Saturday, March 4, 2017

As UN Eviction Loomed, Press Published Audit Showing Gallach No Due Diligence, Conflict of Interest

By Matthew Russell Lee, SeriesVideo III

UNITED NATIONS, March 3 – Six weeks after the UN ousted me came April 6, full eviction day in my reporter's notebook, there was a meeting about the peacekeeper rapes in CAR. The guard at the turnstile shook his head, no way. “Get Malu,” he said. “You need Malu.”

  But in Malu there was only a single staffer. “We can't do it,” the staffer said.

I went back into the hall and turned on my phone, broadcast a Periscope. “This is how they cover things up,” I said loudly. I saw the guard get on the phone.

  The MALU staffer came out and  didn't say a word, gestured for me to follow. I did, to the hall outside the meeting. The staffer stayed ten feet away, glaring. An United Nations Correspondents Association scribe came by and chatted with the staffer, who was working for them, it seemed. Still I got some quotes, tweeted, wrote a live blog.

  The meeting was still going when the staffer said, I'm going. You can come with me or I'll live you for the guards. It's like I was a piece of meat. Leave me, I said. Could things get much worse?

   The time for eviction approached. I wondered if I should watch it. Instead I went down to the Vienna Cafe. I was plugging in my laptop when a junior diplomat, fourth or fifth highest in his mission, came back. “I got it for you,” he said.

Got what? “The audit, the one about John Ashe. I just sent it to you.” I looked at my email and lo and behold there is was. I can never thank you enough, I told him. I started to read it, then put it on Scribd. It named Gallach, or at least her position: the USG of DPI failed to do due diligence. I tweeted it, I wrote a story. I thought: this might save me.

  A photographer I knew came by. “Can you go upstairs,” I asked him, “and see if my office is still locked? Just text me either way.”

  He nodded and went up. Half an hour went by, then an hour. He didn't write back. Had it all been cleaned out?

 Past 8 pm I went up, on the escalator. I looked into the elevator bank on the third floor. The FUNCA sign was up, the old maps too. I was still in. And now I had the audit. I went to Fed Ex to make copies to hand out and upload.