U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs has scheduled a hearing entitled, “How Saddam Hussein Abused the United Nations Oil-for-Food Program.” Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations Chairman, Norm Coleman (R. Minnesota) sent a letter (HT: The fellows at Powerline) this week to Kofi Annan, reiterating a request for full United Nation's cooperation with a US Senate investigation of the abuses of the Oil For Food program (An Oil-for-Food Connection). As noted in a previous post (Rosetta Stone) and recent articles (here, here, here), the program had become an insidious criminal enterprise by which Saddam and various Member Nations and UN personnel profited from post war sanctions on trade with the despotic ruler of Iraq. Furthermore, there is ample reason to believe that weapons and influence purchased via the OFF program helped expedite and promulgate Islamic Fundamentalist terror networks and activities worldwide, culminating with the infamous attacks by Osama Bin Laden's Al Qaeda network on September 11th, 2001. Most notable, in light of evident UN collusion, has been the organization's staunch opposition to the United States and Coalition efforts to challenge terrorist individuals and networks, their host nations and state sponsors (reference). It begs questions of the world body that require answers.
According to the Senate's website:
The Subcommittee’s first hearing on the Oil-for-Food Program (“OFF Program”) will lay the foundation for future hearings on how the OFF Program was exploited by Saddam Hussein.
The following witnesses are scheduled to testify at the Monday, November 15th hearing: Charles A. Duelfer, author of The Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the DCI on Iraq’s WMD. Mr. Duelfer will testify as to how Saddam Hussein manipulated the OFF Program to erode United Nations sanctions, generate billions of dollars of illicit funds, and procure conventional weapons. Also scheduled to testify is Juan Carlos Zarate, the Assistant Secretary of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes at the Department of the Treasury. Mr. Zarate will discuss, among other things, the extent to which funds illicitly procured under the OFF Program may have been used by Saddam Hussein for illicit purposes, including whether monies pilfered from the OFF Program are being used to fund the Iraqi insurgency or terrorist groups. The Subcommittee will also examine specific transactions in which the former Iraqi regime procured illicit funds and peddled influence by granting vouchers for oil deals, demanding kickbacks on contracts for humanitarian goods and exacting surcharges on oil sales.
In his recent analysis, Bankrupting Terrorists , Juan Carlos Zarate explains,
Focusing on and attacking terrorist money flows is important for several reasons. Financial records and audits provide blueprints to the architecture of terrorist organizations. By following the money trail through financial information sharing worldwide, we can save lives by unearthing terrorist cells and networks. The maintenance of terrorist networks and the acquisition and development of lethal weapons is expensive — even if a particular attack does not prove costly in isolation. Identifying and isolating the sources of funding for terrorist groups incapacitates not only their execution of attacks, but also their ability to maintain international alliances, create infrastructures around the world for recruitment and training, and purchase or develop deadly weapons.
What we know is that global networks of terrorist groups like al-Qaida and Hamas have used a variety of means to raise and move money. They have taken advantage of charities, front companies, deep-pocket donors, and crime of all types to raise money. They have relied on banks, informal remittance networks known as hawalas, wire remitters, currency exchangers, and couriers to move money or value across national borders.
It seems increasingly clear, that Islamic terror networks have also taken advantage of despotic hubris, criminal ambition, and petty greed all in the form of Eurocentric arrogance embodied in deep-seated United Nations corruption. It is about time that the US and the newly allied Iraqi people demand some answers of Kofi Annan - and indeed, his resignation and indictment if a fraction of what is being alleged proves to be true. If Annan has been presiding over institutionalized corruption, then he has blood on his hands and may be, in part, culpable for mass graves, escalating terror, and the global unrest that has culminated in the current state of international chaos of what has begun to be called World War IV. If, in our endeavor to quell this unrest and ensure our security, Annan has been using the UN to obstruct US and Coalition efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan- either to hide his own guilt or that of affiliated individuals -then he is not merely an impediment to peace, but in fact and enemy of this Nation, of a free Iraq, and Humanity as a whole.
Something at the UN is certainly off. Perhaps it is best that it now remain off... for good.
A background press availability with Senator Coleman and the Subcommittee staff will take place at 10:00 a.m. on November 15th in 199 Russell Senate Office Building. The hearing is scheduled for 12:00 pm at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Rm. 342.
For additional information:
CONTACT: Tom Steward 202-253-4481 Tara Andringa 202-228-3685
Powerline is reporting that the hearing will be broadcast over the internet, Here. In addition, Hindrocket is encouraging all Power Line readers within driving distance of Washington D.C. to attend, if possible. We'd like to extend that suggestion to My Sandmen readers as well.