UN corruption in the "massive" Oil-for-Food "scandal" -- a scandal so great that it casts doubt on the UN's very capacity and a dishonor of such magnitude that it demands nothing less than Kofi Annan's resignation and massive institutional reform -- is at its heart about one senior UN official taking $150,000 in bribes.
We'll see if this story from the New York Times has the same legs:
In what is expected to be the first of a series of criminal charges against officials and contractors overseeing the rebuilding of Iraq, an American has been charged with paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks to American occupation authorities and their spouses to obtain construction contracts, according to a complaint unsealed late yesterday.
The man, Philip H. Bloom, who controlled three companies that did work in Iraq in the multibillion-dollar reconstruction effort, was charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, conspiracy to launder money and interstate transportation of stolen property, all in connection with obtaining up to $3.5 million in reportedly fraudulent contracts.
The complaint, unsealed in the Federal District Court of the District of Columbia, also cites two unnamed co-conspirators who worked in the Coalition Provisional Authority, the American administration that governed Iraq when the contracts were awarded in early 2004. These were the officials who, with their spouses, allegedly received the payments.All snarkiness aside, it's very nice to see someone going down for war profiteering and corruption in Iraq. It's impossible to say how many have died because of the pitifully slow and terribly mis-managed reconstruction effort, but, as Rummy might say, it certainly hasn't been helpful.