It's impossible to stay current with every scandal and impropriety at the UN but keep an eye on this one. The whole institution is rife with corruption and is ready to implode.
UNITED NATIONS - 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.
Both staff members and U.N. officials agree that Mr. Leites left his UNDP position last year for a two month period to serve as political director for the Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign in the blue state of Maine.
"By taking an active leadership role in the bitterly fought 2004 U.S. presidential election, Justin Leites has handed to terrorists and would-be hostage-takers the perfect excuse to kidnap and threaten the lives of UNDP and U.N. colleagues elsewhere, especially those providing electoral assistance in more than 30 countries across the globe," states the complaint, which was filed on April 7 and was obtained by The New York Sun.
"If UNDP staff can interfere with impunity in the internal politics of the most powerful country on earth, how can UNDP maintain that it is not interfering in a similarly partial manner in any of the weak and failing states in the developing world?" the complaint demands. It also notes that while Mr. Leites was "campaigning zealously in America on behalf of his political masters, three UNDP electoral workers were seized in Kabul, Afghanistan, and held hostage for nearly a month in October 2004
More at The New York Sun.