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On Syria Rebels' Sarin, Del Ponte Undercut by US & UN, Ban's Team Not Interested?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 6 -- As we predicted this morning, but even faster, the UN and the US distanced themselves from the statement of UN Human Rights Council appointee Carla Del Ponte of strong suspicions of the use of sarin gas by the Syrian opposition, not the government.

  At Monday's UN noon briefing, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesirky if Ban's prober Ake Sellstrom would at least look at the evidence Del Ponte cited from "victims, doctors and field hospitals" in neighboring countries.

  Nesirky told Inner City Press, " I would simply refer you to what the Commission of Inquiry said in its press release," which he summarized as "clarifying that it has not reached conclusive findings about the use of chemical weapons in Syria by any parties to the conflict. And, as a result, the Commission said it is not in a position to further comment on the allegations at this time."

It's one thing for this UN "Independent International Commission of Inquiry" to not have public comment -- but shouldn't two arms of the UN, the Commission and Sellstrom's team, as least share evidence?

  In Washington, Obama administration spokesman Jay Carney said, "We are highly skeptical of any suggestions that the opposition used chemical weapons. We think it highly likely that Assad regime was responsible but we have to be sure about the facts before we make any decisions about a response."

  In terms of US public opinion, and a survey as scientific as Sellstrom's has been to date, Inner City Press was a guest on several radio shows on Monday, ranging across the US from Chicago to the Arizona, Nevada and California tri-state area up to Pacifica's Flashpoints in San Francisco.

  These stations, including the one covering Arizona, wanted to question Senator John McCain; the Chicago station was a defender of President Barack Obama.

  But it's strange, about the Obama administration: they were fast Monday to criticize or disbelieve UN official Carla Del Ponte, but they have been slow to criticize the UN for, as simple one example exposed by Inner City Press, allowing a UN-accredited NGO to auction off an internship "in the UN" for $26,000. Watch this site.

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