May 19, 2004

Abu Graib vs. Oil-for-terrorism

I had it all wrong in my tirade. The shame is not that the media have focused on Abu Graib over Nicholas Berg, the shame is that they have focused on Abu Graib over the UN Sandal.

Like Johngalt mentions below on the 9/11 commission, we have endless capacity for navel-gazing and examining all of our own wounds.

Yet, few media organizations will join the WSJ Ed Page and investigate the UN:

In the scandal over the U.N. Oil-for-Food program in Iraq, Kofi Annan's main line of defense has been that he didn't know. Perhaps he should take a closer look at internal U.N. Oil-for-Food audit reports, more than 50 in all, produced by his own Office of Internal Oversight Services--the same reports he's declined to share with the Security Council, or release to Congress.
A U.N. spokesman says all the internal audit reports on Oil-for-Food have now been turned over to the U.N.-authorized inquiry headed by former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker. But under terms drawn up by Mr. Annan, Mr. Volcker not only lacks the power of subpoena, but must submit his own report directly to Mr. Annan. And guess who has the final say over what we get to see--or not see. Why, Mr. Annan, of course.

Posted by jk at May 19, 2004 10:22 AM

Secret documents, contracts renegotiated upwards after award through "competitive" bidding, lack of oversight, impotent "independent" auditors, self-control of "independent" oversight reports... This sounds like a corrupt third-world dictatorship to me. We'd better send the UN in to clean up this mess.

Posted by: johngalt at May 19, 2004 12:42 PM

I'll draft a resolution...

Posted by: jk at May 19, 2004 02:43 PM

Sounds a lot like the Mutual Fund industry as well.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at May 20, 2004 11:02 AM

But the Mutual Fund industry has been held accountable. Best by the market as people moved to ETFs or to funds that took their fiduciary responsibility a little more seriously. And, unfortunately, by Eliot Spitzer's black knights who inflicted the triple-jeopardy of fines, more regulation and exposure to lawsuits.

Secretary Annan will be able to file the audit in a drawer and carry on with corruption as usual.

Posted by: jk at May 20, 2004 12:22 PM
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