Sunday, January 22, 2017

ICP Asks Samantha Power of Ban Ki-moon's Family Indicted, She Says Doesn't Involve UN

By Matthew Russell Lee
UNITED NATIONS, January 13 – There are those in the UN who like Samantha Power for what they think she stands for. By the same token, Power and the Obama administration were unrelentingly defenders of the UN for what they said it stood for. But were either right?
  On January 13 Samantha Power took up the UN Press Briefing Room for more than an hour to extol her and Obama's virtues. Her outgoing spokesman called early on two US Voice of America affiliates. 
 Between questions, Inner City Press asked, What about the indictment of Ban Ki-moon's brother and nephew? Tweeted video here.
  Power looked over and said, “I don't have any comment. It's not something that involves the UN.” 
  Well, no. The indictment by the US Attorney's Office says Ban's nephew repeatedly cited his family's access to the Amir of Qatar to help selling a building in Vietnam. Ban knew of this for at least a year and a half. Any UN OIOS investigation? But Samantha Power was never about reforming the UN.
   Inner City Press asked, What about Haiti cholera? Power smirked / shrugged, and her spokesman moved on. So the UN bringing cholera to Haiti and killing 10,000 people, not paying a penny - that "is not something that involves the UN?" We'll have more on this.
   When the UN killed 10,000 plus people in Haiti by bringing cholera, what did the Obama administration do? The issue wasn't even mentioned in Power's 8000 plus word Exit Memo. Nor was Burundi or Yemen, where US-made cluster bombs have been dropped on schools and hospitals. A problem from hell, indeed.
   Power and her Deputy Permanent Representative for Management and Reform Isobel Coleman have said nothing about the indictment for bribery of Ban Ki-moon's brother and nephew for using the UN, nor about the John Ashe / Ng Lap Seng UN briefing case about to come to trial. 
They did nothing when  the Press which asked the UN about this corruption was thrown in the street and remains restricted still today, ten months later, despite a request from the Government Accountability Project.
  Specifically, Power, Coleman and the Mission / Administration did nothing when Ban and his holdover head of communications Cristina Gallach had investigative Inner City Press thrown out onto First Avenue. They were asked in writing (by the Government Accountability Project), at the UNSC stakeout (Power) and in Washington (Kirby). Nothing. The UN is trying to give its office to an Egyptian state media which rarely comes in, never asks questions.

   The failure to reform during a UN-sympathetic Administration in Washington will make the coming scrutiny all the more painful. Call it a Problem From Hell.

 When the UN Security Council members met about South Sudan on December 15, the best they could do was extend the mandate of the UNMISS mission for a single day. Even then, there was already news of UNMISS having given arms to warlord, or “rebel general,” James Koang.

 Inner City Press asked US Ambassador Samantha Power about this on December 16 and she said she hadn't read it. On December 19, even while fielding a pre-picked question on South Sudan, Power still refused to answer. Video here.

 We'll have more on this.