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At UN, Hillary Takes Hand-Picked Qs About Deleted Emails, Gration in the Can

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 10, updated -- Once Hillary Clinton chose the UN as the backdrop for her press availability to address email-gate, the UN Security Council media stakeout area began to fill up.

 Questions included, isn't it the government which is supposed to review what is public and private in a government official's email? (See, for example, this FOIA response with cell phone numbers redacted.)

   Awaiting Hillary, the UN moved the flags of the 15 Security Council members to the side, in front of the replica of Picasso's Guernica. But the blue sheet saying “Security Council” remained.

      From an ill-attended press conference about women in parliaments, at which the front row middle seats were blocked off with a signs, “Andrea Mitchell” and “NBC,” Inner City Press passed through the glass turnstiles to the stakeout.

 The aforementioned Andrea Mitchell was already there in front. Incongruously an officer of what's called the UN Correspondents Association was also in front, getting whispered to. BuzzFeed needless to say was in the (Glass) House, as were a number of TV faces.

  The speeches in the Economic and Social Council chamber continued, from English into German, much praise of corporations and their work for women's rights. When it was over, Hillary Clinton and entourage came to the stakeout, which hushed.

   After some opening remarks about Beijing + 20 and the 47 Senators' letter said to only help Iran, Hillary turned to her emails - and for the first pre-selected questions, conveniently, to the UN Correspondents Association, which offered thanks and, predictably, a softball.

Update: UNCA later told "In the Loop" that by tradition it gets the first question. For the UN Security Council stakeout, where Hillary Clinton spoke, that is entirely untrue. (Even in the sit-down UN Press Briefing Room, where Clinton did not appear, this "set-aside" is contested.

   It would be worth examining with whom this first UNCA (softball) question for Hillary Clinton was arranged...

   (Inner City Press quit this UNCA after their board tried to demand changes or removal from the Internet of articles about Sri Lanka and conflicts of interest, among other topics, then co-founded the new Free UN Coalition for Access which presses, as relevant here, for a UN Freedom of Information Act.)

   Questions started getting somewhat better: why did Hillary delete what she called private emails? A journalist tried to ask about Ambassador Scott Gration, reportedly fired for similarly evading the Federal Records Act, but the journalist got shouted down.

   Inner City Press, tweeting and Vining in the back, started shouting “Scott Gration” during each brief lull. At the end Hillary Clinton said to go online and read the inspector general's report (and yes, there is more: Gration working off Gmail in a bathroom in the Nairobi embassy, here.)

   A UN true believer complained that the press didn't call about gender equality, only email-gate. But it was Hillary who chose this venue, and who chose the questions, at least the first one. This may not end well. Watch this site.


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