October 27, 2005
UNSCAM UPDATE: "2,000 firms 'paid oil-for-food kickbacks:'"
Preferential treatment was given to companies from France, Russia and China, the report says, all permanent members of the Security Council, who were more favorable to lifting the 1990 sanctions than the America and Britain.
The independent inquiry committee, which began its work in 2004, said in an earlier report that the program became deeply corrupted as Saddam arranged for surcharges and kickbacks while an overwhelmed UN headquarters failed to exert administrative control over the program.
Read the whole thing, which is still more support, if any were needed, for the Den Beste Theory that France, et al., were opposed to invasion in part for fear that once Saddam was toppled we'd discover how much they'd been violating sanctions. There's also this possibly related item:
The suspicion of past corruption tainting Jacques Chirac's presidency returned to haunt him yesterday when a court imposed suspended sentences and fines on his former henchmen. . . . The outcome of the trial, which highlighted kickbacks of £50 million from school building contracts, was another crushing indictment of a political system riddled with corruption from the late 1980s to the mid 1990s.
Riddled with corruption? You don't say.