Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Iraq and the illegal spying

The latest revelations on the US government's illegal spying again involve Germany.  Xinhua reports the NSA " spied on former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder over his criticism of the Iraq War, according to reports on Tuesday.  Schroder's phone was tapped from 2002 because of his critical attitude towards U.S. preparations for the Iraq War."  RT adds:

   Schroeder was added to the NSA espionage targets list as number 388 by 2002, Munich daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung and NDR revealed in their reports on Tuesday.
Media quoted unnamed US government officials and "NSA insiders” who saw Snowden documents.
Schroeder told Sueddeutsche Zeitung that he was not surprised by the report.
The paper added that NSA spying involved not only the detection of connection data, but also written and spoken communications.
In 2002, Schroeder and his Social Democratic party parted with America's views, stating at the beginning of its election campaign that Germany would not provide troops or money for an invasion of Iraq. 

Deutsche Welle also covers the issue:

 Green party politician Hans-Christian Ströbele, who recently met with former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in Moscow, told both publications that he could "confirm" the report.
"According to my information, it really was the case that in 2002 and 2003 Chancellor Schröder - and presumably other members of the coalition government - were tapped," Ströbele said. "The reason for this indeed seems to be that the US side wanted information on Germany's position towards the Iraq war and especially on any German activities seeking to stop a UN resolution."
The US and its allies ultimately invaded Iraq without a UN Security Council mandate.

The deputy chairman for the Social Democrats, Rolf Mützennich, told Wednesday's edition of the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper that the "American government should finally contribute to comprehensively clearing up this issue of its own accord."

It should be remembered that the US government illegally spied on the United Nations in the lead up to the Iraq War.  And that, just a few months ago, they were again caught spying on the UN.  Last August, Laura Poitras, Marcel Rosenbach and Holger Stark (Der Spiegel) reported:

President Obama promised that NSA surveillance activities were aimed exclusively at preventing terrorist attacks. But secret documents from the intelligence agency show that the Americans spy on Europe, the UN and other countries.
[. . .]
Beyond their infiltration of the EU, the Americans are also highly interested in intelligence on the UN and the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA. The IAEA has been given a red "1" in the area of arms control, while the focus at the UN is on foreign policy ("2") along with human rights, war crimes, environment issues and raw materials (each "3").
The NSA has its own team stationed at the UN, with each of the specialists disguised as diplomats. A secret crew from Washington regularly comes to town to bolster the team's ranks before each session of the General Assembly.

But the Americans also eavesdrop wherever possible during the day-to-day -- and they have been particularly successful at it for quite some time, as the corresponding department proudly reported in June 2012. In a status report they wrote that they had gained "a new access to internal United Nations communication."

As the illegal spying continues, tensions in Iraq continue.  ABC News Radio quotes US Ambassador to Iraq Robert Beecroft stating of Iraq, "We're in a very precarious situation where a misstep anywhere could set off larger conflicts within the country, and that's what we need to stay away from.  The wrong person gets killed, the wrong mosque gets attacked and exploded and you run the risk of sectarian conflict."

Through yesterday, Iraq Body Count counts 93 violent deaths so far this month.

Today, National Iraqi News Agency reports 3 Pajwan bombing (Kirkuk) left five people injured, a Mosul car bombing left eight people injured (six are Iraqi soldiers), a Mosul suicide bomber took his own life and the lives of 2 Iraqi soldiers with six more left injured, a southwest Baghdad car bombing (Bayaa area) left 1 person dead and eight more injured, Baghdad Operations command notes a second bombing (same are) left 2 people dead and ten more injured, another southwest Baghdad car bombing left six people injured,  a Taji roadside bombing left four police officers injured, an eastern Baghdad sticky bombing (Palestine Street) left one police member injured, a Mosul attack left 1 Turkmen woman dead and her husband injured, 1 "of the leaders in 'Daash' terrorist organization" was killed "west of Mousl,"  2 "Katyusha rockets hit an army headquarters of Baghdad's Green Zone," the Green Zone was also hit by a mortar shell,  and 2 corpses were discovered in Baghdad (one had gunshot wounds, the other's head had been bashed in).

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.