The group that first revealed links between former President Jimmy Carter and Samir Vincent, a key figure in the U.N.’s oil-for-food scandal, is calling on two Carter organizations to release to the public a list of all financial contributors from 1999 to 2003.
Jimmy Carter speaking in Tokyo in 2003 (photo: United Nations University)
Move America Forward, the organization leading the nationwide effort to evict the United Nations from American soil and halt U.S. funding of the U.N., says the records could clear up any suspicions that oil-for-food money ended up in the coffers of Carter’s organizations.
As WorldNetDaily reported, last week Move America Forward called on Carter to provide a full accounting of his meetings and conversations with Samir Vincent, who pleaded guilty Jan. 18 to participating in numerous illegal activities as part of the U.N. scandal.
Vincent admitted to receiving allocations for more than 9 million barrels of oil between 1996 and 2003 in return for serving as an agent of Saddam Hussein’s regime. Vincent worked at Hussein’s direction, lobbying U.S. and U.N. officials to end sanctions and to instead implement the oil-for-food scam.
“Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, invited Mr. Vincent to their home to discuss their shared opposition to economic sanctions in Iraq. Then, public records revealed that Vincent was invited to be on the board of an organization, A World of Friends Inc., closely connected to Carter,” said Melanie Morgan, co-chair of Move America Forward, which is running television ads attacking the U.N. on national cable news networks, conducting an online petition drive and soliciting contributions to spread the message of the TV spots.
“We know that Carter’s son, Chip, gave Samir Vincent a tour of the Carter Center complex. What we want to know is whether the Iraqi agent directed oil-for-food money to the Carter Center in return for Carter promoting Saddam Hussein’s position.”
Carter and his associates have used the Carter Center as a weapon in the fight against America’s foreign policy in Iraq. The board of directors includes Carter, his wife and Carter’s ambassador to the U.N., Andrew Young.
In an April 2002 interview with Gulf News, Carter said he didn’t “agree that the sanctions are doing any good; I think they are counterproductive.” In the same interview, Carter lamented, “The United States and Great Britain are now acting, to a substantial degree, without the authority or approval of the United Nations organization itself.”
In 2003, the Carter Center reported to the IRS annual income of $127,115,819, and the organization listed total assets in excess of $240 million. The Carter Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that is not required to file a list of individuals or entities that provide it with funding.
“President Carter and his associates should follow the lead of Jack Kemp, who has stepped forward and spoken candidly about his relationship with Samir Vincent,” said Move America Forward Co-chair Howard Kaloogian. “Kemp obviously feels he has nothing to hide. After years of boisterously opposing U.S. foreign policy in Iraq, all we’ve gotten is months of silence from President Carter followed by a carefully guarded statement from his spokeswoman.
“It’s time for Jimmy Carter to put an end to the questions. The American people deserve to know whether money was funneled from an Iraqi agent to organizations and individuals affiliated with Jimmy Carter.”
Move America Forward also is asking Friendship Force International to disclose its donor list. Friendship Force was the brainchild of Wayne Smith, a friend of Carter’s. Carter and his wife were given the billing as the organization’s leaders upon its founding.
In September 2003, Friendship Force International announced that it was experiencing financial problems. Revenues were falling below expectations, and from 2001 to 2003 the organization had to cut its employment roster by almost one-half.
“Were these people desperate for money? Given the association between Friendship Force players and Samir Vincent, the public has a right to know if this organization accepted oil-for-food money,” said Kaloogian.
Smith left Friendship Force to join former Ambassador Young to launch A World of Friends Inc. The board of directors of A World of Friends Inc. had only seven members, Move America Forward noted, and one of those was Samir Vincent.
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