Sunday, March 20, 2005


"A former United Nations monitor of the organization's oil-for-food program in Iraq told a congressional committee Thursday that the program had 'gaping holes' and that large amounts of aid never reached the Iraqi people. Rehan Mullick testified that by his estimate more than 20 percent of the shipments to Iraq, worth $1 billion a year, were not distributed properly, with many goods pilfered by the Iraqi military. 'A fourth or fifth of the supplies were not distributed,' he said."

Mullick worked for two years in Iraq as a data analyst for the program designed to permit Iraq, while under international economic sanctions stemming from its invasion of Kuwait in 1990, to export a limited amount of its crude oil reserves and import food, medicine and supplies screened by the United Nations. "Soon after I started my job, it became amply evident that there were gaping holes in U.N.'s efforts to meet [its] objectives," Mullick told the committee... The United Nations would routinely send contract information for approved imports to Baghdad, and U.N. staff in Iraq were expected to ensure the goods reached their destination. But Mullick said "Saddam loyalists" with jobs at the U.N. mission corrupted the program's data. "A lot of items that were held back or redirected by the government of Iraq were never observed," Mullick's statement said.

Mullick told the subcommittee that he repeatedly alerted U.N. officials of problems he observed but was rebuffed. "Each suggestion resulted in my supervisors reducing my job responsibilities," Mullick said. "This continued to occur until my only job was to run the slide projector at staff meetings." Mullick said he eventually submitted a 10-page report to U.N. headquarters in 2002 reporting that 22 percent of supplies imported under the program never reached Iraq's 27 million people. "I heard nothing," Mullick said. "Finally I was contacted and told my contract was not being renewed."

Mullick described the United Nations as having "old mafia-style management." He added in his statement, "Had the U.N. chosen to listen to and offer protection to those who blow the whistle on bureaucratic injustice and corruption, a program like oil for food would have worked more in the interest of the impoverished Iraqi people rather than their detractors."

More details here. There is a site here devoted to getting America to withdraw from the U.N.


No comments: