Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Spy Agency Happenings!- Issue 5/10/16 WHY DO ALLIES SPY ON EACH OTHER?

NSA spied on German Chancellor Angella Merkel’s official cellphone

        I’ve always wondered why intelligence agencies of friendly countries spy on each other. We’re always inundated with reports of the CIA and NSA spying on America’s allies even though these friends spy on us, too. Regarding this topic, I’ve uncovered some interesting affairs in the Spy vs. Spy realm that appears in the Spy Agency Happenings!- Issue 5/10/16 newsletter.
     The CIA is constantly being accused of unilaterally spying on friendly European countries. The poster child for this is German triple agent Markus Reichel, who was charged with treason and admitted spying for the CIA. Apparently, he was a resentful employee at the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) and was an easy recruit for CIA case officers, for during his trial, Reichel revealed that no one trusted him with anything at the BND and he stated, “It was different at the CIA.”

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     In this newsletter you’ll meet a CIA veteran whom I greatly admire. As a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers(AFIO), I had the pleasure of meeting Peter Earnest. I’ve attended various AFIO symposiums and luncheons where he appeared. Working for the CIA for 36 years, including 25 years in the agency’s clandestine division, he talks intuitively about the fact that mutual spying among allies is common knowledge and has been going on for centuries.
     Earnst reveals how embassies are an arm of such espionage among friends where much information is passed willingly and formally, but behind the scenes they are used to gather intelligence covertly. 
     The veteran spymaster, who became the founding executive director of the International Spy Museum in Washington, believes hypocrisy exists when the Europeans complain about the U.S. spying on them, for they all spy on each other as well as on the U.S.
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     You’ll read about the EU delegation that met at the White House over NSA spying concerns and Earnst’s comments on this uproar in Europe. Perhaps, though, we’re spying on our allies more than they’re spying on us? After all, the NSA has been spying on German Chancellor Angella Merkel’s official cellphone and on millions of phone calls made by politicians and government officials in France and Spain. It has also eavesdropped on the Mexican government and hacked the public e-mail account of former President Felipe Calderon and also his e-mail domain which was often used by Cabinet members. 
     Peter Earnst, who retired from the CIA in 1994, commented about former NSA employee Edward Snowden, who stole and leaked many documents that revealed the agency’s intelligence-gathering activities on friendly allies. Earnst recently stated, “It’s the leak that keeps on giving on damage. I’m glad I’m not in the community right now. It must be a nightmare.”
     The Spy Agency Happenings!- Issue 5/10/16 newsletter contains additional articles where senior intelligence officials admit to America’s spying on allies. James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, admitted it was a “fundamental given” that the U.S. gathers intelligence on foreign leaders. 
     But, they spy on America, too. During a House Intelligence Committee hearing, chairman Mike Rogers asked Clapper him point blank if U.S. allies spy on America’s leaders. His answer: “Absolutely.”
     Enjoy the Spy Agency Happenings!- Issue 5/10/16 newsletter. You will learn how news media outlets have misinterpreted Snowden’s leaked documents about NSA intelligence-gathering: the metadata collected on phone calls in ally countries came from those countries to begin with, and the remaining metadata was collected legally by the NSA.
     You’ll also learn how the French spy on America to gather intelligence on our politics and also to do industrial espionage. No ally is immune from American spying nor is America untouched by foreign spying. There is one exception to this “friends reading friend’s mail.” Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Washington established a “Five Eyes” pact, where they share intelligence and do not spy on each other. It’s a “gentlemen’s agreement” dating back to 1946.  
Further Reading: Our Pick    

 Robert Morton, Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy novel series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

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