Did The CIA Really Bug Princess Diana's Phone On The Night She Died?

Pretty much any time an extremely popular political figure dies from unnatural causes, it's time for the conspiracy theorists to get to work. The heartbreaking death of Princess Diana in 1997 was no exception. USA Today reports that unsubstantiated conspiracy theories attempting to explain what "really happened" continue to circulate among inveterate paranoiacs even decades after the tragic car crash that took her life on August 31 of that year.

Mohammed Fayed, father of Diana's boyfriend Dodi Fayed, believed the British establishment was not about to have an Egyptian Muslim join the royal family and had him and Diana taken out in order to avoid such a fate. Others point to Henri Paul, the driver of the car Diana was in, saying that he was a paid off by England's MI6 to do the deed.

Speaking of secretive intelligence agencies, the CIA has also been implicated in unconfirmed rumors related to Diana's death. According to NBC News, the British newspaper The Observer published allegations in 2006 that the United States had been spying on Princess Diana.

The CIA denies having ever tapped Princess Diana's phone

The Observer accused the CIA of tapping Diana's phone without the permission of British intelligence authorities. Sounds right up the U.S. spy agency's alley. The CIA, however, as well as Homeland Security, which oversees the Secret Service, categorically denied the allegations. "The Secret Service had nothing to do with it," a Homeland Security official said.

Another former high-ranking U.S. intelligence official said that it was possible that data on Diana ended up in CIA files on other people the agency was snooping on, but that there was no direct monitoring of Princess Diana. That line, however, is a bit difficult for some to swallow, since Freedom of Information Act requests have turned up as many as 1,056 pages of documentation concerning Diana on file. The CIA's history of surreptitious actions and adamant denials of any involvement in any events to happen on Earth ever inclines one to believe that maybe just maybe there was at least a sliver of truth in The Observer's allegations. However, since the spy agency can pretty much act with impunity anywhere on the planet, we'll probably never know if the CIA bugged Princess Diana's phone the night she died or not.