NSA spying scandals show toxic ‘secrecy paradigm’ is dead

The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters building in Fort Meade, Maryland (Reuters / NSA)
Every new revelation about the NSA spying against its adversaries and supposed allies becomes another nail in the coffin of the “secrecy paradigm,” former CIA officer Robert David Steele, who believes intelligence could soon cease to exist, told RT.

The continued revelation of NSA spying will impact global intelligence activities, the gathering of which will be done openly within the foreseeable future, Steele told RT.

RT:It is not the first time that we’re hearing that Washington spied on its key allies, why does it do this?

Robert David Steele: Well you have to remember that the NSA is a money spending machine. And it also does not provide a return on investment. Secrecy is essentially toxic. And I think the French also have something to consider here. The world is moving towards open source. The more people who can share information and talk about information the faster you get to creative solutions.

READ MORE: Leaked NSA intercepts: Hollande feared Grexit fallout, held secret meeting ‘behind Merkel’s back’

I think Europe needs to understand that the US is not its friend. And Europe needs to think seriously about removing US bases from Europe. And it needs to think seriously about creating a European intelligence community that is able to devise strategy, policy acquisition and operations in public, in the open.

RT:What sort of fallout we will get then? How do you think Paris might react?

RDS: By in large with very little fallout. Because Paris does secret operations and the French steal from the US. There is an excellent book called 'Friendly Spies' that talks about how Germany and France do much more industrial espionage in the US than China does. So I think this is a two way street.

And I think for the viewer what you really want to consider here is not necessarily that the NSA is doing something outrageous against France, but the whole issue of secrecy versus open source. I believe that we are at the end of the industrial era, of the technological paradigm. I think we need to seriously consider shutting down secret intelligence agencies and reviving something that we have not done for centuries – which is having open discussions with all facts on the table.

RT:Do you think that the French leaders were probably aware of these NSA activities?

RDS: Almost certainly. They are not naive.

RT:I ask that question because when Angela Merkel’s phone was tapped, she initially came out and said, “goodness me, I'm shocked,” and then a bit later she admitted to knowing that something was going on. Are we expecting a similar sort of reaction from the French?

READ MORE: ‘Espionnage Élysée’: WikiLeaks claims NSA spied on Hollande, Sarkozy and Chirac

RDS: Look these people are all on the bankers’ payroll. This is a contrived conflict. They are all on the same team. It is called the ‘1 percent team’. And they are all against us, the 99 percent.

RT:You mentioned some quite radical reforms that you’ve said will have to take place in order to solve this problem, but given that the 1 percent are in charge and benefit there using your own argument – how likely is that to happen?

RDS: Well it is funny because I think 2015 is a pivot year. Here in the US electoral reform is being discussed just as much as it is in the UK. And there is a clear feeling that parties are toxic. Political parties are essentially factions. They leverage secrecy, they leverage corruption and they are generally stirring the public. I believe that we’re getting very close to a number of billionaires, including the black sheep millionaires in Germany and southern France realizing that a 100 percent corrupt government is not working for them.

So my bottom line is: the world is changing now and the government paradigm and the secrecy paradigm – they are both dead. And rising up is a form of hybrid government with openness at its root. I think that we’re going to see major changes in power. And frankly I hope that Greece leaves the European Union.

RT:Can you give us a time period for when this is going to happen?

RDS: By 2020 at the very latest.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.