Why Kofi Annan Should Stay

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," December 9, 2004, that was edited for clarity.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Should Kofi Annan (search) resign? An emphatic yes from Republican Congressman Dan Burton on this show Tuesday. Now the other side, Democratic Congressman Bill Filner of California urging support for the U.N. secretary-general in a letter just sent to Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Congressman, welcome.


CAVUTO: Why do you support the guy?

FILNER: Well, what I'm supporting and what all the congressmen are supporting is a little stepping back and awaiting for the investigation, the transparent investigation that former Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker (search) is leading. That is, you know, let's have some transparency. We are the biggest contributors to the United Nations. We want accountability. We want transparency. But they have set up a system to do that. I wish we had as transparent a system to investigate what Halliburton has taken from us, or things like.

So let's wait. There is a report expected next month. Let's see what it says.

CAVUTO: All right. But of course, it was your party, sir, that was urging Richard Nixon to resign, which he ultimately did, long before there was any proof of illegalities, when in fact later on the illegalities...


FILNER: You're going to stand up for Richard Nixon?

CAVUTO: No, I'm just arguing that we knew then...

FILNER: Nobody called for his resignation. They called for an impeachment investigation.

CAVUTO: They were arguing actually both, sir. I guess what I'm arguing now is, why is this case different?

FILNER: Well, I'm not sure that they have no relevance to each other, but look, there have been no charges that have been proved. The U.N., under Kofi Annan, has set up an independent investigation and they're doing it.

You know, most of the money, Neil, that Saddam Hussein got illicitly was from trade with our allies, Turkey and Jordan. That's what we ought to be looking at, because we countenanced it, we allowed that to go through. Why did we allow that trade? That money that Saddam Hussein got from those trades are killing our boys and their people. Why don't we have as transparent an investigation of that trade as you're calling for the United Nations?

CAVUTO: That is a very valid point, Congressman, and when we had Congressman Burton on his point was, there is so much that seems to be going wrong here at the U.N. that the U.N. would be well served by simply having this guy leave, bring in somebody else, allow the investigations, as he put it, to go forward. But it just is not the time for Kofi Annan to be staying through all this mess.

FILNER: Well, I'm not sure what you say has gone wrong, in that these are charges, these are allegations, none of it has been proven yet, and...

CAVUTO: But you will acknowledge, Congressman, the $21 billion we know for sure that seems to be missing. We don't know where it went.

FILNER: Well, let's find out. Step back a minute, Neil, let's figure out where it's going. And FOX should spend its time calling for an investigation of Halliburton, calling for an investigation of Turkey, calling for an investigation of Jordan, calling for an investigation of how we gave in the '80s all of the stuff that Saddam Hussein used against us a decade later.

CAVUTO: So you are just saying because there seems to be smoke in all areas, don't aggressively go after this one?

FILNER: No, no, I'm saying you're going after the United Nations because of other agendas. I would like to see you go equally after, and I'd support the going after United Nations, go after...

CAVUTO: Well, wait a minute, sir. There are many in your party and many outside the party and many in this country and outside this country who seem to think something stinks at the U.N., right?

FILNER: We want accountability. They have set up a process. Let's wait and see what the process comes out with. Kofi Annan is not part of that investigation. He set up an independent method. They have access to all the documents, all the information they need. Paul Volcker is a trustworthy guy, he's one of your guys. You should trust him. Let's see what he comes out with.

CAVUTO: How is he one of my guys? He's a former Federal Reserve chairman. But anyway...

FILNER: He's probably a Republican.

CAVUTO: Thank you very much. Incredible. All right, sir. Appreciate it.

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