United States ‘Caught’ In UN Espionage

“Uncle Sam Spies on U.N. Delegations,” and “U.S. in ‘Dirty Tricks’ Battle to Win Vote on Iraq War: Report,” headlines reported in an Australian and French newspaper, respectively.

In fact this story, first reported by London’s Observer, has been making headlines all over the world except in the country that is the subject of the story–the US.

The Observer’s story was based on a memo allegedly sent by an official of the United States’ own National Security Agency who wanted “insights as to how the membership [members of the U.N. Security Council] is reacting to the on-going debate RE: Iraq, plans to vote on any related resolutions, what related policies/ negotiating positions they may be considering, alliances/ dependencies, etc.”

Simply put, the memo asks to gather information, or spy, on certain undecided members of the Security Council concerning their feelings on Iraq.

Espionage is nothing new or out of the ordinary in United Nations proceedings, but rarely is it brought to light.

When the story first broke, the Drudge Report questioned its authenticity because of its British spelling and misspelling of certain officials’ names–warranted objections.

The Observer replied by clarifying that the memo had been altered for British spelling, but then had it, “reverted to the original US-spelling as in the document leaked to The Observer.”

Any doubt held by the international media concerning the authenticity of the memo was laid to rest in the White House’s refusal to answer, “questions of that nature (questions concerning US Intelligence)”, as Ari Fleischer put it. Although this is the policy of the NSA and the CIA, the refusal of our government to deny these allegations is taken as an admission of guilt by much of the foreign media.

It is not known who leaked the memo to the media, but it implies that there is major dissention in either the CIA or British Intelligence.

The more disturbing implication of this incident is not that American newspapers chose not to run any stories about the memo, but the fervor with which the European and International newspapers exploited the story.

According to an American foreign relations expert, “the Franco-German axis is looking for reasons in order to justify their waning influence in the Security Council, and they’re grasping for straws and this is one of them.”

Regardless of the intent of the story, the popularity of the memo scandal is a clear sign of the unpopularity of the United States in the international community.