Thursday, December 02, 2004

Left Ties To U.N. Corruption

Do you know the name Marc Rich? He's was the fugitive financier indicted on 65 counts of tax fraud, tax evasion and racketeering, who fled the U.S. for Switzerland in 1986. In one of his last official acts, Rich was inexplicably pardoned by President Clinton as he was leaving office in January 2001. It was controversial for two reasons. First, technically he probably wasn't even eligible for a pardon. Secondly, his pardon seemed to be payback for huge financial donations from Rich's ex-wife Denise to Clinton's Presidential campaign and Hillary Clinton's run for the Senate.

Now, Marc Rich is back in the news...

As you've surely heard, several investigations are looking into the United Nations Oil-For-Food program. Billions of dollars intended as humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people were instead stolen by Saddam Hussein and his sons. Untold millions were paid in kickbacks to Kojo Annan, son of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Here's where Marc Rich comes in

Rich was a middleman for several of Iraq's suspect oil deals in February 2001, just one month after his pardon from President Clinton, according to oil industry shipping records obtained by ABC News. And a U.S. criminal investigation is looking into whether Rich, as well as several other prominent oil traders, made illegal payments to Iraq in order to obtain the lucrative oil contracts.

Rich's involvement in this growing scandal could pose problems for the presumptive Democratic candidate for President in 2008: Hillary Clinton.