Angelina's U.N. Money

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 8, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: "Back of the Book" segment tonight, a big new movie starring Angelina Jolie (search) and Brad Pitt (search) will be released tomorrow. We don't care.

But we do care about Ms. Jolie's status as a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Press reports say Ms. Jolie has donated millions of dollars to help poor people around the world. But when we asked where the money went, we couldn't get an answer.

So we launched our own investigation, and here is what we found out. In 2001, Ms. Jolie donated $1.8 million to a group called USA for UNHCR, which stands for High Commission for Refugees (search). That is a tax-deductible group, so the actress could take the donation off her gross income. There is nothing wrong with that.

In 2002, she donated $455,000 to the same group. In 2003, $41,000. And last year, we don't know yet, but it could be $600,000. So Angelina Jolie has given a lot of money that has flowed into the United Nations.

The question then becomes, where does it go from there? Joining us now from Washington, Dr. Nile Gardiner who studies the U.N. for the Heritage Foundation (search).

Now, we can't literally find out where the $3 million, approximately, that Ms. Jolie has kicked into the U.N., goes. They give us a statement. For example, in 2001, when she kicked $1.8 million in, Tanzania got $440,000, domestic needs, household support. Do you know what that is?

NILE GARDINER, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Not exactly. I think this whole situation is symbolic of the complete lack of transparency and accountability within the U.N. system. We have here a major actress, Angelina Jolie, who is doing, I think, tremendous work on behalf of a U.N. agency, putting a lot of her own money into the United Nations (search), and yet we don't know exactly where this money goes. I mean, the last major audit of this agency was produced in 1998. And that audit was damning and scathing, in terms of its assessment of this agency's running of its own finances. It doesn't exactly put us with confidence.

O'REILLY: Who would do the audit? Who would do the — look, they haven't been audited in seven years. Who would do the audit?

GARDINER: Well, this particular audit carried out in '98 was done by the U.N.'s own board of auditors.

O'REILLY: And they found that the organization wasn't really accounting for the money. The U.N. found itself in violation.

GARDINER: Yes. That is correct. And certainly, the United Nations did it best to actually deny all of the allegations in the report.

O'REILLY: Oh, yes, they always do.

GARDINER: Yes.

O'REILLY: Angelina Jolie — and I want to make this very clear — is doing what she said she was doing, all right? She is absolutely doing it. In fact, she even put in only 15 percent of her monies to be used for administrative costs.

So in the beginning, we didn't even know if she was doing what she said she is. But I don't think any human being on this Earth, Doctor, as it stands now, could track the money. You can't track the money. It's going into Chad, Namibia, Ecuador. No one can track it, right?

GARDINER: Yes, it's absolutely ridiculous. And if the United Nations would like more individuals to come forward and donate their time and money to the United Nations, it's imperative that this organization gets its act together and starts to open itself up to outside scrutiny.

And I would certainly call for an independent audit into the finances of UNHCR, particularly bearing in mind previous accusations of widespread mismanagement and waste...

(CROSSTALK)

O'REILLY: Yes, and look at the oil-for-food scandal. I mean, we can't have any confidence in Kofi Annan (search) and his crew.

I feel kind of bad for her, Angelina Jolie, because I think she's a good woman, based upon her largess here. And she even pays her own expenses, a lot of cases, to go to countries and try to raise awareness. And I don't think it's her fault that, as you say, there's no transparency at the U.N.

If it were your money, would you give them $3 million, Doctor?

GARDINER: I probably wouldn't, actually, unless I knew exactly where that money was going.

O'REILLY: Where would you give it? Doctors without Borders (search), something like that?

GARDINER: I would prefer to give it, actually, to private charities whose finances are far more closely monitored and accountable to the international public.

O'REILLY: All right. Doctor, thanks very much. We appreciate it.

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