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January 19, 2005

Obsession, For Men. Well, One Man.

Today's Samir Vincent roundup;

The text of his indictment in the Southern District Court of New York is available here.

Some highlights;

Between in or about 1992 and early 1996, SAMIR A.VINCENT, the defendant, and other individuals, including United Nations officials, met in Manhattan in an effort to secure terms favorable to the Government of Iraq in connection with the adoption and implementation of Resolution 986.
At the direction of the Government of Iraq, between in or about 1998 and January 2003, VINCENT lobbied former officials of the United States Government who maintained close contacts to high-ranking members of both the Clinton and Bush Administrations in an unsuccessful effort to convince the United States Government to support a repeal of sanctions against Iraq. VINCENT reported the results of those consultations to the Iraqi Intelligence
Service and other officials of the Government of Iraq.
b. In or about 1995 and 1996, SAMIR A. VINCENT, the defendant, conveyed messages from a United Nations official to representatives of the Iraqi government in Manhattan and elsewhere.
c. In or about February 1996, SAMIR A. VINCENT, the defendant, traveled to Baghdad, where he participated in the drafting of agreements with an Iraqi official relating to VINCENT’s and others’ compensation regarding their efforts on behalf of the Iraqi government with respect to Resolution 986.
In or about April 2001, SAMIR A. VINCENT, the defendant, wrote a letter to an official of the Government of Iraq, in which VINCENT emphasized his efforts on behalf of the Government of Iraq in the United States and recommended that any required surcharges on his oil allocations under the Oil-for-Food Program be deducted from the amounts still owed to him under the agreements referenced above
In or about November 2001, SAMIR A. VINCENT, the defendant, collected a message in Baghdad from officials of the Iraqi Intelligence Service and the Government of Iraq, for delivery to a former official of the United States Government regarding the Government of Iraq’s position on re-admitting weapons inspectors to Iraq and the repeal of sanctions.

Still, no word about Samir's alleged actions before 1992, during the first Gulf War--though his organization of this religious tour was apparently against the law.

From the Concord Monitor;

Vincent, 64, could not be located to comment yesterday. His Washington attorney, Robert Litt, did return phone calls.

There's a phone number to look up tomorrow.

Word to the Wise: Gosh, wish I knew a Washington attorney who could contact this guy...

The Sierra Times, from an AP report:

In New York, the U.N. Independent Inquiry Committee, headed by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, said in a statement Tuesday night that it has been "fully aware of the involvement of Samir Vincent in these activities."

"For a considerable period of time we have been in discussions with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York in an effort to interview Mr. Vincent and obtain his assistance in the IIC's investigation. It is hoped that today's developments will allow us to meet that objective as soon as possible," the statement said.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan was asked Wednesday about Samir's indictment and guilty plea.

"On the question of the indictment, I know as much as you do from the newspapers, but I understand that they are in touch with Mr. Volcker and so I think they may have much more information than we do. I have nothing else to add," Annan said.

He was then asked about a report that Samir understood that a U.N. official or U.N. officials took money from the Iraqi government in the mid-90s.

"I think this is part of the issues, allegations that the Volcker commission should look into, and as I said Volcker's group has indicated they are in touch and aware of this, and I'm sure whatever evidence there is, the Volcker group will follow through," Annan said.

The New York Post smells blood in the water.

So much for former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker's suggestion that there is no truly sub stantive corruption to be found in the United Nations' corruption-plagued Oil-for-Food program.

Volcker, hired months ago by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to look into the scandal, had this to say last week: "There's no flaming red flags in this stuff."

Alas, federal prosecutors yesterday made public their first conviction in the Oil-for-Food program — further shredding Volcker's once-estimable reputation and making it crystal clear that the clock is ticking on Kofi Annan as well.

Update: Our latest Samir News roundup, as of 11/21, can be found here.

Posted by Bigwig at January 19, 2005 09:42 PM | TrackBack
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When I saw Paul Volcker accepting Kofi Annan's request to "investigate" the Oil-for-Food scam, I felt sick. He actually used to be a pretty good economist; it really s*cks to see him doing the political thing instead of the right thing.

Posted by: kschlenker at January 20, 2005 10:05 AM
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