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GOOD INTENTIONS CORRUPTED

THE OIL FOR FOOD SCANDAL AND THE THREAT TO THE U.N


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Sinopse

By March 2003, seven years after it was begun to alleviate the threat of starvation in Iraq, the Oil-for-Food program allowed Saddam Hussein to reap billions of dollars from kickbacks and smuggling. More than 2,000 companies made illegal payments to Saddam's regime, and he bestowed oil allocations on scores of politicians and influential figures worldwide. The UN Security Council knew about abuses of the Program but largely looked the other way. Meanwhile, corruption reached into the upper echelon of the UN's administration, and fall out from the scandal would lead to multiple criminal indictments, the flight from U.S. jurisdiction of the corrupt UN administrator of the program, the arrest of France's former UN ambassador, the resignation of India's foreign minister, and a widening scandal in Australia. The Secretary-General himself was tainted by his son's scurrilous efforts to exploit his father's name for personal gain. The UN asked an Independent Inquiry Committee-chaired by former U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul A. Volcker-to conduct an unprecedented investigation of the inner workings of the UN. The Committee's investigation included more than a thousand witnesses, and 12 million documents (including diplomatic documents of the type never before exposed to the light of an international investigative inquiry). But the whole story of the Oil-for-Food Program has never been told in one place. Here Jeffrey A. Meyer, former Senior Counsel to the Committee and chief editor of the reports, and Mark G. Califano, former Chief Legal Counsel to the Committee who led major aspects of the Committee's investigation have provided a narrative of the most compelling events. And as Paul Volcker's introduction makes clear, the threat to the UN is real if major reform does not follow.

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