Yesterday we noted that Senator Norm Coleman, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations, has trained his attention on the U.N.’s “oil for food” scam. His committee is investigating the U.N.’s role in the scandal as well as Saddam Hussein’s use of the fraudulent U.N. program to enrich himself and to reconstitute his weapons programs. Senator Coleman, along with Carl Levin, the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, has written a letter to Kofi Annan protesting the U.N.’s efforts to block the subcommittee’s investigation into that organization’s corrupt practices. The letter is here. It says, in part:
As you know, there are allegations of misconduct and mismanagement by the U.N. and/or its agents, including allegations of bribery, conflict of interest and fraud. The recently published report by Charles Duelfer…revealed additional evidence that Benon Sevan, Executive Director of the U.N. Office of the Iraq program, may have received oil allocations from the government of Iraq. Accordingly, these allegations have raised serious questions concerning the management of the U.N. OFF program and the U.N.’s capacity to enforce a similar sanctions regime in the future.
In light of those concerns, we requested your consent to interview key U.N. personnel and review related documents…. In your response of September 29th, you declined to produce the requested documents and U.N. personnel.
We are troubled by your response for a number of reasons…
Keep after him, Norm.