Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Do As We Say, Not As We Do

Ambassador John Bolton generates sound bites for the US public:
Bolton said the General Assembly has "essentially not made progress" since President Bush and other world leaders convened a U.N. summit in September to endorse a platform of changes, including proposals to increase scrutiny of spending practices and to create a human rights council that would exclude rights abusers. He said that continued resistance to change in the organization would drive the American public away from the United Nations.
(Source: Washington Post Bolton Admonishes U.N., Nov. 23, 2005 [emphasis added.])
Maybe the UN could model their spending practices on the highly successful US Coalition Provisional Authority model:
U.S. Accuses Pair of Rigging Iraq Contracts

By Charles R. Babcock and Renae Merle
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, November 18, 2005; Page A01

A U.S. official working in Iraq accepted $546,000 in illegal payments for steering more than $13 million in contracts last year to an American businessman, the Justice Department alleged in the first criminal corruption case arising from Iraq reconstruction.

...federal auditors have found that the CPA was lax in overseeing billions of dollars in Iraqi funds from the sale of oil and cash transferred from the United Nations.

"There's more to come" in the way of criminal charges, Ginger Cruz, the deputy special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, said in an interview yesterday. Stein and Bloom have not been indicted by a grand jury, and Cruz said the investigation is continuing. She said her office is looking into 50 other potential criminal cases on the spending of U.S. and Iraqi funds in the war zone.
If anyone is qualified to criticize fraudulent contracts, it is the Bush Administration:
Halliburton Allegations Are Sent to Justice Dept.
No-Bid Contracts In Iraq Are at Issue

By Renae Merle
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 19, 2005; Page A15

An investigative arm of the Pentagon has sent an Army Corps of Engineers whistle-blower's allegations of wrongdoing against Halliburton Co. to the Justice Department.

Bunnatine H. Greenhouse was removed from her position as the Corps of Engineers' top procurement official in August after raising concerns over the volume of Iraq-related work given to the Houston-based oil-services giant without competition.
If these matters had been investigated with the Bush Administration's cooperation and in a timely manner, the US could raise these charges and be taken seriously. Instead, John Bolton's lecture sounds more like a demand for the UN to send more business to Halliburton and other Bush cronies.

Were I at the UN, I would respond by accepting Mr. Bolton's demand to "create a human rights council that would exclude rights abusers" by excluding the US from any such human rights counsel based upon Guantanamo Bay prisoner abuse, torture advocacy, kidnapping suspects for torture without trial, and the CIA's secret prison system.


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