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Kofi , Kojo, Mercedes Benz

Kofi annan the bully

By Judi McLeod
Thursday, December 22, 2005

There's a lot of Ebenezer Scrooge in UN Secretary-General Kofi annan these days.

Four days before Christmas, annan lost what Reuters called his "diplomatic cool" with a reporter.

annan centered out British journalist, James Bone of the London Times, whom he said was "an embarrassment to your colleagues and to your profession".

Words that would be clearly libelous if uttered anywhere but at the peace-loving United Nations.

Bone raised annan's dander by daring to probe the secretary-general about his son Kojo having imported a Mercedes-Benz car into Ghana using his father's diplomatic status to avoid taxes.

annan interrupted the reporter when Bone said, "Your version of events don't really make sense."

"I think you're being very cheeky," annan said. "Listen James Bone, you've been behaving like an overgrown schoolboy in this room for many, many months and years.

"You are an embarrassment to your colleagues and to your profession. Please stop misbehaving and please let's move on to a serious subject," annan added.

Importing a Mercedes-Benz sports car into Ghana using your father's diplomatic status to avoid taxes is a serious subject.

and if Bone's an "overgrown schoolboy" what does that make living-life-in-the-fast-lane Kojo annan?

at a UN end-of-year news conference with the inevitable questions on the $64-billion Iraq oil-for-food scandal, annan charged that the scandal had sometimes been covered through "deliberate leaks" that were "fed by people with agendas".

Journalists, annan intoned, often missed the story such as oil smuggling outside of the UN program, recently documented by a UN-established inquiry headed by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.

In other words, oil smuggling outside the UN program, as documented by annan's friend Volcker should be more newsworthy than the original scandal.

The Volcker commission faulted annan for bad management of the oil-for-food program, but cleared him of personal wrongdoing, including influencing a contract that went to a company that employed his son, in an inquiry that some insist is an expensive whitewash.

The engine of Kojo's boy toy will die long before questions about it to his father Kofi ever will.

asked again after his Wednesday temper outburst if he bought a Mercedes tax-free for his son, annan said, "I know you are all obsessed about the car. If you want to know more about it, please direct the questions to his lawyer or to him.

"I am neither his spokesman nor his lawyer," the diplomat said of his son.

Finding Kojo these days would be about as easy as finding the aWOL annan adviser Maurice Strong.

The president of the UN Correspondents association said that Bone had a right to ask a question. annan said he agreed with that "but I think we also have to understand that we have to treat each other with respect."

Where's the respect in targeting Bone as "an embarrassment to your colleagues and to your profession"?

Kofi annan, the well-touted Peace Maestro of the Universe, is an absolute bully if you happen to ask him the right question.

Canada Free Press founding editor Most recent by Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years experience in the print media. Her work has appeared on, Drudge Report,, Glenn Beck. Judi can be reached at: [email protected]

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