Op-Ed: The US has been playing grand puppet master by spying on world leaders. How much easier the work of politicians in the US must be when they know exactly what some world leaders are up to. It gives them the upper hand when attending summits and removes the need for second-guessing. Instead, US President Barack Obama, assuming he is in on the spying, has enough information to make a win inevitable. Look back to days before Obama though as there is little doubt that spying on allies is nothing new.
The Guardian reports Friday that Chancellor Merkel of Germany and Francois Hollande of France are demanding a meeting with the US to discuss allegations of espionage. Merkel, an avid texter, is furious that the US, an ally, has been snooping on her.
At the very least such espionage allows the US to gain the momentum in trade deals but the rot runs much deeper.
We still have Labour leader Ed Miliband to thank for a no vote on Syria in the Uk House of Commons. That spur of the moment decision prevented a war which could have easily escalated into a global affair. The decision also outfoxed the NSA, the National security Agency of the USA, widely responsible for spying.
Whistle-blower Edward Snowden, holed up in temporary asylum in Russia, supplied information on NSA spying. Now that we are beginning to glimpse the extent of the spying it is easy to see why leaders such as Obama in the US and Cameron in the UK ran scared.
The US in using a sledgehammer to crack a peanut proved that it had plenty to hide and that Edward Snowden may be able to reveal at least some of that to the world.
One thing that stands out – for all of this spying the world is no safer place. In fact it is getting more worrying by the hour. Claims that terrible events in New York on 9/11 justify government spying do not ring true.
Two wars killing thousands were launched on the back of 9/11. Enough revenge blood surely?
But officials claim the spying is to prevent further terrorist atrocities and keep us all safe. We now know that such claims are bunkum.
Numerous terrorist attacks have occurred in 2013.
With claims that American agents work with some terrorists behind the scenes and actively stir up a hornet’s nest in places such as Syria their record is not good.
David Cameron has, at least for now, not spoken publicly about the US spying on world leaders. Could that be because the UK government is up to its neck in the mess? As we wrote in July:
“Here in the UK some of us are still reeling from revelations that our Internet freedom and privacy online may have been compromised by US surveillance, or as we call it, snooping but now it seems the boot is on the other foot and the scandal just lurches from one mess to another. The latest revelations via the Guardian, which published whistle-blower Edward Snowden's original damning reports, is that British intelligence spied on G-20 summit delegates. It just gets better and better, don't you agree?”
Just who is snooping on whom and why, is today’s riddle.