U.S. Hypocrisy: We Claim To Defend Freedom, But We Spy On Our Friends And Intercept All Their Data

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Is Obama Listening To Your Calls?

Why has the United States been bugging the offices of EU diplomats on both sides of the Atlantic?  European officials are absolutely seething with anger about reports that the NSA has been using “Cold War methods” to spy on EU diplomats.  Apparently the NSA had planted bugs in EU offices, had intercepted phone calls and emails from top EU officials, and had even tapped directly into the computer systems of “our friends”.  EU diplomatic offices in Washington D.C. and the EU’s mission to the United Nations in New York were two of the primary targets where this type of surveillance was employed.  Some EU politicians are so outraged by this behavior that they are threatening to derail sensitive trade negotiations that are currently taking place.  And of course it is perfectly understandable that they would be outraged.  The United States holds itself up as the great defender of liberty and freedom in the world, and yet we have been spying on our friends as much as we possibly can.  How in the world is the rest of the globe supposed to look at us as the “good guys” if we are openly admitting that we are going to intercept their phone calls, emails and all records of their Internet activity and keep that information forever?  This kind of hypocritical approach is going to cause us to lose even more friends and make even more enemies.  If we keep going down this road, will just about everyone in the rest of the world end up hating us?

It was Der Spiegel that broke the story about how the NSA has been specifically targeting EU diplomatic offices for surveillance.  The following is an excerpt from their original report which sent shockwaves all over Europe…

Information obtained by SPIEGEL shows that America’s National Security Agency (NSA) not only conducted online surveillance of European citizens, but also appears to have specifically targeted buildings housing European Union institutions. The information appears in secret documents obtained by whistleblower Edward Snowden that SPIEGEL has in part seen. A “top secret” 2010 document describes how the secret service attacked the EU’s diplomatic representation in Washington.

The document suggests that in addition to installing bugs in the building in downtown Washington, DC, the European Union representation’s computer network was also infiltrated. In this way, the Americans were able to access discussions in EU rooms as well as emails and internal documents on computers.

So far this story has only had a limited impact inside the United States, but over in Europe it has been an absolute bombshell.  European officials are angrier at the United States then we have seen in ages.  The following are quotes from prominent European politicians that were responding to the original Der Spiegel report…

European Parliament President Martin Schulz: “But if it is true, it is a huge scandal. That would mean a huge burden for relations between the EU and the US. We now demand comprehensive information.”

Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn: “The US justifies everything as being part of the fight against terrorism. But the EU and its diplomats are not terrorists. We need a guarantee from the very highest level that it stops immediately.”

German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger: “It defies belief that our friends in the US see the Europeans as their enemies. There has to finally be an immediate and comprehensive explanation from the US as to whether media reports about completely unacceptable surveillance measures of the US in the EU are true or not. Comprehensive spying on Europeans by Americans cannot be allowed.”

Elmar Brok, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the European Parliament: “The spying has reached dimensions that I didn’t think were possible for a democratic country. Such behavior among allies is intolerable.”

Jan Philipp Albrecht, a Green Party representative in the European Parliament: “This is meltdown of the constitutional state.”

Manfred Weber, deputy head and security expert for the European People’s Party: “It is unacceptable when European diplomats and politicians are spied on in their day-to-day activities.”

European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Viviane Reding: “We cannot negotiate over a big trans-Atlantic market if there is the slightest doubt that our partners are carrying out spying activities on the offices of our negotiators. The American authorities should eliminate such doubt swiftly.”

Markus Ferber, a member of the European Parliament: “A democratic constitutional state that uses Stasi methods sacrifices all credibility as a moral authority”

Some European newspapers are comparing what the NSA has been doing to the kind of espionage that took place during the Cold War, and one German editorial even made the following statement about Obama: “If Barack Obama is our friend then we really don’t need to be terribly worried about our enemies.”

But instead of apologizing, U.S. officials seem to be digging their heels in.

For example, just check out what former NSA director Michael Hayden told CBS on Sunday morning

“Number one, the United States does conduct espionage. Number two, our Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans’ privacy, is not an international treaty. And number three, any European who wants to go out and rend their garments with regard to international espionage should look first and find out what their governments are doing.”

But why do we need to conduct espionage against our allies?

Doesn’t the U.S. government understand that this kind of behavior is alienating us from the rest of the world?

At the same time that all of this is being revealed, we are also learning even more about the stunning capabilities of NSA spying programs.  For example, the following is what Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald told an audience over Skype on Friday

Speaking to a raucous audience via Skype on Friday, Greenwald said the NSA’s “brand-new technology” gives it the power to “redirect into its own repositories one billion cell phone calls every single day.”

“But what we’re really talking about here is a globalized system that prevents any form of electronic communication from taking place without its being stored and monitored by the National Security Agency,” Greenwald said. “It doesn’t mean that they’re listening to every call; it means they’re storing every call and have the capability to listen to them at any time, and it does mean that they’re collecting millions upon millions upon millions of our phone and email records.”

Greenwald added that the NSA technology is “designed to destroy all privacy. And what’s incredibly menacing about it is that it’s all taking place in the dark with no accountability and virtually no safeguards.”

A billion cell phone calls every single day?

That is absolutely staggering.

And Greenwald is exactly right.  This kind of monitoring is designed to destroy all privacy.  The U.S. government has become absolutely obsessed with being able to watch, monitor and record everything that everyone in the world does.

But instead of making us safer, it is just convincing the rest of the planet that we really are “the bad guys”.

The United States simply cannot continue to engage in this kind of behavior and still be able to claim that it is the “defender of freedom and liberty”.

What the U.S. government desperately needs to do is to apologize and quit spying on our friends immediately.

But that is not going to happen, and the rest of the world is going to continue to get angrier and angrier with us.

About the author: Michael T. Snyder is a former Washington D.C. attorney who now publishes The Truth.  His new novel entitled “The Beginning Of The End” is now available on Amazon.com.

The Beginning Of The End - The New Novel About The Future Of America By Michael T. Snyder
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  • Hammerstrike

    They are the bad guys.

    • Syrin

      Yep. It’s really that simple

  • whatever

    Til this scandal i really thought that the USA are friends of my country (germany) and the european union.
    But it seems that our definition of freedom and democracy is quite different.
    Anyways good article…

  • Dave Webb

    The answer is in how much does it cost to spy on the world?
    No one seems to care that the budget for the spy industries appears to be limitless. Yet we have people being laid off doing respectable jobs by the government. We have cut backs in service.
    Seems to me we have a parasite that needs to be cut back and eliminated. That would free up an enormous fund of money to pay off the national debt.
    But if we quit spying on the world what happens. Didn’t seem to make any difference in the Cuban crisis. Didn’t help in a number of situations like 9/11. Didn’t do their jobs right and so now they want more spying and more security at the expense of the bill of rights?
    I find it very suspicious that the politicians that felt the spy industry had gotten out of hand were killed in similar circumstances. Lone gunmen on the fringe.

    Their successors put more money into the agencies. Hmm. Viet Nam eventually bankrupted the country.

    Whistle blowers also seem to be getting killed. Hmmm.
    Maybe we need to act and reform the entire industry or get rid of it all together and start over with a little bit more ethical approach.
    I do not pretend to know how we can do this. But the budget for such activities is way out of control.

  • seth datta

    Everyone around the world has called the US administration ‘the Great Satan’. This is because we in other Western countries (eg France) were told that George Bush was invading Iraq in the Gulf War for oil/banking/globalization. The game continues. People around the world love the general American public (barring exceptions); its the people in charge of the most influential country on the planet that we hate. They lie, they steal and they kill. Then the US public is left to pick up the pieces.

  • Rufus T Firefly

    Who cares what the eorotrash thinks? Twice in the last hundred years we had to pull their butts out of the possibility of conquest by the Germans and also prevented a Russian conquest in the Cold War. They have contributed nothing in the last century except for the ossuaries of Verdun and the crematoriums of Auschwitz. We owe them absolutely nothing and should act in our best interests.

    • seth datta

      Fair enough, but its stand together or sink alone.

    • Oleg

      You personally did nothing.
      So stop this this self-deluding praise, that others’ good actions somehow rub onto you, just because you’re from the same country.
      Do you think God will give you a reward and eternal life, only because some americans did good to others.

      Such good-doers will receive their reward from God, but not a hypocrite, who thinks that standing next to a righteous person, will give him bonuses and praise.

      Remember what Jesus taught – give and it will be given to you.

      USA’s help in WW2 was not free, for sure.

      Lord Jesus Christ taught – treat other people like you want to be treated, and don’t do to others what you don’t like for yourself.

      Such best interests will be used against USA in a similar way.

      Anyway, the whole world is in the swamp of hypocrisy, with dirty water of lies above everyone’s head, while breathing through tiny tubes.

      It’s not just USA or EU or other countries, it’s just that EU officials are shifting blame onto USA, like crime accomplices blame each other, even through they agree

      There’s some interpretation of the biblical book of Revelation that USA is the Whore of Babylon, who will be hated and destroyed by the Ten Kings of the Beast system, which probably is Euro Union.

      This is a warning for those who seek the truth and salvation from God and Lord Jesus Christ.

  • SafetyViking

    This would be kinda funny if it weren’t so serious…

    The US is notorious for being too big for it’s britches, to use a southern phrase. Seeing it busted red-handed kinda amuses me….

  • mark

    i is wondering what ya expect from your governments. they are bought up on The Prince..then they are trained on it.. as for your home front it is exactly that to them and they treat it accordingly.. as for the money good luck with accountability on that front also

  • lilbear68

    this is nothing new and has been common knowledge for years. what snowden did was report stale history.
    do a google search(or what ever engine you choose) with a start date 2002-2004 til present. its all there public knowledge of the govt agencys monitoring everyones communication. 5-10 years ago we were told this. no one cared or even bothered to look. now the govt lapdog ‘the presstitute corps’ are stirring this up like its the Big Story. its not its just another smoke screen to distract us from whats really in the works or whats comming. its a cover so the press can scratch their heads and say ‘wow we didnt see this one comming’ you know just like they did in 2008 when the crash happened

  • Arizona

    IF you don’t TURN IN YOUR NEIGHBOR,cause he’s trying to save america,from the GOVERNMENT,that are all commies now,YOUR NOT A GOOD CHRISTIAN SUCK ASS,your job is to be a good law abiding citizen,and sucking off the government is your job as a GOOD CITIZEN……..besides you want your families head chopped off in their death camps don’t you,well get on your cell phone and make the call………….DHS is waiting for your call……………