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The frontrunner to become the next president of the United States is playing an old and dangerous political game -- comparing a foreign leader to Adolf Hitler.

At a private charity event on Tuesday, in comments preserved on audio, Hillary Clinton talked about actions by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in the Crimea. “Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the ’30s,” she said.

The next day, Clinton gave the inflammatory story more oxygen when speaking at UCLA. She “largely stood by the remarks,” the Washington Post reported. Clinton “said she was merely noting parallels between Putin’s claim that he was protecting Russian-speaking minorities in Crimea and Hitler’s moves into Poland, Czechoslovakia and other parts of Europe to protect German minorities.”

Clinton denied that she was comparing Putin with Hitler even while she persisted in comparing Putin with Hitler. “I just want people to have a little historic perspective,” she said. “I’m not making a comparison certainly, but I am recommending that we perhaps can learn from this tactic that has been used before.”

Yes indeed. Let’s learn from this tactic that has been used before -- the tactic of comparing overseas adversaries to Hitler. Such comparisons by U.S. political leaders have a long history of fueling momentum for war.

“Surrender in Vietnam” would not bring peace, President Lyndon Johnson said at a news conference on July 28, 1965 as he tried to justify escalating the war, “because we learned from Hitler at Munich that success only feeds the appetite of aggression.”

After Ho Chi Minh was gone, the Hitler analogy went to other leaders of countries in U.S. crosshairs. The tag was also useful when attached to governments facing U.S.-backed armies.

Three decades ago, while Washington funded the contra forces in Nicaragua, absurd efforts to smear the elected left-wing Sandinistas knew no rhetorical bounds. Secretary of State George Shultz said on February 15, 1984, at a speech in Boston: “I’ve had good friends who experienced Germany in the 1930s go there and come back and say, ‘I’ve visited many communist countries, but Nicaragua doesn’t feel like that. It feels like Nazi Germany.’”

Washington embraced Panama’s Gen. Manuel Noriega as an ally, and for a while he was a CIA collaborator. But there was a falling out, and tension spiked in the summer of 1989. Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger said that drug trafficking by Noriega “is aggression as surely as Adolf Hitler’s invasion of Poland 50 years ago was aggression.” A U.S. invasion overthrew Noriega in December 1989.

In early August 1990, the sudden Iraqi invasion of Kuwait abruptly ended cordial relations between Washington and Baghdad. The two governments had a history of close cooperation during the 1980s. But President George H. W. Bush proclaimed that Saddam Hussein was “a little Hitler.” In January 1991, the U.S. government launched the Gulf War.

Near the end of the decade, Hillary Clinton got a close look at how useful it can be to conflate a foreign leader with Hitler, as President Bill Clinton and top aides repeatedly drew the parallel against Serbia’s president, Slobodan Milosevic. In late March 1999, the day before the bombing of Kosovo and Serbia began, President Clinton said in a speech: “And so I want to talk to you about Kosovo today but just remember this -- it’s about our values. What if someone had listened to Winston Churchill and stood up to Adolf Hitler earlier?”

As the U.S.-led NATO bombing intensified, so did efforts to justify it with references to Hitler. “Clinton and his senior advisers harked repeatedly back to images of World War II and Nazism to give moral weight to the bombing,” the Washington Post reported. Vice President Al Gore chimed in for the war chorus, calling Milosevic “one of these junior-league Hitler types.”

Just a few years later, the George W. Bush administration cranked up a revival of Saddam-Hitler comparisons. They became commonplace.

Five months before the invasion of Iraq, it was nothing extraordinary when a leading congressional Democrat pulled out all the stops. “Had Hitler’s regime been taken out in a timely fashion,” said Rep. Tom Lantos, “the 51 million innocent people who lost their lives during the Second World War would have been able to finish their normal life cycles. Mr. Chairman, if we appease Saddam Hussein, we will stand humiliated before both humanity and history.”

From the Vietnam War to the Iraq War, facile and wildly inaccurate comparisons between foreign adversaries and Adolf Hitler have served the interests of politicians hell-bent on propelling the United States into war. Often, those politicians succeeded. The carnage and the endless suffering have been vast.

Now, Hillary Clinton is ratcheting up her own Hitler analogies. She knows as well as anyone the power they can generate for demonizing a targeted leader.

With the largest nuclear arsenals on the planet, the United States and Russia have the entire world on a horrific knife’s edge. Nuclear saber-rattling is implicit in what the prospective President Hillary Clinton has done in recent days, going out of her way to tar Russia’s president with a Hitler brush. Her eagerness to heighten tensions with Russia indicates that she is willing to risk war -- and even nuclear holocaust -- for the benefit of her political ambitions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Norman, Are You Surprised? (10+ / 0-)

    If HRC was still secretary of state, she would be reading from the exact same script Kerry is reading from-- including the laughable criticism of Putin: "He can't invade another nation based on false pretense". !!!

    "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

    by Superpole on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:49:46 AM PST

  •  The neo-nazis are in the new Ukrainian government (14+ / 0-)

    Why isn't she worried about that?

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 03:02:22 AM PST

    •  Probably the same reason (9+ / 0-)

      they are not concerned about backing Al Qaeda in Syria.

      If you stand for nothing you will fall for anything.

      by LieparDestin on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 03:24:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  shush- that's not the point! seeeriously, that's (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, MartyM, CIndyCasella, corvo

      like pointing out that North Korea was demonstrating WMDs while we were ignoring him and pointing at our former business partner from back in the days when Rumsfeld represented Reagan over there...

      We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

      by nuclear winter solstice on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:21:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  evidence? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      debedb
      The neo-nazis are in the new Ukrainian government

      "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

      by MartyM on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:31:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here you go: (7+ / 0-)

        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        Svoboda and UNA-UNSO have the Ministries of Security and Prosecutor-General, plus some others. There's a list in the comment link.

        Excerpted from that comment is Svoboda's website:

        The Svoboda Party (formerly the Social National Party of Ukraine) was formed with the unification of the activists of nationalistic community organizations ...

        Svoboda's ideology stems from "Two Revolutions", a book written by Yaroslav Stetsko, leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN):

        Again, from that comment a bit about Stetsko, who said:
        In August of 1941 Stetsko wrote his autobiography. ...He finally states that he absolutely endorses the extermination of Jews, and the rationality of the German methods of extermination of Jews, instead of assimilating them.
        There's details at the link. If people who say the top Ukrainian Nazi is their model, who organize travel to trials of Nazi War Criminals to support them, and who say the same things Nazis said aren't neo-Nazis, then there exist none on earth.


        Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

        by Jim P on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 05:01:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ukrainian smears and stereotypes.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      debedb, sviscusi
      Nazi or fascist — These loaded historical terms have been used by both Russian and Ukrainian officials for many months to describe a wide range of opposition leaders and groups. Fake photographs of nonexistent Hitler posters in Kiev have been circulating online; recently the Russian foreign minister lectured his German colleagues for, he said, supporting people who salute Hitler.
      Of course there is a Ukrainian far right, though it is much smaller than the far right in France, Austria or Holland, and its members have indeed become more violent under the pressure of police clubs, bullets and attacks.

      At the same time, those who throw these terms around should remember that the strongest anti-Semitic, homophobic and xenophobic rhetoric in this region is not coming from the Ukrainian far right but from the Russian press, and ultimately the Russian regime.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

      "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

      by MartyM on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:33:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Simply facts (6+ / 0-)

        In addition, the far-right party Svoboda (Liberty) received 38 seats in the legislature in the most recent elections, and its members espouse extreme anti-Semitic and nationalist views.

        In addition, the party received five portfolios in the new government, including justice minister and deputy prime minister. “The Right Sector, a small organization, armed and more extreme, which espouses a pro-Nazi ideology and is opposed to joining the EU, is not represented in parliament, but its leader Demytro Yarosh declared recently that his organization and Svoboda share many views and values," the paper stated. Incidentally, Yarosh was appointed in late February as the deputy head of the National Council for Defense and Security.

        http://www.haaretz.com/...

        "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

        by Paleo on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 05:04:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You linked to Anne Applebaum's spin. Anti-semites (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, Azazello, JesseCW, schumann, aliasalias

        and racists are in the cabinet of the illegitimate government that ousted a democratically elected president by force, some of whom were handpicked by Victoria Nuland before the coup.

        http://www.channel4.com/...

        However, in 2004 leader Oleh Tyahnybok gave a speech attacking what he called "the Moscow-Jewish mafia ruling Ukraine" and in another speech declared: "the Moskali, Germans, Kikes and other scum who wanted to take away our Ukrainian state."

        Despite the controversy his statements attracted in the West, Tyahnybok was voted Person of the Year by readers of Ukrainian news magazine Korrespondent last year.

        In another outburst from the party their deputy chief, Ihor Miroshnychenko, wrote an anti-Semitic attack on Mila Kunis on Facebook: "Kunis is not Ukrainian, she is a Yid. She is proud of it, so Star of David be with her."

        Is the U.S. Backing Neo-Nazis in Ukraine? Exposing troubling ties in the U.S. to overt Nazi and fascist protesters in Ukraine. by Max Blumenthal, February 24, 2014, Alter Net.

        A man attempts to drape a white supremacist banner on a pillar adjacent to a wall that sports a confederate flag in the Kiev City Hall.

        Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by CIndyCasella on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 05:22:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It got 12% of the vote. It openly celebrates (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aliasalias

        politicians who collaborated with the Nazi's.  

        It's Fascist, it's real, and I can't begin to understand what the motivation could possibly be for denying or trying to minimize it.

        Svoboda is as openly Fascist as Golden Dawn.  It is well to the right of most of the right wing parties that participate in Government in Western Europe.

        Welcome to the Whole Foods of the blogosphere.

        by JesseCW on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:33:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  "The truth is... (4+ / 0-)

    ...rarely pure and never simple." Oscar Wilde

    I'm not paranoid or anything. Everyone just thinks I am.

    by Jim Riggs on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 03:26:10 AM PST

  •  when every bogey man of the moment is Hitler, (10+ / 0-)

    to liken anyone to Hitler becomes just a tired cliche, and reveals the one who does so to be lacking in imagination and the power of original thought - perhaps HRC is just past it...

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 03:40:51 AM PST

    •  but unfortunately it sounded to me like she is (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CIndyCasella, corvo, snoopydawg

      straddling the center line and hoping that the Hitler-dog-whistle will awaken some on the R side who are disgruntled with their leadership choices. Here's a "Democrat" they can relate to. SHe may be losing a lot of votes among peaceful dems, but she'll gain on the other side. Thanks H.  Not.

      We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

      by nuclear winter solstice on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:24:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  it's also an insult (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, snoopydawg, aliasalias

      to the victims of very real wars and genocides.

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:51:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Except that isn't what she did. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JamieG from Md, trumpeter, sviscusi

      From the story:

       

      "She compared issuing Russian passports to Ukrainians with ties to Russia with early actions by Nazi Germany before Hitler began invading neighboring countries," Saltzgaver told BuzzFeed. "She said, however, that while that makes people nervous, there is no indication that Putin is as irrational as the instigator of World War II."
      The fallacy in the "everyone is Hitler" claim is that the person of Adolf Hitler was  unique, and uniquely dangerous, as a political and military actor. She specifically denies this comparison, limiting her comments to a specific action they took that was in common (citing a non-existent need to protect minorities in another nation as an excuse to invade it).

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:30:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm sorely disappointed in her. (8+ / 0-)

    As much as Kerry's "Munich Moment".

    I hope we have a different nominee, since I will not vote for someone that goes Godwin. (Not that it particularly matters if I leave the line blank since I live in Massachusetts.)

    She was Secretary of State, and should know better.

  •  meanwhile, How America Was Lost (5+ / 0-)

    HOW AMERICA WAS LOST

    From 9/11 to the Police/Warfare State

    background on the author

    Dr. Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant
    Secretary of the US Treasury, member of the US
    Congressional staff,  associate editor and
    columnist for the Wall Street Journal, and
    columnist for Business Week, the Scripps Howard
    News Service, and Creators Syndicate.  He has
    held academic appointments in six universities,
    including the William E. Simon Chair in Political
    Economy, Center for Strategic and International
    Studies, Georgetown. He has testified before
    committees of Congress on 30 occasions. He is
    author or coauthor of ten books and numerous
    articles in scholarly journals

    Dr. Roberts was awarded the US Treasury’s
    Meritorious Service Award for “outstanding
    contributions to the formulation of US economic
    policy,” and France’s Legion of Honor as “the
    artisan of a renewal in economic science and
    policy after half a century of state interventionism”
    by the government of Francois Mitterrand.

    “Americans are ruled by usurpers who claim that the executive branch is above the law and that the US Constitution is a mere 'scrap of paper'.”
    Even as the view of America as a rogue state consolidates abroad,
    Americans appear largely bystanders at the spectacle of their
    government running amok. People forget the myriad instances of their
    government's flouting of the Constitution and international legal norms--
    if ever they were aware of them in the first place--accepting to live in
    the increasingly pernicious "new normal" with little protest.
     
  •  I had a thought. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest

    That HRC doesn't actually believe what she said and she would not have done anything different to President Obama.

    However Sec. Clinton is a smart women and what she said creates some distance between her and PBO. Additionally it also "speaks" to the more moderate Republicans and takes some sting out of their attacks.

  •  If she decides to run, this comment on Putin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IB JOHN

    is not going to wound her chances.  

    Stripped to practical impact, it's barely a factor in most voters' assessment of her potential candidacy.  If they were inclined to support her before the Putin comment, they still will.  If they weren't, they won't.  

    "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" (Yeats)

    by Remediator on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:34:06 AM PST

  •  She better be careful (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    She's making a good attempt to catch Crazy Uncle Joe in the uneducated/nonsensical statement race.

    You best believe it does

    by HangsLeft on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 04:35:28 AM PST

  •  If Sudetenland is a parallel, what about Bosnia? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CIndyCasella, JesseCW, aliasalias

    Bill Clinton violated Serbian territorial integrity in order to protect the Bosnian minority and carve out an independent Bosnia, and no one (except some disgruntled Serbs) today questions that this was justified on humanitarian grounds.

    •  Kosovo is even a better example (5+ / 0-)

      Where the west supported the Republic's breakaway from Serbia.

      "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

      by Paleo on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 05:14:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In both of those cases, it was the locals who... (0+ / 0-)

        instigated and brought to fruition the secession. Both the Bosnian and Kosovar publics strongly supported leaving Yugoslavio/Serbia.

        As opposed to Crimea, in which the Russians invaded a region whose populace had no intention of seceding. The pro-secessionist, pro-Moscow party in the Crimean parliament won exactly three out of 100 seats in the last election. That, btw, is the party that Putin installed at the new Crimean government after dismissing the elected parliament.

        So, no, whatever you think of American support for the indigenous secession movements in Kosovo and Bosnia, it really isn't the same thing as the Russian effort to compel Crimean secession.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:27:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  fish got to swim, birds got to fly (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CIndyCasella, fugwb, corvo, JesseCW, aliasalias

    warmongers got to warmonger

  •  Unless Hitler was sui generis, attempts to draw (4+ / 0-)

    lessons from his career are not necessarily either wrong or simplistic. In a lengthy diary ostensibly about HRC's statement, it's notable that the diary never considers the merits of what she had to say.

    Has Putin, or his henchmen and apologists, sought to rationalize Russia's take-over of the Crimea (and potential occupation of other parts of Ukraine) on the grounds of protecting Russian speakers? Yes, he has.

    Did Hitler, and his henchmen and apologists, use the protection of Germans to justify, for example, dismembering Czechoslovakia? Yes, he did.

    Did Reagan, and his henchmen and apologists, use the protection of Americans in Grenada to justify the U.S. invasion of that tiny island? Yes, he did.

    In discussing the conduct of an American adversary, Putin, does it make sense for a potential candidate for president of a major American political party to draw the lesson, and analogy, from Reagan? Of course not.

    Does that undo a careful analogy to Hitler? Not at all.

    That said, Stalin might be a more useful general analogy, considering, among other things, Putin's having bemoaned of the break-up of the Soviet Union and his formative years under the decaying neo-Stalinist Brezhnev regime.

    Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

    by another American on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:16:55 AM PST

    •  It wasn't a 'careful analogy to Hitler' (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, JesseCW, aliasalias

      She used a single military action devoid of all context except the most superficial. There was absolutely nothing to be drawn from or gained by it in relation to understanding what is happening in Ukraine. Even arenas where the analogy would be modestly defensible (classroom discussions of military history from junior high through university) don't do that.

      And what was the point of making the analogy from a 'lessons learned' perspective? The 'lesson' of the Reagan example is that it was a limited action to be condemned but not worthy of escalation. The 'lesson' from Hitler is a completely different kettle of fish.

  •  The protection of Germans was indeed ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IB JOHN

    the excuse used Nazi Germany for the invasion of Czechoslovakia and Poland, so she wasn't inaccurate about that. Of course, the protection of Americans was also our excuse for the invasion of Grenada, so that excuse isn't exactly unique to Nazi Germany and Putin's Russia.

    Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

    by leevank on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 06:38:20 AM PST

  •  Putin is Hitler! - I hate Putin! (0+ / 0-)

         All good Americans hate Putin!

         

    The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

    by Azazello on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:12:53 AM PST

  •  The intellectual dishonesty of the Clintons (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW, snoopydawg, aliasalias

    is really, really irritating.  Do they really think we're that fucking stupid?

    No, Bill, we think you did inhale

    No, Bill, we don't think NAFTA is all they great an idea, nor is repealing Glass Steagall or the Commodities Modernization Act.

    No, Hillary, we don't think voting AUMF was a good idea.

    No, Hillary, it's not like Hitler.

    Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

    by bobdevo on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 07:20:19 AM PST

  •  A simply stupid statement by Hillary. (0+ / 0-)

    You can parse it any way you like, but there is no excuse for her wading into the Godwin pool.

    And the fact that she is sticking by it is making me worry. I voted for Hillary in the primary, but with the background worry about her views of the world in terms of her support for Israel and her meddling behind the scenes with religious crazies (The Family).  I actually hope that someone gives her a good run for her money if she decides to go for the brass ring because her tendency to arrogance needs to be checked at least once in awhile.

  •  Your whole diary is based on a misreading. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IB JOHN, sukeyna, JamieG from Md, sviscusi

    She did not compare Putin to Hitler. In fact, she specifically rejected that comparison. From the story:

    "She compared issuing Russian passports to Ukrainians with ties to Russia with early actions by Nazi Germany before Hitler began invading neighboring countries," Saltzgaver told BuzzFeed. "She said, however, that while that makes people nervous, there is no indication that Putin is as irrational as the instigator of World War II."
    She compared (some of) their actions, but specifically said that the two individuals were not comparable.

    You're the one playing the Hitler card here, not her.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:21:57 AM PST

    •  No way. (0+ / 0-)

      I just relistened to the audio. She totally framed the current situation in the context of Hitler. She wasn't responding to someone else saying 'yes, there may be similarities but here is what's different...". She introduced the 'this is just what Hitler did at the start of WWII' frame of reference and then proceeded to work within that frame of reference.

      I don't think she was warmongering (and goodness knows I have been called a warmonger on this site more than once) but I do think her chosen frame of reference was in no way appropriate to the situation at hand.

      Invoking the name of Hitler has a history and if she wants to do it others have a right to call her out on it.

      •  It IS what Hitler did at the start of WWII. (0+ / 0-)

        There isn't even an argument that comparing the actions is inapt.

        What would be inappropriate would be to go the next step and draw the conclusion, "...therefore, Putin like Hitler," and she didn't do that. She specifically rejected that conclusion.

        I understand the concern - the habit of setting up a "New Hitler" - and I think we should call out people when they do that, but Hillary didn't do that.

        We should reject bad arguments. We shouldn't wipe the entire topic of World War II, including the acts of German aggression that preceded it, out of our analysis of history.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:21:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's Not A Matter Of "How Bad Hillary Sucks"...... (0+ / 0-)

    I'll vote for her, just like I did for Bill.  However, referencing Hitler wasn't cool.  It's what a first timer does.

    Not cool at all.  And.....she's far too experienced to make that kind of mistake, historical tho it may be.  

  •  a lot of people will ignore or defend this but (0+ / 0-)

    if the concern is about her political future I think too many will just forget it by the time it could mean anything in 2016, if indeed it could/would.

    Look how quickly her actions as SoS against every member of the UN seems to have already faded, in fact I guess I missed the outrage when the news did happen but something like this Hitler meme has even less of chance of being remembered. Much less considering what has already gone down the collective memory hole.
    http://www.theguardian.com/...

    Washington is running a secret intelligence campaign targeted at the leadership of the United Nations, including the secretary general, Ban Ki-moon and the permanent security council representatives from China, Russia, France and the UK.

    A classified directive which appears to blur the line between diplomacy and spying was issued to US diplomats under Hillary Clinton's name in July 2009, demanding forensic technical details about the communications systems used by top UN officials, including passwords and personal encryption keys used in private and commercial networks for official communications.

    It called for detailed biometric information "on key UN officials, to include undersecretaries, heads of specialised agencies and their chief advisers, top SYG [secretary general] aides, heads of peace operations and political field missions, including force commanders" as well as intelligence on Ban's "management and decision-making style and his influence on the secretariat". A parallel intelligence directive sent to diplomats in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi said biometric data included DNA, fingerprints and iris scans.

    Washington also wanted credit card numbers, email addresses, phone, fax and pager numbers and even frequent-flyer account numbers for UN figures and "biographic and biometric information on UN Security Council permanent representatives".</ blockquote>

    Oh yeah it was also illegal...

    The UN has previously asserted that bugging the secretary general is illegal, citing the 1946 UN convention on privileges and immunities which states: "The premises of the United Nations shall be inviolable. The property and assets of the United Nations, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall be immune from search, requisition, confiscation, expropriation and any other form of interference, whether by executive, administrative, judicial or legislative action".

    The 1961 Vienna convention on diplomatic relations, which covers the UN, also states that "the official correspondence of the mission shall be inviolable".

    (emphasis mine)

    without the ants the rainforest dies

    by aliasalias on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 12:43:18 PM PST

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