Thursday, June 29, 2006

US - The U.N.’s Day in Court

NRO reports.

In an opening statement Tuesday, federal prosecutor Michael Farbiarz told the jury that “Iraqi agents had been working since 1991 to try to eliminate the sanctions, to try and create a major exception to them on the way to wholesale elimination.” For five years, Iraq worked without success. “But starting in 1996,” alleged Farbiarz, “The Iraqi cash began flowing to Tongsun Park. It flowed all year long. Sure enough, by the end of that year…the Iraqis got their multibillion dollar exception to the UN sanctions, the so-called Oil-for-Food program.”

Alleging that “Cash by the bagful was sent from Iraq to the United States and doled out here by an Iraqi agent to Tongsun Park,” Farbiarz outlined a tale of secret swaps of messages and money in New York cafes and restaurants; night-time meetings at the Sutton Place official residence of former Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali; a close encounter with longtime U.N. eminence Maurice Strong, who served as a top adviser to both Boutros-Ghali and then to Kofi Annan; and an episode in which Park in 1997 picked up cash from Saddam’s number two man in Iraq, Tariq Aziz, and “drove out of the Iraqi desert over the Jordanian border.” (Boutros-Ghali, Strong, and Annan have all denied any wrong-doing in relation to Oil-for-Food.)

Despite what Annan and the BBC claim, Paul Volcker, the man who headed the oil for food investigation, did not clear Annan of wrongdoing.

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