In July an underreported story suggested the United Nations Human Rights commisioner’s country was on US intelligence radar. Why? The US suspected Taliban fundraising was going on in South Africa. Consider information released over 5 months by WikiLeaks.
Starting with the present, the UN offered a dry political reminder in response to the Thanksgiving WikiLeaks releases. An official UN statement from Farhan Haq, spokesman for Sec.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon, said, “The UN relies on the adherence by Member States to the various undertakings contained in the UN Charter, the Headquarters Agreement and the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the UN.” That word ‘immunities’ is not used lightly.
In October the UN addressed information leaked about the war in Iraq—not the Bush war in Iraq but the Obama war. That statement said, “The files reportedly indicate that the US knew, among other things, about widespread use of torture and ill-treatment of detainees by Iraqi forces, and yet proceeded with the transfer of thousands of persons who had been detained by US forces to Iraqi custody between early 2009 and July 2010. The files also allegedly include information on many undisclosed instances in which US forces killed civilians at checkpoints and during operations.”
That October statement was issued by Navi Pillay, UN high commissioner who oversees human rights.
Pillay is from South Africa.
After a WikiLeaks summer release, South Africa was on the US intel radar—the Canadian Broadcasting Center (CBC) News reported that curiosity. Americans might have been very interested in it. A story published in July disclosed: “The United States asked Canada in 2007 to apply diplomatic pressure to Saudi Arabia and South Africa over alleged Taliban fundraising in the countries...”
Saudia Arabia fundraisers are no surprise considering the country’s powerful theocrats. But South Africa harboring Taliban fundraisers would come as a suprise to most of us.
The sheer size of the UN figures into the equation. The Secretariat alone has 44,000 staff members in offices around the world. That constitutes an awesome bureaucracy.
In July the UN had a leak of its own—an internal memo by outgoing under secretary-general for the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS). According to a UN statement, “The memo called into question Secretary-General Ban’s leadership abilities, and sharply criticized many United Nations policies and procedures.”
It’s ironic that just as leftwingers have created a government in the U.S. that is almost impossible to oversee in a responsible manner because it is so large, leftwingers and socialists have done the same thing with the UN.
The July WikiLeaks release was significant. CBC News said, “According to the 2007 cable, American diplomats spoke with two senior Canadian Foreign Affairs officials, including senior director Yves Beaulieu and policy adviser Georges Flanagan Whalen, in their appeal for the Harper government to join the Bush administration in issuing a joint diplomatic ‘demarche’ — or rebuke — to Saudi Arabia and South Africa.”
Suspicions about the Taliban fundraisers weren’t new. CBC said of the leaked memo, “But the document suggests both Canadian and U.S. officials have harboured suspicions for several years of alleged militant fundraising activities in South Africa — a Commonwealth country and recent host of the 2010 World Cup soccer tournament.”
A story in the Guardian (UK) on Monday carried the header ‘UN seeks answers from Washington.’ Judging the series of leaks published by WikiLeaks, maybe Washington should seek answers from the UN.
[Analysis by Kay B. Day/Nov. 30, 2010]