No talk of right-wing plots can alter the plain truth:
* That much of the food, hospital supplies and other humanitarian goods that were supposed to be bought with Oil-for-Food funds never were, because contractors overcharged the program and kicked back a percentage of the proceeds to Iraqi officials.
* That fully half of the 13 percent of Oil-for-Food revenues that were supposed to go to the Kurds living in the northern No-Fly Zone – some $4.4 billion – is still unaccounted for. The money seems to have been hijacked by Saddam’s officials while U.N. “watchmen” turned a blind eye.
* That the Oil-for-Food office never transferred its database to the Coalition Provisional Authority – despite Benon Savan’s assurances to the Security Council that it had done so.
* That many Oil-for-Food contractors turned out to be false fronts or non-existent when the CPA tried to contact them.
* That Oil-for-Food funds meant for a full range of humanitarian projects were instead diverted to pay for luxury cars and the construction of an Olympic Stadium for Saddam’s son Uday – a project that Kofi Annan personally approved.
* That the United Nations can’t begin to explain how all of this happened, or how its oversight system failed.
I would like to see a person, a former prosecutor, with a very strong background on racketeering cases, in charge of the American investigation. Rudolph Giuliani, for instance. After all, one of the banks involved is already under investigation for fraud in NY state.