The repeated revelations of how the US and UK governments have spied massively on everyone has had the desired effect of turning public opinion against this practice and now all those responsible are trying to evade blame. The revelations of spying on the leaders of friendly nations has been particularly embarrassing for the elites. So we have now entered the stage where everyone who had a hand in this (the White House, the NSA, Congress) is trying to blame everyone else for the fiasco. This is a good thing because it is when there are splits among the ruling elites that we get a glimpse of how things really work.
In a surprising twist, NSA director Keith Alexander is now blaming US diplomats for asking for information on foreign leaders, something that is sure to tick off the State Department. Meanwhile John Kerry, trying to placate annoyed world leaders whom he has to deal with, says that the NSA may have gone too far.
The Daily Show points out the hypocrisy of members of congress now expressing dismay at the spying revelations when it was those same congressional committees that bent over backwards to give the NSA sweeping powers to snoop on anyone and anything.
(This clip aired on October 30, 2013. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report outside the US, please see this earlier post.)
We also learned that there is something called the ‘five eyes club‘ consisting of English-speaking nations (US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) that have an agreement among themselves to not spy on each other and to aid each other in spying efforts. Australia is now in trouble with Asian countries for spying on them, possibly on behalf of the US.
Frankly I don’t believe that the US does not spy on the other four countries. Commonality of language is hardly likely to deter an NSA that is hell bent on scooping up every communication is sight. In fact, it would be easier to spy on people who speak the same language. Given what we now know, I would not be at all surprised to learn in the near future that the US was spying on the other four English-speaking countries too because it looks like one purpose of the spying was to give the US an economic advantage in political and economic negotiations with other nations. So why would they exclude one set of nations purely on the basis of speaking the same language?