Another scandal? We have heard about so many powerful people abusing their positions to gain still more power that many suffer from scandal fatigue. But we ignore these all-too-frequent events at our peril: they raise our taxes, erode confidence in our institutions, reduce our security—and even cause bloodshed.
Peter Brown’s column “Why does U. N. get free ride in scandal?” last Friday was a welcome assault on that jaded indifference toward scandal. It sheds light on an alleged skimming of billions of dollars by Saddam Hussein and U. N. officials from the organization’s Oil for Food Program during the 12 years before the Iraqi dictator was overthrown in 2003.
If true, this is outrageous. And while we learn about the scandal, we also need to understand its contexts.