Steve Sachs Duke


Sunday, April 27, 2003


Aid and comfort. The Sunday Times (reg. req'd.) is reporting that France regularly provided Saddam's regime with accounts of private meetings with U.S. diplomats. According to files found in the Foreign Ministry, in September 2001 the French ambassador briefed Iraqi officials on the contents of talks between Chirac and Bush; the files also reported Powell and Hubert Vedrine's discussions of new U.N. resolutions. (A free CNN account is at the bottom of this page--link courtesy of OxBlog.)

Of course, maybe these were intended leaks; maybe the U.S. was trying to send Iraq a message through French intermediaries. But much of the information France provided--such as U.S. plans to challenge Russia over its support for Iraq--we wouldn't want Saddam to know. The better explanation seems to be that France just didn't mind handing diplomatic secrets to its friends in Baghdad.

(What Russian support, you ask? According to documents described in the Daily Telegraph, Russia provided Iraq with secret intelligence on conversations between Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi, as well as details of its arms deals and lists of assassins in Western countries.)

Well, at least they're not on the Security Council or anything.




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