It is understandable that many are exceptionally upset over the revelations surrounding the mass spying by United States’ agencies of private individuals, companies and ordinary citizens, not just foreigners who have been caught up in the whole, but also American citizens. The scope of this network of spies goes far beyond what any normal person might be expected to acknowledge as acceptable encompassing, as it does, mainly friendly countries and allies around the world.
Photo Credit: SnaPsi Сталкер – Creative Commons
The latest revelations that specific heads of State, such as the German Chancellor, have been targeted since 2002 brings the United States further into the mire as a land where Freedom is only a paper-based connotation and can be ignored whenever and wherever some faceless operative decides.
What is fascinating in the whole are the reactions from both the United States and Europe. A few weeks ago a German government minister – prior to learning that the Chancellor had been specifically targeted – wrote the whole episode off and deemed it closed. His stance has now changed. Obviously it is fine for ordinary citizens – nameless and often powerless against such actions – to be targeted, but now a specific person? And one who should be high on the Most Trusted list?
And the justifications alongside the leveling of blame: President Obama, according to some, is entirely to blame. If he didn’t know that certain people were being targeted, such as the German Chancellor, then he is equally to blame. The fact that this targeted spying was instigated in 2002 and continued through the legislative periods of both Republican and Democrat Presidents and governments says much for the general level of trustworthiness of the whole American system. The targeting comes from the time when countries were either For or Against the United States, leaving the conception of justifiable neutrality out of the equation.
The reality is the NSA has saved thousands of lives, not just in the United States but in France, Germany and throughout Europe. We’re not doing it for the fun of it. This is to gather valuable intelligence, which helps not just us but also helps the Europeans.
Peter King (R-NY)
And still there are some who attempt to take the high and mighty ground and, without any form of justification, claim that what has been happening, what is continuing to happen, is legal and helps provide stability and security to the United States, to Europe and to the world.
To date, despite many asking, no one has been able to answer the question of just who or what has been protected. If such a high level of protection for the United States and Europe has been achieved through the activities of the NSA, and if thousands of lives have been saved, how do people like Peter King explain the Madrid Bombings (2004), the London Bombings (2007) or the Boston Marathon Bombing (2013)? These three events, and many others, occurred after the instigation of mass telecommunications spying, but could neither be prevented nor even warned against.
Where is the proof that the actions of the NSA actually save lives or have saved lives in the past?
Until a high level of proof can be laid out for all to see, the NSA spying, in the name of the United States of America, will remain an unjustified, unjustifiable attack against the sovereignty of many countries, against Constitutions, basic laws, Human Rights and privacy.
- Viktoria Michaelis.