Thursday, February 03, 2005

UN oil-for-food scandal

Today the the Volcker Committee (the Independent Inquiry Committee into the United Nations Oil-for-Food Programme) released two documents:
  • An Interim Report. This is a 246-page document through which I have not begun to wade.
  • A Comparison of Estimates of Illicit Iraqi Income During UN Sanctions. This is a far more manageable six-page document into which I have dipped my toes.
The core of the Comparison of Estimates is a table with intriguing categories like Protocol & Smuggling Revenue and Kickbacks on Humanitarian Purchases.

Bottom line is that there was a lot of illicit money. Here are the different estimates:
  • Coalition for International Justice: 9,583,000,000
  • GAO: $10,100,000,000
  • Iraq Survey Group Report: $10,946,000,000
  • US Senate PIC*: $21,149,000,000
So the estimates run from $9.6 to $21.1 billion.

* PIC=Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.