Modern Day Watergate

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by modman, Feb 26, 2004.

  1. modman
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    modman Member

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    -Short Suggests Britain Eavesdropped on Annan-

    Former Cabinet Official Says British Intelligence Recorded U.N. Secretary General's Conversations in Run-Up to War

    By Glenn Frankel
    Washington Post Foreign Service
    Thursday, February 26, 2004; 10:02 AM


    LONDON, Feb. 26 -- British spies conducted surveillance on U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan's office during the intense diplomatic struggle over whether to invade Iraq, a former cabinet minister alleged on Thursday.
    Clare Short, who resigned in protest after the invasion, said she had seen transcripts of Annan's conversations in the weeks before the war, which was launched last March.

    "The U.K. in this time was also getting spies on Kofi Annan's office and getting reports from him about what was going on," Short told BBC radio. "These things are done, and in the case of Kofi's office it was being done for some time."

    Asked about Britain's role in the eavesdropping, she replied; "Well I know -- I've seen transcripts of Kofi Annan's conversations."

    She added: "In fact, I have had conversations with Kofi in the run-up to the war thinking, 'Oh dear, there will be a transcript of this and people will see what he and I are saying.' "

    Prime Minister Tony Blair branded Short's allegations "deeply irresponsible" but refused to confirm or deny them, saying that to do so would violate his government's policy of not discussing intelligence matters. He told a press conference that Britain's intelligence services always act in accordance with domestic and international law, and those who disclose intelligence activities, whether intentionally or not, undermine the essential security of this country.

    Short was one of two Cabinet secretaries to resign over the war. Since she stepped down in May, she has been one of Blair's most vociferous critics, claiming he misled the British public about the reasons for backing the U.S.-led invasion and calling for him to resign.

    Short made her remarks during a BBC interview in which she was asked about the collapse on Wednesday of the trial of a former British intelligence service employee accused of leaking a classified memo from the National Security Agency in the United States last January. The memo asked for British help in eavesdropping on U.N. missions of governments that were undecided about whether to endorse military action against Iraq.

    Katharine Gun, 29, a former translator of Mandarin Chinese with Britain's Government Communications Headquarters listening station, said she leaked the memo, which was published in the Observer newspaper last March, to expose what she said was an illegal spying operation.

    The memo, dated Jan. 31, 2003, disclosed that the agency was "mounting a surge particularly directed at U.N. Security Council members" for information on how countries intended to vote on a second U.N. resolution authorizing military action against Iraq.

    None of the governments involved have confirmed or denied that spying operations took place.

    Prosecutors dropped all charges against Gun on Wednesday, saying they no longer believed they could obtain a conviction. The head of the prosecution service, Ken MacDonald, elaborated briefly on the reasons in a statement Thursday, saying officials believed they would be unable to disprove Gun's claim of the defense of necessity -- that she had acted out of conscience to prevent an illegal war.

    If these allegations are true, this will do nothing for Britain's already tarnished reputation at the United Nations, said Menzies Campbell, foreign affairs spokesman for the third-party Liberal Democrats, in a statement referring to Short's statements.

    Stephen Dorril, author of a history of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI-6, said it was no surprise to learn the British had spied upon U.N. officials. He said the CIA and MI-6 had a long history of collaboration, including asking for help in spying operations that might be deemed illegal for the host nation. "We know the CIA can't undertake operations in general on American soil and MI-6 is not supposed to carry out operations within the three-mile limit here, so they just swap around. I can't see what else MI-6 would be doing with so many officers in New York."

    Dorril said the collapse of the Gun case would trouble Britain's top spy officials, because it could open the door for other intelligence employees to disclose secrets for reasons of personal conscience.

    "They're worried this may give a green light to others," he said. "MI-6 is super secret -- it's never released a single document in its history -- and it operates on a basis of trust with its sources, and that's bound to be eroded now."
     
  2. Zhukov
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    Zhukov VIP Member

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    The United Nations HQ is in the middle of NYC. I'd be surprised if every office in the building wasn't bugged by the CIA.
     
  3. kcmcdonald
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    All nations spy on each other, we spy on the british they spy on us. Every spys on every body that the way the world works. THese peple just can't accept that , and they feel compelled to kill spys. What every happened to teh saying "lose lips sink ships" These women never heard about it i guess. or mabey they jsut hate Blair that much were national security doesn't mean shit to them. They should be tried as traitors.
     
  4. Palestinian Jew
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    Palestinian Jew Member

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    I agree with Zhukov on this one. I want our gov't to spy on other gov'ts to see what they are up to.

    As for Blair, yet another nail for his political coffin.
     
  5. jon_forward
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    jon_forward Active Member

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    you cant drive nails with a hammer made from paper...dumbass traitor...
     
  6. tim_duncan2000
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    tim_duncan2000 Active Member

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    Good. I hope they are keeping tabs on their every move.
     
  7. Palestinian Jew
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    Palestinian Jew Member

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    How exactly am I a dumbass traitor?
     
  8. jon_forward
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    jon_forward Active Member

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    not you PJ...the stupid brit woman...
     
  9. Palestinian Jew
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    ah, yes, she is a traitor
     

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