan. One of the purposes of the foundation is "strengthening UN institutions and enouraging suport for the UN and UN causes." Timothy Wirth, the head of UN Foundation recently had this choice nugget of wisdom about criticism of Anan by some like Norm Coleman - "It's a little like saying [Defense Secretary] Donald Rumsfeld ought to be fired, because there were all kinds of problems with the Coalition Provisional Authority and Halliburton and Abu Ghraib and so on." Earth to Wirth - that is what MANY have been saying about Rumsfeld and for very GOOD reason. Just as many are starting to say it about Anan for very GOOD reason. In both cases, it can be argued, that the people in question create so much ill will for their respective organizations that they only serve to damage those organizations. However, so far, all anyone has said about Rumsfeld is that he they think he has made mistakes and poor decisions. The problem Anan faces is that the accusations go far beyond mistakes into the area of massive fraud and criminality that actually enriched a member of his own family as well as some of his subordinates.

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November 24, 2004

Danforth Questions Purpose of General Assembly

After the UN's General Assembly failed to vote on human rights violations in the Sudan, John Danforth, the US Ambassador to the UN, asked"One wonders about the utility of the General Assembly on days like this. One wonders if there can't be a clear and direct statement on matters of basic principle, why have this building? What are we all about? This to me is a very bad situation,".

UPDATE: Oxblog discusses the crisis of legitimacy hitting the UN.

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November 17, 2004

Oil-for-Food Money Used to Pay Suicide Bombers

To anyone who has been following UNSCAM at all, this latest news won't be any surprise. I wonder at what point Anan starts feeling heat to resign? Claudia Rossett, the reporter most responsible for breaking news on the scandal, asks the same question in today's Wall Street Journal.

Who at the U.N. took illicit money from Saddam--if, indeed, anyone did--is an important question, and worth pursuing. But so is the matter of who covered up for Saddam; who pushed to continue and expand a program so derelict that it failed to nab more than $17 billion in illicit deals, and so secretive that investigators have spent much of the past year trying simply to get their hands on information the U.N. should have made public at the time. It is worth asking whose welfare was enhanced, whose domain was expanded, whose coffers filled with $1.4 billion delivered as a percentage cut of Saddam's oil revenues--and who has failed to this day to take on board the thumping lessons about the need for transparency at the U.N. That would be Mr. Annan. He is not protecting the U.N. At great cost to whatever noble aspirations the U.N. once had, and to all societies that value integrity over Potemkin institutions, he is protecting himself.

Friends of Saddam, an excellent gathering of UNSCAM info, is asking when Anan will feel some heat as well. It boggles the mind to think that a financial scandal of this magnitude could go on under his nose. Either he had knowledge of it, or he is completely inept. Either way, he should not longer be heading the UN.

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September 27, 2004

BNP Paribas and UNSCAM

Looks like some attention is finally falling on BNP for the role it played in UNSCAM. All I can say is about time. They are the proverbial elephant in the room that everyone has been ignoring, but if anyone thinks that UNSCAM could have proceeded all by its lonesome without willing participation by BNP is kidding themselves.

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May 28, 2004

The UN Scandal Coverup is in full motion

More crapola surrounding UNSCAM. Looks like the coverup is in full swing.

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May 06, 2004

UN and NATO Fueling Prostitution in Kosovo

Amnesty International reports that U.N. and NATO peacekeepers in Kosovo are fueling a human trafficking industry that sexually exploits women and girls as young as 11.

The fact that the supposed guardians of women's rights are actually clients leaves the women trapped, Amnesty said. "Women and girls are sold into slavery. They are threatened, beaten, raped and effectively imprisoned by their owners. With clients including international police and troops, the girls and women are often too afraid to escape, and the authorities are failing to help them," Amnesty said. "It is outrageous that the very same people who are there to protect these women and girls are using their position and exploiting them instead — and they are getting away with it."

Furthermore, the rights group said, when UNMIK police conduct raids on brothels they often cite the women for prostitution and then do not uphold their rights as detainees.

Of course, when UN personnel brought this to the attention of higher ups, they were fired. No surprise given the stonewalling by the UN over UNSCAM.
U.N. peacekeepers have been accused of fueling trafficking in the Balkans before. In October 2000, former U.N. police officer Kathryn Bolkovac, an employee of the private security firm DynCorp, told superiors that U.N. peacekeepers in Bosnia were using prostitutes as young as 15 and were failing to intervene in the abuse of the women. She also accused DynCorp employees of running a prostitution ring (U.N. Wire, Aug. 7, 2002). Bolkovac was fired and awarded $177,000 after a British court found she was wrongly terminated (U.N. Wire, May 5, 2003).

So where is the outrage at the UN over this?

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May 05, 2004

Perspective on Torture

Hard to get much perspective on torture, however, with the right calling it nothing to get worried about and the left looking to use it as a way to damage all US actions in Iraq, its good to see Outside the Beltway putting it into perspective.

The reason to be outraged by this conduct isn’t so much that the acts themselves were notorious—although they went far beyond simple “hazing” as some have suggested—but rather that they were done under the color of American authority.
What happened is NOT simple hazing and it is good to see the administration coming out strongly against it. I do believe the left is blowing the facts out of proportion to meet their political objectives, but the right can not allow their own version of "moral relativism" to blind them to the seriousness of what has happened.

UPDATE: Taguba report is now online.

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We are open. We are Transparent. Yeah right!!

Kofi's stonewalling.

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May 04, 2004

Yet More Absurdities at the UN

Sudan keeps their seat on the UN Human Rights Commission while the United States walks out in protest. Of course, the UN passed a much weakened resolution criticizing the government of the Sudan over Darfur.

Of course everyone now is screaming over what occured at the hands of US military in Iraq and I have said the people responsible need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law as does anyone who turned a blind eye. If only the UN was quick to demand explanations of some of their sorrier episodes.

And here are some thoughts from an Iraqi blogger.

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Kofi Stonewalling? Not possible you ask???

Pathetic is what I call it. Roger Simon opines that I find unbelievably contemptible the actions and pretences of a man who did little or nothing to save hundreds of thousands from genocide in Rwanda, yet fights tooth-and-nail to hide the most hideous de facto pro-fascist corruption in his own organization. Where is the outrage over this in the popular press?

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