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On Syria, As NATO SG Brags of Convincing Evidence, Not Shared with UN's Ban?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 2 -- Which Secretary General gets the Syria chemical weapons evidence now being talked about so publicly -- the UN's or NATO's?

  On September 1 Inner City Press asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesirky if the hair and blood sample evidence US Secretary of State John Kerry was talking about had been shared with the UN.

Nesirky said he didn't know.

  On September 2 another Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen of NATO announced that "I have been presented with concrete information and, without going into details, I can tell you that personally I am convinced, not only that a chemical attack has taken place, but I am also convinced that the Syrian regime is responsible."

  Putting aside for the moment whether is it NATO's Rasmussen's role to be publicly ruling on evidence "without going into detail," it is striking that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon either didn't get the US' evidence, or wouldn't disclose that he had. (Previously, Nesirky did confirm to Inner City Press the receipt of other evidence.)

  When Ban Ki-moon signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NATO, there were questions from Russia and others if this was appropriate. (Then, NATO and not the UN was given a role in a plan for Libya that Inner City Press exclusively put online.)

 The UN declined to make public or even summarize its MOU with NATO.  It and UN agreements like it should be made public; the new Free UN Coalition for Access @FUNCA_info is and will be pushing for this.

  Here's a question: under the MOU, shouldn't Rasmussen of NATO share with Ban Ki-moon this supposedly convincing evidence -- especially if the UN won't or can't say if the US has?

  Returning to NATO itself, why would Rasmussen interject himself as an individuals into this question of evidence, pending now before the US Congress and, at least in UN-world, on hold while the samples collected in Syria are running through European labs, with two Syrian government representatives in toe? Where is the accountability for Rasmussen? Watch this site.


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