Death to spies? Oh, please. The Brits, who invented modern espionage, are now hilariously leading the Western media mentionables into the latest scandal: the electronic eavesdropping on Kofi Annan in the left’s Holy of Holies, the UN. Clare Short — Paul O’Neill in drag — served as minister for post-it notes and paper clips in Blair’s government before indulging her ego by resigning in protest against the Iraq war. Last week she spilled some highly classified information by telling Parliament that whilst a member of Mr. Blair’s cabinet she’d been privy to transcripts of Annan’s private conversations during the UN’s Iraq debates. The Beeb and CBS had a severe case of the vapors, and His Excellency the Secretary General lectured us peons about the illegality of such spying, and the mistreatment of diplomats.
I’m shocked, shocked to find espionage at the UN. (“Pardon me, Mr. Babbin,” said the young analyst. “Here’s the latest set of transcripts from the French ambassador’s cell phone. He was placing an order for more nuclear centrifuge parts for Iran.”) Now, where was I?
Ambassador Richard Butler — who led the Iraq WMD inspection teams until Kofi sold him down the river in 1998 — was asked if he was aware that his office might have been bugged. “Of course I was bugged,” said he. By at least four of the Security Council members, he added. “I was well aware of it. How did I know? Because those who did it would come to me and show me the recordings that they made on others to help me do my job of disarming Iraq.”
For the briefest while, during Butler’s tenure, a flare of reality burst over the Third World rabble of the UN. Now Butler and reality are gone but the espionage remains, as it bloody well should. Ask yourself: Why is Hans Blix declining to comment on the probable interception of his cell phone transmissions in Iraq? Maybe his silence at the report that the Aussies were bugging him may mean that he’s more concerned with the publication of what he said to his pals Saddam and Tariq than he was about the bugging.
We bug them, they bug us, and everyone has a grand old time trying to counter the last counter-move from the other guys, and deciphering the meaning of whatever their spies manage to get. It’s bidness as usual. Which it is in all our intelligence agencies, with the exception of the Defense Department’s. When the CIA was doing its job in Afghanistan — relatively well, but clearly not up to the challenge — Defense formed its own apparatus under a new undersecretary for intel. But that is only one step in a process that has to be broader, and quicker. What to do?
I HAD TO CONSULT WITH my dear friend, the late Sidney Reilly. You may remember Sidney, who was called the “Ace of Spies.” To summon Sidney, all I have to do is pour a generous portion of single malt, light a good cigar, and recite his favorite part of Kipling’s “Spies March”:p> em>Trained to another use, br> We march with colors furled, br> Only concerned when Death breaks loose br> On a front of half a world br> Only for General Death br> The Yellow Flag may fly br> While we take post beneath br> That is the place for a spy
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online