In 2003, Katherine Gunn, was a young Mandarin translator working with British intelligence. By a strange quirk of fate, she found herself involved in American efforts to push through the Bush plan for war in Iraq. On January 31, 2003, she received an email from a Frank Koxa, who headed “regional targets” at the National Security Agency and he requested assistance on what he termed an allegiance “surge.” He wanted: “the whole gamut of information that could give the United States policy makers the edge in obtaining results favourable to head off surprises.” In essence, Gunn and others, were being asked to dig up any possible information about UN delegates, including material about their personal lives.
Ms. Gunn took her information to the Observor, which was a supporter of the war, and its editor decided to publlish the information. Katherine Gunn was arrested, but within a few months all charges were dropped and she was released. Most probably, the Americans did not wish their efforts to become public knowledge.
The revelation by Ms. Gunn should not surprise anyone. The first surge was conceived in as much deceit as was the second. Yes, there has been some reduction in physical violence in Iraq, but the political process remains in chaos.