America’s spying activities remind me of a paranoid husband who hires a private eye to keep constant tabs on his wife. It’s time for America’s foreign policy leaders to visit the shrink and to cure its neurosis.
Spiegel’s print edition cover story today features Snowden and Obama on the front cover:
This week’s SPIEGEL cover: “Alone against America. Edward Snowden: hero and traitor. How the US intelligence agency spied in Germany”.
Latest must read Spiegel story today here: www.spiegel.de/html.
I keep hearing people like John Kerry, Diane Feinstein, Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin, etc. say that espionage is all part of the game, and are all trying to put the full blame for the debacle on a single man: Edward Snowden. Few of us are so naïve to believe that. The truth is that US intelligence has run totally amok. It is no longer even able to distinguish friend from foe.
One essential part of successful intelligence is at least first having the cerebral intelligence of being able to distinguish between your friends and foes. If you can’t do that, then soon everyone starts appearing like a foe, and everything runs amok very quickly. Perhaps Snowden felt this was the case, and could not take what he saw anymore. Intelligence operations are supposed to be aimed at real foes like Iran, North Korea, China, or Venezuela and Cuba. Maybe competitors like India, Russia… But if you start treating all your allies like foes, and go to town on them like the Stasi, then you are going to find yourself alone and isolated real fast. That unfortunately has now happened.
If it had not been Snowden, then it would soon have been someone else. If Washington was trying to shed its image that it is corrupt to the core, it didn’t do itself any favors with this affair. A country that spies on its own citizens and allies on such a massive scale needs to ask itself some serious questions.
In the 20+ years I find myself in Europe, I cannot recall any situation where trust between Europe and America has disintegrated so much and so rapidly. Europeans, once in love with Obama, are struggling and unable come to terms with the new Obama reality – that they are dealing with a real Chicago-style politician, and not with a well-intentioned community organizer.
Spiegel presents here has a list of 17 quotes made by German leaders in response to the affair.
So how much damage has Snowden done? Perhaps the question that needs to be asked is: How much damage has America’s strayed foreign policy done to itself? One of the virtues of a real patriot is to have the courage to stand up and to point out the faults of your country and to demand that they be fixed. Patriots are what America needs more than ever today, and not the sort who cluelessly wave the stars and stripes on cue.
Washington needs a serious house-cleaning. Denying and scapegoating a lowly contractor is not going to work this time.