UN official worked on Kerry's campaign


Benny Avni of the New York Sun has yet another scoop in covering the UN. The New York Times must find this rather emabarrassing, considering their once—upon—a—time status as the newspaper of record. The biggest financial scandal in the history of the world, taking place in a New York—based institution, with the highest profile imaginable. And the Times is consistently outdone by an upstart broadsheet with a fraction of its resources. Hmm, what do you suppose the problem might be?

The United Nations is investigating whether a senior official at one of its agencies, Justin Leites, violated U.N. rules and the organization's spirit of international neutrality by taking a paid leave of absence last year to work as a Kerry—Edwards presidential campaign official in his home state of Maine.

The investigation at the United Nations Development Program, a well funded program that oversees distribution of aid in developing countries and operates around the globe, calls into question the significance of the circle of Americans with ties to the Democratic Party that surrounds Secretary—General Annan at the top level of U.N. management.

Twelve UNDP staff members filed an official complaint with the internal investigative arm of UNDP. The document alleges that involvement by the agency's internal communication chief, Mr. Leites, in Senator Kerry's presidential campaign places election advisers and other U.N. operatives worldwide in jeopardy.

Hat tip: Ed Lasky

Thomas Lifson  5 05 05