Monday, July 27, 2009

In Praise Of Claudia

I guess it's been over three or four years since I've been reading her columns but it just occurred on me that I've never posted anything of hers here. Claudia Rosett is, to the best of my knowledge, one of the unsung heros (heroine in this case) in the reporting business. You can keep up with her writing at the links provided below...The Rosett Report will have all her latest. - Norman E. Hooben

"She has been described as a rose among thorns, a dogged reporter, a one-woman news service, meticulous, gracious and an extraordinary example to aspiring reporters. This is the reputation developed by Claudia Rosett, who has performed a great public service by exposing massive corruption at the United Nations ... We need more reporters like Rosett who are unafraid to investigate and report on corruption in the United Nations; reporters who are not for sale and who refuse to play the role of flatterer to the world body."


A Pandora’s box of corruption and incompetence at the United Nations has been exposed since the Foundation for Defense of Democracies hired its own investigative reporter and Journalist-in-Residence, Claudia Rosett, and assigned her to the beat.

Since joining FDD in 2003, Claudia Rosett, full time director of FDD's Investigative Reporting Project, has generated international headlines with award-winning investigative reporting that revealed the U.N. Oil-for-Food scandal, how the United Nations helps advance North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, the risks of relying on the United Nations to enforce sanctions against Iran for its nuclear bomb program, and a plethora of scandals that have led to a series of convictions of high U.N. officials for bribery, graft, and money laundering schemes.

In 2005, Claudia received the Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism. The Breindel Award was established to recognize: "the columnist, editorialist or reporter whose work best reflects the spirit of writings by Eric Breindel: Love of country and its democratic institutions as well as the act of bearing witness to the evils of totalitarianism." Her work has been widely praised: Click here for what they are saying about Claudia Rosett.

Rosett revealed how under the Oil-for-Food scandal, a vast program under U.N. supervision, billions in funds intended for humanitarian relief in Iraq ended up in the wallets and secret bank accounts of politicians, businesses, terrorist groups, and Saddam Hussein himself. That is a story that continues to reverberate years after Rosett broke the story.

In 2006, Rosett broke the story of former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan accepting a $500,000 personal prize from the ruler of Dubai, through a prize jury stacked with U.N. personnel. Her 2006 investigation set off a storm of press criticism that ultimately forced the U.N. leader to relinquish the cash.

She covered the January 2007 indictment of Benon Sevan, the fugitive, former executive director of Oil-for-Food. In October, when Texas oil trader Oscar Wyatt pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the program, Rosett wrote about its global implications in The Wall Street Journal and testified before Congress about how the corruption of the U.N. program continues to affect both Iraq and the global financial system.

Federal investigations sparked by a 2005 story Rosett broke with Fox News about U.N. procurement official Alexander Yakovlev (who pleaded guilty and turned government witness) resulted in two more convictions in 2007: Vladimir Kuznetsov, the former head of the U.N.’s budget oversight committee, for conspiring to launder kickbacks on procurement deals; and another U.N. procurement official for conspiracy to commit fraud and corruption.

Rosett continued her groundbreaking investigations into U.N. corruption and anti-democratic policies throughout 2007 with similarly stunning results.

“The very best investigative reporting is being done not by big names at the big papers, but by people like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies' Journalist-in-Residence, Claudia Rosett.”

—Hugh Hewitt, The Weekly Standard

In early 2007, writing in National Review, she explored the conflicts of interest inherent in former President Jimmy Carter accepting multimillion-dollar donations from anti-Israel Arab funders for his Carter Center while purveying such anti-Israel screeds as his book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. Rosett explained that with such funding, “Carter for years has been running his own mini-presidency—complete with a series of attempts to outflank or shape the policies of sitting presidents.”

In National Review Online articles and her monthly column in The Philadelphia Inquirer, she detailed the United Nations’ plans to organize, fund, and host a Durban II conference in 2009 that Libya, Iran, Cuba, and Pakistan hope will be a reprise of the “Death to Israel! Death to America” spectacle that led then–Secretary of State Colin L. Powell to order the U.S. delegation to walk out of the 2001 Durban conference. Canada has already decided to boycott Durban II.

With the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) office in North Korea handing over hard currency to the regime of Kim Jong Il—known as the Kim-for-Cash scandal—Rosett wrote in March 2007 that Kim’s regime, which sponsors the counterfeiting of U.S. banknotes and laundering the money into world markets, had apparently paid the UNDP with stacks of counterfeit $100 bills, which the UNDP had failed to report to U.S. authorities, instead stashing the fake banknotes in its office safe in Pyongyang. Two months later, in May 2007, Rosett’s article in The New York Sun revealed that the UNDP in North Korea had been paying exorbitant amounts to ship anti-American literature to North Korean arms officials in Pyongyang.

On other U.N. fronts, she collaborated as lead reporter on “The Curious Career of Maurice Strong,” an in-depth Fox News report on the shadowy underworld of the U.N. system (Note from Norm: This shadowy underworld has more control over the United States than meet the eye... Who do you think controls Obama?). In addition, she exposed on Fox News how the U.N. “Global Compact” for good governance violates the U.N.’s own rules on good governance.

In January 2008, she called attention to apparent falsehoods in the Pentagon-endorsed biography of a top advisor who has been heavily involved in its “outreach” programs to Muslim groups, including unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation case of alleged funding of the terrorist group Hamas.

For more of Claudia see The Rosett Report


Tid Bits of related info...

Exposé, At Last?

Benon Sevan’s Finest Hour Late in the day, former Oil-for-Food chief demands the U.N. open its books.

The U.N. versus "Human Rights"


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