This AP article about Paul Volcker's damning report on the U.N. Oil-For-Food program demonstrates the U.N.'s biggest problem: Not the sordid particulars of this particular scandal, but the more fundamental fact that it has no accountability. No real checks and balances constrain its actions.
UNITED NATIONS - Secretary-General Kofi Annan is taking disciplinary action against the head of the U.N. oil-for-food program in Iraq following an investigation of alleged corruption in the humanitarian program, a senior U.N. official said Thursday.Why on earth should Kofi Annan be the one to take "disciplinary action" here? Isn't there a possibility that he was aware of, and involved in, Sevan's wrongdoing?
The decision came after a report by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker accused program chief Benon Sevan of unethical conduct and Joseph Stephanides of manipulating an oil-for-food contract, according to Mark Malloch Brown, Annan's chief of staff.
Having the head of an organization place himself in the dual role of its watchdog wouldn't fly in any other circumstances:
MANHATTAN -- Capo di tutti capo John Gotti is taking disciplinary action against underboss Sammy “The Bull” Gravano following an investigation of alleged racketeering activities, the family consigliere said Thursday.
HOUSTON -- Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling is taking disciplinary action against other senior executives following an investigation of alleged massive accounting fraud, a company spokesperson said Thursday.
THE DEATH STAR -- Emperor Palpatine is taking disciplinary action against fallen Jedi Darth Vader following an investigation of alleged attempts to crush the upstart rebellion, a senior Imperial officer said Thursday.If Kofi expects everyone to be satisfied by his own personal crackdown on members of his staff, then he truly has lost both his sense of shame and his connection to reality.