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"Kofi Annan's Drug Dealers

Published:

"KOFI ANNAN'S DRUG DEALERS
Source New York Post
July 28, 2006 -- What's this? Another scandal at the United Nations?

"Alas, it is so.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is so busy hectoring the United States and its allies on their supposed moral shortcomings, he cast a blind eye to the international drug-trafficking operation that was being run out of his mailroom.

Say this for Annan: On his watch, the United Nations has become an equal-opportunity corrupter of the first order: Fraud, sleaze and criminality can be found at all levels, not just the highest ones.

Remember the Oil-for-Food scandal, the multibillion-dollar ripoff that enriched Saddam Hussein, any number of U.N. officials and other diplomats - and even Annan's own son?

The drug dealing doesn't approach that level - what could?

But officials this week busted a ring that's smuggled tons of khat - an illegal East African stimulant - into this country over the past year and a half. The stash has a street value of some $10 million, and the proceeds reportedly helped finance Somali warlords.

In all, 44 people were indicted on federal drug charges (14 remain at large). Named as one of the four ringleaders was Osman Osman, a Somali clerk in the U.N. mailroom, where he's worked since 1977.

According to the federal indictment handed down in Manhattan, the ring used U.N. diplomatic pouches to smuggle the narcotics into the United States.

All of this comes less than two months after Annan's deputy, Mark Molloch Brown, publicly blasted the Bush administration for "failing to stand up for [the U.N.] against its domestic critics." Annan, needless to say, applauded his aide's remarks.

Maybe, just maybe, all that criticism is justified.

And, this time, could a drug-smuggling scheme operating right in the heart of the world body possibly be enough to spark efforts at reform, no matter how modest?

Just maybe?

Nah, never happen.

America's U.N. ambassador, John Bolton, has been one of the most outspoken in calling for a revamping of the organization's structure - but Democrats denounce him as a "bully" and vow to block any effort to reappoint him.

(Just what is it that the Democrats like about the United Nations, anyway? It's a perplexity.)

Whether it's Oil-for-Food - the biggest economic-political scandal in history - or the world body's impotence in dealing with terrorist groups like Hezbollah and rogue regimes like Iran, the United Nations has earned all the scorn that's been heaped upon it.

And now it's running drugs out of the mailroom.

Back in 1998, the General Assembly issued a lofty political declaration that established a worldwide "Office on Drugs and Crime" and pledged to "eliminate or significantly reduce both the demand for and supply of illegal drugs by 2008." 

Wouldn't it be something if copies of that high-minded document were sent out from the U.N. mailroom in diplomatic pouches that then carried smuggled drugs back to the United States?

No surprise, though. The United Nations, like Annan himself, knows no shame. "


http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/editorial/kofi_annans_drug_dealers_editorial_.htm

Entry #473

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