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In State Dep't Shutdown Spin, Was Power in Africa Too Cheap to Tweet?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 11 -- How much does it cost for a US government employee to tweet?

  A claim has been made today that Ambassador Samantha Power and the US Mission to the UN stopped tweeting on October 2 as part of making difficult choices during the government shutdown.

  But we must note: from October 3 to 9, Ambassador Power was on a French-led UN Security Council trip in Africa. She was working, and one assumes that France didn't pick up ALL the bills. So government funds are being spent. How much does it cost to tweet?

  Not noted by sycophants is the controversy, or fact, that Samantha Power does not send her own tweets. She is a thinker and author, of course, there is no question she can write. But at the 92nd Street Y just before the UN General Debate, she acknowledged that she did not even know her own Twitter handle.

  After Inner City Press reported that, it was explained that her tweets are processed and proofread by others, and Inner City Press immediately added it to the story. But it put her non-tweeting while on a trip in Africa without (all) her staff in a context the sycophants should have noted (as well as @USUN's post-trip tweet sent hours before publication of the spin.)

  This, too: the US has postponed the review of its record by the UN Human Rights Council until at earliest March 2014, citing the shutdown. The Obama administration and Ambassador Donahoe in Geneva have said a lot about the HRC. To ask for this kind of deferral, while it has been said that State Department can operate more or less unchanged, is strange.

  At a rally on Capitol Hill on October 10, Bob Silverman of American Foreign Service Assoc said shutdown hurts -- but cites only the Commerce Department, not the State Department.

 We'd like to know more about this, but timely questions Inner City Press sent to the US Mission about a credited exclusive story it wrote about the Security Council's (and Power's) Africa trip while having been excluded from it by France have yet to be answered. Maybe it's the shutdown. Watch this site.


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