The hidden scandal

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A trial of an already—famous figure, someone implicated in the biggest financial scandal in history is underway. Yesterday, an iconic figure from a hallowed previous presidential administration was found to be involved. Yet the major press organs in the United States have blacked out news coverage. Only the New York Sun has provided major coverage.

The scandal is the UN Oil for Food scandal, of course. The iconic figure is none other than Theodore Sorenson, of the JFK inner circle, one of the hallowed "best and brightest". The Sun reports:

...a scion of the Kennedy administration, Theodore Sorensen, was retained by an agent for Saddam Hussein and wrote, in 1993, a United Nations resolution that later became a blueprint for the scandal—ridden oil—for—food program, a federal court heard yesterday.

An Iraqi—American businessman, Samir Vincent, who has pleaded guilty to acting as an unregistered agent for Iraq, shed new details about his involvement with Mr. Sorensen, who is one of the most revered members of President Kennedy's inner circle.

Mr. Vincent, who last year entered a guilty plea and agreed to cooperate in the federal prosecution of oil for food—related cases, spent yesterday testifying in Manhattan's U.S. District Court in the trial of a Korean businessman, Tongsun Park, who is charged with illegally acting as an unregistered foreign agent.

As The New York Sun first reported in September, the Volcker committee had already detailed the way Mr. Vincent retained the services of Mr. Sorensen while pleading Saddam's case in America and at Turtle Bay. In yesterday's testimony Mr. Vincent, whose narrative was accompanied by meticulously kept notes and other documents, relayed the chain of events that linked JFK's Camelot to Mesopotamia.

Most interesting to us is the careful way Mr. Sorenson arranged to be paid without having to register as an agent of the Iraqi government:

Mr. Sorensen was careful to distant himself from the Iraqi government, writing that it is his understanding that Mr. Vincent's activities are "not favorably inclined toward Iraq," according to a court document. Later on Mr. Sorensen suggested that it would be best if he was retained by the U.N. secretary—general as an outside counsel so he would not need "to register as a foreign agent" according to American laws, Mr. Sorensen wrote in another court document.

Mr. Sorensen was not hired by the United Nations, but the attorney's wife, Gillian Sorensen, was hired as special adviser for public policy to Mr. Boutros—Ghali. She has been active for many years since then with the U.N. Foundation, a pro—Turtle Bay organization founded by the founder of the Cable News Network, Ted Turner. In 1993 Mr. Sorensen wrote the draft, detailing how to sell Iraq's oil under U.N. supervision and use the proceeds to buy humanitarian goods.

In criminal enterprises, when someone arranges to retain deniability of involvement by working through an intermeiary, it is calling using a "cutout." The same goes for intelligence operations.

So if Oil for Food was both a criminal enterprise and a covert operation of Saddam's intelligence apparatus, what, exactly, does that say about Mr. Sorenson?

And why do our media ignore this major story? Obviously the larger New York Times finds the story "unfit to print."

Why?

Thomas Lifson and Ed Lasky   6 29 06

A trial of an already—famous figure, someone implicated in the biggest financial scandal in history is underway. Yesterday, an iconic figure from a hallowed previous presidential administration was found to be involved. Yet the major press organs in the United States have blacked out news coverage. Only the New York Sun has provided major coverage.

The scandal is the UN Oil for Food scandal, of course. The iconic figure is none other than Theodore Sorenson, of the JFK inner circle, one of the hallowed "best and brightest". The Sun reports:

...a scion of the Kennedy administration, Theodore Sorensen, was retained by an agent for Saddam Hussein and wrote, in 1993, a United Nations resolution that later became a blueprint for the scandal—ridden oil—for—food program, a federal court heard yesterday.

An Iraqi—American businessman, Samir Vincent, who has pleaded guilty to acting as an unregistered agent for Iraq, shed new details about his involvement with Mr. Sorensen, who is one of the most revered members of President Kennedy's inner circle.

Mr. Vincent, who last year entered a guilty plea and agreed to cooperate in the federal prosecution of oil for food—related cases, spent yesterday testifying in Manhattan's U.S. District Court in the trial of a Korean businessman, Tongsun Park, who is charged with illegally acting as an unregistered foreign agent.

As The New York Sun first reported in September, the Volcker committee had already detailed the way Mr. Vincent retained the services of Mr. Sorensen while pleading Saddam's case in America and at Turtle Bay. In yesterday's testimony Mr. Vincent, whose narrative was accompanied by meticulously kept notes and other documents, relayed the chain of events that linked JFK's Camelot to Mesopotamia.

Most interesting to us is the careful way Mr. Sorenson arranged to be paid without having to register as an agent of the Iraqi government:

Mr. Sorensen was careful to distant himself from the Iraqi government, writing that it is his understanding that Mr. Vincent's activities are "not favorably inclined toward Iraq," according to a court document. Later on Mr. Sorensen suggested that it would be best if he was retained by the U.N. secretary—general as an outside counsel so he would not need "to register as a foreign agent" according to American laws, Mr. Sorensen wrote in another court document.

Mr. Sorensen was not hired by the United Nations, but the attorney's wife, Gillian Sorensen, was hired as special adviser for public policy to Mr. Boutros—Ghali. She has been active for many years since then with the U.N. Foundation, a pro—Turtle Bay organization founded by the founder of the Cable News Network, Ted Turner. In 1993 Mr. Sorensen wrote the draft, detailing how to sell Iraq's oil under U.N. supervision and use the proceeds to buy humanitarian goods.

In criminal enterprises, when someone arranges to retain deniability of involvement by working through an intermeiary, it is calling using a "cutout." The same goes for intelligence operations.

So if Oil for Food was both a criminal enterprise and a covert operation of Saddam's intelligence apparatus, what, exactly, does that say about Mr. Sorenson?

And why do our media ignore this major story? Obviously the larger New York Times finds the story "unfit to print."

Why?

Thomas Lifson and Ed Lasky   6 29 06