- WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S intelligence agents entered Iraq and spied on its
military for three years under the guise of UN arms control inspectors,
according to the Washington Post.
- The newspaper said today that the UN
Special Commission was not aware it had been infiltrated by U.S. spies
and did not authorize or benefit from the operation.
- Clinton administration officials have
acknowledged gaining valuable information about Iraq as a byproduct of
its co-operation with UNSCOM in rooting out Saddam Hussein's forbidden
missile, nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs.
- But the administration has disputed claims
that U.S. intelligence directly used UNSCOM to penetrate Iraq's security
forces and undermine the Iraqi regime.
- "Our support was specifically tailored
to facilitate the UN Special Commission's mission and for no other purpose,"
State Department spokesman James Rubin said in early January.
- The Post, citing government employees
and documents describing classified operations, said U.S. agents rigged
UNSCOM equipment and office space -- without permission -- to intercept
Iraqi military communications between commanders and infantry and armoured
forces in the field.
- American intelligence agents infiltrated
the system when UNSCOM changed the arrangement it used to monitor distant
sites in Iraq with video cameras. The U.S. technicians who installed and
maintained the system were intelligence operatives, and they hid antennas
capable of intercepting transmissions in the equipment, the newspaper said.
- At least two other technicians lent by
the U.S. government to run the remote camera system for UNSCOM were employees
of the Central Intelligence Agency, according to the Post.