The criminal nature of the enterprises that presume to call themselves our democratic governments becomes clearer by the day. Edward Snowden’s leaks – and the drama provoked by them since – underline the lawlessness of their actions.
The latest disclosure is that the Ecuadorean embassy in London – home to Wikileaks leader Julian Assange, who is assisting Snowden – has been bugged, almost certainly by the British secret services. This is just the most recent evidence suggesting that Britain has a mass surveillance programme even more aggressive, intrusive and illegal than the US one.
That follows the extraordinary decisions of major European states – France, Spain and Portugal – to violate the Vienna Convention (this is, international law) to deny Bolivia’s president the right to enter their airspace because they believed Snowden might have been onboard.
Austria, which did let his plane land, then held him captive for 14 hours while the plane was searched – and doubtless used the time to bug the plane too.
And as Glenn Greenwald has observed, these are the same European states that profess to be outraged by the NSA’s surveillance programme. Yet none seems to be prepared to consider offering asylum to Snowden, the man who brought this criminality to their attention.
Greenwald also notes that there is zero pressure from the US media or from prosecutors to investigate – let alone, prosecute – James Clapper or other senior US officials for lying to Congress about what the NSA was doing. The only calls for actions are against Snowden.
None of our governments are interested in addressing their publics’ concern at this mass surveillance because they are all deeply embedded and invested in that same system of surveillance. For all of them, we – the people to whom they are supposed to be accountable – are the real enemy.