Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Volcker Counterattacks

This update is thanks to The Counterterrorism Blog. This is the first part of the post.

At IIC Chairman Paul Volcker's request, the United Nations filed papers in US District Court to restrain access to the documents provided to the Senate Subcommittee on Investigations by ex IIC investigator Robert Parton. Fox News reports May 10th that US District Court (Washington DC) Judge Ricardo Urbina issued a temporary restraining order which will freeze access to the documents for ten days to permit the parties to work to resolve the matter. Volcker has also written to House National Security Subcommittee Chairman Christopher Shays about his concerns that breach of IIC confidentiality would hamper his continuing investigation and put his investigators at potential risk. His May 5 letter to Shays states that "what is at stake is the ability of the IIC to go about its work effectively, maintaining the confidentiality and staff protection essential to investigatory activity." Volcker was also critical of Robert Parton for breaching his obligation to respect this confidentiality. "In the present case," Volcker wrote, "all IIC staff members have willingly agreed to srict confidentiality obligations....Moreover, staff members have the further protection of the privileges and immunities inherent in theUnited Nations itself.... Staff members who have voluntarily assumed the privileges and responsibilities associated with work with the IIC cannot, in my judgment, reasonably and honorably unilaterally violate those pledges of confidentiality and acceptance of immunity at the expense of their former colleagues and the investigation itself."