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As Karzai Visits US, More Questions of Who Killed Louis Maxwell Raised by Sister: An Inconvenient Death

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 9 -- An inconvenient death casts a shadow, at least for some, over this week's visit to the U.S. by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and over the UN.

  The murder of American UN staffer Louis Maxwell in October 2009, following an attack on a UN guesthouse of international elections workers in Kabul, has belatedly been described by the UN as "friendly fire."

   But a cell phone video suggests, and Mr. Maxwell's sister among others believes, that Maxwell was summarily executed by Afghan National forces after the firefight was over. The UN never retracted its version, that Maxwell and four other UN staff were all killed by the Taliban, until the video became public and questions became to be asked, including by Inner City Press.

See cell phone video, here, esp. at Minute 1:01 to 1:04

  Maxwell's sister over the weekend wrote to Inner City Press for a third time, now putting into words the doubt that the Taliban were (solely) responsible for the attack on the UN guesthouse. She focuses on the conflict of interest the UN has, in confining itself to an internal investigation -- which it described as external and independent -- and then refusing to release a copy of its report, even to the family.

  But the U.S., too, has a conflict, as a press conference call by Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute on May 7 shows. Lute repeatedly described Karzai as "our partner" and spoke about the training and evaluation of Afghan National forces. (Lute is, as Inner City Press has reported, the husband of former head of the UN Department of Field Support Jane Holl Lute.)

   Karzai's pre-trip Washingotn Post op-ed says he will "convey my deepest condolences to families of those who lost their lives in Afghanistan." Lute and his staffer emphasized that Karzai will spend three full hours with Obama. In all that time, will the matter of Louis Maxwell be raised? Inner City Press was on the press call and put itself in the question cue as soon as it was open, but was not able to ask the question. But the questions will continue. Below is Louis Maxwell's third letter to Inner City Press (click here for 2nd)

Karzai and UN's Ban, public and credible report on Maxwell's death not shown

Subject: Who Benefited?
rom: aijalon
Date: Sun, May 9, 2010 at 3:39 PM
To: Matthew Lee [at]

* Around October 20, 2009, Kai Eide the top UN official of the mission affirmed that the August 20 elections had been tainted. It was stated that about one to five of the votes should be discounted and that most of the election fraud came from Karzai supporters.

* On October 28 the UN guesthouse was attacked. The same guesthouse where UN monitors for this same election was staying.

* After the attack it is stated by top UN officials that senior afghan officials were uncooperative in providing information and that they(UN) were completely stonewalled.

* On November 1 the runoff candidate to Karzai drops out of the election race,

* On November 7 Karzai is declared president.

* And this is the same government that Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon wants to investigate their deliberate killing(murder) of my brother Louis Maxwell

You be the judge....

Watch this site.

* * *

UN Withheld Execution Video Report from Louis Maxwell's Family, Sister Says

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 7 -- As questions mount about the UN's investigation of the murder of its staff member Louis Maxwell in Afghanistan last October, and even about how the UN has engaged with Maxwell's family, his sister has written Inner City Press a second letter. [Click here for the first.]

  In it, she states that it was only in March when the UN told Maxwell's mother that his murder was caught on video tape. Of the tape, she notes as Inner City Press did that as Maxwell is shot and killed, the Afghan National forces next to him do not flinch or look up.

  See cell phone video, here, esp. at Minute 1:01 to 1:04

  Maxwell was executed, but as a cover up the UN is declaring that he was shot at long range, and that it was the long range shot that killed him. Despite Maxwell's own sister's request, the UN has not released any part of its Board of Inquiry report. His sister writes, if a "US soldier had done what they did to by brother that US soldier would have been court martialed."

On May 5, Inner City Press asked the UN spokesman:

Question: And on Afghanistan, Louis Maxwell’s sister has contacted me with some concerns about the investigation and the report, among others, saying and I just would like, I understand, I guess you’re not going to release the report, but maybe you can find out if this is the case of not. She contends that, in the fire-fight and afterwards, among other things, he was wearing shorts, which she thinks is inconsistent with him being mistaken as one of these attackers. She also says… It was unclear to me given the statements made from her of how much the UN is briefing Mr. Maxwell’s family. Does that include this sister, Ms. Muhammad? Because she is somehow not convinced by the reports.

Spokesperson: I don’t have here and now a list of the family members who have been briefed. I do know, and you also heard Ms. [Susana] Malcorra say that the family members have been briefed regularly throughout. Not just briefed, but supported, and spoken to, visited regularly, throughout this. As I say, precisely who, I do not know. So, we’d need to find out. I don’t know the answer to that right now.

[The Spokesperson later said that, among others, the United Nations has been in touch with Latanya Ginn, the mother of Louis Maxwell’s son.]

Here is Louis Maxwell's sister's second letter

Subject: Re: Louis Maxwell
From: aijalon
Date: Thu, May 6, 2010
To: Matthew Lee [at]

Thank you for writing back to me and posing the question(s) to the UN... My brother has on either dark blue or black shorts. As a matter of fact he was wounded by the humvee and on all four when he is trying to stand back up his when he is shot. He was not in high ready mode but in low ready mode. His gun was not even drawn. I can even accept the fact of friendly fire for wounding him but his death I saw is murder. If a US soldier had done what they did to by brother that US soldier would have been court martialed.

Ms. Ellen Murphy who just retired from the UN, I must say has been the one who really stays in contact with my mother. They have only made one additional visit besides the funeral to see my parents and that was back in March when we were told about the fact there was a video showing my brother's death. Ms. Susana Malcorra just made contact with my mother in April.

UN's Ban in Kabul 2009, video not shown

I have e-mailed my concerns regarding my brother's death. At how the afghan guard who is standing in front of my brother when he is shot does not even flinch or even goes to high ready mode. So if they are saying or trying to say that an insurgent or threat is who shot my brother then why when the shots were fired the afghan police did not even draw his gun to his shoulder. I have even said that we the family deserve the right to know what is written in the board of inquiry report and honestly I would like to see the actually report but I have not been given a response to my request. I am very angry and hurt with how all of this going and know that it cannot bring back my brother but I want justice. Someone has to be the voice for Louis....

  At the UN's May 7 noon briefing, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Martin Nesirky to confirm or deny that the UN had delayed from at latest January until March in informing Mr. Maxwell's family about the video of his murder, and to explain it. Watch this site.

* * *

Cover-Up Alleged by Sister of UN's Louis Maxwell: Murdered in Kabul Wearing Shorts, Appearing to be a Taliban?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 5 -- We get many letters to the editor, here at Inner City Press. But some merit their own article, we feel. Like this one, concerning the murder of UN staff member Louis Maxwell in Afghanistan last October, which numerous UN staff and now, it seems, his sister feel was mishandled and "covered up" by the UN:

Subject: Louis Maxwell
From: Aijalon
Date: Tue, May 4, 2010 at 8:28 AM
To: matthew.lee [at]

Hello Mr. Matthew

My name is Aijalon and I am the sister of Louis Maxwell. First let me commend you on your diligent journalism regarding the facts into the true death of my brother. I truly feel that if this video was not made, we the family and the world would not know what really happened to my brother. I yes have seen the video because I needed to know what really happened to my brother.

The last piece you did concerning my brother has truly made me even more angry and makes me believe that from the beginning it was the intentions of my brother's death not to be made public. All I can is wow.

My brother Louis and Jay as we called him did what he was trained to do and that was to protect and serve this organization and defend it by any necessary means on that dreaded day. I truly hope that this same organization will defend his death the same way by any means necessary. Besides I have never heard of an insurgent (Taliban) wearing shorts which is what my brother had on.

Mr. Matthew when we went to bed on October 27, 2009, our parents had a son I had a brother and my two nephews Malik Maxwell (age seven years old) and Nasir Maxwell (age eleven months old) had a father but when we awoke on October 28, 2009, I became our parents only child and my two nephews to were left fatherless.


  The UN has repeatedly said that it has been briefing the family of Louis Maxwell, has implied that Inner City Press should not keep inquiring into the irregularities of his death and the UN's subsequent actions, or requesting the actual Board of Inquiry report or even the names of those who prepared it.

S-G at UN in Kabul in 2009, UN's 2010 "cover up" leaves Maxwell sister troubled

  At a "World Press Freedom Day" event held at the UN on May 3, with the ironic theme of Freedom of Information, in the presence of UN spokesman Martin Nesirky, Inner City Press asked why the UN doesn't have a Freedom of Information requirement under which most or all reports like that on the death of UN staff member Louis Maxwell would be released.

  While the journalism professor the UN had invited to speak agreed such a policy is needed, none of the UN officials present, including the spokesman, responded as to the report. Watch this site.

And see cell phone video, here, esp. at Minute 1:01 to 1:04

 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.

* * *

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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