"Then you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free." John 8:32

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

How Far Does the Rabbit Hole Go?

Claudia Rosett does a great job in her investigations of the United Nations and the scandals that continue to grow and expand like a tentacled virus. Go read her current column at the Opinion Journal at the Wall Street Journal. It is wrong to think that the UN oil for $$$ scandal was the extent of the corruption and thievery going on there. Here's an excerpt from her column:

That was far from the end of the IHC trail. Last month, we obtained IHC corporate documents showing that one of the U.N.'s most prominent personalities, Giandomenico Picco--currently a special adviser to Mr. Annan--had served as a director of IHC in 1997 and then as chairman of the IHC board from 1998 until at least February 2000. Mr. Picco's initial career with the U.N. had spanned from 1973 to 1992, and at the time he joined IHC he was in private business, running a consulting firm, GDP Associates, in New York. But during his tenure as IHC chairman, he accepted an appointment from Kofi Annan in August 1999, to serve as a U.N. under-secretary and personal representative of the secretary-general for a globetrotting project called the Dialogue of Civilizations.

During the interval in which Mr. Picco was both an official U.N. representative for Mr. Annan and chairman of the IHC board--i.e., from August 1999 to February 2000--IHC signed one multimillion dollar deal to sell portable generators to the U.N. and brokered another to supply a hostel ship for peacekeeping troops in East Timor. Mr. Picco has said he resigned as IHC chairman before that, but IHC board minutes show him as chairing the company's annual meeting on Feb. 17, 2000.

It then came to light that IHC's CEO, Ezio Testa, had sent an email providing an inside tip on confidential U.N. bidding information to a corporate officer at another company, Cyprus-based Eurest Support Services (ESS). ESS was then bidding on the aforementioned contract--which it won--to supply $62 million worth of rations to U.N. peacekeepers. Altogether, ESS, which in 2004 announced a formal partnership with IHC, has in recent years won U.N. contracts that, with add-ons and options, total $351 million. ESS has now been suspended by the U.N., which is investigating the matter.

There's more. Corporate documents show that in June, just before the first wave of this scandal went public, IHC was quietly sold--in a move that raises questions about who really owned it. The buyer was a company registered in the British Virgin Islands, whose sole representative was listed in sale documents as Peter Harris--apparently an officer with ESS's parent company, the U.K.-based Compass Group, one of the world's largest catering companies. (Compass has announced it is suspending Mr. Harris and is investigating the matter.)

Go read the rest of Claudia's column. It is sickening to think at how the left thinks we should give even more authority, power and money to the United Nations. How far down will this rabbit hole go? Err... I mean how far up to the top at the UN will all this corruption go? As far as UN Secretariat Annan? The UN oil for $$$ scandal is probably the tip of the proverbial iceberg, or a never ending rabbit hole.

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