Documents that have recently been published by Wikileaks prove that the NSA has been wiretapping at least three French presidents along with a number of high-profile political figures. This information has provoked true outrage across French society and in local media, a reaction that is perfectly natural since no ally would appreciate such treatment for its long-standing loyalty.
However, this development is hardly a sensation, since the French «Le Monde» published a report that stated that the NSA recorded a total of 70 million phone calls made by French citizens back in 2013. There was little doubt at that time that French political figures would somehow manage to escape the fate of their own fellow citizens. The data published by Wikileaks is simply stressing the fact that Paris is blindly obeying any order issued by Washington, while paying no heed to its own national interests. It’s a pity that this once proud and freedom loving country has been transformed in a regular banana republic.
Last time Wikileaks published documents on wiretapping targeting German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone along with those used by other members of the German political elite, Europeans were equally frustrated by this revelation. In 2014 Berlin arrested the first suspect involved in this spy scandal – a former employee of the Federal German Intelligence Service (BND), who was providing Washington with top secret documents, which inflicted a considerable amount of damage on German national interests. Additionally, as it was reported back in 2013, the NSA was tapping the Justus Lipsius building where the the Council of the European Union resides.
But it seems that Germany, a de facto vassal state, seems to have grown accustomed to the condescending treatment it is getting. Local authorities are not simply encouraging the American obsession with espionage, they are forcing their own security agencies to assist the NSA in any way possible. Thus, according to Die Zeit, German agents have been working in close cooperation with such companies as Attensity and Palantir, that had been entrusted by the NSA with a mission to develop and test big data analysis tools. Both companies were sponsored by In-Q-Tel, which is allegedly providing start ups with financial assistance, but according to the German newspaper it is nothing more than a branch of the CIA’s vast network.
If we are to examine foul activities of US intelligence agencies against European politicians, it is remarkable that no amount of loyalty to Washington would allow them to keep their lives in private, no matter how influential the country they were elected in is. Indeed, such a form of indirect control is carried out by the NSA in numerous countries around the world. Last December a journal titled PST carried out its own investigation in Oslo only to find out that the NSA has established fake mobile stations in the governmental areas of the city to provide American intelligence with a chance to blackmail politicians in Norway.
It’s curious that in 2013 the New York Times informed its readers that “under certain conditions” American intelligence agencies would be allowed to invade the private lives of British citizens without even notifying Britain’s authorities . Of course, these “conditions” are only defined by Washington and the latter is paying no heed to the national interests of other countries.
It would be safe to assume that more scandals on the total surveillance of US intelligence agencies will follow soon. On top of European countries, the NSA has been keeping an eye on Asia and Latin America in an attempt to collect a considerable amount of compromising evidence to blackmail foreign politicians, as part of its ambition to influence the course of events on the global stage. Once Washington acquires a hefty “dossier” on a certain politician the White House will begin facilitating his political career only to let him “protect the interests of the United States” abroad. Knowing about such “dossiers“, foreign politicians avoid criticizing the West, while blocking any publications that would let this scheme be known.
Vladimir Platov, an expert on the Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook” .