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Tuesday, Mar 04, 2003

remark of distinction

"Bulgaria's ambassador, Stefan Tavrov, said that having the U.S. eavesdrop on their missions was almost a mark of prestige for smaller countries. "It's almost an offense if they don't listen," he said. "It's integrated in your thinking and your work."

A U.S. government official with experience at the world body confirmed that American administrations long have relied on spying at the U.N., and not just during times of crisis.

"We've always done it," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "It's routine."