Gentlemen reading mail part II

Major Variola (ret.) mv at
Sun Feb 29 14:19:13 PST 2004

Blix says US spied on him over Iraq

Reuters London Feb 28: Former chief United Nations weapons inspector Mr
Hans Blix said today he suspected the United States bugged his office
and home in the run-up to the Iraq war, but had no hard evidence.

Describing such behaviour as disgusting, Mr Blix told Britains
Guardian newspaper in an interview: It feels like an intrusion into
your integrity in a situation when you are actually on the same side.

His allegation came on top of a diplomatic row sparked this week when
former British minister Ms Clare Short said Britain bugged UN Secretary
General Mr Kofi Annans office as London and Washington tried but failed
to win UN backing to invade Iraq.

Mr Blix said his suspicions were raised when he had trouble with a
telephone connection at home.

It might have been something trivial or it might have been something
installed somewhere, I dont know, he said.

The Swede said he asked UN counter-surveillance teams to check his
office and home for listening devices.

If you had something sensitive to talk about you would go out into the
restaurant or out into the streets, said Mr Blix.

He said US state department envoy Mr John Wolf visited him two weeks
before the Iraq war with pictures of an Iraqi drone and a cluster bomb
that the former inspector believed could have been secured only from
within the UN weapons office.

He should not have had them. I asked him how he got them and he would
not tell me, Mr Blix said.

It could have been some staff belonging to us that handed them to the
Americans... It could also be that they managed to break into the secure
fax and got it that way, he said.

Ms Short, in government before and during the Iraq war, said on Thursday
she had seen transcripts of what she said were bugged accounts of Mr
Annans conversations. She resigned after the war.

The British Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair accused her of being
irresponsible and of undermining intelligence services at a time when
Britain faced a threat of attack from Islamic militants.

Blair said British security services acted within domestic and
international law.

But UN spokesman Mr Fred Eckhard said Mr Annan would seek a fuller
explanation from Britain on the allegations, saying any attempt to
eavesdrop on the Secretary General was illegal and should stop as it
would violate three international treaties.

Mr Blair warned critics like Ms Short that unless they buried
differences they risked ousting his Labour Party from power as it
prepares to fight a general election expected in 2005.

Former UN secretary-general Mr Boutros Boutros-Ghali and another former
chief UN weapons inspector, Mr Richard Butler, said yesterday they
believed they had been spied on.

From the first day I entered my office they told me: beware, your
office is bugged, your residence is bugged, Mr Boutros-Ghali told the

It is a tradition that member states that have the technical capacity
to bug will do it without hesitation, he said.

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