The United States has recently come under investigation in multiple Nordic countries for allegations that U.S. Embassies are spying without permission. Yesterday Iceland added itself to the growing list of nations whose sovereignty has been breached but the United States is still saying it’s perfectly legal to do citing Embassy security. Currently Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and now Iceland are investigating the U.S. for its activities potentially dating as far back as 2000.
The allegations started when a Norwegian TV news reporter claimed that protesters were being photographed and added to a database. The United States claims that this is standard operating procedure to counter surveil those who could pose a terroristic threat against the Embassy. Although US Embassy officials in Reykjavik have denied any espionage is taking place, Iceland’s ministry of justice says it has asked the national police commissioner to carry out a fact-finding inquiry. The ministry said it was responding to revelations in Scandinavia “that US embassies conducted surveillance inside the countries without permission from state authorities”. The United States wants to keep this very quiet saying it only wants to discuss the issue in “government to government” talks.
US State Department spokesman PJ Crowley has said “We have acknowledged that we have a program around the world where we are alert for people who may be surveilling our embassies because we recognize that they are potential targets of terrorism.” The program was started in 1998 in response to the U.S. Embassy attacks in Kenya and Tanzania. The Norwegian news report startled several nations, however, after it declared that hundreds of Norwegians were being surveilled and added to a database without the host country’s knowledge.
Sweden and Norway seem to be taking the issue quite seriously and are already arranging to meet with U.S. Embassy officials to ensure no laws are being broken. It really isn’t surprising that the United States has used its Embassies to spy within friendly nations; especially after 9/11. The problem that could arise from this is a loss of allies which are already in short supply thanks to the lies we told to invade Iraq. We would also lose votes within the UN on key economic and military issues that could seriously hurt us in the long run; it’s hard enough to keep those votes from going to China now. The United States is of course back peddling as fast as it can but if these country’s operated the way we did, with the Russian spies, then we wouldn’t be operating in any of them anymore, but of course the U.S. is exempt. What I’m interested in knowing is whether the soldier, Bradley Manning, who allegedly leaked hundreds of thousands of secret Embassy to Embassy cables is responsible for this; only time will tell.
Source: BBC News