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Wednesday, March 12, 2003

It's a valid collection target, sir

A couple of weeks ago NSA was in the news again, with such entertaining headlines as:

[Revealed: US dirty tricks to win vote on Iraq war]

[Stop dodging the awkward truth ]

And so on.

The European press (the US media has largely ignored the story) obtained an internal NSA memo via a GCHQ employee (see [GCHQ arrest over Observer spying report ]) and have made it into something it definitely is not. The text of the email in question is reproduced here:

To: [Recipients withheld]

From: FRANK KOZA, Def Chief of Staff (Regional Targets) CIV/NSA

Sent on Jan 31 2003 0:16

Subject: Reflections of Iraq Debate/Votes at UN-RT Actions + Potential for Related Contributions

Importance: HIGH Top Secret/COMINT/XL

As you've likely heard by now, the Agency is mounting a surge particularly directed at the UN Security Council (UNSC) members (minus US and GBR of course) for insights as to how to membership 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 - the whole gamut of information that could give US policymakers an edge in obtaining results favorable to US goals or to head off surprises. In RT, that means a QRC surge effort to revive/ create efforts against UNSC members Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Bulgaria and Guinea, as well as extra focus on Pakistan UN matters.

We've also asked ALL RT topi's to emphasize and make sure they pay attention to existing non-UNSC member UN-related and domestic comms for anything useful related to the UNSC deliberations/ debates/ votes. We have a lot of special UN-related diplomatic coverage (various UN delegations) from countries not sitting on the UNSC right now that could contribute related perspectives/ insights/ whatever. We recognize that we can't afford to ignore this possible source.

We'd appreciate your support in getting the word to your analysts who might have similar, more in-direct access to valuable information from accesses in your product lines. I suspect that you'll be hearing more along these lines in formal channels - especially as this effort will probably peak (at least for this specific focus) in the middle of next week, following the SecState's presentation to the UNSC.

Thanks for your help

The European media is pushing the theory that this indicates that the United States is trying to collect intelligence to gain influence and win more votes for a UN resolution for the use of force against Iraq.

That's painting the wrong picture. For whatever reason, the journalists who wrote the story (and got their source compromised as well) have ignored some facts.

  1. The Security Council members who are going to exercise vetos on any new Iraq resolution are, not coincidentally, [Iraq's major trading partners].
    Major import trading partners: France 22.5%, Australia 22.0%, China 5.8%, Russia 5.8%

  2. Iraq has a long history of using bribes and coercion to buy influence in international organizations like the UN an IAEA

  3. Who did Iraq get it's nuclear reactors from? France and Russia. Where did Saddam's new fiber optic command and control system come from? [China].

It would be pretty naive to think that the billions of dollars Iraq is spending on military hardware from those three countries - in violation of sanctions those countries are supposed to abide by - have no influence on those vetos. NSA is collecting on those UN delegates in order to find evidence of illegal connections to Iraq such as bribes and blackmail - such evidence, if it was something that could be made public, would obviously be very empowering for the United States.

Dirty tricks, my ass.

3/12/2003 10:50:00 PM ] [  0 comments  ]
A good quick laugh