When good leaders go bad

Our dear U.N. secretary-general certainly doesn’t have a problem acting unilaterally, at least not when it serves his interests, does he?

Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., makes a great point about embattled U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s decision to wait out the United Nations’ oil-for-food scandal: “I think any other organization in the world whose CEO was in charge when this massive fraud took place would step down.”

If there’s anything you learn from a business education, it’s that chief executive officers either perform or find a new job. Corporate stockholders have never tolerated underperformance. Wall Street investors look for reasons to move their money. The Bush administration should start thinking about doing the same.

The United Nations’ seventh secretary-general’s reaction to oil-for-food allegations has been silence and concealment. The most we’ve seen from the Nobel Peace Prize winner so far has been a featherlike slap on Benon Sevan’s wrist. After years of his lackeys stealing billions of dollars of humanitarian aid from needy Iraqi citizens, Annan daringly, valiantly and boldly suspended a few people.

It’s been years coming, folks. Heads should be rolling by now.

It took until spring for Annan to realize blood-thirsty bureaucrats stealing $7 billion from starving children might not be a very good idea. And when incompetent Annan finally created a panel to investigate charges against the United Nations’ now-defunct

$60 billion oil-for-food program, the secretary-general commissioned liberal wonder boy Paul Volcker to head the “independent” investigation.

If the U.S. left is suspicious of Vice President Dick Cheney’s connections to Halliburton, liberals should be spontaneously blowing up over Volcker. After several eyebrow-raising internal U.N. audits were released last week, Volcker claimed, “There are no flaming red flags in this stuff.” Congressional law makers responded by saying they found a “forest of red flags.”

Until last year, Volcker sat on the board of directors of the UNA-USA Business Council – an organization of dyed-in-the-wool U.N. lackeys and sycophants. What’s more, one of the council’s largest financial contributors is French bank BNP Paribas, which, according to Fox News, “handled all oil-for-food transactions and is at the center of Volcker’s investigation.”

These are the kinds of connections Michael Moore would start telling the truth for.

Essentially, Annan hired some chump to investigate his chump friends. The multilateralism aficionado put Gary Winnick in charge of appraising Global Crossing. (This is strangely similar to how Libya got to head the United Nations’ 2003 Human Rights Commission and how Zimbabwe, China and Cuba are now authoring the agenda for this year’s Human Rights Commission meeting.)

What should really ensure the United Nations’ demise is that now Annan and his pals refuse to give U.S. congressional investigators access to documents that would let them confirm Volcker’s findings. Volcker just released his preliminary conclusions and already U.S. senators are at his throat. “The United Nations is cloaked in secrecy,” Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev. said. “They’re not accountable to anybody in the world and we need to get to the bottom of it if the United Nations is to have any accountability whatsoever.”

Some lawmakers have gone so far as to propose that the U.S. Congress financially penalize the United Nations if it fails to cooperate with the five congressional investigations being conducted into the oil-for-food scandal. “The U.N. has had more than enough time to prove their willingness to cooperate, yet they have chosen not to,” Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., rightly noted. “I believe it’s time for Congress to take action and force the U.N. to cooperate.”

Inasmuch as the United States keeps afloat the organization that can’t seem to stop stabbing us in the back, it wouldn’t be too much to ask that Annan do a little to reassure Americans about the oil-for-food investigations. Sending the message that he’s dedicated to maintaining the legitimacy of the United Nations would do a lot to improve his status and boost public opinion of the United Nations among U.S. citizens.

After all, our dear Annan certainly isn’t thinking about acting unilaterally when it serves his interests, is he?

Darren Bernard welcomes comments at [email protected]