Claudia Rosett point out that,
In other words, having gone so far as to discover that Secretariat staff don’t trust the top management and are afraid to speak out for fear of reprisals, Mr. Annan’s response will be to convene a group of top managers and invite staff members to speak out. At some point they’ll probably issue another report, and then everyone can do it all again.
. . . The problem with the Secretariat isn’t “tone” at the top. It’s accountability at the top, and secrecy throughout. Perhaps a leader with the character of a Churchill or a Reagan would be willing to address that failing directly–and put his job on the line to push for change. Mr. Annan prefers to issue reports.
Someone needs to help this institution, and it’s not a consulting team hired by the same institution, nor is it a batch of investigators operating under terms defined by the U.N., nor is it a grand gathering of staff members being urged to risk reprisals by telling tales of earlier reprisals. A better place to start is the proposal by Sen. John Ensign that the U.S. withhold part of the U.N.’s budget until the institution comes clean on Oil for Food. Better yet would be to tackle the system that engendered Oil for Food. To do that would probably require setting up a competing international institution, based on openness and accountability–and give the U.N. a run for its money. For now, I’m working around to the belief that in the matter of reforming the U.N., the only thing worse than having the U.N. ignore a problem is to have the U.N. investigate it.
Friends of Saddam has a link to Watching the UN’s watchdog, that suggests the UN’s anticorruption department itself is corrupt.
The NYTimes is a little slow on the uptake, considering I’d blogged on this subject already. Even the NewsHour‘s talking about the scam (via CakeEater).
The way Koffi sees it, We had no mandate to stop oil smuggling. To which Kathleen asks, “Maybe because the Oil For Food Program was your bright idea in the first place?”