Why Kofi Annan Should Go

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," December 7, 2004, that was edited for clarity.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, message to Kofi Annan (search): hit the road. Not just any U.N.
jawboners saying that. Tuesday a U.S. congressman pretty much demanding that. That congressman is Republican Dan Burton of Indiana. He joins me now from Capitol Hill.

Congressman, a pretty strong recommendation, why?

REP. DAN BURTON, R-IND.: Well, Neil, he's the head of the United Nations, and the Congress of the United States and other interested parties can not get information that's relevant to the investigation into the $21 billion that cannot be accounted for.

Much of that money went to, we believe, terrorists who have been killing American soldiers in Iraq, has been used to kill people in Israel, and elsewhere, and we believe there needs to be a complete accounting.

And Kofi Annan is the head of the United Nations. He's the secretary-general over there, and he could release these documents immediately. So far, nothing has happened. And even Volcker, whom we have high regard for, can't get them.

And we think it's extremely important for the American people and the world to know what happened to the money. It was supposed to be used to feed women and children who were suffering because of the war, and instead, it was going into politicians' pockets and terrorists' pockets.

CAVUTO: Congressman, what would we prove if he stepped down, though? How do you know some of the things you're trying to address wouldn't be expedited under his successor?

BURTON: Well, if he stepped down, obviously, there would have to be a new secretary-general appointed. One of the conditions to get support from the United States and our State Department would be that there would be a complete releasing of all of documents relevant to this investigation.

Right now, we can't get anything from it, and we have found that some of his best friends at the U.N. were on the take. His son was getting for five years $2,500 a month for nothing from some of these parties that were benefiting from that $21 billion.

And so we believe that he's part of the cover up, and we think he should go.

CAVUTO: Congressman, I've heard this expressed to some of the people at the U.N. that they believe this U.N. witch-hunt is part of a right wing cabal. And they think...

BURTON: Witch-hunt?

CAVUTO: Well, I just want you to hear their side.


CAVUTO: And they say they're going to ride this out and that eventually, the Burtons and the others will just sort of cease and desist when they realize there's nothing there. What do you say?

BURTON: Well, first of all, there's $21 billion that was supposed to feed women and kids who were suffering from the war that cannot be accounted for. We know that business executives and oil people handling the oil transactions in France and Russia were benefiting from this money.

We know that politicians were probably benefiting from this money, and we know that some of the money, and you can check this with Senator Coleman, who's been working on this money was getting into terrorist hands.

CAVUTO: Could I ask you something, Congressman? It's interesting, too, because you raise a number of valid points. Why don't you think the general media is all over this story, just on the missing $21 billion alone?

BURTON: Well, it's one of the biggest scandals in U.N. history. I think it is the biggest scandal in U.N. history, and I cannot understand why the media is not all over it right now. I'm glad that FOX is covering it. I'm glad you're talking about it, but CNN, all the other stations. I guess I'm not supposed to mention that. But CNN, ABC, CBS…

CAVUTO: You're not. I'll talk to you after the show about that.

BURTON: All of them need to be on the story. Because it's the biggest scandal in the history of that organization.

CAVUTO: But I guess the feeling seems to be, Congressman — I've talked to a lot of people about this who say that we're chasing a ghost that isn't there.

BURTON: Oh, my.

CAVUTO: That all of this can eventually be explained. I don't know how they can take the position, but it is that position. What do you make of that?

BURTON: This is not a ghost that isn't there. The money is real. The money that went to terrorists is real. The money that went to crooked politicians and businessmen who were profiting from money that's would supposed to help women and kids get food is real. This is not something that's just been conjured up.

And Senator Coleman who led the fight on this, is right on the mark. And I believe that the members of the House in growing numbers is going to support trying to do something about removing Kofi Annan.

CAVUTO: All right, but this is the U.S. representatives, and esteemed congressmen like yourself, of course Senator Coleman. It's just the U.S. They don't flip over our country anyway, so what's to make them change?

BURTON: Well, what we're doing is I'm cosponsoring a bill with Congressman Flake, which would withhold the money from the U.N. that we give, which is about 23-24 percent of their total budget, until we had a full accounting of where that money went.

CAVUTO: All right. Congressman, very good having you on. I forgive you for mentioning the letters CNN. Let's just see that that doesn't happen again.

BURTON: I'll never do it again, I promise you.

CAVUTO: OK. All right. Congressman Burton, thank you so much, sir, joining us out of the House gallery.

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