EU diplomats who traveled to Washington over the NSA’s spy program have been left with their questions unanswered. The US insisted all the intelligence gathered in Europe was related to warzones in the Middle East and would continue.
The European Union’s delegation of politicians trusted with
getting answers from Washington over the National Security
Agency’s (NSA) espionage programs in the EU left with more
questions than they arrived with.
The heated condemnation of the reports the US eavesdropped on
millions of calls as well as the communication of EU leaders was
dampened by spy Director Gen. Keith Alexander.
“It is much more important for this country that we defend
this nation and take the beatings than it is to give up a program
that would result in us being attacked,” Alexander told House
of Representatives Intelligence Committee on Wednesday.
Furthermore, he said that the reports in European media alleging
the NSA recorded millions of personal phone calls were “completely false.”
Addressing allegations of EU complicity in the spying he said
that some data had been provided “to NSA by foreign
partners,” but it is “not information that we collected on
“It represents information that we and our NATO allies have
collected in defense of our countries and in support of military
operations," said Alexander.
Following the meeting members of the delegation told RT’s Gayane
Chichikyan that espionage on such a scale could not be justified
by the American fight against terrorism.
Spanish MEP Salvador Sedo said that Alexander gave some
statistics and an explanation neither of which “clarify the
“This is not justifiable,” said Sedo, adding that the
tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone was not included in
Alexander’s explanation. A group of German officials are also in
Washington this week to address allegations of the NSA
eavesdropping on the Chancellor phone.
RT’s correspondent, Gayane Chichikyan, described the EU
delegation’s visit as purely “symbolic.”
“They came to Washington, expressed reserved indignation and
then agreed to cooperate further. This is something that we’ve
seen before,” said Chichikyan.
The EU delegation left Washington on Wednesday and it remains to
be seen what action will be taken in relation to the talks with
US officials. European leaders have threatened to suspend the
multi-billion ‘Safe Harbor’ trade pact as a measure against US
spying. The deal allows American companies to collect data on
clients, something that the EU believes is being undermined by
Geopolitical analyst, Eric Draitser, dismissed the EU
delegation’s visit to Washington as “political posturing.”
He described the word “collaboration” as not strong enough
for the intelligence cooperation between the EU and the US.
“They have been an intimate part of the US intelligence
apparatus,” stressed Draitser to RT. “If you exist within
the US sphere of influence then you are part of this
Accepting NSA Director Keith Alexander’s explanation, Draitser
said the assertion the US gathered information for military
purposes was technically “valid,” but Washington’s
ultimate goal was to use the intelligence as a “weapon of
dominance and coercion.”
“Yes, it’s true these things are for military purposes and
intelligence gathering. That’s absolutely true. But, in the end
the goal… it’s for the purposes of wielding this information as a
weapon against political competition and geopolitical
rivals,” he concluded.