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Europe Will Rue Toppling Obama Over Snowden (La Stampa, Italy)


"Those who wish to genuinely understand the Snowden case, PRISM and the NSA, beyond hypocrisy and propaganda, have to put them within their traditional context - as a clash among international espionage agencies, rather than a noble campaign of journalism against power. ... If Europeans, as is happening now with some leaders hunting for summer headlines, fall into the trap set by Putin and Chinese intelligence to rid themselves of Obama, they may perhaps get a small boost in image now, but in the long term, they will pay a substantial price."


By Gianni Riotta



Translated By Jasmine Uryas


July 12, 2013


Italy - La Stampa - Original Article (Italian)

In a comical scene from the classic movie Casablanca, looking for excuses to shut down a nightclub run by Rick - Humphrey Bogart - the amusing French Captain Renault bursts out: “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!” - just as the croupier hands him his winnings. The same hypocritical and embarrassing shock runs through Western foreign ministries that publicly pretend to be "shocked" to learn that there has been surveillance conducted by our American allies against their European partners, including the Italian Embassy in Washington, with bugs planted under the Dropmire program on cryptofaxes at E.U. embassies.


The practice, revealed by German newspaper Der Spiegel and the English Guardian as part of their coverage of the NSA case involving the PRISM program and whistleblower Edward Snowden - now a refugee in Putin’s Russia - is neither virtuous nor respectable, nor as far as the public is concerned - acceptable. Spying among friends is disagreeable. But as diplomats, politicians and practitioners of international affairs know perfectly well, intelligence agencies seek to monitor "all" information from enemies and allies alike. The English used to keep an eye on De Gaulle during the Second World War. Italy and Germany, allies, spied on one another so much that their suspicions are even documented in Galeazzo Ciano's diaries [Ciano, Italy foreign minister and Mussolini's son-in-law, was killed by firing squad after being charged with treason by the Nazis].


During the Cold War, Paris, Washington, London, Berlin, Rome, Tokyo, companions in arms, intercepted the transmissions of one another, planted bugging devices, and by stealth, monitored their mutual military and industrial plans. It is just as it was in the old 007 movies with Sean Connery, when head of secret intelligence "M" suggests cooperating with the CIA “up to a point.” Beyond the Iron Curtain, the intrigues between Moscow and Beijing were bloody, from the clashes on Zhenbao Island along the Ussuri River in 1969, to the 1971 plane crash in Mongolia of General Lin Biao.


So while German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger is right to ask, quite annoyed, for a clarification from Obama’s White House, it is important to keep things in their proper proportions, and not allow propaganda - American, European, Russian, or Chinese - to take over. Most of all, however, we must not allow a crucial U.S.-E.U. trade agreement to be put off by this game of fencing conducted by spies.


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It is comical to hear that formidable governments, known for their sharp-eyed control over their own citizens and repression of dissidents, are now turning Edward Snowden into a hero - and Obama into Big Brother. Moscow television is describing the former NSA contractor, a refugee at their capitol's airport, as a Robin Hood that has exposed to the world how press freedom is the privilege of the former USSR, but is being trampled on in the country that invented the Web.


If Europeans, as is happening now with some leaders hunting for summer headlines, fall into the trap set by Putin and Chinese intelligence to rid themselves of Obama, they may get a small boost in image now, but in the long term, they will pay a substantial price when it comes to information sharing on counter-terrorism.

Posted By Worldmeets.US


For his part, Obama should follow the advice of the wise Senator Udall, and rather than travelling the world giving speeches filled with always-fascinating soaring rhetoric about brotherhood and justice, and then surreptitiously follow the policies of his hated predecessor George W. Bush, he should eliminate the secret protocols under the Patriot Act. Then of course, yes, he should continue the work of intelligence, but without the darker and more odious aspects that are beyond judicial review. At the time of the Church Committee in 1975, America was able to publicly clean up the excesses of the CIA, NSA and FBI in time for the end of the Cold War.


Those who wish to genuinely understand the Snowden case, PRISM and the NSA,  beyond hypocrisy and propaganda, have to put them within their traditional context - as a clash among international espionage agencies, rather than a noble campaign of journalism against power. The gaffe by the Guardian, which it was forced to remove from its Web site but was already in its print edition, is confirmation that good information is hard to come by at the moment. Suddenly Wayne Madsen pops out, trying to drag Italy into the cauldron.  The former spy who now lives on fairytales and plots is convinced that Obama is a "gay African renegade and an imposter in the White House.” The fact that this prestigious Anglo-Saxon newspaper fell for his provocation, and was forced into the embarrassment of taking down the article without giving readers an explanation (talk about “transparency”…), proves how few "truths" PRISM refracts, while on the other hand, how shamelessly biased and blind many are to propaganda, however cunning or naïve they may be.


Izvestia, Russia: South vs. North: Snowden's Place in History is Assured
Wiener Zeitung, Austria: Edward Snowden is No Enemy of Our State!
O Globo, Brazil: NSA Targeted Latin American 'Trade Secrets'
O Globo, Brazil: Brazil 'Gravely Concerned' Over Massive NSA Espionage
Pagina Siete, Bolivia: U.S. Fears, Not Evil, Motivate Desperate Search for Snowden
The Hankyoreh, South Korea: What Hugo Chavez Would Say about U.S. Surveillance
Kommersant, Russia: Snowden's Presence May Scuttle Obama's Visit to Russia
Le Monde, France: French Big Brother is Watching You!
Guardian, U.K.: The NSA's Indiscriminate Mass Spying on Brazilians
Le Monde, France: French Political Class Holds 'Outrage Contest' Over NSA Spying
DNA, France: Espionage ... From Washington, With Love
Liberation, France: The NSA 'Panopticon'
Izvestia, Russia: 'Servile Europeans' Inflict Huge Insult on Bolivians
Der Standard, Austria: Mass NSA Surveillance Implies 'Bizarre Presumption of Guilt'
Guardian,U.K.: NSA/GCHQ Metadata Reassurances are 'Breathtakingly Cynical'
Observer, U.K.: U.S. Attempts to Block Edward Snowden 'Bolsters' Case for Asylum
Der Tagesspiegel, Germany: NSA: Merkel Ignores the Nightmare of 'Stasi Squared'
El Nacional, Bolivia: Snowden: South America Must Take Stand Against Old Europe
Der Spiegel: What's All the Fuss About U.S. Spying?
Guardian, U.K.: Britain Blocks Crucial Espionage Talks between U.S. and Europe
Guardian, U.K.: France 'runs vast electronic spying operation using NSA-style Methods'
Guardian, U.K.: Venezuela and Nicaragua offer asylum to Edward Snowden
Elsevier, The Netherlands: Snowden's Revelations are of 'No Benefit to Society'
El Universal, Venezuela: Maduro Uses Snowden Asylum to Distract Venezuelan People
Der Spiegel, Germany: NSA Spying on Germany: How Much Did Angela Merkel Know?
Der Spiegel, Germany Bolivia Irate Over Forced Landing
Der Spiegel, Germany: Germany Rejects Asylum for Snowden
News, Switzerland: Humanity's Cyber-Hypocrisy Overload
El Comercio, Ecuador: Wanting to Keep U.S. Trade Privileges is Not Treason!
Der Spiegel, Germany: Spying 'Out of Control': EU Official Questions Trade Negotiations
Der Spiegel, Germany: Growing Alarm: German Prosecutors To Review Allegations of U.S. Spying
Guardian, U.K.: New NSA Leaks Show how U.S. is Bugging its European Allies
Der Spiegel, Germany: Partner and Target: NSA Snoops on 500 Million German Data Connections
Hoy, Ecuador: Snowden Highlights Ecuador's Decision-Making Paradox
Diario de Noticias, Portugal: America 'Summons World' to Renewed Cold War
Guardian, U.K.: Ecuador Rejects U.S. Trade Pact to Thwart Snowden 'Blackmail'
Guardian, U.K: Glenn Greenwald on Personal Side of Taking on NSA - Personal Smears
Guardian, U.K: How NSA Continues to Harvest Your Online Data
Guardian, U.K: Edward Snowden's Next Step: Live Q&A
Gazeta, Russia: Why Russia, China, and Others, Love 'Poking America in the Eye'
Guardian, U.K.: Snowden Affair Revives Politics of the Cold War
Guardian, U.K.: 'History will be Kind' to Edward Snowden
Guardian, U.K.: Latin America is ready to defy the US over Snowden and other issues
Guardian, U.K.: Putin Confirms Snowden in Moscow Airport; No Extradition
The New York Times, U.S.: China Said to Have Made Call to Let Leaker Depart
People's Daily, China: U.S. Internet Hypocrisy Creates Global Suspicion
Global Times, China: Internet 'Muckraking Frenzy' Damaging China's Global Interests
Huanqiu, China: 'Demented' Hacking Charges Betray U.S. Scheme for Cyber Domination
Guardian, U.K.: Snowden Leaves Hong Kong for Moscow: Seeks Asylum in Ecuador
Financial Times, U.K.: Snowden Fallout Impacts China and Russia
Russia Today, Russia: VIDEO: Former MI5 Agent Judges Snowden 'Canny'
Folha, Brazil: Trust in the State Inadequate as a Pretext for NSA's Spying
Les Dernieres Nouvelles d'Alsace, France: Edward Snowden is Not the Issue
El Pais, Spain: Powerless, Europe Must Nevertheless Stand Up to NSA Spying Program
Global Times, China: Demonizing China Will Backfire on Americans
Global Times, China: Extraditing Snowden Would Be a Mistake
Xinhua, China: 'Idealistic' Edward Snowden Should be Welcomed by China
Mediapart, France: 'Autonomous Machines': World Reawakens to U.S. Web Dominance
Guardian, U.K.: Britain's GCHQ Intercepted Data from Foreign Politicians at G20 Summits
Le Monde, France: French Lawmakers Scramble Over News of NSA Surveillance
Le Temps, Switzerland: Last Resort for Confronting 'Electronic Big Brother'
The Frontier Post, Pakistan: On Global Spying for Selfish National Interest
Mediapart, France: The NSA is Spying on Us! What a Surprise!
El Espectador, Colombia: Please Consider Yourself Watched!
Le Monde, France: NSA Surveillance Storm Gathers Over Cloud Market
Folha, Brazil: Being 'Carioca' Helped Glenn Greenwald Break NSA Surveillance Story
Sol, Portugal: WikiLeaks and Facebook: What Came Before Will Soon Be Rubble
Guardian, U.K.: World Leaders Seek Answers on NSA Data Collection Programs
Guardian, U.K.: Artist Ai Weiwei: The U.S. is 'Behaving Like China'
Russia Today, Russia: Putin: Government Surveillance 'Should Not Break the Law'
Guardian, U.K.: Russia Offers to Consider Edward Snowden Asylum Request
Handelsblatt, Germany: Obama's Data Nightmare is Europe's
FAZ, Germany: Protect Us from Terrorism ... and Government Snooping
SCMP, Hong Kong: What Will Hong Kong do with Snowden? ... The World is Watching
SCMP, Hong Kong: Why Hong Kong? Chinese Wonder if Edward Snowden is in Wrong Place
Suedostschweiz, Switzerland: Exposed: Spy Powers that Obama Shouldn't Use
Le Temps, Switzerland: Exploring the Limits of Sino-U.S. Compromise
Business Day, South Africa: Obama Sets 'Dubious Example' on Freedom
Economist, U.K.: The Reason We Fear Broad Surveillance
Guardian, U.K.: The NSA's Secret Tool to Track Global Surveillance Data




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Posted By Worldmeets.US June 12, 2013, 6:48am