The strange case of the missing U.N. ambassador
President Obama has made himself scarce during the Egyptian and Syrian crises, spending much of the time shutting down Martha’s Vineyard with huge motorcades during his latest luxury vacation. But what’s really weird is that no one seems to know the whereabouts of the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power. This is particularly odd because she was a controversial nominee that Obama just insisted on having, and she’s supposed to be especially “hawkish” on Syria.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki – last seen lying about the whereabouts of Secretary of State John Kerry when the Muslim Brotherhood government of Egypt came crashing down – claims not to know where Power is, hilariously referring questions about her current activities to the United Nations. “She had a previously scheduled trip,” Psaki muttered at a press conference.
When a reporter asked where this scheduled trip might have taken the ambassador, Psaki snapped, “I don’t think I need to go into more detail from here, and you’re welcome to call the United Nations, where she is the Ambassador.” It was the third time during the same press conference Psaki asserted that the U.S. government doesn’t know what its ambassador is up to, but maybe the folks over at the United Nations could help the media out. I’d call this indifference to the disposition of a high-ranking State Department employee shocking, but, Benghazi.
Adding to the black comedy, the Weekly Standard checked transcripts of Psaki’s press conference and found the State Department inserted footnotes to clarify that every time Psaki told reporters to contact the U.N, she really meant the “U.S. mission to the U.N.,” which is… a branch of the State Department. Which Jen Psaki is the spokeswoman for. Who wrote their procedural manual, Joseph Heller?
Incidentally, the reporter hammering the hapless Jen Psaki for the whereabouts of our ambassador to the United Nations was James Rosen of Fox News. The Obama Administration certainly seems interested in keeping tabs on his movements.
Power’s mysterious trip, which the government concedes was of a “personal” nature – even though she’s only been on the job for about three weeks – caused her to miss the United Nations Security Council emergency meeting on the use of chemical weapons in Syria… which she had called for. “Power, who tweeted a call for U.N. action after news broke of the gas attack and has long advocated military intervention in the ongoing Syrian civil war, was said to be in a location where no travel arrangements could be made,” reports Fox News.
She traveled to a place no one could travel out of, in the middle of several major Middle East crises? Maybe she was visiting Chester’s Mill.
At first glance, it seems odd to see the Obama Administration treating the United Nations with such casual contempt, since the Administration spends a lot of time insisting that it wants to work through the U.N. in every foreign policy crisis, including the Syrian chemical-weapons affair. But maybe that’s the precise reason Power was made scarce – she’s an embarrassing reminder of Obama’s dangerous empty bluster about “red lines” and Syrian intervention. Or maybe this is just another example of how everyone in Obama’s orbit seems to treat government “service” as a long luxury vacation, in which the perks of power matter far more than duty, responsibility, or fidelity to the law. And it doesn’t seem like John Kerry has made any progress cleaning up after Hillary Clinton’s disastrous tenure at the State Department, an agency more concerned with the obfuscation of scandals, and the covering of posteriors, than projecting American influence around the globe.
Update: After days of the State Department refusing to disclose Power’s activities, it now appears that she was in Ireland, with her husband, former Obama adviser Cass Sunstein… who, according to local news sources, was a featured guest at a Charlie Chaplin film festival. That all sounds like a great reason for someone who’s only been on the job 19 days to miss a critical Security Council meeting on a major world crisis.