60 million Spanish telephone calls may have been snooped on. Angela Merkel has been bugged since 2002. These revelations, made by the release of documents by Edward Snowden, make it clear that America has pursued a pervasive and intrusive assault on the sovereignty of both allied and antagonistic nations, while plausibly attempting to impede upon the personal sovereignty of each person communicating in the confidence that these conversations are being made in the privacy.

 These insulting intelligence techniques, worthy of the Cold War era surveillance on possible Communists, have been implemented across the world; from Germany, to Spain, and Britain. Diplomatically, this is clearly a humongous embarrassment to the supposed leader of the free world. How free are the allies of America, if the United States deems it necessary to filter contacts or record conversations? It is unlikely that Angela Merkel intended to fund, incite or take part in terrorist attacks against the United States, or its allies. So why has the United States seen it as an act in the interest of domestic security or self defence to closely watch the German leader?

In light of the United States ‘War on Terror,’ launched following the horrific 9/11 attacks, President Bush sanctioned an array of attacks against potential aggressive actions on the United States; the arguably unconstitutional Patriot Act of 2001 represented the peak of these attacks. It withheld rights for Americans, as well as foreigners through the use of the term ‘Enemy Combatant’ rather than ‘Soldier,’ in order to allow the United States to deny Geneva Convention Rights for Prisoners of War. The voluminous invasions on the principles of National Self Determination, evident through the insidious NSA surveillance, amount to what seems to be a very concerning process; America appears to have blurred the distinction between jurisdictions to the point where they have adopted the mantle as the world’s policeman, albeit without an international mandate, or the political support, to successfully carry out this position.

…it is expected that these inexcusable acts will be ignored, forgiven, and forgotten…

Had the United States itself been the victims of surveillance by a third party, such as Russia, or Iran, it is not unreasonable to assume that the very real threat of military retaliation could be expected. Yet because of the United States self categorised ‘exceptionalism,’ it is expected that these inexcusable acts will be ignored, forgiven, and forgotten. This should not be the case. The ‘Big Brother’ state of George Orwell becomes one step closer to reality when the state, or a foreign country, begins to monitor, and thus infringe upon freedoms of religion, thought, speech and associations; the very freedoms that democracies thrive on.

The degree, and depth, of America’s intelligence program is extremely disturbing. Not because I am hiding dark secrets, but because the very freedoms that America perceives to be at threat are the ones they are damaging. They have become their very own enemy, and as a supporter of democratic values, it is fearful to envision a future where the flow of information can be traced and controlled. The freedoms we in the West hold so dear is at the very real threat of a suicide due to a misdirected, self inflicted tirade of legislation passed under the rhetoric of security, defence and safety.

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20 Year old History student at Royal Holloway looking for someone to listen my ramblings...

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