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Somalia Scam, Weeks After ICP Asked, UN Admits DNA Sharing to Scribe

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 7 -- On June 22, Inner City Press published an exclusive story about UN Mine Action chief in Mogadishu David Bax sharing information with US intelligence, here.

On June 24, Inner City Press asked Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Office of the Spokesperson for an answer from UN Peacekeeeping chief Herve Ladsous, Dmitry Titov and the head of UNMAS about

"a detailed complaint from an UNMAS whistleblower in Somalia that the head of UNMAS in Somalia provided genetic information from bombings to [United States] intelligence agencies and also moves around Mogadishu with armed guards from that group, Denel, that we were talking about.I also e-mailed several of them and asked for a comment; I haven’t received anything."

Answer: Well, we’ll have to check on that for you, Matthew, we’ll check with DPKO [Department of Peacekeeping Operations].

In the weeks that followed, Inner City Press put the question to UN envoy to Somalia Nicholas Kay -- who referred the question back "to New York" and to Ban's spokesperson Martin Nesirky.

  Inner City Press got more information and published it. But no response from Ladsous or his lead spokesperson Kieran Dwyer, nor from Ban's spokesperson Martin Nesirky.

  After the Free UN Coalition for Access raised the question, the UN on June 26 told Inner City Press:

Subject: Your questions on Somalia.
From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply [at]
Date: Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 9:43 AM
To: Matthew Russell Lee [at]

The Department of Peacekeeping Operations does not discuss internal communications or emails received with media correspondents.

  Now Dwyer has provided an answer -- to Colum Lynch of "Turtle Bay," Foreign Policy and the for-now Jeff Bezos / Amazon owned Washington Post. (Is he not a "media correspondent?) This without any notice to Inner City Press, either by DPKO or Ban's Spokesperson's office.

  Dwyer claimed, on camera, that he and his office do answer Inner City Press questions. Video here. Dwyer acknowledged that Ladsous refuses to answer Inner City Press questions (apparently in response to Inner City Press asking him about his public and leaked statements as France's Deputy Permanent Representative at the UN during the Rwanda genocide, arguing for the escape of genocidaires into Eastern Congo, or Inner City Press' coverage of Ladsous' drones).

  But this is false. Inner City Press asked this question on June 24, in public, transcript here. And Ban's Spokesperson's office said they would ask DPKO. Then, weeks later, DPKO gave a canned answer to Colum Lynch.

 This has happened before. As simply one example, Inner City Press pursued the murder of a UN Security officer in Afghanistan, Louis Maxwell, in a series of either stories, quoting his relatives that the UN was engaged in a cover up

 Then the UN decided to respond to the scandal, not by answering Inner City Press' question, but by calling up their go-to Turtle.

 Later, Lynch commiserated with Louis Charbonneau of Reuters, how unfair Inner City Press was. Charbonneau would go on, at least three times now, to try to get Inner City Press thrown out of the UN -- including by leaking internal anti-Press UNCA document to the UN's top accreditation official three minutes after promising not to do so. Story here, audio here, document here.

 Inner City Press exposed this, with documents obtained under FOIA from Voice of America. It was covered by, among others, the Guardian UK -- but not by Lynch. He explains:

"Why haven’t I written about your disputes with UNCA and the UN administration, of which there have been many. I have thought about weighing in on it. But given the complexities of your relationship with UNCA and the administration I’ve resisted the temptation of writing a hasty story. I simply have not been able to justify the commitment in labor – which in my view would require a major investment of reporting time, including reviews of thousands of your blog posts—to writing a lengthier piece. There are a lot of more impactful stories I don’t write because I can’t devote the time to it."

   So Lynch never reported for example that the head of UN Peacekeeping openly refuses to answer Inner City Press questions. He benefits from this.

  We have more to say about all this -- including a rebuttal of the attempt to rehabilitate Bax. For example:

  It's reported that "Bax established a relationship with the FBI to provide the Somalis with expertise on maintaining the integrity of the chain of evidence when handling bomb material" and then that "a senior official at U.N. headquarters insisted that the United Nations does not directly share evidence with the United States or other governments." This must be explained - in public.

The rehabilitation of Bax's corrupt running of the camp is laughable. Source: "he put everyone lives at direct risk for that."

On all levels, this is unacceptable. Watch this site - and this video


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