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30 November 2010, 15:20

Cablegate: Clinton allegedly told diplomats to spy

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Wikileaks Logo According to reports in The Guardian newspaper, US cables recently released on the Wikileaks whistle blower web site, include instructions to US diplomats to act as spies. In July 2009, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly issued secret directives to her diplomats, instructing them to provide detailed technical information about the UN's communications systems, as well as biometric data of important UN officials. Clinton's wish list apparently included such details as the passwords and encryption keys for accessing official communication networks, as well as the credit card and frequent flier numbers, of high-ranking UN officials.

In addition, US diplomats in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi were reportedly even instructed to collect finger prints, DNA samples and retinal scans of specific UN target persons. The diplomats were also ordered to gather intelligence on UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon, including details about his governance style, decision-making processes and influence on the UN Secretariat.

According to media reports, UN Ambassador Susan Rice rejected the allegations, saying "Our diplomats are just that, they're diplomats." On Monday, Clinton announced that she will 'aggressively pursue' those behind the data theft and tighten security measures. In Clinton's opinion, the disclosure is "not just an attack on America's foreign policy interests. It is an attack on the international community." The US Secretary of State emphasised that official US foreign policy is not based on such cables: "US policy is made in Washington."


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