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At UN on Wikileaks, Ban in Glass Houses Won't Throw 1st Stone, Korea Spying “Legitimate”

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 3 -- While at the UN public speakers Thursday tried to put the Wikileaks scandal behind them, UN officials more quietly told Inner City Press of their concerns. While the UN ostensibly reports to all 192 member states, there are initiatives undertaken by the Executive Office of the Secretary General which are mandated neither by the Security Council nor the General Assembly.

Ban Ki-moon for example has a particular interest in the Korean peninsula. Early in his term, Inner City Press obtained a copy of an internal memo about how the UN should use its “advantage” to become a central player on the peninsula. Later Ban's senior advisor Kim Won-soo, among with UN political chief Lynn Pascoe, went to North Korea and provided a cursory readout upon their return.

More recently, a document emerged about an upcoming December 6 Policy Committee meeting about the Korean Peninsula. When Inner City Press asked about it, Ban's acting Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq said the memo had somehow not been seen by any senior Ban administration official.

  Just as he has refused to provide Inner City Press with any requested information about the frequent flyer miles retained by Ban, Pascoe and USG Alain Le Roy, Haq refused to answer if a meeting would still take place on December 6.

Several officials and diplomats used Ban's Korean initiatives as an example of something a state might “want to spy on,” even “legitimately” as one UN official put it.

UN's Ban and his CITO Choi, in the Glass House, spying not shown

As to why Ban has not fought back more strenuously against the directive signed by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that his and UN Under Secretaries Generals', SRSGs' and force commanders' e-mail passwords and frequent flyer miles account numbers be collected, it was pointed out to Inner City Press from UN sources that under Ban's Chief Information Technology Officer Mr. Choi, these officials believe that all of their communications and computers are surveilled by the Ban administration.

One well placed official asked rhetorically, “How can Ban complain about being spied on if he is spying himself?” Watch this site.

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Wikileaks Buzz from Turkey to UN, But Ban Quiet with Clinton, Assange as Terrorist?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 1 -- As the new Wikileaks of US State Department cables were the buzz at the UN on Wednesday, from Sri Lanka war crimes to Russia's “Mafia state,” the UN Secretariat did all it could to dodge questions about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's directive that the UN and its officials be spied on.

But at a Turkish Mission reception on Wednesday evening, a European Ambassador told Inner City Press that the leaks were going to cause trouble within countries all over the world. “Why did the US distribute these cables so widely?” he asked. “When I have information, I write only to my minister and his chief of staff, no one else.”

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to sue the American diplomats who cabled home that Erdogan has secret bank accounts in Switzerland. But well placed sources tell Inner City Press that the origin of the Swiss bank detail is the “Turkish minister who covers the European Union process.”

  So maybe the lawsuit, if there is one, should be filed in Turkey itself.

  After Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met with Clinton in Astana, the UN said only that “they discussed... the complications caused by the recent massive leak of US diplomatic cables.”

  Inner City Press asked the UN's Counter-Terrorism Executive Director Mike Smith about calls to designate Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange as part of a “Foreign Terrorist Organization.” Video here, from Minute 17:40.

Erdogan & Kerim, once & future UN? Inner City Press scoop here

  Smith said he would “leave it up to the countries that are talking about that to work it out through these systems, I'm not going to comment on that.” Of course, it is within Smith's and the UN's stated job to speak on the misuse of terrorism laws and designations.

Footnote: beyond Ban Ki-moon's meeting with Hillary Clinton, the UN on Wednesday afternoon confirmed to Inner City Press what it had asked about Ban's meeting with South Korea's foreign minister. Yes they met, including about two conferences in Seoul. But there was apparently no meeting with Ukraine's president, despite Ukrainian press reports that there would be.

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 24 STATE 080163

NOFORN, SIPDIS, E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/31/2034




¶1. (S/NF) This cable provides the full text of the new National HUMINT Collection Directive (NHCD) on the United Nations (paragraph 3-end) as well as a request for continued DOS reporting of biographic information relating to the United Nations (paragraph 2).

...Reporting officers should include as much of the following information as possible when they have information relating to... credit card account numbers; frequent flyer account numbers; work schedules, and other relevant biographical information.

...Information about current and future use of communications systems and technologies by officials or organizations, including cellular phone networks, mobile satellite phones, very small aperture terminals (VSAT), trunked and mobile radios, pagers, prepaid calling cards, firewalls, encryption, international connectivity, use of electronic data interchange, Voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP), Worldwide interoperability for microwave access (Wi-Max), and cable and fiber networks.


 Click here for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters footage, about civilian deaths in Sri Lanka.

Click here for Inner City Press' March 27 UN debate

Click here for Inner City Press March 12 UN (and AIG bailout) debate

Click here for Inner City Press' Feb 26 UN debate

Click here for Feb. 12 debate on Sri Lanka

Click here for Inner City Press' Jan. 16, 2009 debate about Gaza

Click here for Inner City Press' review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate

Click here for Inner City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger

Click here from Inner City Press' December 12 debate on UN double standards

Click here for Inner City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics

and this October 17 debate, on Security Council and Obama and the UN.

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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

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