Clair Short, British Prime Minister Tony Blair's International Development Secretary who resigned in the wake of the attack on Iraq has alleged that The British Intelligence Community had been eavesdropping on United Nations Secretary Kofi Annan's telephone conversations during the lead up to war.
Mr. Blair said, "While it was totally irresponsible for Ms. Short to spill the beans about the fact that Great Britain may or may not have done something that may or may not be illegal during the lead up to a war that may or may not have happened either this year or some other year is not something that I can comment on, either now or at some other time that may or may not occur in the near or far future."
While the assembled reporters were trying to figure out what Mr. Blair was saying, he continued, " If something that was or was not illegal or illicit or even slightly suspect that did indeed or did indeed not happen, it is the policy of this Government to not comment on it or if we did comment on it, and let me be perfectly clear here, I'm not saying that I am or am not commenting on it, and, well, there you have it."
Mr. Annan, when contacted at his office at the U.N., was asked about Ms. Shorts charges.
Grabbing a yellow legal pad, Mr. Annan wrote the words: NO, I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT GREAT BRITIAN WOULD DO THAT. TONY BLAIR IS A GOOD MAN AND I TRUST HIM
Mr. Blair, looking at a small television screen mounted to his podium said, " I see Annan misspelled Britain."