Turkey, South Africa and Russia have reacted angrily to the British government demanding an explanation for the revelations that their politicians and senior officials were spied on and bugged during the 2009G20 summit in London.
The foreign ministry in Ankara said it was unacceptable that the British government had intercepted phonecalls and monitored the computers of Turkey's finance minister as well as up to 15 others from his visiting delegation. If confirmed, the eavesdropping operation on a Nato ally was "scandalous", it added.
The ministry summoned the UK's ambassador to Ankara to hear Turkey's furious reaction in person. A spokesman at the foreign ministry read out an official statement saying: "The allegations in the Guardian are very worrying … If these allegations are true, this is going to be scandalous for the UK. At a time when international co-operation depends on mutual trust, respect and transparency, such behaviour by an allied country is unacceptable."
The Guardian revealed that the UK secret wiretapping agency, GCHQ,targeted Mehmet Şimşek, the Turkish finance minister and a former Merrill banker, during a G20 economics meeting hosted in London in September 2009. It also considered monitoring the communications of 15 named members of his staff and of Turkey's central bank. It is not clear which if any of the staff members was ultimately placed undersurveillance.
The goal was to collect information about the Turkish position on the reform of the global financial infrastructure in the wake of the world banking crisis.
The revelations come at a fraught time for Turkish-British relations. The country's embattled prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has blamed the international media, and in particular the BBC, for fomenting violent unrest and protests against his rule. Erdoğan has spoken repeatedly of an "international conspiracy". News that his finance minister really was the victim of a British surveillance operation will strengthen his view.
The South African foreign ministry, which was a target of a GCHQ hacking operation launched in 2005, also voiced its concern. A ministry statement said: "We do not yet have the full benefit of details reported on but in principle we would condemn the abuse of privacy and basic human rights particularly if it emanates from those who claim to be democrats."
The statement added: "We have solid, strong and cordial relations with the United Kingdom and would call on their government to investigate this matter fully with a view to take strong and visible action against any perpetrators."
GCHQ documents seen by The Guardian showed the British hacking operation was designed to get information from foreign ministry computer networks on briefings given to ministers for G20 meetings and also G8 summits attended by South Africa as an observer.
In Moscow Russian officials said the Guardian revelation that US spies had intercepted top-secret communications of Dmitry Medvedev at a G20 summit in London in April 2009 would further harm the struggling US-Russia relationship and cast a shadow over the G8 summit in Northern Ireland on Monday and Tuesday.
Details of the spying, set out in a briefing prepared by the National Security Agency (NSA), were leaked by the whistleblower Edward Snowden and revealed by the Guardian late on Sunday. Documents show that US spies based in Britain spied on Medvedev, then the Russian president and now prime minister.
Medvedev's spokeswoman, Natalya Timakova, declined to comment. But speaking to state-run media, senior Russian officials said the revelations had deepened mistrust between the US and Russia, whose relations have already sunk to a post-cold-war low following a brief and largely unsuccessful "reset" during Medvedev's four-year reign in the Kremlin.
Igor Morozov, a senator in Russia's Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, suggested that the Obama administration's attempts to improve relations were clearly insincere: "2009 was the year the Russian-American 'reset' was announced. At the same time US special services were listening to Dmitry Medvedev's phonecalls."
He added: "In this situation, how can we trust today's announcements by Barack Obama that he wants a new 'reset'? Won't the US special services now start spying on Vladimir Putin, rather than correcting their actions?" he told RIA-Novosti, a state-owned news agency. "This isn't just an act of inhospitality, but a fact that can seriously complicate international relations," he said. "Big doubts about Obama's sincerity appear."
The revelations were the lead story on Russia Today, the Kremlin's international propaganda TV channel.
It also featured elsewhere. Domestic NTV, owned by the state gas giant Gazprom and run by the Kremlin, commented: "The spy scandal can cast a cloud over the G8 summit opening today."
Former top-ranking Russian spies, meanwhile, suggested the behaviour by their US and UK counterparts amounted to bad form. "From a technical point of view, spying on those negotiating on the territory of a country doesn't present any great difficulties," Nikolai Kovalev, the former head of the FSB, Russia's powerful domestic spy agency, pointed out. Kovalev added however: "To avoid diplomatic and international scandal security agencies are forbidden from doing this. And usually they don't do it."
Russia and the US have been plagued by spy scandals for years – just last month Russia expelled a US embassy employee in Moscow charged with being a CIA spy, and in 2010 the US busted a ring of Russian sleeper spies posted throughout the country.
But news of the high-level spying in a third country comes at a time when Putin has made whipping up anti-Americanism a top priority. The two countries remain at odds over Syria, and Putin has repeatedly accused the US state department of funding and directing opposition to him at home.
Alexey Pushkov, the head of the Duma's international affairs committee and one of the loudest anti-American voices in the Russian government, took to Twitter to write: "Scandal! In 2009 at the G20, US and UK special services listened to Medvedev's telephone calls. The US denies it, but we can't believe that. That's complete fraud."
Others were more sanguine. Viktor Ozerov, head of the Federation Council's defence and security committee, said: "Russia shouldn't take this [spying] for granted, but shouldn't dramatise the situation either. Intelligence agencies exist to spy not only on private citizens but on top government leaders too.
Are you on the list? Are you one of the millions of Americans that have been designated a threat to national security by the U.S. government? Will you be subject to detention when martial law is imposed during a major national emergency? As you will see below, there is actually a list that contains the names of at least 8 million Americans known as Main Core that the U.S. intelligence community has been compiling since the 1980s. A recent article on Washington’s Blog quoted a couple of old magazine articles that mentioned this program, and I was intrigued because I didn’t know what it was. So I decided to look into Main Core, and what I found out was absolutely stunning – especially in light of what Edward Snowden has just revealed to the world. It turns out that the U.S. government is not just gathering information on all of us. The truth is that the U.S. government has used this information to create a list of threats to national security that the government would potentially watch, question or even detain during a national crisis. If you have ever been publicly critical of the government, there is a very good chance that you are on that list.
The following is how Wikipedia describes Main Core…....Main Core is the code name of a database maintained since the 1980s by the federal government of the United States. Main Core contains personal and financial data of millions of U.S. citizens believed to be threats to national security. The data, which comes from the NSA, FBI, CIA, and other sources, is collected and stored without warrants or court orders. The database’s name derives from the fact that it contains “copies of the ‘main core’ or essence of each item of intelligence information on Americans produced by the FBI and the other agencies of the U.S. intelligence community.”
It was Christopher Ketchum of Radar Magazine that first reported on the existence of Main Core. At the time, the shocking information that he revealed did not get that much attention. That is quite a shame, because it should have sent shockwaves across the nation…
According to a senior government official who served with high-level security clearances in five administrations, “There exists a database of Americans, who, often for the slightest and most trivial reason, are considered unfriendly, and who, in a time of panic, might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived ‘enemies of the state’ almost instantaneously.” He and other sources tell Radar that the database is sometimes referred to by the code name Main Core. One knowledgeable source claims that 8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect. In the event of a national emergency, these people could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and possibly even detention.
Of course, federal law is somewhat vague as to what might constitute a “national emergency.” Executive orders issued over the last three decades define it as a “natural disaster, military attack, [or] technological or other emergency,” while Department of Defense documents include eventualities like “riots, acts of violence, insurrections, unlawful obstructions or assemblages, [and] disorder prejudicial to public law and order.” According to one news report, even “national opposition to U.S. military invasion abroad” could be a trigger.
So if that list contained 8 million names all the way back in 2008, how big might it be today?
Seriously? I thought, as I was still trying to make sense of it all. Is all this really necessary? Is this really happening? I considered waking my son to accompany me, but opted to follow the instructions to the letter. Besides, I thought, he’s not the most affable middle-of-the-night person. I left a hastily written but detailed note in my hotel room before my departure in the event something happened. I looked at the digital clock on my rental car (my personal car would never survive our long distance trip). It was 3:20 a.m.
I felt like I was part of a spy movie set in our nation’s capital. A chill rose up my spine as I waited in the dark of a chilly, misty and foggy pre-dawn morning. I was to meet with my DHS insider source at a time when most of the nation is asleep, at a place I could swear was featured in the movie All the President’s Men. No one and I mean no one knows I’m here, I thought, as I could see one of the most recognizable national landmarks in the distance.
My source appeared out of nowhere, or so it seemed, and handed me a cup of coffee with the astute observation that I looked like I needed it. So tell me, I asked impatiently, why do we have to meet at this time, at this location, and under such specific circumstances? ‘Because this might be our last meeting,’ he stated.
Maybe it was the lack of sleep, the time, the place, or the chill of the misty rain that caused my sense of foreboding. “Explain,” I asked in an almost demanding tone. So he did, without mincing words.
“If anyone thinks that what’s going on right now with all of this surveillance of American citizens is to fight some sort of foreign enemy, they’re delusional. If people think that this ‘scandal’ can’t get any worse, it will, hour by hour, day by day. This has the ability to bring down our national leadership, the administration and other senior elected officials working in collusion with this administration, both Republican and Democrats. People within the NSA, the Department of Justice, and others, they know who they are, need to come forth with the documentation of ‘policy and practice’ in their possession, disclose what they know, fight what’s going on, and just do their job. I have never seen anything like this, ever. The present administration is going after leakers, media sources, anyone and everyone who is even suspected of ‘betrayal.’ That’s what they call it, ‘betrayal.’ Can you believe the size of their cahones? This administration considers anyone telling the truth about Benghazi, the IRS, hell, you name the issue, “betrayal,” he said.
“We know all this already,” I stated. He looked at me, giving me a look like I’ve never seen, and actually pushed his finger into my chest. “You don’t know jack,” he said, “this is bigger than you can imagine, bigger than anyone can imagine. This administration is collecting names of sources, whistle blowers and their families, names of media sources and everybody they talk to and have talked to, and they already have a huge list. If you’re not working for MSNBC or CNN, you’re probably on that list. If you are a website owner with a brisk readership and a conservative bent, you’re on that list. It’s a political dissident list, not an enemy threat list,” he stated.
“What’s that exactly mean, being on that list, that is,” I asked, trying to make sense of it all.
“It means that there will be censorship under the color of authority of anyone in the U.S. who is attempting to expose what’s going on in our name. It’s about controlling any damning information from reaching epidemic proportions. It’s damage control to the extreme. It’s about the upcoming censorship of the internet in the name of national security. The plans are already in place. These latest reports about ‘spying eyes’ have turned this administration and others connected to it into something very, very dangerous. They feel cornered and threatened, and I’m hearing about some plans they have to shut down the flow of information that is implicating them of wrongdoing. Time is short,” he stated.
“How are they going to do this? How is it even possible” I asked.
“First, they intend to use the Justice Department to silence journalists like in the Rosen case, but they won’t stop there. They will use a host of national security policies, laws, letters, whatever to take out the bigger threats,” he stated.
Next, they will use some sort of excuse, an external threat, and I believe it will be a combination of the economic collapse and a Mid-East war that will begin in Syria to throttle the information that is accessible on the Internet. And you know what? People will believe it!”
Based on what I’ve seen, most of which I should not have seen, the DHS is co-ordinating efforts with other federal agencies to begin to threaten American citizens with incarceration for non-compliance. You know the old talk of color coded lists? Well, this is what they will be using. People exposing the truth about Benghazi, killing the U.S. Dollar, even those questioning Obama?s legal status and eligibility to be President are the current targets. And they’ve had five long years to get to this point. The ugly truth is that these policies and practices did not start under Obama, but long before. This is about the killing of our Constitutional Republic. The murder of our country and the stripping of our rights. While many have been preoccupied with one issue, few have seen the bigger issue. This is the ‘end game,’ for all the marbles,” he stated.
More to come
“Please,” pleaded my source, “get this information out while you can. Tell people what I’m saying, that we don’t have much time, that after the latest exposure of spying, Obama, Jarrett, Axelrod, and others, including members of Congress, have put their plans into high gear. This is about the Marxist takeover of America. This is about our country being able to survive another July 4th holiday. This is about a world war about to break out that will kill millions of people, all because of the agenda of this administration.”
“They are very dangerous and will do anything and everything to stop the onslaught of negative information that’s being reported by the main stream media. But only about one quarter of the real information is being reported. The other three quarters will be the game changer. But first, tell people what I’ve said. Let them know that more will follow but get this information out right now while the internet is still relatively free. Do it today.”
My source provided additional information, but I am abiding by his wish to get this much out. I am writing now to let people know that we are in for seriously dangerous times ahead. Deadly times. War, and censorship under the color of authority and under the pretext of of national security. It’s about to get a lot uglier. Stay tuned.
Copyright © Douglas J. Hagmann and Canada Free Press
“The president has put in place an organization that contains the kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life. That’s going to be very, very powerful. That database will have information about everything on every individual in ways that it’s never been done before.” Maxine Waters
Below is the interview of Edward Snowden who fled Hawaii and went to Hong Kong. He worked as an infrastructure analyst for NSA, a systems engineer, a systems administrator, a senior adviser, a special consultant to the CIA and a telecommunications information systems officer.
Edward makes the important point that the government possesses huge amounts of data on each of its citizens and when the government wants to it can go back in time, sift through the data and build a "false" case against any innocent citizen. Essentially, and this is the Watchman's view, if the government wants to they can build a case against anyone and within 48 hours you or I will be viewed by the general public, via the mass media, as the "scum of the earth" and in this way the government creates"patsies and fall guys" to cover up the government's nefarious activities. Snowden's interview is below.
Below is Truth Stream Media's video about Facebook handing over 18,000 accounts to the government.
Below is Truth Stream Media's video about Whistleblowers.
The Glenn Greenwald videos are below.
Below is the Alex Jones interview on Surveillance.
The video below is about the NSA targeting vets returning from Afghanistan for anti-Obama views.