# Propaganda in the states

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## Main Question or Discussion Point

This week there were a number of microphones found in the conference rooms of a number of countries (france, germany etc) in a UN building. Apparantly (given the countries that were "bugged") the US government wanted to know what these countries were going to do in the security counsel voting. (it does show why the US and Britain didn't need to submit a new resolution to know what the voting would be)

My question is: are these reports known to the citizens of the US.?In other words is your government (or media) concealing these things or not. Do you think the media in the states are showing propaganda only?

Another question to answer would be: do you think that bugging is allowed in these matters.
Does the CIA (if it was the CIA) have the right to do these kind of things.

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kat
Originally posted by heumpje
This week there were a number of microphones found in the conference rooms of a number of countries (france, germany etc) in a UN building. Apparantly (given the countries that were "bugged") the US government wanted to know what these countries were going to do in the security counsel voting. (it does show why the US and Britain didn't need to submit a new resolution to know what the voting would be)
This is 100% supposition. Has the U.S. come forward and claimed them? is there proof other then "it must be the evil U.S." assumptions? Otherwise, one could equally suppose that perhaps an Arabic country wanted to be sure they weren't being double dealt by France, germany etc. so please give me a break.
I don't think it took a rocket scientist or physics major to figure out that France intended to veto any resolution..under any conditions LOL I mean..really they stated it publicly

My question is: are these reports known to the citizens of the US.?In other words is your government (or media) concealing these things or not. Do you think the media in the states are showing propaganda only?These reports are known to me and I am in the U.S...It's hard to discern what is propaganda and what is not...perhaps the " bug" story is propaganda..lol, at any rate it's not concealed in the U.S.

Another question to answer would be: do you think that bugging is allowed in these matters.
Does the CIA (if it was the CIA) have the right to do these kind of things.
I don't believe it is "allowed" but it's certainly been prevelant in the past..by not only the U.S. but Russia, China etc. Do they have a right..evidently so...

Perhaps i should rephrase my question a bit since it is not intended as "see what the evil US are doing"

The reason i came with this question was a CNN report somewhere last week about this Al-
Qaida top person who supposedly had been tortured by American Intelligence forces (I DO NOT CLAIM HERE THEY ACTUALLY DID). It surprised me very much that they ( CNN reporters)were having a discussion about what if this were true and wheter this would be allowable under the given circumstances (i.e. in this case wheter it was allowable to torture people to get info on the current location of Bin Laden).
So forget the previous questions and please try to answer this one:

Is, in the current situation, EVERYTHING allowed to protect the interests of the US? By everything i also mean things which might be harmful for allies of the US.

kat
Well..first of all I believe that the Al-queda (what the heck was his name?) "top person" was subjected to "sleep deprivation" I may be mistaken but I believe that was the deal.

But to answer whether "ANYTHING" is allowed ...I would reply with a definitive NO..There may be a lot of pushing against that line of "unacceptable"(which is often blurry..everywhere in the world) but I highly doubt they will cross it...if so I believe that public outrage would be loud and ominous.
I don't think much can really be hidden from the general public in this day of easy availability to international news online.

At the very least, this is my hope..I don't put anything out as "impossible" and I think that U.S. citizens should be monitoring their government at this time with the ...greatest of care.

Njorl
Yes, we got that news here in the US.

Actually, you have some things wrong. There were no bugs found at the UN, there were wiretaps found at the EU headquarters (in Belgium I think). There is no information linking those taps to the US. It is much more likely that they are French or Russian though, not that the US wouldn't do it. It is just unlikely that the US taps would be found. The French and Russians are known for being reckless with their wiretaps, and being found out.

The business at the UN was supposed to be increased monitoring of microwave transmissions. Every nation with a consulate in NY monitors microwave transmissions from the UN. The US is just better at it than anyone else. Every large country has eavesdropping equipment in every embassy and consulate. The Russian embassy here in Washington bristles like a porcupine with antennae.

Every nation spies. Should the US be condemned for doing it well?

Njorl

Zargawee

Originally posted by kat
Otherwise, one could equally suppose that perhaps an Arabic country wanted to be sure they weren't being double dealt by France, germany etc.
Arabic Country ?
Come On ! We never used UN for intelligince usage , But I'm almost sure that The US Do.

If we returned back in time , in about 1960 , the US Government used it's embassy in Egypt to Spy on it ( Even that most of the countries use this technique , But US What the first to use it ) , So I'm NOT surprised that Us might have Used UN To spy on It's allies ( France , Germany ...etc. ) .

Al-queda (what the heck was his name?) "top person"
He Is Osama Bin Laden ...

Isn't the question really about propaganda in the U.S. as in do you really still have freedom of speech as per the media's ability to report on ANYTHING that they want to report on. and as per the 'Homeleand security' measures, I suspect not.

How else could it be missed from the newscasts that it was American policy (as Per American PUBLIC legislation) that pushed the Kurds into Saddam, who then used the poison gas that he had purchased from Lu$t corp to defend himself. That is an "old bully tactic", to start a fight! No Americans the people, for the greater part are not truly evil, but what there current administration is doing, IS! (Just my opinion!) FZ+ This is 100% supposition. Has the U.S. come forward and claimed them? is there proof other then "it must be the evil U.S." assumptions? Not 100%. Maybe 30% or 40%, but there are suggestions in that direction. eg: http://www.oaklandtribune.com/Stories/0,1413,82~1865~1256938,00.html Le Figaro reported that Belgian police had identified the devices as American. The report did not say why officials believe the devices are American. http://www.observer.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12239,905954,00.html As you've likely heard by now, the Agency is mounting a surge particularly directed at the UN Security Council (UNSC) members (minus US and GBR of course) for insights as to how to membership is reacting to the on-going debate RE: Iraq, plans to vote on any related resolutions, what related policies/ negotiating positions they may be considering, alliances/ dependencies, etc - the whole gamut of information that could give US policymakers an edge in obtaining results favorable to US goals or to head off surprises. In RT, that means a QRC surge effort to revive/ create efforts against UNSC members Angola, Cameroon, Chile, Bulgaria and Guinea, as well as extra focus on Pakistan UN matters. Alias Give it a few more days and there won't be any Iraqi leadership left to bug. FZ+ Er... Alias, we are talking about alleged illegal bugging of UN security council members, not survelliance of the Iraqi leadership. (Which is, I think, allowed by the UN) Alias Ooops! You're right! Sorry! Here's two cents... Isn't spying(bugging) one of those things that everyone does and is sort of okay as long as you don't get caught? Njorl Science Advisor FZ, are you aware that those links you posted were for entirely different events? No bugs were found at the UN. Give it a couple more weeks and people will "remember" that there were bugs in the UN confirmed to have been planted by the CIA. Jeesh! Njorl kat oh oh oh! what's that? not ALWAYS U.S.!?!?! Actually Fz..it was the EU that was bugged, as njorl mentioned above. And as I said earlier it is indeed 100%, yeah..100% supposition. http://www.dailytelegraph.co.uk/new...ug20.xml&sSheet=/news/2003/03/20/ixworld.html The security lapse was discovered during a routine check by EU staff on Feb 28, but Britain was not informed until last week that its three-room complex on the seventh floor had been under surveillance, perhaps for years. The Swedish ambassador, Sven-Olaf Petersson, who took part in an emergency briefing of all 15 EU envoys yesterday, said there were signs that the eavesdropping may have been built into the system as long ago as 1995. "They were very sophisticated installations, which only a few intelligence services are able to install," he said. With tensions already running high over Iraq, EU diplomats were speculating last night on whether the culprit could be an EU member state, or possibly an East European country wanting secrets on enlargement policy. Fingers were pointing at Paris and London, which are both viewed as cunning enough to bug their own lines to disguise the operation. But the Russians, Israelis and Chinese were also being floated as candidates. OOPS! http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A57510-2003Mar19.html [Broken] The taps were first reported in a one-paragraph item in this morning's editions of the French newspaper Le Figaro. It said Belgian investigators had "rapidly identified" the wiretappers as being from the United States. This was denied, however, by both the EU and the Belgian state security service. They said no evidence yet pointed to any particular country or party as the perpetrator. "We have no indication of who has attempted and succeeded in breaking into our phone system," a press officer for the EU Council of Ministers said. "Until we receive the results of the inquiry, it would be premature to say who might be involved." the revelation stirred speculation by European officials that the culprit might have been from Russia, China or even Iraq. "It's not always the United States, you know," a European investigator said. OMG, not always the U.S.! who woulda thought?! The wonder of it all! Last edited by a moderator: Njorl Science Advisor Originally posted by Mr. Robin Parsons Isn't the question really about propaganda in the U.S. as in do you really still have freedom of speech as per the media's ability to report on ANYTHING that they want to report on. and as per the 'Homeleand security' measures, I suspect not. How else could it be missed from the newscasts that it was American policy (as Per American PUBLIC legislation) that pushed the Kurds into Saddam, who then used the poison gas that he had purchased from Lu$t corp to defend himself.

That is an "old bully tactic", to start a fight!

No Americans the people, for the greater part are not truly evil, but what there current administration is doing, IS!
(Just my opinion!)
The US has the freest press and the most protected speech in the world. In France, a newspaper can be shut down for insulting the government. In Britain and the nations of the former British commonwealth, you can be sued for libel even if you tell the truth. In Germany, you can be imprisoned for advocating Nazism. Admittedly, that last is not a bad restriction, but it is a restriction we don't have here. Some nations may equal our freedom of speech and our freedom of the press, but none surpass it.

Have you read the editorials of the New York Times?

The most critical source of news (that actually has credibility) is funded by the US government, NPR.

Njorl

FZ+
I did say it was 40% supposition...

But source 2 claims to be a leaked memorandum suggesting that the US will use wiretaps and other tricks to find out about the intentions of supposedly allied security council members. It didn't say bug their UN offices, but rather a "surge" towards acquiring information about the neutral 6 and other countries regarding the Iraq debate. The EU offices clearly provide a nexus for the transmission of information, and provide a logical target. The source provides evidence (albeit unconfirmed) about the intention of the NSA.

Source 1 gives evidence that wiretaps have been found and suggests they are of US origin. (edit: Though this can be disputed, it is a possibility. There is insufficient details at present, and we don't quite know what prompted the original investigators to point the finger at the US, and why this is now dismissed. Though I speculate on the doublethink of Britain or France bugging their own lines...) Now the nations alleged to have been targetted all have critical views regarding Iraq. Ok, that's circumstancial evidence, but it suggests that the US considers it policy to use such methods. The two may also be linked, and the "irregularities" were noticed only recently, suggesting that the bugs may have become recently active.
From http://www.bayarea.com/mld/cctimes/news/5436882.htm [Broken]
If the taps had not been discovered, they would have been in place during an EU summit scheduled for today and Friday. The Iraq war is at the top of the agenda.
The sources are also quite old, and rather not thanks to sudden "remembering". Kat's assertion it is 100% supposition is not correct. And wiretaps are illegal, no matter whether they are in the UN or EU offices. heumpje's initial post was inaccurate, but the matter still stands.
Finally, the idea of long standing taps do link to the snippet in the OT:
The discovery of the wiretaps come almost two years after the European Parliament held a special inquest into an alleged U.S.-led spy network dubbed Echelon, warning EU nations to step up security measures to protect sensitive government and business communications. The EU assembly concluded that the spy network did exist, despite official U.S. denials.

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FZ+
Njorl: I agree. Somewhat interesting that Richard Perle, the well known nationalist, is now suing for libel in the UK where the more inconvenient parts of the US constitution won't get in the way.
The problem is more that of focus. Newspapers are in it for the money. That's quite simple. But the newspapers outside the US tend to represent a larger slice of views than that of the US, simply because that is the basis of the political system. Perhaps this is an effect of the old bi-partisan system? Sameness of parties means some views simply don't get expressed.
Though the press are free now, certain new laws eg. patriot act threaten that. It seems the idea of free speech is at risk of becoming another peice of collateral damage. Therein lies the threat.

kat

http://www.observer.co.uk/Print/0,3858,4621231,00.html [Broken]
The truth is that intelligence officers from most of the world's nations have used the United Nations as a base of operations. One of the main reasons is accessibility. While a nation can refuse accreditation to a foreign diplomat suspected of being an intelligence agent, the United Nations cannot. The doors of the United Nations are open to all, including spies posing as diplomats, secretariat officials or even journalists.

Just because the timing of two seperate incidents are in close proximity does not mean that one is any proof of guilt for the other.
On the one hand you have a memo speaking of "stepping" up activities but also mentioned excluding U.S. and Great Britian.

On the other hand you have the discovery of actual wiretaps within the EU...with accompanying statements declaring that there is ABSOLUTELY NO SUPPORT for any statements blaming the U.S.

Where I come from anything laying guilt for the second incident on the U.S. when statements point towards other countries is the equivelant of speaking out of your A or in other words..100% supposition.
Apparently you're enjoying your bias too much to realize this...please continue I would not want to ruin your fun.

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Originally posted by Njorl
The US has the freest press and the most protected speech in the world. In France, a newspaper can be shut down for insulting the government. In Britain and the nations of the former British commonwealth, you can be sued for libel even if you tell the truth. In Germany, you can be imprisoned for advocating Nazism. Admittedly, that last is not a bad restriction, but it is a restriction we don't have here. Some nations may equal our freedom of speech and our freedom of the press, but none surpass it.

Have you read the editorials of the New York Times?

The most critical source of news (that actually has credibility) is funded by the US government, NPR.

Njorl
Nice opinion Norjl, a little erroneous, but well meant.

I live in one of those nations of the "former British commonwealth", (Canada) and you cannot be sued for libel for telling the truth, as a matter of fact, as long as you can prove that what you are saying is true, you can legally libel, and defame, a public figure!

Got that one a little 'd'ackwar'b's did Ya?

As for the most credible news source, there isn't one, as in singular, as all news agencies make mistakes, ergo it must take several to get any realistic scope of the news.

But apparently that is not what you follow, hence your positions??

Njorl
Hmm,
Did Canada change it's libel laws? New Zealand and Australia have not. I seem to recall that even as late as the 1950's they were still the same as the British laws. I admit, I did not do an extensive search on Canadien Civil law before posting. I should have posted with less certainty.

Njorl

FZ+

I merely pointed out that this case is not 100% supposition, but some circumstancial evidence does exist. (perhaps the same sort of evidence that prompted a war with Iraq?)
I did not make a conclusion on whether the allegations were true or false. I simply say they cannot be thrown out without consideration. You might notice I agreed with you over the free speech issue.
Bias? You must be joking.

kat

Originally posted by FZ+
I merely pointed out that this case is not 100% supposition, but some circumstancial evidence does exist. (perhaps the same sort of evidence that prompted a war with Iraq?) I'm not going to touch this with a "ten foot pole" I am, as you mentioned you are, tired of argueing the point and am only hoping and praying that we now do not get bogged down and over our heads only to watch our children marched off to die in some god forsaken desert
I did not make a conclusion on whether the allegations were true or false. I simply say they cannot be thrown out without consideration. You might notice I agreed with you over the free speech issue.Lol, I saw that. I'm sorry I didn't acknowledge it. It's nice to know that at the very least we can agree on this very important point
Bias? You must be joking.
FZ, we all have bias....

russ_watters
Mentor
I did not make a conclusion on whether the allegations were true or false. I simply say they cannot be thrown out without consideration.
I think the consensus of the other side here is that EVERYONE spies. Its only when someone gets caught that they get bad press. The bias many hold against the US (including you) leads people to jump to conclusions about our actions and motives. And the double standard on the US's treatment by the world community allows people to chastise the US for things they themselves do.

Bias? You must be joking.
EVERYONE has a bias. Clearly my bias is pro-US. Clearly yours is anti-US. Bias is simply the way you lean. Not having a bias requires not ever forming an opinion, because every opinion in some way reflects a bias - thats how rational people can reach different conclusions while looking at the same information. But biases have different levels of intensity and some are unreasonabl. Some people will look at EVERY piece of information they get and go to extrordinary lengths to bend it to fit their bias. Given the EXTREME paucity of hard information, the opening post in this thread shows a HEAVY anti-US bias in its unmitigated assumption that the US is behind spying. And many of the other posts show heavy bias by ignoring the fact that EVERY country participates in spying - indeed the US and Soviets actually had agreements on the stabilizing affect of spying and treated it as just another form of political gamesmanship.

FZ+
I think the consensus of the other side here is that EVERYONE spies. Its only when someone gets caught that they get bad press. The bias many hold against the US (including you) leads people to jump to conclusions about our actions and motives. And the double standard on the US's treatment by the world community allows people to chastise the US for things they themselves do.
Precisely. So why did everyone jump on me for raising the possibility that the US is spying?

EVERYONE has a bias. Clearly my bias is pro-US. Clearly yours is anti-US.
That is nonsense. Anti-US? Pro-US? If I am anti anything, I am anti the current US administration. It's stupid to say that I am anti-US as a country. Heck, the US constitution makes it the duty of US citizens to question the US government.(ok, so I am not an US citizen, but to say that criticism of the government = criticism of the people, the nation and the values is simplistic) This is them vs us thinking. This is not a good thing in a rational discussion.
Maybe I do have a bias. But me saying that the idea the US is spying on the UN is 100% supposition is an incorrect assumption is certaining not basing an argument on bias. And an attack based on accusing me of bias is ill made.
Ok, I admit, my little bit on evidence around Iraq is a little bit of overprovocation. But.... ah forget it. It would just trigger a year long flame war that leads nowhere. Sorry for bringing it up.

Sensi: Correct.

Sorry. I'll stop pissing off half the forum and return to normal function when this war business goes away...

Thanks for the replies all !!

I've been offline for the weekend so I couldn't respond. What do you people think of CNN? Is this an independent network. It is the only american network I can recieve and i've noticed that they don't tell you everything. There were a number of occassions where CNN did not tell the whole story. For instance, CNN reports that Iraq fired a missile on Iran. First of all there were four missiles fired on Iran (as dutch television reports), secondly three of them are american as Iranian officials tell us (and indeed one from Iraq). Since I don't know how independent CNN is, I can hardly judge if this is misleading, furthermore there are so many rumours and wild stories going on, you can't blame them for missing or ignoring some of them.

BTW: about the spying story, the dutch media reported that bugs were found in the offices of France, Germany and Russia... As i noticed from the above posts, reports about this are varying depending on what country you live in. I suppose there is a lesson to be learned here: never trust the media and if you do, remember that there might be more sides to the story.

damgo
What do you people think of CNN? Is this an independent network.
Sorta... I've been kinda disappointed with them recently. They cover everything well and accurately, but there's been more 'spin' than there used to be in the analysis and coverage than there used to be.
Remember that there might be more sides to the story.