An expat's commentary on current events in national security, foreign affairs, the media, culture, technology and assorted trivia.

Monday, May 02, 2005


Kofi's patented 180 spin move

The New York Times reports that Kofi Annan has decided not to discipline his shredder-in-chief, Iqbal Riza.

Secretary General Kofi Annan said Thursday that he had decided there were no grounds for disciplining his former chief of staff, Iqbal Riza, who was criticized by the independent committee investigating the oil-for-food program for ordering the shredding of three years of files...

The Volcker committee had faulted Mr. Riza because the shredded documents covered a period, 1997-9, that coincided with the early years of the program and because the shredding was conducted after a June 1, 2004, directive from Mr. Annan telling staff members to preserve documents related to the program.

(Emphasis added. Hat tip: UNSCAM)

That may not be the end of the story.

On at least two prior occasions, Kofi has cleared UN personnel of serious wrongdoing, then once public interest has been aroused, to turn around and find the offenders guilty.

1) The Case of the Purple Helmeted Warriors for Peace
As documented here, in 2002 the UN cleared of sexual wrongdoing its UN peacekeepers in Africa, before admitting in 2004 that, yes, a few bad apples did some bad things. Incontrovertible evidence emerged bit by bit, in the form of hundreds of 'UN babies' and homemade porn videos starring UN workers and Congolese children. Finally, to its undying shame, in 2005 the UN had to spill the whole story of rampant sexual abuse in every UN peacekeeping operations worldwide.

2) The Case of the Rude Lover
The cycle repeated itself in The Case of the Rude Lover. In 2004, Ruud Lubbers, the head of the UN High Commission for Refugees was accused of sexual harassment. UN investigators checked out the allegations and supported the allegations. Kofi Annan took it upon himself to reverse their findings and announce that the Rude Lover was 'cleared' of any wrongdoing. However, word leaked that '(t)he UN's Office of Internal Oversight Services (had) investigated the complaint and backed the woman's complaint,' and requested that 'appropriate action' be taken against the Rude Lover. Why Kofi then decided to clear his pal, the Rude Lover, was never satisfactorily explained. Public pressure mounted, and of course, Kofi pushed the Rude Lubber overboard in February 2005.

And just to demonstrate how ruthless he is once he concludes that his position is in jeopardy, Kofi is now trying to pin the blame for all of the UN's woes on his 31-year-old diplobrat son Kojo.

Perhaps there are no grounds at present for disciplining his former chief of staff, but just wait and see. If public pressure mounts, watch Kofi discover some grounds most speedily, and to toss Mr Riza overboard, without apology.


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