‘Damage accumulating’ after US loses trust over spying activities
The latest news on monitoring of phone calls in France, and probably German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s own cellphone, brought anger from the French and German governments this week. Top European politicians voiced a ‘lack of trust’ towards US on the summit in Brussels on Friday.
RT:Does this come as a surprise to you that such a large number of world leaders were allegedly being monitored by the US?
James Petras: No, it doesn’t surprise me. I think the US
has been doing this for quite a while and we’ve been hearing
stories about it, the testimony. What I think is very revealing
is the fact that the NSA got many of these phone calls, phone
numbers and fax numbers and other confidential material from the
White House as revealed in the memo. It was supposed to turn over
the roll access, rolodex, listenings of confidential phone
numbers from the Pentagon estate department and the White House.
So everybody was privy to the NSA tapping into and listening to
the communications by top leaders. Moreover we have to raise the
question of how did the US government act on the information they
got how did they take that decisions, how did they intervene in
politics at UN conferences and EU meetings.
I think the implications are enormous, the damage is accumulating and the White House is at a loss on how to control this for two reasons: one is they depended on this espionage in formulating policy and two they are now reaping the consequences in very damaged relations - nobody can trust the word of the White House now. They said they lied about the past, who gave them credibility in terms of their promises for the future. That’s the question that has been raised for the world today.
RT:What could that diplomatic fallout be after roll EU leaders meeting on Friday will be a lot of rhetoric a lot of words, but not much action so far. What could the consequences be for the US?
JP: Well I think the leaders in Europe have been working with Washington, they’ve been taking the lead from Washington for so long. Now they have to act on their own. Washington has forced the European countries to make decisions regarding their own security and they are in a quandary from past dependence to the necessity of taking initiatives now and I think the only road to take is to break with the euro security system, to break with the US communication system that requires investments, it requires political will, and it requires changing the relationship between the United States government and the European governments
RT:It is all coming from Edward Snowden, is it? What’s next?
JP: Well I think the next thing will be revealing exactly
what kind of eavesdropping was taking place in regard to context
and substance I think that’s really crucial. They say they
listened to Angela Merkel. What did they listen to, what did they
pick up, and how did it affect US policy with Germany? Did it
result in US putting pressure Germany regarding the bailouts in
Southern Europe, did this affect US policy influencing Germany to
support the intervention in Syria? These are essential questions
derived from the issue of espionage, is merely a tip of the
iceberg. The deeper question is what information was secured this
way and how did it change the US behavior to the countries that
they were spying on.