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Brit Hume Sinks to New Lows in "War on the UN"

Reported by Janie - January 4, 2007 -

Thought the rabid right's hatred for the UN would end with Kofi Annan's Administration? Think again. "Special Report" proved last night (1/3) that the "War on the UN" will continue with the new Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, after he appointed a non-American as Undersecretary General for Management.

Brit Hume introduced the segment, showing his bias from the start, "After the much criticized reign of Kofi Annan at the United Nations, could we have seen today the first strike against the new Secretary Ban Ki-Moon? Ban has named an ally of Annan's administration to a key post at the UN, and correspondent David Lee Miller has the story."

DLM: "Business as usual at the United Nations."

Michele Montas (UN Spokeswoman): "The Secretary General has decided to appoint Ms. Alicia Bárcena of Mexico the Undersecretary General for Management."

DLM: "After days of rumors and speculation, a UN spokeswoman made it official. Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon's Undersecretary for Administration and Management will be Kofi Annan's former Chief of Staff, Alicia Bárcena.

In her new job, Bárcena will oversee virtually all money matters at the United Nations. The post has historically been given to an American. The US, which funds nearly a quarter of the UN budget, has a vested interest in seeing who heads up the Management office."

Comment: Miller shows right from the start why Fox and the right are so upset, and why this development even garnered another anti-UN story: because Fox, ever the cry-baby, thinks an American should have gotten the job. Next thing you know, they'll want to take their ball and go home.

Miller continued, "Critics say, if Secretary Ban wants to make good on his efforts to rehabilitate the UN's reputation of corruption, Bárcena is too closely aligned to the previous administration."

Anne Bayefsky (eyeontheun.org): "What we want to see in order to increase accountability and transparency from the UN is new faces, and if the Secretary General is going back to the old guard of Kofi Annan or his cronies, than that raises some serious questions."

Comment: Well, well, well. Fox found a critic to say something bad about the UN! But who exactly is Eyeontheun.org?

According to their website, Eyeontheun is a "project of the Hudson Institute."

The Hudson Institute, as I'm sure most of you have already guessed, is a far-right think tank based in Washington DC. They receive funding from far-right groups such as the Castle Rock Foundation (A Coors Family Venture), the John M. Olin Foundation (who funds AEI and the Heritage Foundation), the Scaife Foundation, and the Walton Family Fund (of Wal-mart fame). They also receive funding from corporations including Exxon Mobile and Monsanto.

Their Board of Trustees, fellows and staff all feature an interesting cast of characters including Conrad Black, Norman Podhoretz, Richard Perle, Robert Bork, Francis Fukuyama, and good old Scooter Libby. A virtual who's who of the PNAC crowd.

How very "fair and balanced" of Fox.

Miller went on, "Sure to be further examined, Bárcena's close ties to former UN Advisor, Morris Strong. Critics say, Strong was her mentor. Although, not charged with any wrongdoing, Strong resigned his UN post under a cloud of suspicion during the Oil-for-Food scandal.

Critics also question if Bárcena has the financial expertise for her new job. Bárcena is replacing Christopher Burnham, a former investment banker who previously served as an Assistant US Secretary of State, and the Treasurer for the state of Connecticut.

In the wake of the Oil-for-Food scandal, Burnham overhauled UN procedures, by adopting public sector accounting standards and helping to establish a UN ethics office.

Bárcena, meanwhile, a biologist by training, has focused much of her career on environmental issues. But according to a UN spokeswoman, she has what it takes to fulfill the agenda of the new UN boss."

Comment: Nice of Miller to mention Bárcena's degree in Biology, but conveniently leave out her Masters in Administration (which, you know - makes her a bit more suitable for the job) from Harvard.

Miller finished, "Although the US says it had a strong candidate for the UN Management position, there was not a great deal of disappointment at being rejected. There are now expectations that an American will be chosen for the highly visible UN position of Undersecretary for Political Affairs. A final decision is expected within weeks."

This segment had absolutely no purpose other than to serve as a vehicle to bash the UN, with no reason or substance whatsoever. Fox seems upset that an American didn't receive a particular job at the UN, and this pathetic whine is the whole basis of this report.

Just another biased, hatchet job by Don Juan de Hume.