Matthew Russell Lee
Inner City Press
March 22, 2008

UNITED NATIONS, March 21 — In the week of Osama Bin Laden’s first message of 2008, Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson Michele Montas was asked if Osama Bin Laden “comes to visit the Secretary-General, would he meet him?” Rather than no, Ms. Montas said “this is a hypothetical question.” Never say never…

Meanwhile, the reclusive head of the UN’s Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate Michael Smith briefed the Security Council this week about the mandate of his office. Afterwards, while reporters expected him to finally take questions at the Council’s stakeout microphone, Smith sped down the hall with a broad hat on. Inner City Press gave chase, and asked for his view of the balance of human rights and counter-terrorism. We strike that balance already, Smith said. Inner City Press asked about a contentious exchange during the Security Council proceedings, about Luis Posada Carriles. “I have nothing to say on that,” Smith retorted, speeding up to exit the building. Of course, the UN has yet to even define terrorism.

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