Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today announced the United States Senate has unanimously accepted an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2005 Defense Authorization Act
that will aid in the investigation of the United Nation’s Oil-For-Food (OFF) program. Graham sponsored the amendment, along with Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia), John Ensign (R-Nevada) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyoming).
The amendment requires the Department of Defense to secure all OFF related documents currently in the possession of the Iraqi Coalition Provisional Authority before June 30, 2004. In addition, it instructs the General Accounting Office to request the UN turn over all relevant documents.
“The allegations of corruption within the OFF program are serious and must be addressed as quickly as possible,” said Graham. “It is imperative that we secure the relevant documents in Iraq before the June 30th handover to ensure the United States has access to information critical to this investigation.”
Graham was recently appointed by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tennessee) to lead an investigative Senate working group.
“This is the first step in this investigation,” said Graham. “We are hopeful that the United Nations will cooperate fully and allow access to all OFF documents.”
“Saddam Hussein abused this program by stealing from the mouths of a starving Iraqi population,” said Graham. “Rather than feeding his people, he used this money to build palaces, satisfy his overwhelming greed, and perpetuate his own perverse lifestyle. Even worse, he may have done so with the assistance of UN officials.”
“This investigation will further expose the corruption of the Saddam regime and examine the ability of the UN to effectively run such a program in the future,” said Graham.
Following final passage in the Senate, the Fiscal Year 2005 Defense Authorization Act
will go to conference with the House of Representatives.