What Edward Snowden revealed concerns intelligence sharing between the European Union and America, the American and European intelligence agencies work “hand in glove,” John Laughland, from the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation in Paris, told RT.
RT: Let’s just start with this very fiery rhetoric from the EU about America’s surveillance. Just how honest is it?
John Laughland: I don’t take it seriously at all; I think it’s for show. It’s very revealing and symbolic that President Morales’ plane should have been forced to land in a European Union country after the withdrawal of overflight rights by other European Union countries, because this, of course, shows how the European puddle jumps the American circus master’s command. The European governments are very obviously under the thumb of the Americans, they have shown this very blatantly, and the reason why I say it’s symbolic is that the abuses which Snowden has revealed, the explosion of espionage activity against US citizens and against the people around the world by the US government is only one side of the coin. The other side of the coin is that there has been massive increase in co-operation in intelligent sharing between the United States and its European Union allies in the last ten years and certainly since 911. So it’s entirely appropriate, if you like, that the whistleblower should have been attempted to be caught by European Union countries, because the problem that he has revealed concerns intelligence sharing between the European Union and America as well as the increase of espionage by the American security forces.
RT: But Latin America has really come together with this expressing unilateral support for Bolivia. Aren’t Europe and America only drumming up opposition to their actions?
JL: Definitely, we have to see, of course, how the Latin American leaders react now after this extraordinary violation of aviation law and of diplomatic immunity. I mean the idea, Like some gangster or a pirate a country can simply order a presidential plane to land, because they suspect they’ve heard a rumor that someone might be on that plane, is absolutely shocking, it should shock anybody who is interested in human right and the rule of law. Edward Snowden is not in the Interpol “Wanted” list, there is no justification for this kind of gangster activity. If he is to be extradited to the United States, then that must, of course, happen according to legal procedures. That is to say, according to the extradition treaties where they exist, and if the Americans and their European allies are going to say that these well-established rules and principles no longer matter, then they are showing themselves up to be, what in fat they are, which is to say, completely hypocritical on human right issues, and, of course, yes that will ring about untold opposition from Latin America, from China and, probably from Russia.
RT: Looks like the US is willing to act on Snowden’s leaks, but will do nothing to protect him. What do you think?
JL: I think that’s right. I’ve just made the point about how the Americans and the Europeans are hand in glove, but this isn’t the first time that we’ve known about this. Let’s not forget, when the CIA rendition scandal broke several years ago, that’s to say the scandal of people being kidnapped by American officials, by American soldiers, and then taken to secret centers for interrogation, those secret centers, as we know, were in Poland and Romania. They were in EU and NATO states. So we know that the American and the European intelligence agencies operate extremely closely together. We know that the European treaties, the Lisbon treaty, for example, commit the European Union to working hand in glove with NATO. So this in a sent should not really come as a surprise to anybody.