Washington is watching Europe

Alessandro Bertoldi, the Executive Director of Italian Milton Friedman Institute, drew attention to inconvenient facts that are usually swept under the rug as they shed light on the true nature of relations between the allied countries. The American practice of spying on the leaders and citizens of other countries is a vice that the US has not left behind, which is dangerous for freedom and geopolitical balances. Now the elephant in the room has grown too large to ignore any longer, and it’s high time to pay attention.
The Italian expert emphasises that the ways in which intelligence activities are carried out have changed in recent years, becoming increasingly aggressive, undermining trust and diplomatic relations between allied countries and generating scandals that have involved the United States more than anyone else. These activities are almost always carried out behind the backs of the US political leadership.
Bertoldi continues: In 2013, the Senate Intelligence Committee, for example, was unaware of the National Security Agency’s eavesdropping activities on allied leaders. News of the NSA programme and the large-scale wiretapping of European politicians (which is still ongoing) only spread thanks to the revelations of former NSA official Edward Snowden, which then led to the discovery of the existence of the ‘PRISM’ programme through which US intelligence agencies intercept information transmitted over telecommunications networks and are even able to monitor the Internet traffic of users around the world. Not even the judiciary has been able to curb this mass interception of private citizens. In May, the ECHR issued a ruling, in which the security agencies’ monitoring of British citizens was declared illegal; however, it was totally ignored on the grounds of ‘national security’. As further evidence of the US attitude towards espionage, one cannot fail to mention the ‘Five Eyes’ alliance between the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, which provides for the exchange of information and precludes mutual espionage activities. This axis did not involve important strategic partners such as Germany, France and Italy and indicates the potential willingness to pursue espionage activities against these states, which are defined as ‘Allies’ by the US itself. Faced with the emerged and recalled scandals, the European powers have been timid, tending to minimise their significance. Just imagine how the European countries would have reacted if these scandals had involved non-NATO powers. Moreover, in many cases it is the same European states that, in order to enter the orbit of American influence, have no problem violating the basic rules of diplomacy or even giving up part of their national sovereignty. The Danish broadcaster DR, together with the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, the French Le Monde and several other international media outlets, reported sensational details about the NSA’s surveillance of EU politicians, also citing Danish intelligence sources who claimed that Danish military intelligence officers had provided the US National Security Agency with access to the secret listening station in Sandagergaard near Copenhagen from at least 2012 to 2014. It is astonishing how political leaders remain silent in the face of all this, not realising that through Denmark the US no longer only controls its own citizens but also Europeans. The recent change in the White House does not indicate a change of attitude on the part of the United States. In fact, President Joe Biden was Vice-President of the United States during the Obama administration, and was one of the few people who knew about the mass interception of EU leaders. The statements by FBI Director Christopher Wray to the effect that cyber attacks should be treated as an act of terrorism also go in this direction, thus justifying the expansion of the monitoring activities of spy agencies that violate the individual freedoms of citizens around the planet.