Cracks appear to be growing within governmental structures over the Bush administration’s ruthless, go-it-alone strategy towards Iraq. Tired of the bullying, bruising and bribing of other countries, especially long-time allies, a U.S. diplomat resigned his post as political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Athens.

And in an unrelated development, an unknown source leaked to the London Observer a secret memo, which directed spying activities towards Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Mexico, Guinea and Pakistan at their UN missions in New York, and even home phone and e-mails of UN leaders These countries, which are sitting on the Security Council, are being refered to as the “Middle Six,” whose votes are key to getting a majority for the pro-war resolution introduced by the U.S., Britain and Spain.

White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer refused to comment on questions about the story published March 2 headlined, “Revealed: U.S. Dirty Tricks to Win Vote on Iraq War.”

The memo was directed at senior National Security Agency (NSA) officials and advised them that the agency is seeking information not only on how delegations on the Security Council will vote on any second resolution on Iraq, but also on “policies,” “negotiating positions,” “alliances” and “dependencies” – the “whole gamut of information that could give U.S. policymakers an edge in obtaining results favorable to U.S. goals or to head off surprises.”

The memo was sent by Frank Koza, chief of staff in the “Regional Targets” section of the NSA, which spies on countries that are seen as strategically important for United States interests.

Koza specifies that the information will be used for the U.S.’s “QRC” – Quick Response Capability – “against” the key delegations.

One of the authors of the Observer article, Martin Bright, said, “Clearly someone within the NSA or another friendly agency is unhappy. Otherwise, this memo would not have been leaked.”

Another unhappy official is U.S. diplomat John Brady Kiesling who sent his letter of resignation to Secretary of State Colin Powell on Feb. 27. Kiesling, a 20-year diplomatic veteran, resigned in protest against the Bush administration policies on Iraq. Kiesling, 45, served in embassies from Tel Aviv to Casablanca to Yerevan.

In his letter Kiesling wrote, “until this administration it had been possible to believe that by upholding the policies of my president I was also upholding the interests of the American people and the world. I believe it no longer.”

Kiesling assailed the Bush polices, calling them incompatible with the country’s and people’s interests. “The policies we are now asked to advance are incompatible not only with American values but also with American interests. Our fervent pursuit of war with Iraq is driving us to squander the international legitimacy that has been America’s most potent weapon of both offense and defense since the days of Woodrow Wilson. We have begun to dismantle the largest and most effective web of international relationships the world has ever known. Our current course will bring instability and danger, not security,” he wrote.

He called the adminstration’s present course a reckless and destructive foreign policy full of “systematic distortion of intelligence,” and “systematic manipulation of American opinion,” saying there is no evidence between terrorism and Iraq. “We spread disproportionate terror and confusion in the public mind, arbitrarily linking the unrelated problems of terrorism and Iraq.”

Objecting to the bullying and bossing of long-time allies Kiesling asked, “Why does our President condone the swaggering and contemptuous approach to our friends and allies this Administration is fostering, including among its most senior officials. Has ‘oderint dum metuant’ [Let them hate so long as they fear] really become our motto?”

He concluded his resignation letter, which was given to The New York Times by a friend, with, “I have tried and failed to reconcile my conscience with my ability to represent the current U.S. administration. I have confidence that our democratic process is ultimately self-correcting, and hope that in a small way I can contribute from outside to shaping policies that better serve the security and prosperity of the American people and the world we share.”

Asked if his views were widely shared among his diplomatic colleagues, Kiesling told the press: “No one of my colleagues is comfortable with our policy. Everyone is moving ahead with it as good and loyal. The State Department is loaded with people who want to play the team game – we have a very strong premium on loyalty.”

The author can be reached at talbano@pww.org

PDF version of ‘Unhappy officials: U.S. spy memo leaked; diplomat resigns’

Comments

comments

MOST POPULAR