A Spy Has To Spy

Can Russia use to its advantage the scandal over U.S. intelligence monitoring Angela Merkel’s phone conversations and those of 35 world leaders? And, can it score points once again after Snowden and Syria?

Russia has already extracted the sole benefit from the situation: Those who bow to the U.S. have found themselves in an awkward position once again. This is our ideological dividend — all the more so, if the adversary has portrayed itself as a beacon of every kind of freedom.

It is no secret that the Americans are listening in on everyone. Only a lunatic could think this is not the case. Merkel and the leaders of the other governments who were subject to surveillance are hardly such idiots. Those we would call America’s enemies or its “weak supporters” are acting much more calmly, while those who are considered friends of the U.S. but are actually its satellites are extremely sensitive about the wiretapping. It is an unpleasant fact for them. However, having delegated their sovereignty to a foreign country, they have nothing at which to bridle. All of this posturing by Merkel, Hollande and others is addressed to that part of the electorate that they themselves conditioned to respect the U.S. as a beacon of democracy.

However, if you really think about it, what is the crime in it? If we could have, we would have monitored all of them too. I would lose respect for our authorities if they had the capability to listen in on Obama but did not. What else should an intelligence agency do? Intelligence gathering never conforms to the laws of the country, against which it is undertaken, and the term “invasion of privacy” has nothing to do with it. When did you ever hear of an intelligence agency carrying out an authorized invasion of privacy? That would be strange and absurd. The Americans are right when they say Snowden is a traitor. Formally, that is the case: He betrayed his country by informing on the intelligence agency he worked for and was not “fighting for ideals,” but we are not the ones who should be worried about it.

The author is a political scientist.

About this publication

About Jeffrey Fredrich 199 Articles
Jeffrey studied Russian language at Northwestern University and at the Russian State University for the Humanities. He spent one year in Moscow doing independent research as a Fulbright fellow from 2007 to 2008.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply