The testimon[e]y at this week's trial of Tongsun Park, indicted for acting as an unregistered agent for a foreign government, in the oil for food scandal is nothing short of riveting. You would think with all we've heard from Claudia Rosett's Pulitzer deserving expose(s) of the largest scandal in human history, that nothing would shock us. You'd be wrong. The details were so stunning even John Gott Jr. was pricking up his ears in the prison cafeteria to hear the salacious details of courtroom testimony.
It was no wonder Saddam was confident no harm would come to him. He had the UN in his back pocket (the pocket with the wallet in it.) The following is in today's New York Sun. None of the dinosaur media goes near oil for food story -- the UN is their sacred mad cow no matter how decadent and bespolied.
“I guess we have to take care of B.B.”
A Korean businessman,Tongsun Park, hinted that he needed $10 million from Saddam Hussein so he could “take care” of Secretary-General Boutros-Ghali, a court heard yesterday. Mr. Boutros-Ghali told Mr. Park he wanted to “neutralize” a top U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq and that he was relying on his “Iraqi friends” to aid his mid-1990s bid for reelection, according to testimony.
During their meeting, Mr. Park “asked for $10 million to take care of expenses and to take care of some people,” Mr.Vincent told the court. He assumed “some people” meant Mr. Boutros-Ghali, he said.
Mr. Vincent told the jury that Hamdoon, who died in 2003, said, “I guess we have to take care of B.B.” He said the initials were understood to be a reference to Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
Mr. Boutros-Ghali wanted to impress Saddam’s top aide, Tariq Aziz, and the Turtle Bay leader told Mr. Park he was a friend of the regime, Mr.Vincent said.
According to Mr.Vincent’s notes, Mr. Boutros-Ghali said he always suspected the chief U.N. weapons inspector, Rolf Ekeus, “had links to the United States.” Mr. Boutros-Ghali added, however, that he had not yet been able to “neutralize” the Swedish inspector.
Mr. Vincent testified Wednesday that in an earlier stage of his and Mr. Park’s dealings with the secretary-general, Mr. Boutros-Ghali said Iraq must not be overly concerned about U.N.weapons inspectors, suggesting that the regime should “put 600 mukhabarat” — or secret servicemen — in place to monitor them.
Relaying Mr. Park’s demand for $10 million, Mr. Vincent told his main contact with Saddam’s regime, Hamdoon, that he had never heard of “Iraqis paying anything.” But Hamdoon saw an opportunity, he testified. [...]
“This is great,we can make some money,”Hamdoon told him,Mr.Vincent said. Instead of giving Mr. Park $10 million, Hamdoon suggested paying the Korean $5 million and procuring another $10 million for “us,”Mr.Vincent testified. Mr. Aziz later approved the idea, he said.
Mr. Rashid capped the Baghdad session by bringing into the room $450,000 in $10,000 bundles of $100 bills, wrapped in paper carrying the logo of the Bank of Iraq.
Mr. Vincent stuffed the cash into his “bulging” brief case, he said, and asked for a government note to help him cross the border to Jordan.
Cash payments of $1 million and $1.55 million later were delivered to the Iraqi mission to the United Nations in sealed diplomatic pouches, Mr. Vincent said.
Read it all in the New York Sun. I'll post the direct link when it goes online later-- it's PAID only now).