Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) may try as early as today to end the "filibuster" of the nomination of John Bolton as UN ambassador, according to today's WaPo.
Frist on Tuesday portrayed Dems, who have been holding up the Bolton nomination because of White House refusal to provide Bolton-related information, as obstructionists and claimed that they keep "moving the goalposts" in their demands for Bolton information. In fact, Frist has it "exactly backwards," as as Steve Clemons details at the Washington Note.
Meanwhile, the House is ready to take up a so-called UN "reform" bill that would require the US to withhold dues unless certain "reforms" are undertaken. And, wouldn't you know it, just as the debate is set to begin, Judith Miller of the New York Times unearths a 1998 memo saying that UN Sec. General Kofi Annan may have aided a Swiss company, Cotecna, win an Oil-for-Food contract. Annan's son Kojo worked for Cotecna. (TPM's Josh Marshall wonders why Miller is covering this story for the Times.)
From Miller's story published Tuesday:
Kofi Annan has said several times that he did not discuss the contract with his son and was not involved in Cotecna's selection. A United Nations panel headed by Paul A. Volcker, a former chairman of the Federal Reserve, concluded in March that Mr. Annan had not influenced the awarding of the $10 million dollar-a-year contract to the company.
The memo was written by Michael R. Wilson, "then a Cotecna vice president who was Kojo Annan's friend and a family friend of the secretary general," Miller wrote. A company consultant, she noted later in the story, said "senior Cotecna executives did not know if Mr. Wilson was accurate in his memo on the meeting."
Today's WaPa story raises questions about Wilson's credibility:
A senior official familiar with Volcker's investigation cautioned that Wilson's credibility has long been a subject of concern in the committee. Wilson initially told Volcker's investigators that he had discussed Cotecna's attempts to do business with Iraq in 1997. But he later retracted the statement, saying that the discussion occurred in 1999, long after Cotecna had been awarded the contract. More recently, Wilson has been involved in a corruption inquiry in Geneva involving the construction of a U.N. facility.
How fortunate for the dis-Honorables in Congress who are bent on destroying Annan and the UN that this memo surfaced just at they're set to debate their UN "reform" bill. Don't expect them to question the authenticity of the memo or the credibility of its author. (See my earlier diary for a preview of the debate, including fun hypocritical rantings of lunatic anti-UN House right-wingers.)