Mortimer B. Zuckerman: The U.N. and the Iraq oil-for-food scandal (4/26/04)

“The prospects of the United Nations taking over the transition in Iraq may now be fatally compromised. The world body is caught up in a welter of allegations and evidence suggesting strongly that a noble effort of humanitarian assistance was tainted by greed, bribery, and the most venal kind of power politics. The U.N. was supposed to oversee the oil-for-food program that allowed Saddam Hussein to sell oil and use the proceeds to buy essential food and medicine for the Iraqi people. At least $10 billion, evidently, went into the pockets of political operators.”

I was wondering when this scandal would re-appear. I am kind of surprised to see Mort writing about it. This scandal has appeared in several prominent newspapers and magazines but has received scant national attention. The coverage of this issue has been puzzling. By linking this issue to the Iraqi government turnover, this issue could become the next election year issue. This is not good news for Mr. Kerry and his election campaign.