Monday, 28 October 2013

eagle's nest

The relative silence by the American media regarding its native intelligence agencies and their forays abroad is deafening. There are bits of domestic coverage that are mostly of an apologetic nature—other Anglophone outlets are understandably taciturn as well—but nothing of a hard-hitting or challenging nature from very pedestrian news sources.

There is an element of back-peddling, downplaying who knew what and when, the postulate that all nations conduct themselves in the same way—or would like to, that Europeans ought to be grateful to the US for keeping them safe or that the German chancellor uses in fact more than one mobile device—like many, and continued (justified) criticism that the chancellor, upon the premature advice of her intelligence chief that the scandal was over, was not overly concerned about the spying on regular hoi polloi until it got personal. Der Spiel (DE) with significant contributions from the Reuters service (EN), however unnoticed by US journalists presents a very comprehensive piece on the background and latest developments. Despite whatever graceful exits that might be suggested, the fact that the US Mission to Germany, its embassy in Berlin (built in 2008) just beyond the Brandenburg Gate from the Chancellery and consulates in Frankfurt am Main, Bonn and Leipzig, are outfitted with roof-top signals and reconnaissance stations seems rather indisputable. Even after the revelations of Cable-Gate, I was under the impression that diplomacy was not to be a den of spying, to whatever end, and that there were serious consequences for the violation.