From today's UN press briefing
, an interchange about the upcoming publication of a UN report critical of US operations in Guantanamo
Question: So let me understand this ... because the headlines to the story on Guantanamo were “UN criticizes or calls for [inaudible] Guantanamo” and now you are saying this guy is independent. How removed, how independent institutionally is the rapporteur and how far removed is he?
Spokesman: Benny, first of all, I don’t write the headlines -- you write the headlines.
Question: I don’t.
Spokesman: Or your headline writers do -- exactly. First of all, this report is not yet out -- these things were leaked on a draft. As you know, rapporteurs are appointed by the Commission on Human Rights -- not by the High Commissioner and not by the Secretary-General. And they report to neither the High Commissioner nor to the Secretary-General in their work. They are independent.
Question: They report to the Human Rights Commission?
Spokesman: That is correct.
Question: Which we are calling to abolish.
Spokesman: Which we are calling to be replaced by a much more credible and effective Human Rights Council, and those discussions are ongoing.
The only thing less credible than a UN report is a Human Rights Commission report. Scratch that. The only thing less credible is a draft Human Rights Commission report reported by the Los Angeles Times