I’m wondering what others here think about the latest Volcker report. Does the report vindicate Kofi Annan, or does it really mean, “We think he’s guilty, but we can’t prove it”?

What about the press coverage? Is the U.S. media reflecting the right wing’s determination to get rid of Annan, and spinning the news to be as negative for him as possible?

What’s really going on here?…
I’ll give you my take, and then let you tell me where I’m off-base.

First, I look at the amount of money involved in Kojo Annan’s “corrupt” employment by Cotecna Inspection Services, and I think: you’ve got to be kidding me! $200,000 over three years? If this is corruption, it’s pretty inept. What, did he also cheat at poker to supplement his income? If you want some real corruption, check out Halliburton’s profits in Iraq; have a look at Enron and WorldCom.

It appears to me that sonny-boy used his mother’s–not his father’s–influence to get a job with this company, that they paid him a very modest salary hoping that the connection might be helpful, and… that’s about it.

Second, the Volcker report says that Kofi Annan’s investigation into the relationship of his son and Cotecna Inspection Services was inadequate. Again, I have the sense that there isn’t much here. A horrifically over-extended Secretary-General of the U.N. looks quickly into some allegations, is misled by his own son, concludes that nothing is really amiss, and goes back to other more pressing business. Later, unluckily for him, it turns out that there really was some profiteering in the oil-for-food program, and he looks bad. But if he had done a more thorough investigation, what would he have discovered? At most, he would have found that his son had used his ex-wife’s influence to get a cushy job. Would the real problems have come to light? I’m not sure.

Given the huge opportunities for corruption in this situation–Saddam, big money available, oil–the amounts of money being mentioned in connection with Kojo Annan are laughable. Again, think Halliburton, Enron, WorldCom.

Which brings me back to what seems to be the real issue here: the determination of American right-wingers to cripple the U.N., and to oust Kofi Annan and replace him with a Secretary-General who will be more compliant to U.S. wishes.

Fire away! Please.

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