A French Connection to Oil for Food
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Another link has emerged between Kofi Annan and the U.N.’s “Oil for Food” scandal. A former “special adviser” to Annan, Jean-Bernard Merimee, was arrested in Paris this week. Merimee, who also served as a French ambassador to the U.N. in the early 1990s, is accused having received “illicit and lucrative contracts to buy oil from Saddam Hussein’s U.N.-sanctioned regime,” according to a detailed account today by Claudia Rosett of National Review Online?
In February, 1999, Kofi Annan brought Merimee into his select U.N. team of special advisers and envoys, bestowing on Merimee the U.N.’s third-highest rank of undersecretary general, and appointing him as “Special Adviser of the Secretary-General for European Issues. According to the secretary general’s office, Merimee held that position from February, 1999 until February, 2002?
?During this same period, Oil-for-Food was evolving from a limited, ad hoc U.N. relief program into the biggest heist in the history of humanitarian relief.
Rosett goes on to report that Merimee, received two million barrels of Iraqi oil from Hussein from July ? November, 2001, during the time he served Annan.
Saddam’s goal throughout the “Oil for Food” scandal was to buy influence through oil allocations. Russian and France were two of his main targets. While it is unclear exactly what Hussein received for his money, the fact remains that both countries were opposed to efforts by the United States to hold Hussein accountable, as was U.N. Secretary General Annan.
Judicial Watch is still seeking documents from the Bush administration related to the “Oil for Food” fiasco. In response to Judicial Watch’s open records request, the U.S. State Department shockingly deferred to the U.N. as to whether or not it can release documents. Judicial Watch sued the State Department in response.