June 16, 2005

Kofi Break

An email from a one-time Cotecna officer seems to reference communications between United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and the company that employed his son. Can you say, “rampant corruption” buys and girls?

I knew you could.

Cotecna, who employed the Secretary-General's son Kojo Annan, was awarded a lucrative contract by the United Nations Oil-for-Food Program.

The 1998 email from Cotecna vice president Michael Wilson was addressed to the company's top three officers, chairman Ellie Massey, managing director and CEO Robert Massey, and senior vice president Andre Prinaix.

"We had brief discussions with the SG and his entourage," wrote Michael Wilson on December 4, 1998, in an apparent reference to the secretary-general.

"We could count on their support."

Cotecna insists that it doubts such a meeting took place and that they would have strongly disproved of such a meeting. This seems to contradict a previous statement by the Secretary-General that Wilson was the person that he “really knew at the company.”

Cotecna's chairman Elie Massey twice met with the Secretary-General prior to Cotectna being awarded a $10 million-a-year contract by the United Nations, but insists that they talked of subjects other than the companies oil-for-food bid.

I would like to give Secretary-General Annan the benefit of the doubt that he was not involved in a scandal that may well prove to be the largest example of organized crime in human history, but is becoming increasingly difficult to do so.

It is a known fact that the Secretary-General twice met with the chairman of Cotecna, a company that his son worked for who was bidding on United Nations contracts. This is highly suspect behavior. Denials by Annan and Massey of impropriety are to be taken with the understanding that they may very well be concealing information that could lead them to be charged in a criminal court of law.

This email was written in 1998 when oil-for-food was still active, and despite Cotecna's down-playing of the incident, indicates collusion between Annan and senior officers in the company that employed his son. Wilson's email, while no smoking gun, points to a pattern of unethical if not illegal behavior by both Cotecna's officers and the Secretary-General.

It remains to be seen if Kofi Annan's actions and inactions in the oil-for-food scandal are illegal, but the information unearthed so far clearly establishes that his is incompetent and probably unethical.

Annan should resign, but I won't hold my breath. He stood by and watched 800,000 die in Rwanda without lifting a finger to help.

He is clearly a politician untainted by ethics.

Update: A second email from the same executive expressed confidence that Cotecna would get the bid because of “effective but quiet lobbying.”

Posted by Confederate Yankee at June 16, 2005 05:45 AM