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[casi-analysis] UN probe of Oil-For-Food ...??

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Does anyone know what is going on here?

Announced today:


Shiite leader wants United Nations to have role in shift of power
NEW YORK - Iraq's most influential Shiite religious leader has formally
assured the United Nations that he wants the organization to help guide Iraq
through its transition to self-rule, a senior U.N. official said Tuesday.

Grand Ayatollah Ali Husseini al Sistani told U.N. Secretary General Kofi
Annan in a written message several days ago that there was no basis for
recent news reports saying that Sistani opposed a continuing role for the
United Nations, said Lakhdar Brahimi, the U.N. special envoy for Iraq.
Sistani told Annan ''he wants the U.N. to play a role, to continue to play a
role in Iraq,'' Brahimi said.


United Nations to launch independent probe of alleged corruption in Iraq
oil-for-food sales

An independent commission will investigate allegations that United Nations
staff collected millions of dollars in illegal profits from the program that
allowed Iraq to sell some of its oil to pay for food during the years of
economic sanctions.

Annan's decision followed publication in the Iraqi newspaper Al-Mada of a
list of about 270 former Cabinet officials, legislators, political activists
and journalists from more than 46 countries suspected of profiting from
Iraqi oil sales.

The United Nations has already sent two letters to the Iraqi Governing
Council and the U.S.-led coalition requesting evidence of corruption in the
program -- the latest a week ago.

In late January, the Governing Council [Chalabi?] asked the country's Oil
Ministry to gather information on allegations that Saddam Hussein's regime
bribed prominent foreigners with oil money to back his government.


What would the UN status be, vis-a-vis Bremer & Chalabi?
After Blair & Bush have been scoffing the UN for years- now Sistani (and I
think the Kurds) want the UN back in the country.

So today,

Annan to Probe UN in Iraq; Powell 'Very Concerned'
Sat Mar 20, 2004 10:26 AM ET
KUWAIT/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Secretary of State Colin Powell said on
Saturday he was "deeply concerned" about allegations of corruption in a
defunct U.N.-run humanitarian program for Iraq and welcomed U.N.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan's proposed probe.

"We are concerned, deeply concerned that money that was supposed to be going
to help the Iraqi people was diverted by Saddam Hussein, once again
demonstrating the nature of the regime," Powell told reporters during a
stopover in Kuwait


Is  the UN probe into OFF corruption intended to divert attention from probe
of US contractor corruption?  pg

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