Monday, April 24, 2017

Discredited Ban Ki-moon's Worker Bees Tout Ahn Cheol-soo for Ban Post, Censorship Continues

By Matthew Russell Lee, New SeriesVideo

UNITED NATIONS, April 16 – Ban Ki-moon's use of his UN pedigree to promote himself, even after his relatives used the UN to try to sell real estate, continues. Ban's attempt to run for the presidency of South Korea flamed out in three weeks. But now, only after Ahn Cheol-soo said Ban might become a "special diplomatic envoy," Ban's supporters have said they will vote for Ahn Cheol-soo. Quid pro quo, at least slightly more transparent than the stealth way Ban was unwisely put atop the UN for ten years, and brought it to its low position, including on Yemen, late and weak action on the Internet cut in Cameroon and continued restrictions on the Press even in UN Headquarters.  (Meanwhile, in South Korea VP Mike Pence is visiting the DMZ from a wrongly described "UN" joint base: more on this to follow.) For Ban, an attempt is made to characterize as "fake news" the Press' factual reporting on the indictment by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York of Ban's brother Ban Ki-sang and nephew Dennis Bahn. The Korea Times "reports" that "Fake news was one of the reasons former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon dropped his presidential bid. Even before his return home from New York in January after wrapping up his 10-year service at the U.N., corruption allegations were leveled against members of his family. Ban dismissed them as part of a fake news campaign intended to tarnish his image." Ban and his spokesman Stephane Dujarric didn't just "dismiss" the use of the UN by Ban Ki-sang in Vietnam and Ban Ki-ho in Myanmar - they evicted without any hearing the Press which uncovered them, and Dujarric keeps it restricted to this day, most recently on April 13 calling "harassment" the Press' criticism of UN officials' performance. Ban Ki-moon brought the UN low on press freedom and it has yet to rehabilitate itself. The UN is characterized by impunity. On April 6 Harvard confirmed Ban'll have a non-teaching position there for the rest of the spring - Ban previously bragged after flaming out in his South Korea campaign that he would get a car and driver - in an article in the Crimson which does not mention his relatives' indictments. We'll have more on this. While Ban was chased out of the political race for president of South Korea after a mere three weeks, he has reportedly make a political endorsement... in Los Angeles, for Robert Ahn running for the Congressional seat in the 34th District: "He has been endorsed by former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon." Well. Ahn came in behind, but will have a run-off with, Jimmy Gomez. Not endorsed by Ban in this Los Angelese race were Yolie Flores, William “Rodriguez” Morrison, Kenneth Mejia, and tenants’ rights paralegal Angela E. McArdle; Mark Edward Padilla and Vanessa Aramayo, a nonprofit director; Maria Cabildo, an economic development director; Alejandra Campoverdi, a multicultural community advocate; Arturo Carmona, a presidential campaign adviser; Ricky De La Fuente, a businessman; Adrienne Edwards, a community organizer; Melissa “Sharkie” Garza, a businesswoman and producer; Sara Hernandez, an education nonprofit director; Steven Mac, a military officer and prosecutor; Angela McArdle, a tenants’ rights paralegal; Sandra Mendoza, an educator and public administrator; Raymond Meza, a community organizer; Armando Sotomayor, a community volunteer; Richard Sullivan, an attorney; Tracy Van Houten, an aerospace engineer; and Tenaya Wallace, a civic engagement strategist. Can Ban go lower? 
 Arirang News, which Ban had his hatchet-women from Spain Cristina Gallach include in the UN's in-house network, "reported" on Ban grabbing an award from the World Tourism Organization for having... visited this WTO's headquarters in Spain. This is pathetic. Days after the firing of Preet Bharara, who indicted Ban Ki-moon's brother Ki-sang and nephew Dennis Bahn for UN-related corruption, Ban Ki-moon is bragging he will get free housing and a no-show job from Harvard University. Ban says he'll cash in with "a secretary and a residence for him and his wife Yoo Soon-taek" and only "hold occasional seminars as a visiting professor." But who will want to hear them? Maybe those facing indictment of close family members and unanswered questions about others, Ban Ki-ho mining in Myanmar, but still looking to save face. Ban's nephew Dennis Bahn had his position at New York University withdrawn after the corruption indictment. What will happen with his Uncle Ban Ki-moon?
After the South Korean court ruling finally impeaching Park Geun-hye, not only her corruption but that of Ban Ki-moon comes to the fore. Hypocrisy, too: Ban Ki-moon, who left the lawless UN as his relatives were indicted for UN-related bribery, having evicted the Press which asked about it, pontificated about the "rule of law." Using media friendly to him, Ban was quoted that "the people, especially those who protested against the impeachment, must accept the ruling. Only then can the rule of law, which is the basic value of the Korean Constitution, stand upright." 
Ban dodged the charges and evicted the Press which pursued them, only to see himself exposed as corrupt in three short weeks in South Korea, dropping out of campaigning before even declaring. Now he tried to cash out to Harvard, which would be a travesty.
 In February Ban Ki-moon grabbed up yet another obscure award, in Los Angeles. There was no live stream, and the link to sponsor -- providing money like Ban collected $100,000 sponsorships as recently as October 2016 -- led nowhere. How quickly the Emperor has been exposed as having no clothes. But will Harvard still pay to collect fossils?
  On his way to LA, before using the UN again to promote himself in connection with the death of Vitaly Churkin, Ban stopped in Kenya to visit the son in law he promoted to the job UN job there. When Inner City Press asked the UN about it on February, Ban's long-time deputy spokesman Farhan Haq called Inner City Press an obsessive a*hole. Haq insisted that the UN Spokesperson's Office does NOT speak for Ban. That was on February 14.
  Then on February 20 the UN Spokesperson's Office of Haq and his also holdover boss Stephane Dujarric DID speak for Ban, issuing Ban's canned statement on the death of Vitaly Churkin. On February 22, Inner City Press asked Haq about it. From the UN transcript: 
Inner City Press: a week ago that you'd said that you don't speak for Ban Ki-moon and et cetera.  So, yesterday, I obviously couldn't help noticing that you did speak for Ban Ki-moon.  So, what's the status of you speaking for Ban Ki-moon?

Deputy Spokesman:  No, no, we didn't.  We were asked to transmit to the journalists a message that he had prepared just because of his long-time experience with Ambassador Churkin.  This is not something that goes out as a statement of… by the UN.  But, it was something where, given his experience with Churkin and given the fact that he knew that the reporters here knew that, he wanted to find some means of transmitting his condolences.
   But by whom was the UN asked? Ban's inside man Kim Won-soo? Ban's new corruption denier Lee Do-woon? Why not just get the email list? And wouldn't condolences be sent to Churkin's family and the Mission, rather than virtue-signaled to the world, a form of self-promotion or attempted reputation rehabilitation? We'll have more on this duplicity, another attempt by today's UN in need of reform and house-cleaning to evade its corruption and double standards.
  On February 13, Inner City Press asked UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq about Ban's UN-Kenya stop, and any public costs. Haq, who dodged for years on irregularities from Ban promoting his son in law in the UN without recusal to Ban's nephew working at the UN's landlord Colliers, said "get over it." Video here. 
  So after learning more - including about the role in promoting Ban of his Kim Won-soo, still paid by the UN, that is the public, Inner City Press asked Haq again, video here, UN transcript here: 
Inner City Press: Yesterday, I asked you… and I understand that, when you hear the word "Ban Ki-moon," you're tempted to say "get over it."

Deputy Spokesman:  Indeed I am.
Inner City Press: But I wanted to ask you, the question was and remains… it remains, number one, is any UN system funds being used for his visit to headquarters?  And, number two, since yesterday your "get over it" comment, I learned that Mr. Kim Won-soo, who I understand is still a UN official, has been speaking to the media about Mr. Ban's possible job offer from a university in Massachusetts.  And so I wanted to ask you, in what capacity is Mr. Kim Won-soo speaking for Ban Ki-moon?  And how is it consistent with your position here of "get over it" while there are, in fact, cases in the Southern District and other issues that remain unresolved?

Deputy Spokesman:  Matthew, your inability to get over it speaks for itself.
Inner City Press: There are cases… I'm going to ask you…

Deputy Spokesman:  Matthew.
Inner City Press:  So the nephew case.  I'm just saying, it's un… because it's a question about UN money.

Deputy Spokesman:  I understand… I understand…
Inner City Press: You defended him for ten years to say "get over it"…

Deputy Spokesman:  Matthew, I've known you for a decade, so I know your fundamentally obsessive nature, but here's the point.  Ban Ki-moon is not the Secretary-General of the United Nations.  I do not speak for him.  I do not represent him.  When he travels, he travels as a private individual.  He has to do so on his own budget as a private individual.  He is not a UN official.
Inner City Press: That wasn't my question.  My question was, he said as he left South Korea that he was going to the UN to speak to UN staff.  That's why I think you said "get over it" a little too quickly, because my question is not who paid for his flight.  My question is, in what capacity did he enter UNON [United Nations Office in] Nairobi?  Did he speak to UN staff as he said that he would?  Does Mr. Kim Won-soo still speak for him on the UN dime?

Deputy Spokesman:  He can speak to the UN office in Nairobi as much as he wants as a former Secretary-General of the United Nations.  That is within his rights.
Inner City Press: It's not… I'm not saying it's not within his rights.  I'm saying, don't you answer for UN… the use of UN funds rather than say "get over it"?  Aren't you speaking for the UN?  So Kim Won-soo, when does his contract expire?

Deputy Spokesman:  His contract… we'll let you know once his time is done.  He is the head of the Office for Disarmament Affairs.  He is also capable of speaking about the topics that he wants to talk about.  The job that he does here is about Disarmament Affairs and is not about Ban Ki-moon.
Inner City Press: So he's off the clock when he speaks for Ban Ki-moon?  I'm asking you.

Deputy Spokesman:  Matthew. Matthew, words fail me, your inability to get around things.
Inner City Press: You know there are two corruption cases.  Right?  So it's going to be an ongoing… I just want to put you on notice; there are going to be questions that are going to arise, and saying "get over it" is not cutting it.

Deputy Spokesman:  If there are things about cases that are ongoing, that's fine.  If you want a daily update about what Ban Ki-moon is doing, ask someone else.  It's not my job.  Have a good afternoon, everyone.
  And as Haq walked about, he said "A*hole." This is the UN Ban's made. It must be cleaned up.
From the February 13 UN's transcript.
  The Pacific Century Institute, with board members from KBS and JoongAng Media Group, says it will give Ban an award in Los Angeles on February 23. Despite his flame-out in South Korea and the indictment of his brother Ban Ki Sang and nephew Dennis Bahn for using his and the UN's name to sell real estate, Ban is still presenting himself as a Giant of Asia. For now long?
 Seeking to strike while the iron is still somewhat hot, Ban's aide now brags to Chosun that Harvard's no-show job offer comes with a car and a house. Even on his way to the airport for his nepotism tour, Ban was accompanied according to Yonhap by " Incheon International Airport with Mrs. Yoo Soon-taek, who is accompanied by Mr. Kim Sook-joo, Ambassador to the United Nations Kim Dae-jung, former ambassador to South Korea Kim Bong-hyun." This last berated Inner City Press to cover Ban more favorably - before Ban had Inner City Press evicted and still restricted. Call it a cult of personality. But why would US universities pay for this?
After being exposed for nepotism and corruption, how is former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon trying to rehabilitate himself? His spokesman Lee Do-woon is telling friendly media that Harvard University, even while Ban was still UNSG, offered him a professorship. 
   The Korea Times reports that  "some say the professorship is a 'lifetime position,' while others say it is a 'visiting professorship' that would need to be renewed every year." Are the geniuses at Harvard following the prosecutionof Ban's brother Ban Ki Sang and nephew Dennis Bahn and what's coming out of it? NYU paid attention. Not Harvard?

 The Times has a quote that Ban "received the offer from Harvard Kennedy School toward the end of his term as U.N. chief." Should job offers be made to people still ostensibly working for the UN? Does Harvard routinely do this?