Wednesday, 3 July 2013

European hypocrisy over Snowden

While an enraged France and other European Union members denounce US/UK spying on EU offices, none appear inclined to support or protect Edward Snowden, the very man who provided that vital information.

As Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow tweeted:
Who's afraid of the US? Europe! Outraged over spying..cowardice reigns when it comes to protecting the man who told them!
My reply to Snow:
Fine point, Jon. I hope to see you express that specific sentiment on tonight's C4 News.
(Alas, as with many of Alex Thomson's challenging tweets/blogs, much of that more forthright opinion seems to get conveniently dropped by the time of transmission.)

Nor was France, Portugal or Spain prepared to allow Bolivian president Evo Morales, an admirable defender of Snowden, permission to overfly their respective airspaces due to (unfounded) 'fears' that Snowden was aboard his plane.
Similar 'undiplomatic' and media treatment is being shown to Ecuador and Venezuela. Ever-ready to assist in the demonisation of Washington's Latin American foes, the Guardian's Rory Carroll has written a specious piece asserting that president Rafael Correa of Ecuador has now turned his back on Snowden.
In fact, even with Correa being heavily pressurised by the US not to protect Snowden, Ecuador has not, contrary to media reports, abandoned Snowden or officially dismissed his request for asylum. As noted at Channel 4 News:
"Ecuador’s foreign minister says that media reports saying that the country is no longer considering an asylum request by NSA leaker Edward Snowden are false - and adds that they have found a microphone in the Ecuadorian embassy in London."
With all the European hypocrisy over Snowden, complicity in punishing Morales and bug find at the embassy, we might now, hopefully, see a more favourable review of Snowden's asylum applications to Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela.
Whatever transpires, Ed Snowden, someone who has cast crucial light on the true, dark world of 'allied state relations', remains holed-up, persecuted and without the slightest support from European elites.

In a timely intervention, Reporters Without Borders general secretary Christophe Deloire and Julian Assange have co-written an article in Le Monde urging EU states to protect Snowden.

Snowden has performed a great public, rather than secret, service here, not only in revealing the extent of 'friendly espionage', but the kind of thankless and vindictive response reserved for those who dare provide such information.
Meanwhile, with little evident EU appreciation of Snowden's revelations, here's a very useful reminder from Craig Murray of the true understanding between the US/UK on mutual intelligence sharing and cross-spying on citizens:
"I have repeatedly posted, and have been saying in public speeches for ten years, that under the UK/US intelligence sharing agreements the NSA spies on UK citizens and GCHQ spies on US citizens and they swap the information. As they use a shared technological infrastructure, the division is simply a fiction to get round the law in each country restricting those agencies from spying on their own citizens. I have also frequently remarked how extraordinary it is that the media keep this “secret”, which they have all known for years." 
Indeed. Great insights from Murray. And all the more valuable coming from an ex-insider now similarly reviled by the intelligence establishment. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

there is plenty of real stuff re: the NSA spying to get us concerned so we should try to avoid the phoney stuff - Morales plane - it left from a dif airport than the one Snowden is at hence no reason to detain it - and it seems they landed in Austria cause of a fuel gauge problem

as for hypocrisy - the real hypocrisy is how many of the EU countries spy on the US and have programs similar to PRISM (France anyone?)