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  • Is Bush behind Watergate-style bugging in Europe?

    By Bruce S. Ticker
    Online Journal Contributing Writer

    March 24, 2003—”To conquer one has to take risks.”

    “His word is a bond for the next chief.”

    Saturday morning, as “coalition of the willing” troops proceeded toward Baghdad, I heard these bits of dialogue in two films I watched.

    In “Genghis Khan,” bad-guy Stephen Boyd offered the above advice to Eli Wallach, a Jewish actor portraying the Muslim Shah of Khwarazm, which is roughly what constitutes Iran in the early 13th century. A peace-making American general offered the above reassuring words (which may be imprecisely quoted) to Apache Chief Cochise in “Broken Arrow” that successive presidents will abide by treaties with the Indians.

    Did Dick Cheney and Richard Perle tell George W. Bush that he needs to take risks to conquer? Did the risks comprise violating the United Nations charter and pulling other tricks comparable to one which placed Richard Nixon on a path toward sure impeachment?

    Someone pulled a fast one that conjures up memories of and outdoes the Watergate burglary: The New York Times reported Thursday (March 20) that the European Union discovered a bugging operation directed at five of the 15-member nations in a headquarters building in Brussels.

    A statement issued by the EU said the bugging devices were uncovered in a routine sweep by the union’s security services. The EU said it discovered an “anomaly in an internal telephone line” and detected the presence of “an unknown electronic device linked to the telephone system. A small number of similar devices were found immediately afterward in other locations in the building.”

    The EU is currently investigating, but ya gotta wonder if George W. Bush and his associates might be the perpetrators.

    History and motivation make the Bushies automatic suspects.

    In the 1970s, Richard Nixon’s people broke into the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters in the Watergate complex as one of numerous dirty tricks. Nixon resigned the presidency before he could be impeached.

    Bush’s people themselves have engaged in dirty tricks since Bush first sought the presidency. If they pull stuff like that in America, why not in Europe?

    The motivation is clear enough. The countries whose offices were bugged are Germany, France, Britain, Spain and Austria. Bush could well have been spying for incriminating information to blackmail them into supporting the war.

    So far, British and Spanish leaders have joined the “coalition of the willing” while the French and Germans have been victimized by a campaign to discredit them.

    The Times story also states, “The British newspaper, the Observer, reported that the United States was conducting a spy operation against U.N. Security Council delegations as part of a campaign to win votes for a resolution backing the use of force in Iraq. The reports could not be confirmed.

    “Two years ago, the European Parliament investigated reports that an American-led global spy network dubbed Echelon spied on Europe’s business sector. American officials have not acknowledged that such a network exists and have said American agencies do not engage in industrial espionage.”

    Whoever is responsible, it is no great leap to suspect Bush’s forces as being behind this. If it is true and can be proven, the EU buggings are far more serious than the Watergate break-in and would reflect a pattern of impeachable offenses.

    These are people who are bound by treaty to operating within the authority of the United Nations. They are violating a treaty which has been respected by eight previous presidents.

    Perhaps they’re betting that nobody can believe that a good Christian family man would ever commit such outrageous crimes. Hopefully, Bush’s transgressions will catch up with him before he does much more damage.