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

Saturday, April 30, 2005


Schuh, meet anderer Fuss

The Guardian (UK) introduces us to Georg Dewas,

one of a growing number of Germans who, unable to find work at home, have left to find employment in neighbouring Austria or Switzerland, often as waiters, bar staff, or even cleaners.

It was, of course, the Germans who invented the word Gastarbeiter, or "guest worker", to describe the 2 million-plus Turks who came to Germany in the 1960s and 1970s to take on low-paid jobs that the Germans were reluctant to do...

"Germans, especially from east Germany, simply can't find jobs," Mr Dewas told the Guardian. "It's impossible. In Austria it's much easier to find a job these days, though it's also easier to be fired."

(Emphasis added; hat tip: NRO.)

Hmmm... easier to hire and easier to fire... think there may be any connection there, Herr Dewas?

It has been that way for years. According to the latest data from the Economist, comparative rates of unemployment are
  • 4.6% in Austria
  • 11.8% in Germany

One last dig:
...Germans are poised to overtake Turks as the biggest group of migrant workers (in Austria).

Schadenfreude, here I come, right back where I started frommm....


The UN's 50% solution

So how much salary does Kofi Annan not pay the income tax on?

Not counting the free housing, travel, medical, security, and (much appreciated in recent days) legal assistance, as Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan pulls down US$293,000.

He also makes off with an extra $25,000 for 'entertainment'. (That buys a lot of Congolese 12-year-olds!)

Those figures mean means that Kofi earns a higher (official) gross salary than any national leader except Singapore (US$625K), Hong Kong (US$600K), the USA (US$400K) and Japan (US$307K). (The highest in the EU is Germany at US$272K.)

You can pretty much cut those figures down by one-third to one-half, however.

You see, there is one thing that the leaders of Singapore, Hong Kong, the USA and Japan do that Kofi Annan does not: they pay taxes.


UN General Assembly Resolution 239 C (III)

I suppose that many were not aware that employees of the United Nations are not liable to the income tax. (World Bank and IMF boffins enjoy the same luxury.)

This handout was, in fact, one of the UN's earliest steps.

UN General Assembly Resolution 239 C (III) of 18 November 1948 (PDF link) is short and sweet.

Its operative clause requests UN Member States to:

take the necessary action, legislative or other, to exempt their nationals employed by the United Nations from national income taxation with respect to their salaries and emoluments paid to them by the United Nations...

The income tax exemption has never been repealed. UN 'progressives' working for 'social justice' pay no income tax.

But UN 'humanitarians' keep working and agitating to establish a global tax for the rest of us. They are none too shy about it either. From the UN's own press comes this tidbit of information:

Despite strong reservations by the United States, Japan and Germany over proposed new global taxes, the United Nations is set to take centre-stage in the longstanding controversy over new sources of innovative funding for the world's poorer nations.

''The debate has already entered the United Nations,'' says U.N. Under-Secretary-General Jose Antonio Ocampo, head of the department of economic and social affairs (DESA)...

The proposals on the table include a carbon tax on fuel use, the 'Tobin tax' on currency transactions, a levy on international sales of weapons, a global lottery and a tax on international airline travel.

One problem with this idea is that the US and Japan together fund nearly half of the UN's operating budget and much more than half of many UN agencies (WHO, WFP, etc.).

Of course Marxists (Lula in Brazil) and dirigistes (Chirac in France) are all for it. Chirac even proposed the idea again at Davos this year.

A more exhaustive discussion is here on MSN Money. A potential roadblock: the US Congress passed a law, signed in 1997 by President Clinton, that banned the US from paying its dues to the UN until and unless the president assured the Congress that the UN

is not engaged in any effort to develop, advocate, promote or publicize any proposal concerning taxation or fees on United States persons in order to raise revenue for the United Nations or any such agency.

Looks like there might be another UN-US contretemps on the far horizon.


The life of a Diplobrat

The Sunday Times of London takes a look at the life of 'Diplobrats,' e.g., Kojo Annan.

Interesting reading. Another here. An excerpt:
Last Saturday night a young Arab prince took a shower in his marble bathroom, chose a multicoloured Versace shirt from his walk-in wardrobe, put on slightly too much cologne and drove a rented Ferrari to a nearby club. As his social life revolves around what are known in his world as “the Three Bs”, he could tell what country he was in by the sign above the nightclub door: B Club means Geneva. If it had read Bungalow 8 he would have been in New York, Boujis in London.

Whatever the city — and he and his type know many — the routine is always the same. A line of locals queue round the block but diplomatic immunity causes the velvet rope to snap open for him. Inside there is dancing, drugs, girls, and plenty more. Cristal champagne comes at £330 a bottle. At 4am by his Oyster Rolex, our prince headed home with a beautiful Russian who might or might not be a prostitute.

This is the world of the children of Arab sheikhs and African dictators, and, judging by last week’s reports, it is a scene that Kojo Annan is familiar with. The son of Kofi Annan, the UN secretary-general, grew up on the international circuit and is a member of an international brat pack “The Sons of . . .” Educated in Switzerland and Britain, his friends include the son of the former Nigerian dictator General Sani Abacha, and Hani Yamani, the son of Sheikh Yamani, the former Saudi oil minister.

So let me get this straight... These 'Diplobrats' live in more of a pampered Neverland than Michael Jackson surrounded by more golden plumbing that the late Uday Hussein had, and they party harder than Tara Reid and the ghost of River Phoenix trying to settle a bet, they grow up to get tax-free sinecures in a corrupt bureaucracy, half-million dollar 'consulting contracts' for doing nothing but being a blood relative of other bureaucrats and highly-compensated seats on boards, and they want to tell us how to live? They want us to 'work for social justice'? They want to force undemocratic 'transnational progressive' socialism on us?

I seek a stronger word than chutzpah.

(Another factoid: Kofi Annan's first wife was a Nigerian by the name of Titi Alakija.)


Mass grave found in Iraq, v. 1466

Mass grave with 1,500 bodies found

Investigators in southern Iraq have found a mass grave believed to contain as many as 1,500 bodies. A US official said the victims appeared to be Kurds, the majority of them women and children.

The official said they had been lined up in front of the pit and then shot.

The site is near the town of Samawa, about 300 km south of Baghdad, an area targeted by former President Saddam Hussein during his crackdown on the Kurdish population....

(Emphasis added.)

No wonder inspectors there can't find any WMDs.

Every time they pick a place to start digging they run into thousands of skeletons.


'Hell, no, you are not exonerated!' v. 2

Along with Claudia Rosett and Roger L. Simon, Niles Lathem has been breaking new ground in the Oil - for - Food - and - Weapons - and - Palaces - and - UN - bureaucrats - and - their - families scandal.

Today's New York Post has a provocative story by Mr. Lathem on Kofi Atta Annan and the Volcker Committee interim report:

The U.N.-appointed commission probing the oil-for-food scandal shelved two highly critical drafts of its report on business conflicts involving Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his son, it was revealed yesterday.

The explosive news of a potential whitewash was disclosed by a source close to Robert Parton — the man who handled the investigation of Kofi and Kojo Annan — who quit the U.N. Independent Inquiry Committee headed by Paul Volcker.
Parton authored the two hushed-up reports before leaving in protest that Volcker's inquiry was too soft on Kofi Annan.

A source speaking for Parton said he and Miranda Duncan, granddaughter of tycoon David Rockefeller who also resigned last week, wrote two earlier drafts of the commission's report that were far more critical of Annan than what was contained in the final version released by Volcker on March 29.

The final report said no evidence was found that Annan played any role in the selection of the Swiss firm Cotecna that employed Annan's son Kojo, although it criticized him for meeting with company executives and for failing to fully investigate the matter.

Annan used the report's conclusions to declare with great fanfare that he had been exonerated.

Yes, with great fanfare, and with profanity, too. ('HELL NO!')

Though now the:
state plainly that, in fact Kofi Atta Annan was not exonerated by the Volcker interim report.

Volcker and several spokesmen for his office have consistently denied over the past week that there was a whitewash of Annan, but refused to discuss details of Parton's resignation.

Also yesterday, legal warfare erupted between Volcker and congressional committee chairmen over efforts to call Parton to publicly testify about the circumstances that led to his resignation.

With Congress trying to pick up this new trial of intrigue, Volcker personally called the chairmen of three committees investigating the $64 billion scandal to inform them that his U.N.-appointed independent committee will invoke immunity over Parton and Duncan, preventing them from being subpoenaed.

"We draw the line at exposing an investigator during an ongoing investigation," said Volcker spokesman Mike Holtzman.

"They have important things to say, and it's unfortunate the U.N. chose not to waive the agreement," said Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), head of the Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security.

(Emphasis added.)

There must be some real bloody dirt to be dug up.

I cannot imagine Volcker would be so bold as to tell off a Congressional subcommittee for no reason. If he wants bad press, that is one sure way to guarantee it.

It must be more than a jurisdictional technicality.


Ghost workers, nepotism, and embezzlement at the UN (No, this is not a rerun)

We know that Kofi Annan got Kojo to stop lying on the couch, eating Chee-tos and watching the telly all day by hitching up to Cotecna's Oil-for-Food gravy train.

Also, the UN's top auditor used Oil-for-Food funds to pad the payrolls with an old pal who apparently did no Oil-for-Food work. The UN's top election monitor also thought that UN funds were for her and her mates' leisure activities.

Reuters reports that at the UN, another top dog has been found padding the payroll with family. And he is a busy little Canadian socialist humanitarian billionaire, too - it seems he was also taking bribes from Saddam Hussein via the notorious Korean bagman.

And surprise! He is a very close friend and confidant of Kofi Atta Annan:

Maurice Strong, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special adviser for North Korea, put his stepdaughter on his payroll in violation of U.N. staff rules, the United Nations said on Friday.

Strong, an influential Canadian businessman, is himself under investigation in connection with the U.N. oil-for-food scandal over his ties to a South Korean lobbyist suspected of bribing U.N. officials with Iraqi funds.

Strong last week withdrew from his post as Annan's adviser while the investigation was under way. The stepdaughter, identified as Kristina Mayo, has resigned, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

U.N. officials could not immediately say what her job duties had been, where she performed her work, or how much she had been paid.

Let me guess the answers:
1) none,
2) from home and/or five star hotels in posh resorts, and
3) oodles of dosh,

The rules violation turned up during an examination of Strong's administrative file, launched after the Independent Inquiry Committee on the oil-for-food program began investigating him, Dujarric said.

Strong has not been accused of wrongdoing in the investigation and has denied any connection with the oil-for-food program.

Ummmm... why not? Sounds like he did some wrong.

But he has acknowledged business ties to Tongsun Park, a South Korean indicted earlier this month in U.S. federal court as an unregistered agent for the Iraqi government under President Saddam Hussein. Park was also a central figure in an influence-peddling scandal in Washington in 1977.

According to a criminal complaint filed by U.S. federal prosecutors earlier this month, Park told an informant he had invested about $1 million in an unnamed Canadian company set up by the son of a high-ranking U.N. official, who was not named.

Strong has confirmed that he was that U.N. official and that Park invested the money in Cordex Petroleums Inc., a now-bankrupt Calgary oil company.

Strong and his son Frederick Strong were major investors in Cordex in the 1990s, along with CSL Group Inc., a holding company owned by Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin.

The $67 billion oil-for-food program, which began in 1996 and was shut down in 2003, was set up by the U.N. Security Council to ease the impact of sanctions imposed after Saddam's troops invaded Kuwait in 1990. Baghdad was allowed to sell oil to buy basic goods and could negotiate its own contracts.

After the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, Iraq disclosed a who's who of political groups and individuals around the world from whom Saddam hoped to enlist to help get the sanctions lifted.

(Emphasis added.)

Maurice Strong is a billionaire, for God's sake. Why would a billionare bother breaking UN rules in order to put a whelp on the UN payroll?

Because he can. Rules are for the little people.

Maurice Strong's name is coming up in connection to many UN and Canadian shenanigans. For those keeping score at home, all we now need to round out Mr. Strong's dance card are a sex scandal and dead body.

Thursday, April 28, 2005


12% is just a start

For some further information on the current German fit of anti-capitalist ranting, check out the Financial Times:

Growing criticism of German business leaders by senior figures in Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's Social Democratic party yesterday triggered a threat to resign by one of the heads of the Invest in Germany organisation.

Jürgen Weber, supervisory board chairman of Lufthansa, the national airline, said the anti-capitalist debate gripping the ruling SPD was already forcing a rethink by foreign investors. "If it turns out that this criticism of capitalism has a fundamental nature, then we don't need an Invest in Germany organisation any more," he warned Mr Schröder in an interview in the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

Mr Weber's comments represented the bluntest business reaction yet to the debate launched after Franz Müntefering, SPD chairman and Schröder loyalist, warned in a speech this month that "profit-maximising strategies inspired by international competition" posed "a danger to our democracy."...

Opinion polls show Mr Müntefering's views are shared widely among Germans - but also a widespread belief that the attacks on business are a deliberate tactic ahead of crucial elections in North Rhine- Westphalia, Germany's most populous state, on May 22. Official unemployment is around 5m in Germany, while the European Commission expects the economy to grow by less than 1 per cent this year...

An Infratest Dimap poll for ARD television showed two-thirds of Germans regarded Mr Müntefering remarks as justified, but three-quarters saw them as an attempt to boost the SPD's chances in North Rhine Westphalia. A Forsa poll for N-TV television found 50 per cent supported boycotting products from companies that showed no social responsibility and dismissed large numbers of employees.

(Emphasis added.)

With these lunatics running the asylum, 12% unemployment is just a starter for 20%.


Heinrich, only a strong leader can fix the economic mess...

The Germany economy points out a glaring deficiency. What do we call it? The vocabulary fails as the mind struggles to update the former Wirtschaftswunder.

It is much deeper than a slowdown, longer than a slump. Stagnation doesn't cover it. Tailspin? Collapse? Malaise?

The Economist considers the situation and offers a no-lube reaming:

...IN THEORY, Germany should be booming by now. Sizzling global economic growth in 2004, and more of the same expected for 2005, has raised demand for its exports, a boon to its large manufacturing sector. The European Central Bank (ECB) has kept interest rates in the euro area at an easy 2% for 22 months, and looks set to keep doing so well into 2005. Fiscal policy is also expansionary: the government’s budget deficit has breached the Maastricht treaty’s 3%-of-GDP limit for three years running, and by all accounts will do so again this year. Yet for all this, for the past four years Germany has struggled to produce GDP growth of even 1% a year.

The future looks little better than the past. This week a consortium of German think-tanks released its semi-annual report, slashing its forecast for German growth this year from a lacklustre 1.5% to an almost pulseless 0.7%. More worryingly, the report argues that the German economy is not stuck in a particularly vicious cyclical slowdown. Rather, its structural problems, particularly the highly regulated labour market, have reduced trend growth (the average growth rate of the economy) to a meagre 1.1%, in contrast to roughly 2% for the rest of the euro area, and about 3% for the United States. Unless these trends reverse, Europe’s largest economy could eventually wind up as its economic backwater.

(Emphasis added.)

Hmmmm, maybe the German economy sucks because both corporate and personal income taxes are among the highest in Europe?

Or because the rules and regulations stifle entrepreneurship? ('You need 12 more forms and 7 more stamps. And pay these fees. And you can't open on Sunday.')

Or because the insane labour market policies make it extremely expensive to hire a new worker and impossible to fire him or her?

Or is because the leader of the governing party hates capitalism? And the vice-chancellor and foreign minister is a Green revolutionary Marxist? And citizens of Deutscheland think Karl Marx is one of the greatest Germans of all time?

Ohne Fleiss kein Preis.


Kofi to Dileep: 'This will go down on your permanent record...'

Kofi's iron fist policy is in effect, as he smites the UN's chief internal auditor:

...(T)he (Volcker Committee interim) report found that (UN chief internal auditor Dileep) Nair had paid an employee with money from the $64 billion program although the staffer's work was not directly involved in the troubled plan that allowed Iraq to sell oil and use the proceeds to buy food and other humanitarian goods...

Secretary-General Kofi Annan wrote to the outgoing chief (Nair) of the U.N. watchdog agency Thursday expressing concern over unresolved claims that the official used money from the oil-for-food program in Iraq to pay an employee whose work was not directly tied to it, a U.N. spokesman said.

The letter said serious questions remained about the allegations against Dileep Nair. Those questions were raised by a committee overseen by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who was appointed by Annan to investigate mismanagement in oil-for-food, according to U.N. associate spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

Nair is chief of the Office of Internal Oversight Services, and Annan's letter will go in Nair's permanent file as a record of official disappointment with the official responsible for upholding the integrity of the world body.

But there was little else the United Nations could do because Nair's nonrenewable five-year term ends on Saturday (23 April 2005).

"Only limited steps are available to address this," Dujarric said.

(Emphasis added.)

That's right! Annan's posse don't fool around in Turtle Bay!

At the United Nations, if you are caught swindling, embezzling, harassing, aiding & abetting, or perhaps gang-raping children, you may get (shudder) a letter in your file!

And unlike Benon Sevan and Iqbal Riza, poor Dileep will not even have the option of purchasing the UN's annual diplomatic immunity policy for US$1! The horror!

Tread lightly, diplomats. Speak in hushed tones. Don Kofi is kicking butt and taking names now.


More graft means more immunity

The Financial Times reports that the Oil-for-Food investigations are getting somewhere in France:

Charles Pasqua, a former French minister of interior, has emerged as one of the highest-ranking targets of the widening investigations into the Iraq oil-for-food scandal.

United Nations, US and French investigators are examining Iraqi documents that show officials in Baghdad were instructed to transfer his lucrative oil allocations to an offshore company, to shield him from criticism.

Mr Pasqua's alleged role has emerged as inquiries turn to the role of foreign governments in the corruption within the humanitarian aid programme. France and Russia, which opposed the 2003 invasion, have long been accused in the US of being too close to Saddam Hussein's regime.

Early on Tuesday, Bernard Guillet, Mr Pasqua's diplomatic adviser, was arrested at home in Paris in connection with the oil-for-food inquiry, on the orders of Philippe Courroye, a French investigative judge. Mr Guillet was yesterday in police custody.

The Iraqi documents indicate that Mr Pasqua's oil allocations were personally approved by Mr Hussein.

(Emphasis added.)

M. Pasqua denies everything, of course.

President Chirac engineered M. Pasqua's election (not via democratic race but via committee of hand-picked electors) to the French Senate, from which he enjoys parliamentary immunity.

Strange, isn't it, how all of the main players in the Oil - for - Food - and - Weapons - and - Palaces - and - UN - bureaucrats - and - their - families scandal have immunity of one form or another?


Even Kofi's mouthpiece admits he hasn't been 'exonerated'

From a Washington Times editorial today:

When it comes to acknowledging some of the corruption and malfeasance that has characterized his tenure as U.N. secretary-general, Kofi Annan took a grudging step forward yesterday, when his attorney admitted that last month's interim report on the oil-for-food scandal had not really exonerated him.

Mr. Annan's retreat became inevitable after Paul Volcker told Fox News on Tuesday that the Independent Inquiry Committee report "criticized [Mr. Annan] rather severely," adding, "I would not call that an exoneration." Asked point blank whether Mr. Annan had been cleared of wrongdoing in the scandal, the former Federal Reserve Board chairman said: "No." Yesterday, Mr. Annan's lawyer, Gregory Craig, claimed that the secretary-general was misquoted, and that he had never claimed to have been exonerated.

That's precisely the opposite of the way Mr. Annan had characterized the report. "As I had always hoped and firmly believed, the inquiry has cleared me of any wrongdoing," Mr. Annan said at a press conference on March 29, the day the report was released. His claims found a receptive audience in mainstream media outlets. For example, The Washington Post ran a story headlined "UN Panel Clears Annan" and the Boston Globe chose "Report Clears UN chief of corruption allegations."

(Emphasis added.)

Or how about the biased BBC? 'Annan cleared over oil-for-food,' it crowed.

Well, in today's Washington Post- shiver me timbers! They actually ran a story on it! Let's take a closer look:

"After so many distressing and untrue allegations have been made against me, this exoneration by the Independent Inquiry Committee obviously comes as a great relief," Annan said (at the time of the first interim report of the Oil-for-Food inquiry)...

But soon after that press conference, a member of the inquiry committee, Mark Pieth, said that the secretary-general had gone too far. Pieth had been standing outside the room where Annan made the comments.

"We did not exonerate Kofi Annan," Pieth said then. "We should not brush this off. A certain mea culpa would have been appropriate."

In the letter obtained Tuesday, Craig included a transcript of Annan's March 29 comments to the media. He stressed that when Annan said he was exonerated, he was only referring to the charge that he had meddled in the awarding of the Cotecna contract.

"I respectfully submit that his use of that word with respect to that particular finding should cause no fair-minded person any discomfort," Craig wrote.

Annan's statement, seemingly innocuous at the time, has touched off a firestorm of controversy and become the focus of intense criticism. It has consumed headlines at the United Nations, drawing attention away from sweeping proposals Annan has made to reform the United Nations.

(Emphasis added.)

Oh, I see. It is lawyerly weasel words.

Like when US President Nixon said, 'I am not a crook!' he was speaking solely on tax law.

He merely meant, 'I do not cheat on my taxes,' and not, 'I do not authorise break-ins and cover-ups.'

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


'Hell, no, you are not exonerated!'

Paul Volcker clarifies:

Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker says his investigation into the scandal-plagued oil-for-food program has not cleared U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan of wrongdoing, despite Mr. Annan's claims to the contrary.

In an interview aired yesterday with Fox News, Mr. Volcker took direct issue with Mr. Annan's insistence that he had been exonerated by investigators probing both his role in overseeing the Iraq aid program and conflicts of interest involving a key contract awarded to a Swiss firm that employed Mr. Annan's son.

"I thought we criticized [Mr. Annan] rather severely," Mr. Volcker said of his panel's interim report, released March 29. "I would not call that an exoneration."

Asked point-blank whether Mr. Annan had been cleared of wrongdoing in the $10 billion scandal, Mr. Volcker replied, "No." ...

Senior U.N. officials have been implicated in the scandal, and Mr. Annan himself faced harsh scrutiny when it was learned his son, Kojo Annan, had been employed by Cotecna, the Swiss firm that won a critical U.N. monitoring contract for the oil-for-food program in 1998.

Mr. Annan, who has fiercely resisted calls that he step down, immediately claimed vindication after the Volcker panel reported on March 29 that it had found "no evidence" that the secretary-general had used his influence to help Cotecna win the contract.

In a press conference that same day, Mr. Annan told reporters, "As I had always hoped and firmly believed, the inquiry has cleared me of any wrongdoing."

He has said he was "disappointed" to discover that his son had received hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments from Cotecna for several years after leading his father to think he had cut all ties with the U.N. contractor.

Asked whether he was considering resigning from his post before his term ends next year, Mr. Annan answered emphatically, "Hell no." ...

Mr. Volcker, in the Fox News interview, said his panel "was not meant to be soft or hard" on Mr. Annan or the United Nations.

"We are out to get the facts, and I've said from the very beginning our responsibility is to follow the facts wherever they lead."

(Emphasis added.)

Slowly they are turning on each other.

There are some more shoes to drop in Turtle Bay, and then the long knives will be out.

Sunday, April 24, 2005


A UN mouthpiece's transparent spin

UN mouthpiece caught in a tangled skein of lying 'spin':

A senior investigator from Paul Volcker's independent committee into allegations of corruption in the U.N. oil-for-food program criticized his former employer Saturday for misrepresenting the grounds for his resignation earlier this month.

The investigator, Robert Parton, confirmed a report by The Associated Press earlier this week that he had resigned along with another investigator to protest recent findings by the committee that cleared U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan of meddling in the $64 billion program.

Parton's statement comes after a member of the committee discounted reports that the two investigators had left the Independent Inquiry Committee because they believed the report was too soft on the secretary-general.

"Contrary to recent published reports, I resigned my position as Senior Investigative Counsel for the IIC not because my work was complete but on principle," Parton said.

Richard Goldstone, one of the three committee members, along with Mark Pieth and Volcker, told CNN earlier this week that the two senior investigators Robert Parton and Miranda Duncan had left because their work was complete.

A person close to Parton said his contract ran until August.

A spokesperson for the Volcker Committee would not immediately comment on the statement.

(Emphasis added.)

Why even try to spin it with something so patently false? All it would take is for Mr. Parton to open his mouth, which he did.

Roger L. Simon's place is the clearinghouse for breaking news on the Oil - for - Food - and - Palaces - and - Weapons - and - UN - bureaucrats - and - their - families.