Wednesday, June 24, 2015
As always the outrage follows the embarrassment
And today's particular embarrassment is the revelation by WikiLeaks that the NSA had been spying on the French president. The leaks are from a time prior to a French request, after initial WikiLeaks disclosures in 2013 & 2014 that the NSA not spy on the French president. Nevertheless, outrage is the protocol response to all such leaks, regardless of circumstannces.
France summoned the U.S. ambassador to the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday after WikiLeaks published documents late Tuesday that it says show the U.S. National Security Agency eavesdropped on the last three French presidents, releasing material which appeared to capture officials in Paris talking candidly about Greece's economy, relations with Germany — and, ironically, American espionage.Scare bleu! Merde de mon Dieu! And all that sort of stuff.
The release of the documents, in collaboration with French daily newspaper Libération and investigative website Mediapart, was serious enough to prompt an emergency meeting of President Francois Hollande's defense council, according to a presidential aide. The council, meeting Wednesday morning, includes France's top security officials.
“This involves unacceptable acts that have already given rise to discussions between the United States and France,” Hollande said in a statement after the emergency meeting.
President Barack Obama on Wednesday stressed the United States' commitment to end past practices that were considered 'unacceptable' by its allies during a phone call with Hollande, the French president’s office said.
“President Obama reiterated unequivocally his firm commitment ... to end the practices that may have happened in the past and that are considered unacceptable among allies,” a statement from Hollande's office said.
French government spokesman Stephane Le Foll also said that France is sending the country's top intelligence coordinator to the United States shortly, to ensure that promises not to spy on its leaders — made after earlier NSA spying revelations in 2013 and 2014 — have been kept.
At a Cabinet meeting Wednesday, Le Foll said, “We reminded all the ministers to be vigilant in their conversations.”
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