Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Bush’s Foiled NSA Blackmail Scheme

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 23, 2013

As bad as Obama’s been with regard to the NSA, believe it or not Bush was still worse.

Bush actually tried to use the NSA to dig up blackmailing material on UN Security Council members so he could force them into backing the US-led invasion of Iraq — and only the principled actions of Katherine Gun thwarted his blackmail scheme:

n early 2003, as the U.S. and British governments were seeking international acquiescence to their aggressive war on Iraq, an unexpected cog throw into the propaganda machine was the disclosure that the National Security Agency was spying on UN Security Council members in search of blackmail material.

The revelation received little attention in the mainstream U.S. news media, which was almost fully onboard the pro-war bandwagon, but the disclosure received wide international attention and stopped the blackmail scheme. U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair were forced to abandon a UN resolution and invade Iraq with a ragtag “coalition of the willing.”

Several months later, the identity of the leaker was revealed, a young woman named Katharine Gun who worked as a linguist at the NSA’s UK counterpart, British Government Communications Headquarters. Gun lost her job and was charged under British secrecy laws, but the case was dropped because the court would have required the Blair government to disclose that it also had twisted the arms of legal advisers to extract an opinion endorsing the invasion.

Now, a decade later, Edward Snowden, a young American systems analyst working for the NSA, has leaked documents revealing a global surveillance network and prompted another international debate – about government spying vs. personal privacy.

And unless you’re a regular reader of The Guardian, you (if you’re a US resident) have likely never heard of this until now.

2 Responses to “Bush’s Foiled NSA Blackmail Scheme”

  1. Charles II said

    Watching the NSA story unfold on DKos is eye-opening. There really are a lot of educated, nominally liberal Americans who are completely clueless about the dangers of surveillance.

    We really need to formally end the so-called “war on terror” and start looking at this stuff within a peacetime context. We would never have accepted this level of intrusion 15 years ago, and there is no evidence the US faces anything like the threat level that existed then, when the destroyer Cole had been damaged and the embassies in Africa attacked. We really have to get back to treating this as a police matter.

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