Sunday, April 24, 2005

Resignation from Oil-for-Food Investigation Panel

Both had articles today on a statement made by Robert Parton concerning his resignation from Volcker's panel which is investigating the United Nations oil-for-food scandal. There were some reports that Parton's work, and that of a colleague, was finished. However, his statement says that he resigned on principle, as a protest of a report clearing Kofi Annan. In the past I have noted that Fox News is tougher than CNN on the United Nations and Annan (or perhaps CNN is easier on the U.N.). The articles today are no exception. CNN ran their own article and Fox ran an AP article. As is often typical, the headlines show the biases. Fox's is “Former Oil-for-Food Investigator Criticizes Panel” which is more negative towards the panel as opposed to CNN's “Oil-for-food man quit on principle.” CNN's first sentence notes that Parton “disputed a report that he did so because his work was finished” while Fox's first sentence takes it from a different angle with a reason behind the principle and says Parton “resigned to protest a report clearing ... Annan ...” Fox's article is about twice as long with more information including this statement which is not in CNN's report:

Following Pieth's statement, another committee member, Richard Goldstone, discounted reports that the two investigators had left the Independent Inquiry Committee because they believed the report was too soft on the secretary-general.
A person close to Parton said his contract ran until August and he left because he was upset with conclusions in the report and disagreed with how the committee reached those findings. Speaking on condition of anonymity at Parton's request, he also said Parton, a lawyer and former FBI agent, issued his statement because he believed that Goldstone had knowingly misrepresented the reason he left.
Responding to Parton's statement, a spokesman for the committee accused the former employee of trying to expand his mandate Saturday.
It is the responsibility of investigators only to gather facts and bring them to the committee, not to provide opinion," Mike Holtzman said. "It is the committee that renders judgment on the facts and to put it bluntly, the investigators were not paid for their opinions."
Holtzman added that all the facts uncovered by the investigators were included in the report.
But Parton, who was assigned to write two drafts of the report, believes that the final version omitted material facts, the person close to him said.

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