Tuesday, November 23, 2004
UN knew of Saddam's oil-for-food thefts: BBC. (LGF Via GeoPoliticalReview)
The United Nations knew that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was stealing from the oil-for-food program - and, by extension, starving his own people - but did little to stop it, according to a special report by the BBC at the weekend.That justifies it!
After a six-month investigation, the BBC said it had evidence that Saddam took billions from the oil-for-food program, and that "these abuses were widely known about at the time". The BBC said there was evidence that Saddam demanded a kickback from companies that wanted to do business with Iraq under the oil-for-food program. ...
The BBC sent a reporter to Iraq and Jordan to track down people involved in the oil-for-food program, which has been described as the largest financial swindle in history. Virtually all said that Saddam took kickbacks from companies who sold goods to Iraq, and that the UN knew this. The businessmen - most of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity - said it was standard to pay commissions, that nobody complained, and that was the price of doing business with Iraq.
A Jordanian banker said it was an open secret that contracts were inflated so Saddam could take 10 per cent. "We knew it was there," he said. "(But) actually, it's not our business, you know. Banks are (only) interested in their money, and to make money."
The allegations have left the UN fighting for its reputation. The oil-for-food program is being investigated by six US congressional committees and by the UN itself.
Many UN officials believe the US is trying to divert media attention towards the oil-for-food program as a way of punishing the UN for failing to back the war in Iraq.