As the oil-for-food scandal at the U.N. is finally making it onto the front pages, let’s praise Claudia Rosett, the reporter who doggedly pursued the story when nobody in the MSN could bring themselves to touch it.
Writing in the Chicago Sun Times, John O’Sullivan imagines a movie about the current shenanigans at the U.S. with a character built on Rosett:
“Maybe Locklear could play the part of Claudia Rosett, who, almost alone among the fearlessly nonpartisan band of investigative journalists, delved deeply into the sleazy details of the Oil for Food program when the establishment media were dismissing it as a storm in an oil can. And in one of those plot twists that Hollywood scriptwriters earn millions for devising, Rosett, who exposed Sevan when he was still high, now comes to his defense on one vital point.
“[Recently resigned Benon] Sevan complains that he has been denied access to U.N. and other documents vital to his defense. Rosett endorses this — but argues it is par for the course. The Volcker committee has regularly denied vital documents to Sevan, reporters, investigating committees from the Congress and other interested parties.
“Nor is this secrecy wholly innocent. Both Rosett and the New York Sun’s U.N.-watcher, Benny Avni, seem to think that Volcker will concentrate blame on a small number of U.N. officials, exonerate Annan of anything more serious than carelessness, and publish these findings on the eve of the September meeting of the U.N. General Assembly. These conclusions would likely then get overlooked amid the hoopla of major speeches by world leaders — notably the new Iranian president outlining his vision of an Islamist Middle East which is expected to be a highly controversial rerun of Yasser Arafat’s gun-toting address in the 1970s — and be pushed down the U.N.’s capacious memory hole.”