March 27, 2004

Who's the Biggest Brigand of Them All

Samizdata is noting that the CPA is preserving evidence of corruption in Iraq's oil for food scandal. The big question is who stole the most out of the mouths of starving Iraqi children, Iraqi Baathists or their partners in crime on the UN side of the ledger. My money is that the Baathists end up being the biggest beneficiaries because they are more concentrated and were able to control events more but I'm willing to be persuaded otherwise because I don't think they'll win by much.

But what do you do about the corrupt in the 'international community' who siphoned off so much on their own initiative? What kind of appropriate penalty will restore confidence in the system? This is far worse than the Arthur Anderson scandals yet the penalties available to the UN are far less. So where does that leave us? With an awful lot of potential prosecutors facing some very unpleasant choices. If they don't turn over the rocks and expose corruption, they're helping to wreck the UN system. If they do it, they create an obligation to punish these people or they'll weaken the system even more but there are currently few ways they can effectively reach the miscreants.

So what will they do? Stay tuned...

Posted by TMLutas at March 27, 2004 11:02 AM