21st Century Wire says…
Only a month and a half ago, dedicated francophile US Secretary of State John Kerry and French President François Hollande were beaming with excitement, as they shared a warm political bed together while planning a war with Syria. As they counted the coming cruise missile profits together, everything couldn’t have been more perfect. And then…
The transatlantic romance is on the rocks, again. Washington DC’s insatiable international digital spy network, the NSA, has been caught collecting millions of electronic French letters and phone calls – in secret, and to stop terrorism. Or is it merely to justify billions in US government contract expenditures. Anyone above a fifth grade education level should really be able to figure that one out by now.
A report was released this past Monday, detailing how the NSA has sucked in more than 70 million French phone records in one month.
Another violation. This is just the latest in a long list of long distance digital rape on the part of the United States. This week also saw how the NSA spy network has been used in order to gain advanced commercial intelligence on Mexico for years – and exposed as being all for the benefit of insider US business and investor interests. Whose surprised?
What an embarrassment for Monsieur Kerry, who has been tasked with making yet another weak case for the US government, by trying to explain away the illegal actions of his government. Left to do damage control, Kerry insists that France is still “one of our oldest allies in the world”, but protecting people from terrorism is so “very complicated, very challenging task.”
Not the world’s most convincing actor, John Kerry, is trying hard to act concerned about foreign privacy.
His chief concerns are as far from ethics and international law as one could imagine. Here’s what really upsetting Washington’s most interesting man:
“Will I still be invited for raclette (cheese) and champagne parties in Aix-en-Provence this spring?”
This will be burning on Kerry’s mind over the holidays.
Next, the Teflon Don (photo, left) ponders the scandal… never one to willingly take any responsibility for anything that might be construed as negative, Obama avoids the issue altogether. This is because there’s no room for America’s reputation when he’s so obsessed with looking out for his own.
Rather than getting a executive statement from America’s salamander-n-chief, President Obama has instead opted to call Hollande in private to try and re-spin the issue, in what the White House has labeled as “recent disclosures in the press — some of which have distorted our activities and some of which raise legitimate questions for our friends and allies.”
What Kerry and Obama fail to realise is that, outside of their own private France on the millionaire ski slopes of Chamonix and aboard the yachts in Cannes, the rest of the country could not give a toss about America’s inflated national security concerns, and will hate the American government for abusing their trust.
Hollande’s hands are tied on this one. Regardless, the backlash has already begun. According to RT, the French as pissed off in a big way:
France has called for an explanation for the “unacceptable” and “shocking” reports of NSA spying on French citizens. Leaked documents revealed the spy agency records millions of phone calls and monitors politicians and high-profile business people.
The US Ambassador to France Charles Rivkin was summoned by the French Foreign Ministry to account for the espionage allegations on Monday morning.
“I have immediately summoned the US ambassador and he will be received this morning at the Quai d’Orsay [the French Foreign Ministry],” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told press. He added that “we must quickly assure that these practices aren’t repeated.”
The media scandal triggered a phone call between US President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande who, according to the White House, discussed “legitimate questions”raised by US “friends and allies” about how the surveillance capabilities are employed. Obama reportedly assured Hollande that the US was reviewing the way it gathers intelligence.
In addition, citing the report on French publication Le Monde, Interior Minister Manuel Valls spoke out on national television against US spy practices.
The US government is out of control and everyone knows it. Rather than dealing with the problem head on, and making correction to an illegal government operation, men like Barack Obama and John Kerry have chose instead to cover for themselves and the program. So no lesson learned.
That is Washington DC in a nutshell today – inept and unable to act honourably on the international theatre.
READ MORE SNOWDEN NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Snowden Files