The United States would not only rule over Brussels, but also the leaders of some EU member states. Years have passed since the notorious spy scandal erupted, yet it remains just as embarrassing today, particularly since the incumbent US President was deeply involved in it and a similar scandal has recently come to light.
The United States intends to control not only bureaucrats in Brussels, but also the leaders of some European Union member states, at least this is what the latest scandal, that has erupted recently, suggests. Secret documents containing information on several countries and institutions have been leaked in the United States. Information relating to the war in Ukraine is particularly dangerous, as it includes NATO and US plans.
The documents also reveal that the United States has wiretapped several of its allies. This is nothing new, however, as the Democratic leadership has for decades taken the adage “keep your friends close” far too seriously. Enough to mention the wiretapping scandal that broke years ago, when a group of investigative journalists has revealed that the United States, with the knowledge, or rather the complicity, of Denmark, has been wiretapping Europe’s leading politicians, including former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former German foreign minister and current President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. French, Norwegian and Swedish politicians were also involved.
It later emerged that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone had been tapped by the US National Security Agency (NSA) since 2002, when she was still party leader.
The Danish Defence Intelligence Service (FE) was the NSA’s partner in spying on leading European politicians. The NSA has accessed phone calls, text messages and chat conversations on officials’ phones, using targeted intercepts and NSA-developed Xkeyscore data analysis software. As it turned out, the NSA was definitely helped by the FE between 2012 and 2014, with the full knowledge and consent of the Danish government. The two agencies even set up a joint data processing hub.
Shortly afterwards, another skeleton fell out of the closet: the NSA also spied on tens of millions of people in the United States, Germany, France and other European states.
The large-scale wiretapping scandal erupted when former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents exposing the surveillance. The revelations were truly embarrassing as the US National Security Agency spied on the leaders of countries that were strategic partners either in terms of economic life or NATO membership. Moreover, current US President Joe Biden was also deeply involved in the scandal, as he was vice-president at the time working for then-President Barack Obama’s administration, Mr Snowden said ahead of Joe Biden’s first visit to Europe as US president in 2021.
“Intelligence collection against allies suggests a lack of trust in what is being shared in normal diplomatic exchanges. Key European states have taken different positions to the US on a number of issues, perhaps most notably on relations with Russia and China,”
said Ewan Lawson, an associate fellow at the London-based Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). Washington was deeply concerned by European countries mulling better ties with Russia, and the EU negotiating a trade deal with China at the same time that US seeks to isolate Beijing, some experts said. The US may have increasingly felt that its influence in Europe had weakened, other experts pointed out.
When the scandal erupted in 2013 in the wake of Snowden’s reports, Barack Obama pledged to stop spying on his allies. The world rightly asked the question: what are the guarantees that Joe Biden, Mr Obama’s former vice-president, will not follow in the footsteps of his predecessors as US president? Everyone has received the answer to this question in recent days.