A Lost Solution on EU Migration Policy and Anger are Resuls of U.S. Spying Charges

A summit to address migration policy in the EU is scuttled by the spying charges.  Is this anyway to address a critical issue, where 10x the number of people have died over the past 20 years trying to get to Europe in comparison to the number of people who lose their life trying to cross the US/Mexico Wall.

“At least 20,000 people have died in the last 20 years in the attempt to reach Europe’s coasts,” he said. “We cannot allow yet more to die.”

But their calls for tougher commitments on immigration appeared, based on a draft of the final summit communiqué, to have been pared to just a few watered-down paragraphs.

Such communiqués are supposed to be a guide on commonly agreed lines on policy areas. It’s not rare for negotiations among the bloc’s 28 member states to push these down to the lowest common denominator. In the case of migration, that seems to be rather low.

EU officials and diplomats say a request for extra financial help for these so-called front-line member states was removed from the final draft, which is crafted by EU ambassadors ahead of time but seldom differs from the official version.

via Amid U.S. Spying Charges, Plight of Migrants in Europe Eclipsed – WSJ.com.

Further, the diplomatic fallout among “friends” appears to be severe–and thanks to the efforts of the Snowden archive and journalist Gelnn Greenwald:

The damage to core American relationships continues to mount. Last month, President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil postponed a state visit to the United States after Brazilian news media reports — fed by material from Mr. Greenwald — that the N.S.A. had intercepted messages from Ms. Rousseff, her aides and the state oil company, Petrobras. Recently, the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel, which has said it has a stack of Snowden documents, suggested that United States intelligence had gained access to communications to and from President Felipe Calderón of Mexico when he was still in office.

Secretary of State John Kerry had barely landed in France on Monday when the newspaper Le Monde disclosed what it said was the mass surveillance of French citizens, as well as spying on French diplomats. Furious, the French summoned the United States ambassador, Charles H. Rivkin, and President François Hollande expressed “extreme reprobation” for the reported collection of 70 million digital communications from Dec. 10, 2012, to Jan. 8, 2013.

via Anger Growing Among Allies on U.S. Spying – NYT.com

 

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10 thoughts on “A Lost Solution on EU Migration Policy and Anger are Resuls of U.S. Spying Charges

  1. trawson7 says:

    I have a really hard time with Snowden and the NSA. I understand the importance of national security, and I support the NSA in sorting through communications data for hints of terrorism, etc. I thus am not sure that Snowden really did what was best by leaking all of this info; so many of our diplomatic relations have been significantly hurt as a result. But how far is this going to go? How many people does the United States need to spy on to feel safe? I realize that the government has to do what it has to do to protect its citizens.. but there is a line somewhere and it’s quite possible that the NSA has crossed it. It is physically impossible to monitor all of the communications in this world, and it is definitely impossible to catch all of the threats and dismantle them. Are we really going to try to micromanage the situation?

    When the public agrees to little losses of freedoms, countries move from democracies to dictatorships, and the movements often go unnoticed. If the NSA sorts through communication records to find threats to our security, fine. But is that not a small sacrifice on my own individual freedoms? How much are we going to sacrifice? I definitely agree with Angela Merkel: “not everything which is technically doable should be done.”

  2. oliviaronna says:

    I personally believe that Snowden should not have done what he did. Because of this, information like this (from the article) gets leaked, and more problems occur. With the news that we have apparently been spying on European dignitaries, we are potentially losing/damaging crucial allies in the war on terrorism. Germany has arrested many terrorists, and now (although they probably won’t stop arresting terrorists), they may not share intelligence with us, which could cause some MAJOR damage. Of course, there is also the argument about the ethical side of this. Should the government have the right to have access to our personal communications? Does it actually stop potential terrorist threats? This is a hard topic and I really do not know how much Snowden exaggerated the works that go on in the NSA. I have heard that the NSA can’t read/listen to conversations without a special warrant-they can only record the conversations. I do not know if this is true, but I should probably do more research to find out. In the meantime, I hope that the government/intelligence agencies can better manage exactly what is ethical and right in their endeavors.

  3. I have to admit, I have mixed feelings on almost every level of this issue. First, I worry that so much of our national security work is contracted, and those with whom it is contracted can get access to high-security information just as Snowden did. On the flip side, leaving open the possibility for whistleblowing is extremely important; it acts as a mini check-and-balance system for a potentially dangerous organization. Leaving that open, however, means that someone has to define the line between whistleblowing and sedition, which isn’t as clear as it may seem.

    In terms of the information which was “leaked” by Snowden (that term seems too innocent to me), it should make us all a bit wary of the extent to which our federal government feels comfortable gathering intel, especially on ally nations. I think that what Snowden did was wrong, but I also wonder if he may have felt it was the only way to get the point across.

  4. ryannewell says:

    This is a sad situation. One one hand, we have thousands of migrants dying, and on the other hand, world leaders are being spied on. It is annoying to see the greater issue of migration policy being sidelined in the uproar over the NSA wiretapping. It appears as though the EU does not want to confront the issue of migrants and is using the Snowden revelations as a distraction from the real issues at hand.

  5. jacobbills says:

    Call me a cynic but I have a feeling that the European Union was a little relieved to have a nice way (the relative non-issue of spying on leaders) to avoid an issue that, despite their posturing, they probably didn’t want to talk about. The Big Northern Countries (Germany and France) especially don’t want these migrants and they knew that the front line countries where going to push to send migrants inland. So loudly talk about how evil the US is! Remember citizens, the US doing business as usual is more important than these poor dead Arabs and Africans!

    Moving to the second part, Snowden lost his whistleblower status long ago. In fact, he never had it in the first place, at least under technical terms. Looking at the facts he: 1) First attempted to do this with the CIA but a combination of being caught and a small voice in the back of his head stopped him; 2) Contracted with the NSA for the sole purpose of stealing documents; 3) Ran to some of the least free, most surveillance happy nations while claiming he was all about freedom and privacy; 4) Stole documents that not only dealt with domestic “surveillance” but also regarding the actual purpose of the NSA, foreign SIGINT; 5) Exaggerated and lied multiple times (just like the NSA he and his supporters so detest) in order to maximize his own fame and the scale of the issue; and 6) a bunch of other things.

    Next looking at the France charges, 70 million “digital communications” over the course of a month really isn’t that much. There’s about 65 million people in France. Each one probably digitally communicates numerous times each day. Suddenly, 70 million isn’t that much. Significant, but not like the press wants you to think. Really, this is all going to blow over just like every other spy scandal when people finally realize that business as usual is business as usual. Again. Allies spy on each other, get over it. It doesn’t matter if your country’s laws say that surveillance is illegal, that doesn’t protect you from other counties.

  6. sarahlakee says:

    I agree that Snowden dishonestly and even maliciously acted against the United States. The information that he brought into the public forum has hurt the United States in its international relations. As American citizens it is easy not to acknowledge the benefits that we receive from the government. Increased intelligence and surveillance is the cost of our security. I do believe that this should be within reason. Surveillance allows us to see when North Korea begins developing nuclear weapons. This is of utmost importance. However, I agree that heads of state should not be spied on. ‘“That would be a grave breach of trust,” Mr. Seibert quoted her (Merkel) as saying. “Such practices must cease immediately.”’ The United States needs to be careful in dealing with this issue as it is important and sensitive.

  7. I think that the level of spying the NSA is engaged in is beyond what is necessary for national security. However, why is everyone so surprised at these revelations? Everyone suspected this type of stuff happened, right? The US is not the only one engaging in heavy spying. All governments do whatever they can to get their hands on as much information as possible. Any state, having the same infrastructure the US has, would have done things similarly. I’m not saying it’s right, but I do mean to say it is not out of the ordinary.

    In Romania, for instance, the government taps into people’s phone conversation more often than not. Everyone knows it, but what can you do about it? All you can do is hope that nothing you engage in awakens secret intelligence services’ interest. Sad, but true.

  8. I agree with everyone who says that the NSA’s spying should not come as a surprise. I also agree that we have to know all countries are doing/attempting the same thing. The only problem with the US is that they got caught. Having said that, I don’t agree with the NSA’s magnitude and focal scope in the slightest. I think the degree of surveillance is an incredibly blatant violation of our rights as American citizens. What’s more, I think that surveillance on our allies of this magnitude is an incredibly blatant violation of our purported values. How can we suggest to the international community that ours is the way of freedom, fair play, and prosperity if we are going to keep our own citizens and allies under the unchecked scrutiny of a digital microscope?

    But going down another avenue, I want to question the veracity of the increasingly frequent reports of US spying on our allies. It seems that everyone has a hand in the Snowden pie these days, yet I feel as though he is personally a lot less prominent in the latest cases. Do we take the Snowden name-drop as incontrovertible proof that any following accusations are true and substantively backed? I’m not so sure. Where is the proof? We’re told that the US is doing this or that terrible thing, and then we are privileged to the Snowden name-drop and expected to believe that it is true. I don’t really trust anyone at this point, but it would be nice if more proof could be produced for charges against the United States when they continue to grow more and more serious.

  9. dbaker24 says:

    I personally believe that what Snowden did, by releasing tons of classified information to the world, was wrong. He obviously was not thinking in the best interest of his country or fellow citizens which the government of said country protects. So many of our diplomatic relationships thus far have been hampered, and with the discovery of more of what he released, the continuation of the harm of our diplomatic relations continues. However, I believe it stupid to think that other countries did not already assume that the U.S. was spying on them, just as it would be naive for us to believe that they do not spy on us. Im sure that the U.S. is quite aware of espionage done by foreign ministries, and you do not see us crying to the world about it.

  10. araujophm says:

    It is completely understandable that the upheaval would influence the discussion and mindset of all the representatives attending the summit. The espionage led by the american government has unsettled political leaders all around the world and will continue to do so as news are released about what is being done to those countries. The European Union is comprised of several states that are allied to the United States, and they are concerned that they are being back-stabbed by their strongest ally. To further develop trust among these nations it will be important for the United States state department takes action in addressing the issues of espionage against other nations.

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