Quantcast

«

»

Dec 20 2013

UNICEF is a major terrorist threat?

Another day, another blockbuster Snowden-based revelation.

From previous revelations, we knew that the NSA and Britain’s GCHQ have been vacuuming up and storing people’s information pretty indiscriminately. But today brings new revelations from the Edward Snowden documents reveal the stunning extent of targeted spying on people and organizations., including such organizations as the well-known United Nations children’s charity.

British and American intelligence agencies had a comprehensive list of surveillance targets that included the EU’s competition commissioner, German government buildings in Berlin and overseas, and the heads of institutions that provide humanitarian and financial help to Africa, top secret documents reveal.

The papers show GCHQ, in collaboration with America’s National Security Agency (NSA), was targeting organisations such as the United Nations development programme, the UN’s children’s charity Unicef and Médecins du Monde, a French organisation that provides doctors and medical volunteers to conflict zones. The head of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) also appears in the documents, along with text messages he sent to colleagues.

The disclosures reflect the breadth of targets sought by the agencies, which goes far beyond the desire to intercept the communications of potential terrorists and criminals, or diplomats and officials from hostile countries. Asked about this activity, a spokesman for GCHQ said it was “longstanding policy that we do not comment on intelligence matters”, but the official insisted the agency “takes its obligations under the law very seriously”.

However, Leigh Daynes, an executive director of Médecins du Monde in the UK, said he was “shocked and surprised by these appalling allegations of secret surveillance on our humanitarian operations”.

The prominent names that appear in the GCHQ documents include Joaquín Almunia, who is vice-president of the European commission with responsibility for competition policy.
The Spaniard is in charge of major anti-monopoly investigations, and approving mergers of companies with significant presence in the EU.

Almunia has been involved in a long-running investigation into Google over complaints about the company’s alleged stranglehold on online advertising; he has also clashed with Google and Microsoft over privacy concerns, and was prominent in the EU’s response to the global financial crisis.

I wonder how Israel and its lobby in the US will react to one of the new revelations.

One GCHQ document, drafted in January 2009, makes clear the agencies were targeting an email address listed as belonging to another key American ally – the “Israeli prime minister”. Ehud Olmert was in office at the time. Three other Israeli targets appeared on GCHQ documents, including another email address understood to have been used to send messages between the then Israeli defence minister, Ehud Barak, and his chief of staff, Yoni Koren.

It looks like everyone is a terrorist in the eyes of the NSA and GCHQ. Who knew that UNICEF harbored terrorist sympathies? UNICEF is a charity that I have given to for many years, so it looks like I could be hauled up on the charge of ‘materially supporting’ a terrorist organization.

The NSA and the GCHQ and their patrons president Obama and prime minister David Cameron must be wondering when this steady release of damaging revelations that show them to be liars will end. From what I read, what has been released is just a small fraction of the total number of documents that Snowden took with him.

9 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    colnago80

    I wonder how Israel and its lobby in the US will react to one of the new revelations.

    I’m sure that this is one spy mission that the good professor and the other Israel bashers on this blog are all in favor of. By the way, they were also spying on current Prime Minister Netanyahu. So the next time someone complains about Israeli spying on the US, this information should be trotted out.

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/us-and-uk-spied-on-olmert-netanyahu-and-barak/

  2. 2
    colnago80

    Apparently, Bibi was able to foil the eavesdroppers.

    http://www.timesofisrael.com/spy-target-netanyahu-uses-gestures-and-codes-in-sensitive-discussions/

  3. 3
    Friendly

    By the nonexistent gawds, you’re tiresome, Naggy. I can’t speak for Mano, but I’m not in favor of the US spying on heads of state or any other government figures in Israel, even though there are a number of officeholders and MKs (especially in Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu, Jewish Home, and Shas) that I consider hostile to the interests of both the United States and rights-respecting secular society in general.

  4. 4
    colnago80

    Re Friendly @ #3

    Shas isn’t in the current Israeli Government so spying on them would be a waste of resources.

  5. 5
    Friendly

    Right. Because a party that’s not in the government right now (a) can’t influence world events in any other ways at all and (b) will never ever be back in the government again. Sheesh.

  6. 6
    Nick Gotts

    I’m sure that this is one spy mission that the good professor and the other Israel bashers on this blog are all in favor of. – colnago80

    As ever on the subjects of your obsessions, you’re wrong.

  7. 7
    left0ver1under

    Who knew that UNICEF harbored terrorist sympathies? UNICEF is a charity that I have given to for many years, so it looks like I could be hauled up on the charge of ‘materially supporting’ a terrorist organization.

    The goal of UNICEF and others (e.g. MSF) is to act in the good of the people in other countries. That’s anti-American.

    If you’re not subservient to “US interests” (corporate, economic and military), you’re a terrorist. As with any empire, countries and peoples that refuse to be slaves are “dangerous” and must be “put down”.

  8. 8
    colnago80

    The the Limey @ #6

    Hey, wouldn’t it be in the interest of the US and Great Britain to get a heads up if the IDF was preparing a bombing attack on Iran? Given the animosity between Obama and Bibi, he might not inform us until the nuclear tipped cruise missiles fired from Dolphin submarines were on their way.

  9. 9
    colnago80

    Re The Limey @ #6

    Actually, under my scenario, it would be the IN that would be launching the attack.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite="" class=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>