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by William Pfaff
I am surprised that in the Edward Snowden affair no one I've yet seen has quoted the American statesman Henry L. Stimson. He was twice (1911-'13 and 1940-'45) U.S. secretary of war (we had such a cabinet officer in an America less abandoned to hypocrisy) and once secretary of state (1929-'33). In the last-named office, he closed down Washington's post-World War I code-breaking service, saying "Gentlemen do not read others' mail." I suppose the difference between a time when the country was governed by gentlemen and the present day is so colossal as to make such a sentiment impossible to credit.
In France, and at the European Parliament, there is discussion about granting Edward Snowden political asylum in France or the E.U. (necessarily minus the U.K., given Britain's longstanding collaboration with NSA communications interception), or to establish some form of internationally guaranteed asylum available to those persecuted in their own countries for having performed what internationally is regarded as an act of courageous public service.
Something like this is not entirely impossible. The government in Washington and much of
Not only was the intercept of European states' communications cause for outrage, but these countries' diplomatic premises in Washington,
According to the information furnished by Edward Snowden to the German magazine Der Spiegel, the Germans are the most spied-upon of all the European allies, with many million communications intercepted a day.
The interceptions, according to the magazine, are made by equipment at the vast American military base near Frankfurt, and according to another report, by American-controlled communications facilities at
There have been many demands from officials, members of the European parliament and commentators that the negotiations for a transatlantic free-trade zone, scheduled to begin next week, be postponed or cancelled. How can one negotiate freely under these circumstances? One can argue that Europe would be better off without such an agreement when the other side's conduct is demonstrably unscrupulous and predatory. Free-trade agreements have always been sought by Washington because the U.S. consistently benefits most from the access provided to others' markets while indirectly blocking foreign access and withholding crucial domestic markets under federal and state "Buy American" laws, which govern more than 10 percent of the available U.S. market and are all but politically impossible to remove.
However, the gravest aspect of the Snowden revelations has been their demonstration of the vast exploitation and betrayal of America's alliance relationships. If the U.S. spies on European governments from its enormous number of military installations or U.S.-controlled
Even in the fantasy-case of a new Russian military threat to Europe, the Europeans would find themselves virtually as well-protected as they are now, since they are no longer dependent upon Russian energy supplies, and
Article: Copyright ©, Tribune Media Services.
"Snowden Leaks Reveal American Trojan Horse in Europe"