Wednesday, November 24, 2004

BBC Report: UN Knew of Saddam's Oil-For-Food Theft

Here's a report summarizing a BBC investigation, showing that UN officials were completely aware of Saddam's role in the Oil-for-Food scandal, the biggest rip off in world history. Read my earlier related post about the topic here . Below are a few key segments from the BBC report.

The United Nations knew that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was
stealing from the oil-for-food program - and, by extension, starving his own
people - but did little to stop it, according to a special report by the BBC at
the weekend.
After a six-month investigation, the BBC said it had evidence
that Saddam took billions from the oil-for-food program, and that "these abuses
were widely known about at the time". The BBC said there was evidence that
Saddam demanded a kickback from companies that wanted to do business with Iraq
under the oil-for-food program.

Since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, evidence has emerged that Saddam
found many ways to skim billions from the program. Some of that money allegedly
went to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. It is also alleged that
Saddam paid foreign journalists and sympathetic foreign officials, as a way of
getting them to campaign to get the sanctions lifted. Around 270 people are
alleged to have received vouchers to sell oil for millions of dollars in
Among the people accused of taking these bribes are the former
president of Indonesia, Megawati Soekarnoputri, and, most explosively, the head
of the UN's oil-for-food program Benon Sevan.


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