US/UK spy on UN Security Council

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by whooleytoo, Feb 26, 2004.

  1. whooleytoo macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    #1
    I wonder what people think of the controversy in the UK, where a translater in the British secret service leaked to the press that the US National Security Agency was spying on the UN, and sought help from the UK.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3489254.stm

    She was charged with violating Official Secrets Act, but the case was dropped. It's thought the case was dropped because a trial would reveal a lot of information the UK government would rather keep quiet; such as the UK Attorney General's advice to the government on the legality of the Iraq war, which has never been published in full.

    It's just come out too that British spies bugged the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3488548.stm

    Cloak and dagger stuff...
     
  2. iGav macrumors G3

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    #2
    Clare Shorts a bitter women isn't she... :eek: :eek: :p

    I was just watching Blair on Sky and he's seriously pi$$ed at her.
     
  3. whooleytoo thread starter macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    #3
    Well, actually I can't take her too seriously after her "I'm resigning! I'M RESIGNING!!!!...... ok.. I'll stay" episode :p

    Still, I don't think she'd lie about something like this.
     
  4. iGav macrumors G3

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    #4
    It's in all probability true... :eek:

    But the problems is, we can't have people in positions of responsibility such as these leaking information whenever they please... it's not their decision or right to do so....

    as for that women yesterday... :rolleyes:

    obviously you are dear.... and it wasn't your right to leak it.... :rolleyes:
     
  5. whooleytoo thread starter macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    #5
    It certainly sets an interesting precedent, doesn't it? A member of the secret service leaks important information and gets off completely free - though I think her career may have taken a bashing...

    Still, I'm actually glad she leaked the email. The "I was just doing my job" line is a bit of a feeble excuse with such important issues at stake.

    You might not think spying on the UN is such a big deal, but what would happen if it was the other way around? What if someone was spying on the White House? (What if they were of Arabic origin?) I don't think this is a trivial issue.
     
  6. iGav macrumors G3

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    #6
    I'd rather she hadn't leaked it... because it makes me wonder how many other people are willing to take stuff into their own hands and leak stuff whenever they feel that something isn't in their opinion 'right'... and that 'the public have a right know'... :rolleyes:

    I'm hoping Clare Short gets prosecuted myself... she deserves it, silly cow... and I hope the other woman never gets another job... I wouldn't hire her... thing called trust, and lack of springs to mind. :eek: :rolleyes: :p
     
  7. whooleytoo thread starter macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    #7
    Hmm.. Does that mean you don't mind that the US and UK are spying on the UN, or that you'd rather you didn't know about it?
     
  8. iGav macrumors G3

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    #8
    it means that I don't agree with people that think it's okay to leak information when they don't have the authority to do so. ;)
     
  9. kettle macrumors 65816

    kettle

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    #9
    I think that the US can do what they like and the UN will let them.
    If the US stopped paying for the UN the UN "gravytrain" will come to a very sudden halt.

    Truth is, is it any wonder the anti american feeling is so strong when you know that the US is the only thing keeping most of these hot air blowers in a job. Indexed linked pension etc etc.

    Any Idea how much it costs to pay for an index linked pension? I'd like to see the figures for how many of these pension policies are for non civil service/government/UN. I would guess at mmm... about 75% are for the Gravy Train Robbers.
     
  10. whooleytoo thread starter macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    #10
    Ever considered a career in politics? ;)
     
  11. iGav macrumors G3

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    #11
    god no, but I'd probably do a better job than most of them... heheheh :p

    short has really stirred with those comments, and then doesn't back them up, disappears for the day giving no further comment, waiting for the media to offer her a wedge of cash to elaborate on her initial comments.

    Why Sky had to wheel out that old doofus Ben?.... what a prize tw@t... when there's abit of stirring to do, that crusty tosspot is there with the biggest spoon he can find... :rolleyes:

    It's been awhile since I've seen Sky and News 24 so animated though... :p :p :p
     
  12. Crikey macrumors 6502

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    #12
    I think it's absolutely fabulous that occasionally someone with a sense of ethics peels aside the veil to show us what our "elected" "leaders" have been up to. And I *would* hire someone who I knew would speak out if they encountered illegal or improper activities at some level in my organization.

    The "realpolitik", might-makes-right crowd always blasts whistleblowers, while those who cling to the quaint notion of ethics in public service (or business) are thankful for the occasional glimpses they provide.

    Cheers,


    Crikey
     
  13. kettle macrumors 65816

    kettle

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    #13
    that is a very funnyway of putting it.

    I tried not responding but it couldn't be helped. I just couldn't get an image of Tony Benn, on the way out of his house for an evening in politics, out of my head. He would be holding up a giant spoon for measure as if he were choosing a walking stick from a collection of antique favourites. I picture his distorted face reflecting in the back of the spoon as he says "yesh, I think this one should do it..."

    edit - out of my head:)
     
  14. iGav macrumors G3

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    #14
    You'd hire someone who'd be willing to breach their employment contract and leak it to the world if they didn't agree with something?? that's very brave of you.

    But is it really up to an employee to be Judge, Jury and Executioner on what they deem to be eithically or morally wrong?? rather than go through official channels?? I personally don't think it is.
     
  15. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #15
    Depends on if the official channels are a part of the problem.
     
  16. kettle macrumors 65816

    kettle

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    #16
    first question...

    Which part of phone tapping do people not understand?

    second question...

    Which parts of "Secret Service" and "Spying" do people not understand?
     
  17. whooleytoo thread starter macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    #17
    Which part of "United" Nations do people not understand?
     
  18. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #18
    How about a public official whose duty is to the people and sees their government break the law? I don't think government secrets are supposed to cover the breaking of treaty committments.

    Oh, and yes, I want someone as my employee who is willing to put their career on the line for the people's welfare as opposed to political gain. Can you say "Daniel Ellsberg"?
     
  19. iGav macrumors G3

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    #19
    What Clare Short has done, has nothing to do with the welfare of people, she has a personal axe to grind with Tony Blair as part of her own political agenda. She has yet to back up her statement, or provide evidence or further elaborate on her claims.

    If these people cannot work to the conditions of a contract they signed, they shouldn't have signed it in the first place and certainly should not hold a position where keeping your gob shut is a requirement.

    But again, it is NOT up to the employee to decide if something should be made public, the information they are leaking, could be inaccurate, not relevant, a mistake whatever... but it's not down to them to decide. :rolleyes:
     
  20. whooleytoo thread starter macrumors 603

    whooleytoo

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    #20
    (There's grave danger of Godwin's Law being invoked soon, but anyway.. ;) )

    I still think the "I was just doing what I was told" is no excuse or defense.

    A girl I know works in one of the local petrochemical companies became aware of a plan to set up a local farmer for a (admittedly, small scale) chemical spillage from the plant. But she didn't raise a fuss, or inform the authorities. Job well done?
     
  21. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #21
    Let's see, no evidence? If I remember correctly the British government just had to dismiss charges against someone who reported the US government had asked for just such a spying effort on the part of the UK. Officials at the UN have stated that the US knew about secret last minute efforts to stop the US/UK invasion and told the members to stop their effort. How much evidence do you want?

    Your government and mine have broken their treaty commitments to the UN and have spied on UN staff and diplomats in order to advance the cause of war in Iraq. And you want to shoot the messenger? How about a little outrage toward governments who don’t know how to uphold the law?
     
  22. iGav macrumors G3

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    #22
    1. I refer to the lack of evidence provided by Clare Short with regards to her recent comments. She has failed to provide further proof, further evidence and or elaborated on her initial comments. She has her own political agenda, and has a serious axe to grind with regards to Tony Blair.

    With regards to the messenger part, they were not given the role of "messenger" and it was not their right to take the decision to become one.


    2. I'm not being pulled into a debate about the way our (or the U.S., Russian, French, Australian and possibly New Zealand who all seem to be involved now, and likely more countries as well) intelligence agencies work with the regards to the UN.

    I am however suggesting and up for discussing that what Clare Short and Katherine Gun both did by leaking information was in my opinion wrong after signing a contract under the official secrets act and that it wasn't their right to release this information.
     
  23. iGav macrumors G3

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    #23
    It isn't, no one has said that it is though... ?

    If they felt that information was ethically, morally or legally wrong, or what was happening was wrong, they could have and should have discussed it within proper channels.

    Now if they didn't obtain a satisfactory response from their superiors, and they felt they were doing things that went against their ethics and morals, they could have resigned, (better than getting fired for breach of contract, and a pretty big contract at that) no problem.

    However, they signed a contract under the official secrets act, they worked in an industry that will obviously have a darker, more sinister side. Then they decide that because they feel or think something is ethically or morally, or legally wrong that they have the right to just leak information out? they do not have the right to decide what should and shouldn't be released.


    Of course it's not a job well done.. but had it been a serious concern to here, or totally against her ethics and morals then she should have raised the issue that she felt it was wrong with her seniors had she have felt strongly enough.

    If they refused to take her concerns seriously, she could have resigned and then sought legal advice.

    But had she leaked that information (against a signed contract of employment) then that would have been wrong in my opinion.
     
  24. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #24
    Nuremberg taught the world that when superiors give unlawful orders it is the responsibility of the those given the orders to disobey. When your government and mine engage in illegal acts, like the breaking of treaty commitments to the UN by engaging in espionage, it it the responsibility of those who know of such crimes to report them.

    As to Ms. Short, the only axe I know she has to grind is concerning Mr. Blair's decision to take the UK into war. If I recall correctly she resigned from the cabinet over the war. That shows courage and commitment to principle in my view. Perhaps you know of some other more nefarious reasons behind her actions, but from over on this side of the Atlantic all I can say is I wish we had more like her here.
     
  25. iGav macrumors G3

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    #25
    The responsibilty is to go through proper channels, the responsibilty is not down to the individual to act as judge, jury and executioner and leak information that they deem in their opinion to be ethically, morally or legally wrong.

    Clare Short was not given any orders to disobey, she merely has made a comment and has not backed it up with further evidence.

    It's going to be interesting when she finally elaborates or gives proof of her claims, so that action (if any) can be taken, (I hope it will be if what's been said is true) but at the moment she has NOT provided further information or elaborated on what she saw.

    Until she does, it is all speculation.
     

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