France’s flagship publication, the Le Monde newspaper,
released revelationstoday about NSA spying on French targets, including French citizens.
A “deeply shocked” France flew into a tizzy, hastily “summoning” Washington’s ambassador.
The White House made clear exactly how insignificant this leak is.
“As a matter of policy, we have made clear that the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations,” said National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden.
In other words: everybody spies.
The last time Washington made a direct reference to a cultural norm of espionage was in July, when President Obama said, “I guarantee you that in European capitals, there are people who are interested in, if not what I had for breakfast, at least what my talking points might be should I end up meeting with their leaders. That is how intelligence services operate.”
Reporters like Amar Toor of Verge quickly couched France’s bluster over American NSA spying with July’s revelations of their own domestic spying scandal.
Espionage as a part of diplomacy is so accepted that there’s a popular collegiate class on statecraft that includes lessons on spying. Consequently, the class goes widely recommended from professors of various International Relations programs around the country.
Even News Weekly points out that espionage has been part of diplomacy since the days of legendary war philosopher Sun Tzu in ancient China.
Paulo Cordeiro Andrade de Pinto, a Brazilian diplomat and target of Canadian wiretaps, basically shrugged at spying revelations:
Pinto told The Globe and Mail he was startled and disappointed — but, as a veteran diplomat, ultimately not all that surprised.
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