December 9, 2004 | Broadcast

Kudlow & Cramer

Claudia, you’re just writing up a storm on this stuff, and I really appreciate it. Let me just ask you a question. Today, John Danforth is going out as UN ambassador.

Ms. CLAUDIA ROSETT (Foundation for Defense of Democracies): Yeah.

KUDLOW: Said the US supports Kofi Annan rather than supporting his resignation. But Bush really didn’t say that. Bush left him dangling. What is our position on Kofi Annan, do you reckon?

Ms. ROSETT: I sure hope we left him dangling, because it’s a bad idea, I think, to endorse someone who presided over a program in which billions were stolen out of what was supposed to be a plan to feed hungry and sick children.

JIM CRAMER, co-host:

Well, Ms. Rosett, I think that Larry’s right, though. I mean, to me, I read that as being `Hands off Annan. He’s in.’

Ms. ROSETT: Yeah.

CRAMER: I don’t know. I can’t read that another way. I can’t come up with another theory.

Ms. ROSETT: Well, you know what? I’m guessing we’re not going to see Kofi Annan resign. He is so wrapped, he is so swaddled in immunities, and he’s surrounded by this fawning General Assembly which underscores what a secret society the place really is. But, you know, the upside of that is if he remains there, it may provide an even better focus for the investigations that really do need to go forward.

KUDLOW: Well, Claudia, on the link with Kojo and Cotecna, now…

Ms. ROSETT: Yeah.

KUDLOW: …is it your sense–I mean, I’ve been reading your stuff in the Sun and The Wall Street Journal, it’s great. Is it your sense that people were using Kojo to get to Kofi? Is that part of this story? Are we actually going to learn, for example, that Kofi was a direct recipient of oil-for-food money? Is that going to happen, too?

Ms. ROSETT: I’m not going to rule that out, but here’s what I think it looks–at this point, we see that Kojo is employed by a company that gets a lucrative and important contract from the United Nations, and it gets it, not from Saddam Hussein, which Kofi sort of has given us to understand. He has misrepresented that. They get it from Kofi Annan’s secretariat, OK, his part of the UN.

Now I don’t think that Kofi Annan dropped by and said, `OK, give them that contract,’ but you have a secretary-general who is running the secretariat in such a way that, somehow, it never came to anyone’s attention, but finally the press in stages, that this company hired, for millions in–multimillion-dollar contract, rolled over into an even bigger contract, to inspect one of the most sensitive programs the United Nations was involved in and, without question, the biggest financially, that they were sending a stream of payments for the entire time to the son of the secretary-general. For the head of the UN to fail to even notice that, you know, I end up with a problem that you have to either question his intelligence or his integrity. Something’s wrong there.

CRAMER: All right. Ms. Rosett, does any prosecutor, someone with the power to put people in jail…

Ms. ROSETT: Yeah.

CRAMER: …have any jurisdiction over the UN?

Ms. ROSETT: No. No, they answer to no one. There is no procedures, no mechanism for removing the secretary-general. They’re invulnerable. It’s an institution where…

CRAMER: That’s inconceivable to me.

Ms. ROSETT: …they live in a bubble, yeah. Yeah, it probably wasn’t wisely thought through when they set that up.

KUDLOW: Yeah, it’s sort of, like, `Eliot Spitzer, where are you now that we truly, truly need you on this front?’

Ms. ROSETT: Yeah.

KUDLOW: Claudia, Norm Coleman–Senator Norm Coleman’s been on the show. He came out for resignation. A lot of people support Norm Coleman–some have gone public, some are quiet in their support. But what about this: Do you think that Congress will get riled up enough against Kofi Annan stonewalling and so forth that they would start knocking 10 percent or more off of our annual contribution which is the kind of language the UN would understand?

Ms. ROSETT: There is certainly a movement afoot. You know, there have been–a number of congressmen have, at this point, put together bills to that effect. They’re talking about how to actually do something. It might happen. There are big head winds. Again, the UN has tremendous power to sort of cloak itself. It matters very greatly whether you can actually subpoena people, force them to sort of appear in court, prosecute them. You know, again, compare this to, say, Enron, a scandal…

CRAMER: Right.

Ms. ROSETT: …of lesser magnitude in many ways…

CRAMER: Oh, absolutely.

Ms. ROSETT: …and far lesser political dimension, far less threat to our own lives if you look at some of Saddam’s…

CRAMER: Right.

Ms. ROSETT: …arms connections, terror connections and so on through that program. And…

CRAMER: Unfortunately, we’re going to have to leave it there…

Ms. ROSETT: Sure.

CRAMER: …Claudia, ’cause we’re out.

Ms. ROSETT: Sure.

CRAMER: But I want to thank–both of us just want to…

Ms. ROSETT: Thank you.

CRAMER: …thank you.