web counter Media Lies: Is the dam breaking?

Sunday, January 23, 2005

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Is the dam breaking?

Recently an American, Samir Vincent, pled guilty to charges related to UNSCAM. Now he has implicated an un-named UN official, and it's not Benon Sevan, former head of the Oil For Food program.
American prosecutors are investigating claims that a second senior United Nations official involved in the oil-for-food scheme may have been paid off by Saddam Hussein after an Iraqi-born American businessman struck a plea-bargain deal last week.

The testimony of Samir Vincent, who pleaded guilty to acting as a covert agent for Baghdad, indicates that Saddam's manipulation of the scheme began at its inception in 1996.

Attention has previously focused on how, from 1998, Iraq skimmed off proceeds from the programme and issued vouchers for oil sales to its foreign supporters. In his testimony, however, Vincent, 64, detailed links with the Iraqi regime dating back to 1992.

He made the claim that a UN official, who has not yet been named publicly, received cash payments from iraq in 1996 in his statement submitted as a "co-operating witness" to the United States federal court in Manhattan. A copy of the papers has been obtained by The Telegraph.
Sometimes, when one person turns state's evidence, the entire scheme starts to crumble and it's every many for himself. It would be harder to do that in this case, because the guilty parties are from many different countries, and the UN will stonewall until the end.

This is a good start, though, and we can always hope for more. (Hat tip to the Counterterrorism Blog.)