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View Diary: Out of Control NSA Spied on U.N., E.U. (214 comments)

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  •  A collossal fuck up for sure Lawrence. (16+ / 0-)

    Clearly this sort of thing is far out of bounds. I have no problem with gathering intelligence, even aggressively. But there is absolutely NOTHING happening at the UN or at allied embassies that is worth damaging longstanding diplomatic allegiances over.

    The United States spent decades building up the UN and NATO regimes to secure peace in the Western world. Goddamn shame to see all that work by giants of men like Marshall, Acheson, and Kennan just thrown aside in pursuit of a phantom menace.

    •  A colossal fuck up, indeed. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jayden, YucatanMan

      I also don't have a problem with gathering intelligence, at all, when it is valid and necessary.  For all I care the NSA can go crazy with spying in countries like Iran and Russia, but man, this is so stupid that I'm having a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that people who are earning big incomes on the taxpayer's dime actually could think that this is a good idea.

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 07:43:47 AM PDT

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    •  This won't harm our relationship with the UN... (0+ / 0-)

      ...as that place is riddled with spies from every country in the world already.  If they had to throw everyone's spies out of the UN, there would be no one left to turn off the lights.

      Thank God we spy on the UN.  Right now the US President is on the verge of making a perhaps fateful decision to strike Syria.  Don't we want to know what is really going on as to any UN chemical weapons inspection?

      Bear in mind, Assad's allies also have people working at the UN...

      "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

      by FDRDemocrat on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 08:17:54 AM PDT

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      •  It's going to damage our relationship with (0+ / 0-)

        allied and friendly nations, and that is the last thing we want.  It is also going to damage our standing in the world, and that's the last thing we want.

        I'm going to wind back to the Bush Administration to try and explain why spying on the U.N. and on friendly, allied, democratic nations is a problem:

        In the run-up to the Iraq War, the Bush Admin. was leaning heavily on U.N. nations and on allied, friendly nations to join in with the illegal, b.s. invasion of Iraq and give it more legitimacy.  They went so far that they even virtually got involved in trying to influence the German elections in order to get more friendly parties in place.

        Ultimately, they failed, but when they have lots of information from NSA spying, they are more likely to succeed with this type of dirty business.

        We should not be breaking our agreement not to spy on the U.N.  

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Sun Aug 25, 2013 at 09:10:12 AM PDT

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        •  The UN is its member states... (0+ / 0-)

          There is no "UN" apart from the collection of member states that make up its membership.  When a consensus or agreement is reached then it becomes a "UN" action.

          Bush action in the UN was blocked not by "the UN" but by specific nations, e.g. France, China, Russia, Turkey, that for their own national interests disagreed with what he proposed.  They prevented a UN consensus of support for Bush to act.

          Yes, we should observe our agreements.  But "agreements" when it comes to spying are sort of like jay walking laws.  Everyone has laws against spying against everyone.  Some even have agreements.  Everyone breaks them.  Everyone.

          I would bet the one with the UN was suggested by some member states with people working at the UN who would like to have it in hand for just such a situation as the one now.

          Remember, we are not spying on "the UN" per se, but rather on people from the member states that make it up.  It is no better, or worse, to read a Russian email if he is in Moscow or seconded to the UN in NY.  He or she is a national of that country, not a "UN citizen."

          As I said, ultimately if we decide no one in the US government should eavesdrop

          "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

          by FDRDemocrat on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 03:32:34 AM PDT

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          •  Ooops... (0+ / 0-)

            (cut off my last sentence inadvertently)

            ...if we decide no one in the US Government should listen in on any foreigners without their consent, we can defund the US intelligence establishment.  But we need to then be prepared for the consequences.

            "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

            by FDRDemocrat on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 03:34:31 AM PDT

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          •  I'm not saying we shouldn't spy. (0+ / 0-)

            The NSA can spy on countries like Iran, Russia, China, Pakistan, etc. 24/7 for all I care.

            We should not be bugging the offices, telephones, and videoconference links of democratic allies and the U.N., though.

            That, quite frankly, does more harm than good.

            "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

            by Lawrence on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 09:22:45 AM PDT

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    •  But what's wrong with trust, but verify (0+ / 0-)

      And not so much on the trust, really...

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