Short and Sour


Former British cabinet minister Claire Short has announced that British intelligence bugged Kofi Annan?s office: ?In fact,? she added in a BBC radio interview, ?I?ve had conversations with Kofi in the run-up to the war, thinking ?Oh dear, there will be a transcript of this and people will see what he and I are saying.??

The story is a follow-up to an initial report in The Observer in March 2003, which led to subsequent legal action being taken against the person who leaked the story: Katharine Gun, a linguist who worked at the British eavesdropping agency, GCHQ.

Last week I noted that The Observer?s revelations were actually a dud. I could be made to eat my words because of Short?s indiscretions, but somehow I doubt it. After all, we?re in an age when the C.I.A. can blithely sail through a New York Times report that all but suggests that 9/11 might have been avoided had the agency pursued a lead.