I hope this puts to rest the notion that we would live in a liberal paradise had Hillary Clinton become president instead of Barack Obama...not to mention the notion that we already live in a liberal paradise because Barack Obama won.
Diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks show that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered U.S. diplomats, the CIA, and the FBI to spy on highest echelons of UN officialdom, including Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and World Health Organization, the Guardian reports. The U.S. event wanted biometric information of UN officials including DNA and iris scans.
The U.S. wanted information on a variety of UN activities including relief operations that might involve terrorist organizations. Spying on the UN is illegal and wrong. But I can see how someone might at least rationalize spying to prevent cash from falling into the hands of Hezbollah. Some of the other items on the wish list are bizarre, frivolous, and/or downright shameful, however:
It also wanted to know about plans by UN special rapporteurs to press for potentially embarrassing investigations into the US treatment of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, and "details of friction" between the agencies co-ordinating UN humanitarian operations, evidence of corruption inside UNAids, the joint UN programme on HIV, and in international health organisations, including the World Health Organisation (WHO). It even called for "biographic and biometric" information on Dr Margaret Chan, the director general of WHO, as well as details of her personality, role, effectiveness, management style and influence. [Emphases added.]
The cables also contain helpful advice for dealing with "walk-ins," i.e., potential defectors who walk in off the street. Do not let walk-ins hand you potentially dangerous stuff, even if they swear it's proof of some kind of plot:
A walk-in who possessed any object that appeared potentially dangerous should be denied access even if the item was presented "as evidence of some intelligence he offers, eg, red mercury [a possibly bogus chemical which has been claimed to be a component of nuclear weapons] presented as proof of plutonium enrichment".
Good thinking. Do not take mercury from strangers. Safety first!
[Photo credit: Lindsay Beyerstein, all rights reserved.]