Revelations of CIA spying on NATO-ally France 'a nuclear bombshell’
One would think the French should be a lot more ‘cheesed off’ at us than we might be at Russia, especially given that the French and the US are allies, said geopolitical analyst Charles Ortel. Nikola Mirkovich also contributed his thoughts.
On Thursday, WikiLeaks released classified documents on CIA spying during the 2012 election in France, reportedly targeting the current and former French presidents.
RT: Do these revelations surprise you?
Nikola Mirkovich: No, they don’t. We know that for a long, long time – US intelligence has been meddling in the affairs of foreign countries, even with foreign countries that are officially friends within NATO, or other international organizations. So this is no surprise at all.
Just remember a couple of years ago they were eavesdropping on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s telephone. And we know there had been a scandal a couple of years ago as well with eavesdropping on French defense. So I don’t think it is a big surprise for people who have been following the CIA, its interactions with other countries, especially in Europe these past years.
RT: How do you think the US was going to use the information?
NM: Europe is a touchy subject for the US. The European economy is not doing well; the EU - which had been built originally by the US, which has been, I would say, ideologically supported by the US at the beginning - is not doing so well. There are new movements all across Europe, which are coming around, which are gaining towns, cities, regions, maybe in some cases countries as well. So they want to know what is going on. They are trying to get information. They want to know who their allies are eavesdropping, trying to get information.
The front pages of Le Monde, Libération, Mediapart – they all are talking about this. So maybe times are a bit changing, and maybe this is an opportune time to see that we have proof that the CIA is doing something that it is accusing other countries of doing without proof. What are we going to do now? This is going to be very interesting to see how the French politicians, who’ve been spied upon – whether this be Mr. [Nicolas] Sarkozy, Mr. [Dominique] Strauss-Kahn, Mrs. [Marine] Le Pen – how will they react; and also how will the French Special Services react?
We know that at this hour – be the French Minister for information, or for military information – have not responded. The do not want to respond to this and react. However, it is going to be interesting to see how the politicians react, because many of these politicians have followed US mainstream media and even US politicians in finger-pointing Russia. Will they do the same finger-pointing towards Washington DC with the proof of tonight’s Wikileaks cables?
Just a day before WikiLeaks revelations emerged, France's Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault singled out Russia, not the US, as a country that might meddle in the upcoming French election.
Charles Ortel, author, geopolitical analyst
RT: First of all what do you think of the French Foreign Minister's concerns? Why did he single out Russia?
Charles Ortel: There is a storyline going around that the Russian government in theory, according to some in the American press, in government and in the Democratic Party, in particular, suspect that the Russian government got involved in our most recent election. But I really think that is sour grapes and spilled milk. We need to fess up in this side of the pond that on the Democratic side of the coin there was a candidate who was supposed to win in 2008 and couldn’t even get the nomination in 2008, and was supposed to win by a landslide in 2016, and did a gigantic belly flop...
RT: Back to the WikiLeaks revelations. If France and the US were such great buddies, what the US would gain by being so intensely scrutinizing about French election?
CO: Well, these recent revelations … are especially surprising, when you consider first of all that the American government at that time - from September 2011 to November 2012 - was run by none other than Barack Obama – one could ask: was this a CIA operation, if it really happened; was it a rogue operation that he didn’t know about? Or did he know about it? This was at a moment when I believe the US was trying to twist arms to help in the Middle East, particularly in Libya. It is very surprising we would have been doing this against all the parties in the way suggested.
What is also very interesting in the release is this cryptic reference to “Vault 7.” There have been rumors of a new big dump coming out of WikiLeaks, I guess “Vault 7” is to be that dump. This release is to provide context for “Vault 7.” One wonders what that will show us.
RT: First this information that Russia is supposedly meddling in the US election, and now these revelations the CIA allegedly got a bit too close to the 2012 French presidential election. Do you expect the same level of apoplectic rage?
CO: From our captured mainstream media? I doubt it. In this case, I would have thought that the French should be a lot more, as they say, ‘cheesed off’ at us than we might be at Russia. Given that the French and the US are indeed allies. I think we would be seriously upset with France if we discovered that allies of ours had meddled in our 2016 election. We’re working toward perhaps - one hopes – a closer alliance with Russia, but we’re not yet true allies. This is incredibly damaging stuff, again if this is true. WikiLeaks has a good record. I believe a 100 percent record so far of only releasing accurate information. But this is a nuclear bombshell in my view.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.