New York Times:
Report Says Iraq Misused U.N. Oil Plan
In a detailed examination of the United
Nations oil-for-food program for Iraq,
the top American arms inspector described
in a report released Wednesday how Saddam
Hussein created a web of front companies and used shadowy deals with foreign
governments, corporations and officials to amass $11 billion in illicit revenue
in the decade before the American-led invasion last year.
The report by the inspector, Charles A. Duelfer, adds considerable detail to
revelations of impropriety in the oil-for-food program disclosed by
Congressional committees and the Government Accountability Office. Mr. Duelfer’s
report describes how Iraq created a global bribery network, directing lucrative
oil vouchers to Russia, France, Belarus and other countries “on a lavish and
almost indiscriminate scale.” The vouchers allowed the recipients to buy oil
from Iraq and resell it at a profit, a lucrative opportunity to benefit from
acting as middlemen. They were doled out by Iraq in part to build opposition to
United Nations restrictions imposed on Iraq after the invasion of Kuwait.
In Russia, “oil voucher gifts were directed across the political spectrum
targeting the new oligarch class, Russian political parties and officials,” the
report says. In France, Mr. Hussein’s intelligence agents, working through the
front companies, focused on government officials and prominent citizens who they
thought could influence the French government. The report was released Wednesday
afternoon on the C.I.A.'s Web site, and officials of the French and Russian
embassies could not be reached for comment.
Mmmm … France, the U.N. ?
Isn’t this who the French looking candidate wants to turn Iraq over to
Ali bin Gali