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March 02, 2003

UNgate- Spying Scandal by Bush Administration

If this story is true, Bush has just committed the international scandal of the century, violating the trust given the US in hosting the United Nations to spy on its delgates:

The United States is conducting a secret 'dirty tricks' campaign against UN Security Council delegations in New York as part of its battle to win votes in favour of war against Iraq.

Details of the aggressive surveillance operation, which involves interception of the home and office telephones and the emails of UN delegates in New York, are revealed in a document leaked to The Observer.

The disclosures were made in a memorandum written by a top official at the National Security Agency - the US body which intercepts communications around the world - and circulated to both senior agents in his organisation and to a friendly foreign intelligence agency asking for its input.

The memo describes orders to staff at the agency, whose work is clouded in secrecy, to step up its surveillance operations 'particularly directed at... UN Security Council Members (minus US and GBR, of course)' to provide up-to-the-minute intelligence for Bush officials on the voting intentions of UN members regarding the issue of Iraq.

The leaked memorandum makes clear that the target of the heightened surveillance efforts are the delegations from Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Mexico, Guinea and Pakistan at the UN headquarters in New York - the so-called 'Middle Six' delegations whose votes are being fought over by the pro-war party, led by the US and Britain, and the party arguing for more time for UN inspections, led by France, China and Russia.

Posted by Nathan at March 2, 2003 01:33 PM

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Comments

just when you think the BushCo team couldn't possibly sink any lower, they explore new depths. this should be front page news across the land, but, unfortunately, i think we all know better...

http://spadehammer.blogspot.com/2003_03_02_spadehammer_archive.html#90040779

Posted by: Spade Hammer at March 3, 2003 06:08 AM

A lot of the parsing since makes it hard to determine the validity of that. I think someone leaked that from the govt but whether it's real or factional disinfo is hard to discern.

Is the rightwing trying to get out of the UN with manufactured polarization attempts?

Posted by: Cowboy Kahlil at March 3, 2003 09:03 AM

Where's the media???

Is this another Lott story? Looks like the blogworld is going to have to make some noise.

Posted by: Paleo at March 3, 2003 09:36 AM

Given the administration's elaborate mechanations to invade our privacy, I guess it's not surprising they should turn on the U.N. How revolting.

Posted by: Kevin Moore at March 3, 2003 11:19 AM

Paleo, they have to go dig up the story in their own way (isn't this called "not made here"?). Various things come out in different papers because they have their own sources. At least this is what happened with Watergate.

By the way, I'm not loving "UNGate", can we come up with a different name? Kozagate, or Condigate or something? Rummygate?

Posted by: Eric M at March 3, 2003 04:17 PM

The feature article today at salon.com is on this subject. Apparently Fox news was the only major American media outlet to even mention it by Monday. Frightening.

Posted by: Eric Bruce at March 4, 2003 10:30 AM

I mentioned this story to a coworker who's one of the foaming-at-the-mouth Republican ilk. "SPYING??" he said, all wide-eyed with fake incredulity. Even my telling him that, if the Dems had done it, he'd be rolling on the floor, tearing at the carpet as he shrieked in righteous indignation, didn't faze him. With smirking assholes like that, for whom the Bushies can simply do no wrong, what hope is there?

Posted by: Ken at March 4, 2003 04:08 PM

"Where's the media?"

Reporting it as no big deal, or as a high compliment to our lesser partners:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A37250-2003Mar3?language=printer
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-snoop4mar04001448,1,7829917.story?coll=la%2Dheadlines%2Dworld

Insert Mike Myers and Dana Carvey bowing down before a W dressed in Madonna costume with pointy brazier, "We're not worthy! We're not worthy!"

Posted by: buermann at March 5, 2003 08:44 AM

I've seen this argued two ways. One, with foreign UN diplomats saying this is routine; the other, saying this was a specific Condi initiative, in other words not routine at all. I tend to think a line got crossed here and an insider got upset and leaked it. You don't put your career on the line over absolute daily routine just to score a quick media point.

Posted by: John Isbell at March 5, 2003 08:05 PM

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