Lawyers for that investigation, formally called the Independent Inquiry Committee, said they are checking if that investigator, Robert Parton, violated a confidentiality agreement by giving up the potentially explosive documents. He did so under subpoena from Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., chairman of the House International Relations Committee. ...
Parton, a former FBI agent, has been the focus of heated controversy since he resigned from the committee in April because he believed the panel's most recent report was too soft on Annan. A second investigator, Miranda Duncan, resigned with him for the same reason.
Since then, speculation has swirled about the exact reasons why Parton believed the latest Volcker report, released in March, wasn't critical enough of Annan. The documents he gave Congress will almost certainly help settle that issue.
That Volcker report said Annan failed to properly investigate possible conflicts of interest surrounding an oil-for-food contract won by Cotecna Inspection S.A., the Swiss company where Annan's son Kojo worked. It criticized Annan for refusing to push top advisers further after they conducted a 24-hour investigation related to his son and found nothing wrong.
But Volcker's report cleared the secretary-general of trying to influence the awarding of Cotecna's $10 million-a-year contract and said he didn't violate U.N. rules. The oil-for-food program was set up to help Iraqis cope with international sanctions the United Nations imposed on Saddam Hussein's regime after his 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
That story gets emphasized in a certain way by Fox News:
The contents of the boxes handed over by Parton are believed to be damaging to the secretary-general because, as sources told FOX News, they describe inconsistencies in the story Kofi Annan told investigators about a conflict of interest involving his son Kojo Annan, and Cotecna, the Swiss company that employed Kojo Annan and which won one of the most lucrative Oil-for-Food contracts.
U.N. investigators have turned over to Congress boxes of evidence on the Oil-for-Food program, including "proof" that U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan lied to the Independent Inquiry Committee probing the scandal, Fox News Channel reporter Jonathan Hunt said Thursday.
"One source close to the case told me that in those boxes is the ammunition to prove that Kofi Annan lied to investigators," Hunt told Fox News Radio host Tony Snow. "So this is a very dramatic development indeed."
I'm not going to pretend to know what Kofi Annan did or didn't do. The investigations aren't finished yet, but unless someone can demonstrate why Volcker's committee isn't impartial, I'm willing to accept his report. On the right, though, they've rejected Volcker's findings and accepted as fact anonymous descriptions of secret records. Official reports are not always correct, just as anonymous descriptions of secret records are not always wrong. It takes a special kind of wing nut, though, to be willing to believe an anonymous source over a distinguished public servant.