Duelfer Report Shows Kerry Doctrine to be a Sham
Here is the Duelfer Report, all 1000+ pages of it.
The report contains a stunning (but not surprising) accusation that the former head of the $60 billion UN oil-for-food program accepted bribes in the form of vouchers for Iraqi oil sales from Saddam Hussein’s government. (Hat tip: Nancy Block.)
The report by Charles Duelfer, head of the Iraq Survey Group, alleges the Iraqi government manipulated the U.N. program from 1996 to 2003 in order to acquire billions of dollars in illicit gains and to import illegal goods, including acquiring parts for missile systems.
The alleged schemes included an Iraqi system for allocating lucrative oil vouchers, which permitted recipients to purchase certain amounts of oil at a profit.
Benon Sevan, the former chief of the U.N. program, is among dozens of people who allegedly received the vouchers, according to the report, which said Saddam personally approved the list.
The secret voucher program was dominated by Russian, French and Chinese recipients, in that order, with Saddam spreading the wealth widely to prominent business men, politicians, foreign government ministries and political parties, the report said.
The report names former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua, Indonesian president Megawati Sukarnoputri, and the Russian radical political figure Vladimir Zhirinovsky as voucher recipients, for example, and other foreign governments range from Yemen to Namibia.
The governments of Jordan, Syria, Turkey and Egypt did a brisk illicit oil trade with Iraq as well — more than $8 billion from 1991 until 2003, the report said.
“These governments were full parties to all aspects of Iraq’s unauthorized oil exports and imports,” it said.
As I wrote yesterday, the really important news in this report is that UN sanctions were disintegrating—and as soon as they did, Saddam Hussein was planning to restart his weapons programs.
How quickly could he have done this? We have an answer to this question too, because last month Saddam’s former nuclear chief, Mahdi Obeidi, wrote a piece for the New York Times saying that the Iraqi nuclear weapons programs could have been reconstituted within months.
Threat is always a matter of perception, but our nuclear program could have been reinstituted at the snap of Saddam Hussein’s fingers. The sanctions and the lucrative oil-for-food program had served as powerful deterrents, but world events - like Iran’s current efforts to step up its nuclear ambitions - might well have changed the situation.
Iraqi scientists had the knowledge and the designs needed to jumpstart the program if necessary. And there is no question that we could have done so very quickly. In the late 1980’s, we put together the most efficient covert nuclear program the world has ever seen. In about three years, we gained the ability to enrich uranium and nearly become a nuclear threat; we built an effective centrifuge from scratch, even though we started with no knowledge of centrifuge technology. Had Saddam Hussein ordered it and the world looked the other way, we might have shaved months if not years off our previous efforts.
The Duelfer Report is a huge vindication for the Bush administration’s decision to remove Saddam Hussein. There can be no more doubt that Saddam was a serious threat to the security of the United States and the world, and that our so-called “allies,” specifically the United Nations, France and Russia, were rotten to the core with corruption and bribery. There’s no mystery why these entities were opposed to our plans. They were getting fat and rich off the misery of the Iraqi people.
The report is also a damning indictment of John Kerry’s appeasement-oriented, willfully blind foreign policy. Kerry knows the UN and our “allies” who refused to help in Iraq were involved in massive corruption and bribery, yet he still insists they deserve to have a more important role in the decisions of the United States.
Mainstream media is universally spinning the Duelfer Report against George Bush, but the report is far more damaging to John Kerry.