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View Diary: For Immediate Release: The Jeff Gannon Controversy - A Primer for the Press (436 comments)

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  •  Another Gannon/Guckert article (none)

    Ooooh, a virtual goldmine of right wing stuff, including the illusive Gannon...and it's a .org(?)

    Calls From Hill Get Louder For Annan Ouster
    By Jeff Gannon
    Talon News
    December 9, 2004
    WASHINGTON (Talon News) -- Last week, Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN), chairman of a Senate committee investigating the growing scandal in the United Nations Oil for Food program called for Secretary-General Kofi Annan to resign. Nevada Republican Sen. John Ensign followed Coleman's lead and also asked for Annan to step aside. This week, more Republican members of Congress joined the chorus seeking to oust the man who presided over the largest scandal in world history.

    On Monday, Rep. Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced a nonbinding resolution in the House that calls for Annan to resign. Nearly two dozen of Wicker's colleagues have already signed onto the resolution.

    "The Oil for Food program is a scandal of enormous proportions, and it may reach into the highest levels of leadership at the U.N.," said Wicker. "Mr. Annan should step aside to ensure that these serious charges are fully and independently investigated."

    Wicker added, "There needs to be an accounting of what happened to the billions of dollars in the Oil for Food Program and whether U.N. officials may have been complicit in helping Saddam Hussein subvert international law. I do not think that is possible as long as Mr. Annan remains as secretary-general."

    It is estimated that Saddam Hussein was able to skim over $20 billion from the U.N.-administered program. Some of those funds are believed to have funded payments to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers and weapons now being used against American troops in Iraq.

    Rep. Vito Fossella (R-NY) likened this situation to the corporate scandals that sent several CEOs to prison.

    "Not only did they have to resign, but Congress reacted and implemented laws to ensure good governance at the corporate level," Fossella said. "The same standard, really, should apply to the United Nations, and nothing less."

    New Jersey Republican Rep. Scott Garrett suggested criminal charges should be considered.

    "To me the question should not be whether Kofi Annan should remain in charge," Garrett said. "To me, the larger question is whether he should be in jail."

    Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) fears that Annan's removal might end the investigation. He is seeking a thorough examination into the program's administration and full disclosure of its findings.

    He expressed a belief that the scandal involves other officials, saying, "It's much deeper than Kofi Annan."

    Not all members of Congress think the beleaguered secretary-general should go. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) sent a letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell in support of Annan.

    Kucinich wrote, "There has been no hint of impropriety on the part of the secretary-general, who on numerous occasions has proven his honesty and integrity."

    Independent Vermont Rep. Bernie Sanders joined 19 Democrats who signed the letter.

    Democratic Reps. John Conyers (D-MI) and Donald Payne (D-NJ) sent a "Dear Colleague" letter around the House in support of Annan.

    The secretary-general has so far refused to resign, saying, "I have quite a lot of work to do and I'm carrying on with my work. We have a major agenda next year, and the year ahead, trying to reform this organization. So we'll carry on."

    Copyright © 2004 Talon News -- All rights reserved.

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