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Syria Ambassador Tells ICP, Who Made Kerry Judge of Secret Evidence?

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, August 30 -- Hours after US Secretary of State John Kerry cited the "verdict reached by our intelligence community about the chemical weapons attack the Assad regime inflicted," Inner City Press asked Syria's Permanent Representative to the UN Bashar Ja'afari what he thought of the US showing.

  Ja'afari exclusively told Inner City Press, "They are lying. They are cornered with the trap they extended themselves. They have no justification. If you have evidence, share it with team of investigation."

  At the day's UN briefing Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesirky if Turkey or the US had shared the evidence they say they have with the UN. Nesirky repeated twice that the Secretary General encourages such sharing, which many take to mean no, the US did not share its evidence. Video here, from Minute 28:22.

  Ja'afari told Inner City Press, "'I have secret information' -- what do you mean? What is that? Who assigned you as the secret judge of secret information, with secret allies?"

  Some allies are not secret: France's Francois Hollande has said he could and would support a military action; Turkey has said the same. With many in the media beating the drums of war, they ask only when Obama will strike, not if. Meanwhile Ban Ki-moon is to meet his High Representative on Disarmament Angela Kane in New York on Saturday, before leaving town again on Tuesday.

  Much is being made of the Syrian government's delay in granting the UN's request for its chemical weapons inspection team to visit al Ghouta.

Inner City Press asked UN spokesperson Farhan Haq at Tuesday's noon briefing when it was that the UN formally requested access to al Ghouta -- on Saturday, August 24 or before? Video here, from Minute 12. Video with captions, on Inner City Press YouTube channel, here and embedded below, with transcript.

Haq read out a press statement from August 22, in which Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said a request is being sent. Then, Haq said, Ban's High Representative on Disarmament Angela Kane "stepped forward with the request" -- on August 24, Saturday.

It was granted the next day.

Inner City Press asked again, was there any formal request by the UN other than Ban's press statement, before August 24? Haq called this "semantics." But when Inner City Press asked Ban's spokespeople to respond to widely circulated press releases about a request being made to Ban, the UN says the actual formal request had not been received yet, and so: no comment. Why should the UN say it must be different for Syria?

How could the UN be so sloppy? Or was it sloppy?

  While the delay to Sunday (or Monday, when the team got out and said, if this YouTube video on which Haq declined comment when Inner City Press asked is not false, that they are not even looking at what type of munition was used in part because they didn't want to put it in their white UN 4 by 4) is now an element in the case for missile strikes, the UN didn't formally ASK until Saturday, in the person of Angela Kane

   Inner City Press covered Kane when she was head of Ban's Department of Management, including an investigation by the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services for favoritism in the UN's so-called UMOJA computer management system.

  When Japan's Yukio Takasu returned after a pause from being his country's Ambassador to the UN to take over Kane's job, Kane's native Germany lobbied for her to get another top UN job. She was offered one in Lebanon, as Inner City Press reported, but did not want it. So she "got" Disarmament.

  This connection must be noted: it was Germany which got Kane this job, in the same way that France installed Herve Ladsous as the fourth French head of UN Peacekeeping in a row, and the US picked Jeffrey Feltman, formerly the State Department's chief on the Middle East to replace B. Lynn Pascoe as Ban's political chief.

  So the fact that Germany has expressed a willingness to join a coalition to strike Syria, without UN Security Council approval, and the Germany's Angela Kane's role in the "UN's" chemical weapons inspection team should be noted.

  But by most media covering the UN, it is not. When Inner City Press even mentions Ladsous' and UN Peacekeeping's French connection, Ladsous refuses to answer questions, and some media, including the French wire service Agence France Presse on one of whose management boards Ladsous served, have even filed complaints with the UN against Inner City Press.

  This is dysfunction, and is now being countered by the Free UN Coalition for Access, @FUNCA_info.

  Another major wire service, Reuters, joined in the second of AFP's complaints. On August 26 Reuters based a piece essentially selling or planning for the legality of military strikes on Syria without Security Council or even General Assembly approval around, as lead, a comment by the Council on Foreign Relations' Richard Haass.

  But on that CFR call, as noted by Inner City Press, was Judith Miller. Given her role during the lead up to the US intervention in Iraq, one might think this would have been included in an overly-long rehash story. But no.

 Notably, Reuters' UN bureau has been shown to have spied for the UN, handing over an internal anti-Press document of the UN Correspondents Association (which under 2013 president Pamela Falk of CBS hosted Syrian rebel Jarba for what it called a "UN briefing") to UN official Stephane Dujarric. Story here, audio here, document here.

This beat just goes on. Watch this site.


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