Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Annan cleared?

I heard the "Annan was cleared ..." on every news report yesterday, except when Paul Volcker had to respond to the Lehrer News Hour and said,
"Well, it cleared him of any intervention in the procurement process that you've described. We did not clear him in terms of the actions that he took after the news reports of a potential conflict of interest."
Mr Volcker was referring to the question of whether Annan influenced the contract in any way, and what Mr. Volcker noted was "That has been a clear finding of our investigation, that we have no evidence that he influenced the contract."

That's not to say Annan didn't know about it, even before the bidding process was complete. It is only to say Annan took no action to influence, ... excuse me, the Commission has found no evidence Annan took any action. Considering the mammouth amounts of paper likely generated and number of people in the know on the Oil-for-Food program, I'd say both questions are still out, even though Volcker, as of now, only leaves the subsidiary question of if Annan knew a lot about it while refraining from influencing it.

The other big question featured prominently in the interim report is Annan's slipshod investigation of news of his son and Cotecna when the news first broke. Let me note, that this news wasn't the beginning revelation of the Oil-for-Food scandal where one might brush off a single potential and unsupported corruption story, this was deep in the midst of a wide ranging scandal and had a significant amount of background to it.

The Secretary General, as with any organization head, is responsible for running a tight and proper ship. You expect the SG to exert some kind of control over the overall operations as well as the daily activities of his staff. As more revelations of corruption and crime stream in like water through a sieve, Annan's direction of UN operations looks less like one for a serious international organization and more like the direction of some "Girls Gone Wild" video, or worse.

Annan should be fired before he has a chance to resign.

More: Right Wing Duck let's go with his perspective in a news roundup at IMAO. Don't miss his take on CAIR's badgering of a National Review advertiser. Oh, and don't leave IMAO before catching Frank's first installment of Answers of Fury.

Update: Roger Simon has his Special Report #2 posted. In it, Roger wonders if the Commission did any serious investigative work outside the UN cocktail circuit. (No, sweet mint tea is only favored in the retired US State Department African circuit.) From Roger's report, it sounds like they relied only on phone calls and Nigerian e-mails. (I'll link when Mr. Simon's site comes up again.)

If the Nigerians don't have the guts to take on Annan and make sure the UN is cleaned up properly, then they are not worthy of getting a seat on the expanded Security Council.


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