Putin Shearing Wool From the Snowden Pig
Published: November 1, 2013 (Issue # 1784)
Russia's enthusiastic support for National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, including granting him temporary asylum on Aug. 1, seems to be paying generous dividends for the Kremlin.
Thanks to Snowden's recently published leaks, which he claims were handed over to the media before he arrived in Russia, the world learned that the NSA listened in on the conversations of 35 world leaders, their top advisers and millions of foreign citizens. The U.S. targets included allies such as Germany, France, Brazil, Spain, Italy and Mexico. Clearly, this was a dirty, not-so-little secret that the NSA would have liked to have kept classified.
It is no surprise that the latest Snowden leaks have caused serious problems between Washington and its close allies and partners. For example, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel discovered that her cell phone calls were tapped by the NSA from the early 2000s to June of this year, based on documents that Snowden leaked to Der Spiegel, she was livid and called U.S. President Barack Obama to protest. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said U.S. actions would be "highly damaging" to relations.
Meanwhile, Le Monde, citing leaks provided by Snowden, reported that the U.S. had intercepted more than 70 million phone calls and text messages of French citizens in just one year. French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said, "Espionage from a friendly country and ally is absolutely unacceptable."
When Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff learned from Brazilian media that the NSA had intercepted her messages and spied on the state oil company Petrobas, she postponed a state visit to the U.S. in protest.
These leaks come on top of other Snowden leaks, released by the media in August, which disclosed how the NSA spied on the United Nations, European Union and the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Association.
On Wednesday, The Washington Post published a new Snowden leak, showing how the NSA broke into Yahoo and Google data centers located outside of the U.S. Meanwhile, Glenn Greenwald, a columnist for The Guardian and Snowden's chief media liaison, says there will be many more Snowden leaks to come.
Pages:  [2 ] [3 ]