Senator Norm Coleman has been taking the lead in a crusade to uncover the full story behind the "Oil for Fraud" fiasco at the UN. In today's Wall Street Journal, he issues a hard-hitting demand for Kofi Annan's head on a plate. (By the way, Cox & Forkum have a great cartoon on this topic.) Yet Coleman still pulls one important punch, saying that his goal is to restore the credibility of the UN. He concludes by asking: "If this widespread corruption had occurred in any legitimate organization around the world, its CEO would have been ousted long ago, in disgrace. Why is the UN different?" It is a question that answers itself: because the UN is not—and never has been—a legitimate organization.
"Our Investigative Subcommittee has gathered overwhelming evidence that Saddam turned this program on its head. Rather than erode his grip on power, the program was manipulated by Saddam to line his own pockets and actually strengthen his position at the expense of the Iraqi people. At our hearing on Nov. 15, we presented evidence that Saddam accumulated more than $21 billion through abuses of the Oil-for-Food program and UN sanctions. We continue to amass evidence that he used the overt support of prominent members of the UN, such as France and Russia, along with numerous foreign officials, companies and possibly even senior U.N. officials, to exploit the program to his advantage. We have obtained evidence that indicates that Saddam doled out lucrative oil allotments to foreign officials, sympathetic journalists and even one senior UN official, in order to undermine international support for sanctions. In addition, we are gathering evidence that Saddam gave hundreds of thousands—maybe even millions—of Oil-for-Food dollars to terrorists and terrorist organizations.
"All of this occurred under the supposedly vigilant eye of the UN. While many questions concerning Oil-for-Food remain unanswered, one conclusion has become abundantly clear: Kofi Annan should resign. The decision to call for his resignation does not come easily, but I have arrived at this conclusion because the most extensive fraud in the history of the UN occurred on his watch."