Is the United States Spying on Americans at the UN?

More Wikileaks intrigue…As I mentioned earlier, American intelligence gathering activities at the United Nations, for the most part, seem to be in service of making the UN a more effective institution.  Still, a good portion of Secretary Clinton’s cable to embassies about intelligence gathering at the United Nations includes collecting biographic information about UN officials. This includes:

Office and organizational titles; names, position titles and other information on business cards; numbers of telephones, cell phones, pagers and faxes; compendia of contact information, such as telephone directories (in compact disc or electronic format if available) and e-mail listings; internet and intranet “handles”, internet e-mail addresses, web site identification-URLs; credit card account numbers; frequent flyer account numbers; work schedules, and other relevant biographical information.

Specifically, the cable directs embassies to collect information on:

Personalities, biographic and biometric information, roles, effectiveness, management styles, and influence of key UN officials, to include under secretaries, heads of specialized agencies and their chief advisers, top SYG aides, heads of peace operations and political field missions, including force commanders.

Presumably, this would include many Americans in top positions in the UN system. That, in turn, would include Anthony Lake, head of UNICEF and a former National Security Advisor to president Clinton; Lynn Pascoe, a career foreign service officer and former United States Ambassador to Indonesia who is head of the UN Department of Political Affairs; Josette Shereen, a former under secretary of state who now heads the World Food Program; Robert Orr, a former National Security Council staffer who is an assistant secretary general at the UN; Roger Meece, a former career US foreign service officer who serves as the top UN official in the DRC;  Lisa M. Buttenheim, who is the head of the UN mission in Cyprus;  Matthew Nimetz, a special envoy for the Greece-Macedonia name dispute; and Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General for Western Sahara Christopher Ross, among others.

Frankly, collecting the credit card information of the former national security advisor to the United States seems to be somewhat bizarre enterprise for U.S. diplomats, no?