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Right Intention: Take the UN to Court

Friday, November 19, 2004

Take the UN to Court

Jed Babbin at the National Review has a good idea on the UN Oil for Food scandal:

The U.N. can get away with this because it has immunity from U.S. law, and its employees (at least in the conduct of their U.N. duties) have diplomatic immunity. But those immunities aren't an insurmountable obstacle. And the way around them has just come to light.....

....Alan Gerson, an international-law expert, has been a leader in the litigation of antiterrorist cases. He told me that when a person or an entity — even a government — has aided and abetted terrorism, its immunity can be bypassed in legal proceedings. When someone violates the "commitment to peremptory norms" — i.e., when it helps fund terrorism — it effectively gives up its immunity from legal action. The president can and should act on this idea.

The president could determine — and issue an order saying — that the U.N. Oil-for-Food program, according to the available evidence, violated that "commitment to peremptory norms" and thus waived its immunities to congressional and other U.S. legal proceedings. At that point, Coleman's PSI could issue enforceable subpoenas against the U.N., its staff, and the companies that participated in the program. The U.N. would then be in a position such that it had to either cooperate with the investigation or be held in contempt of Congress. (Which it manifestly is right now.)

I'm no legal expert and as such have no idea whether or not this is feasible. But the thought of dragging Kofi and the boys into court and forcing them to publicly account for the missing billions is appealing. And it would finally force the misguided cheerleaders of the UN on the left to face reality about what a worthless, corrupt organization it is.


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