Friday, February 27, 2004
Seattle has a post-industrial economy, and a post-intelligent paper.
I'm not sure that I have ever seen such a foolish editorial in a major city newspaper. What possible argument could there be against spying on the United Nations? It amounts to an extraordinary concentration of people from absolutely hideous countries. Our intelligence agencies should be doing everything they can to spy on concentrations of people from hideous countries, especially when they are wandering around New York with diplomatic immunity.
Editorials such as this spring from the mushy assumption that the United Nations is some sort of noble institution, like a church, and that powers great and otherwise should not sully it with espionage.
TigerHawk, on the other hand, thinks that one of the really great things about the United Nations is that it gathers all sorts of discussion, maneuvering and conspiracy into a tidy little location where we can watch what's going on. It probably makes the whole business of spying on these people a lot cheaper, too.
UPDATE: Former U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali said he always assumed he was an espionage target.
Boutros-Ghali, who was secretary general from 1992-96, said he wasn't shocked by Short's claim.
"I was not surprised, because from the first day I enter in my office they told me, 'Beware, your office is bugged, your residence is bugged, and it is a tradition that the member states that have the technical capacity to bug will do it without hesitation,'" Boutros-Ghali said in a telephone interview with BBC radio.
Nevertheless, the Post-Intelligencer is shocked, shocked, to find espionage going on there.