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UN Retreat to Syria Hotel Rooms, 10 Hours After Exposed by ICP, Confirmed

By Matthew Russell Lee, Follow up on Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, June 16,updated 11:55 am -- Friday night before 10 pm New York times Inner City Press exclusively reported that the UN mission in Syria had "moved to a posture of presence in all Team Sites and in Damascus headquarters, limiting mobile activities."

Having confirmed the veracity of the memo with Security Council diplomats, Inner City Press opined "to some, this seems like the beginning of the end."

At that time, Inner City Press put online an exclusive-must-credit attachment, here, Ban Ki-moon's "Note on the Operations of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria" submitted to the Security Council"on behalf of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations," with its fourth French leader in a row, Herve Ladsous.

  Inner City Press tweeted its exclusive, and to be sure sent notifications to the chiefs of two large wire services: Matthew Winkler of Bloomberg News, and at Reuters, Stephen J. Adler plus three. Beyond previously uncredited use by both organizations of Inner City Press exclusives about for example the US State Department and the UN, there is another, after-arising reason: their UN correspondents are trying to get Inner City Press kicked out of the UN, click here.

Eight hours after publishing the memo, Inner City Press wrote to Kofi Annan's spokesman Ahmad Fawzi, who since May 23 has not responded to any of Inner City Press' questions, which he used to

"seeking your comment, on the record, for a follow up, also exclusive (meaning, please respond first to this InnerCityPress request on this, which I see nowhere else online or in Google News, which we've previously discussed. How would you describe what does this means, to the JSE's mission? What do the JSE want to happen now? How it is related to General Mood's upcoming in-person briefing?"

  Having no response from Fawzi, Inner City Press submitted essentially the same questions (requesting the response of Ban Ki-moon and his Herve Ladsous, not of Kofi Annan) to five UN spokespeople. Still, no response from any of them.

  Then Fawzi replied to Inner City Press, thusly:

From: Ahmad Fawzi <>
Date: Sat, Jun 16, 2012 at 7:54 AM
Subject: Re: Hi, Press Q re Syria Note of UNSMIS "limiting mobile activities" for (2d) exclusive, thanks
To: "Matthew Russell Lee [at]

You have already sent these questions to Martin Nesirky; Farhan Haq; Eduardo Del Buey; and Vannina Maestracci. I am also aware that the UNSMIS Spokesperson will issue a statement today. Thanks. AF

Fourteen minutes after Fawzi's belated response to Inner City Press' questions and ten-hour old exclusive, the following was sent out to "undisclosed recipients"

Statement attributable to the Head of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria, General Robert Mood

In this high risk situation, UNSMIS is suspending its activities. UN observers will not be conducting patrols and will stay in their locations until further notice. Engagement with the Parties will be restricted.

This suspension will be reviewed on a daily basis. Operations will resume when we see the situation fit for us to carry out our mandated activities.

Sausan Ghosheh, Spokesperson and Chief Public Information Office UNSMIS

  Why did the UN, General Mood and DPKO think they could turn in such a notice to all Security Council members and it would not be reported for so long?

  Why didn't Fawzi simply answer the questions, rather than hide behind the excuse Inner City Press' understandable re-submission of the questions to spokespeople who have, however unwillingly, given the Press answers since May 23? Instead, there was a belated (especially given the time difference) rush to make the contents of the notice public to "undisclosed recipients"? (Fawzi for some reason re-resent this out at 11:50 am).

  We have noted that Fawzi stopped answering Inner City Press questions, as did Herve Ladsous, simultaneous with the move to expel Inner City Press initiated by five big media (including Agence France Presse, Al-Arabiya and Voice of America, using US tax dollars) and thir UN Correspondents Association President, Giampaolo Pioli of Poligrafici Editoriale who rented his apartment to a senior UN official turned Sri Lanka Ambassador, and gave campaign contributions to US politicians he ostensibly objectively covers, while theatening to sue ICP.

  The UN itself has reneged on extending Inner City Press' accreditation, now charging Inner City Press with "misconduct" for signing in as a guest the Yemeni Nobel Prize winner Tawakkol Karman.

An influential Twitter follower of Inner City Press -- one who has accused Inner City Press of "drinking Ja'afari juice" referring to Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Ja'afari -- tweeted:

I hate it when you tweet endlessly about how you broke something first but I'll grant you this:

You got Mood's letter a good half-day before the rest. :-)

Watch this site.

Update of 11:50 am June 16 -- so despite the 10:48 pm notice to Stephen J. Adler of Reuters, his company wrote after Mood's statement without credit, re-tweeted by UN correspondent Louis Charbonneau:

At Bloomberg News, despite the 10:44 pm notice of scoop to Matthew Winkler, his company ran the story off Mood's statement, too, no credit.

So too did Voice of America: no credit 9:09 am tweet by Margareet Besheer, followed by a VOA "blog," no credit. US taxpayer dollars at "work."

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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