[Marxism] US Policy Bugs UN
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Wed Feb 11 11:39:41 MST 2004
Chile Says Its U.N. Mission Was Spied On
Tue Feb 10 Reuters
SANTIAGO, Chile - Telephones were tapped at the Chilean mission at the
United Nations in the run-up to the war in Iraq (news - web sites), Chile's
government said Tuesday. The statement by a government spokesman comes
after a British newspaper reported about a leaked memo a year ago that the
U.S. National Security Agency had begun extra eavesdropping of key U.N.
Security Council members at the time, including Chile. At the time,
Chile appeared undecided on whether to support the U.S.-led attack on Iraq.
Eventually, it joined France, Russia, Germany and other council members in
opposing a resolution backed by the United States, Britain and Spain
authorizing the war.
Chilean government spokesman Patricio Santamaria refused to say who was
suspected of tapping of the telephones at the diplomatic premises. "At
that time, we expressed our concern to the respective institutions,"
In early February 2003, the London newspaper The Observer published a Jan.
31 memo said to be from the U.S. National Security Agency. It said that the
NSA had begun a "surge" of extra eavesdropping on officials from Angola,
Cameroon, Chile, Bulgaria, Guinea and Pakistan, all key Security Council
members at the time. The memo allegedly asked the British listening
agency for help bugging the delegates' home and office telephones. A
former translator at the communications headquarters, Katharine Gun, has
admitted leaking the memo and has been charged with breaking state secrecy
laws. Pretrial arguments in her case are scheduled to be heard Feb. 16.
Gun said the disclosure was justified because it "exposed serious illegality
and wrongdoing on the part of the U.S. government, who attempted to subvert
our own security services." She has also defended the disclosures as an
attempt to prevent the deaths of Iraqi civilians and British troops in a
Santamaria's remarks confirmed a disclosure of wiretapping made earlier by
then Chilean ambassador to the United Nations Juan Gabriel Valdes to the
Spanish daily El Pais. Valdes, a former foreign minister who is now
Chile's envoy to Argentina, told the Spanish newspaper El Pais that
technicians who had been called to check the telephones at the mission
discovered they had been tampered with in early 2003. "We called on
technicians to verify if the telephones of the Chilean mission had been
bugged." Valdes told the paper. "The result of the test was positive.
Indeed, we verified that the majority of our phones had been bugged."
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