The Secret Services: Defenders of Democracy

David with the head of Goliath - Caravaggio

In the past weeks, we have been invaded by news stemming from the Snowden Files. Those news prompted France to act shocked; Germany to lose its cool; Brazil to go hysterical and Mexico to deal with it quietly. Other countries also made it to the headlines, but preferred to focus on the French and German circus for a change.

They tried to embarrass the US with these leaks. But in the end, we learnt that France was the one supplying the NSA with the information concerning its national and foreign citizens, after all. I wonder what we are going to learn about Germany - a country that is one of Europe's Islamist Hubs and holds ambiguous positions when it comes to Russia, Iran, Israel (despite their smiling faces), the grave situation in Africa etc.

In truth, these past weeks have been entertaining; however, while people were busy panicking over or insulting the US Intelligence Community (IC); I was busy scrapping the surface of this whole affair.
Underneath the whole "scandal" I found one interesting fact: the western IC suspects there is something profoundly wrong in the political sphere. Something that is threatening to erode our society.

In recent years, the IC has been banalised to the point of not being respected any longer. After the 9/11, 4/11 and the 7/7  - for instance - the secret services fell prey to people's suspicion and disdain. They didn't trust the agencies that (they sponsor with their tax money and that) had allowed those attacks to occur: where were they? People asked. Now, the several agencies cooperate with each other to keep us all safe and still people are not satisfied. But I digress...

The French made a huge scandal and, practically, forced the head of the NSA (Army Gen. Keith Alexander) to expose the extent of the agency's relationship with the DGSE. But what else were the French trying to hide? Given the fact that Germany lost its cool right after President Hollande, and PM Fabius, accused the US of "unacceptable behaviour between friends", we could feel compelled to theorise that France did the German job and then shared the results with its American allies. It is only a speculation, obviously; however, the implications of such act would be rather interesting.
Angela Merkel lost her cool, probably because she found out that despite German's atoning efforts, the allies still do not trust Deutschland.

The Secret Services as Defenders or Democracy
After scrapping some more, I realised the IC is in a privileged position of not only having to keep us all safe, but also of protecting our democracies (from potential infiltrators).
If we look at Europe (one of America's most important trade partners), we must acknowledge that there is a severe problem going on there; one that politicians are having a hard time solving.
Politicians' main job description is to legislate (in a way that benefits the people), to solve problems and keep the people happy - i.e. working, being safe and distracted with futilities. When politicians fail, by system, in doing their job and the people is unhappy for long periods of time, something is deeply wrong and someone is benefiting from it.
This is when democracy is in peril and when the secret services come to its rescue: the establishment needs to know the intentions of political leaders who are systematically unable to solve problems; who are systematically unable to take a firm position in crucial issues and incapable of siding with historical allies; who keep society with suspicious elements; who systematically try to disrupt a country's stability and development etc etc.
Certain influential public figures should be under scrutiny as well.

I scrap the surface of events and realise that a new order is being given birth:

Political Community Vs Intelligence Community

Ladies and gentlemen, faites vos jeux.

Comments

  1. Olá Max!

    I say that you will make enemies with this one hahaha. Sure, politicians have not been doing a great job; they have too many interests that aren't always transparent; but to want to set them aside wouldn't it be the same as wanting to bring back those days when the secret services controlled everything? During the fascist period they had too much power and did awful things...so, aren't you worried about that?

    You have balls, let me tell you that!

    Tchau

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    1. Olá Celeste :D!

      lol I keep my eyes open, don't worry.
      No one wants to set politicians aside (do not worry, you will not lose your job lol); we all need them. However, they can't believe that they hold all the power in the world, to the point of messing up and destroying the natural order of things. They just need a nudge.
      We are not in the fascist era and we have laws to protect us from abuses; therefore, no, I am not worried at all.

      LOL balls? No, I proudly have a vagina lol ;).

      Celeste, thank you so much for your outstanding comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  2. The secrets services shouldn't feel ashamed for doing their job, period.

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    1. Hey Anonymous :D!

      Oh, I agree with you.
      Thank you so much for your input :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  3. I loved reading those last few paragraphs. Its true indeed that when political masters are weak the Intelligence Services has a field day in playing its own pranks, which sometimes may not be so desirable at the end of the day and may lead to more mistrust and acrimony among the nations. Its a vicious cycle and as for the US after the assange and snowden dual attack it definitely would take a lot of time for it to recover from the stigma of not being able to at first keep its own secret informations at bay and then the larger debate of the rationale behind unethical peep into private lives of politicians.

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    1. Hi Kalyan :D!

      I am glad you did, my friend *bowing*.
      "Assange and Snowden dual attack" that is a good term; loved it. Question: do politicians have a private life? If so, why are we so quick to demand their resignation whenever certain aspects of their private life are revealed?
      What would the public say of the secret services if they'd allow certain politicians, who are on the pay-roll of certain groups, nations - in detriment of the country they serve - continue to mess up with total impunity? And they do so in their private time...
      Just food for thought.

      Kalyan, thank you ever so much for your outstanding comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  4. The secret services have my blessing cause the political permissiveness has brought nothing but problems and things are out of control. Look at us now: since the 50's we have been pandering the Arabs because of their oil and ever since they have been creeping in our society like termites; as we speak we have no-go zones in cities across Europe; any non-Muslim who dares to go there will be attacked. And certain countries want to act hysterical because America is actually doing something to prevent further damage? It's embarrassing.

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    1. Hi Louis :D!

      Long time no see.
      I am utterly inclined to agree with you. You are correct about the "no-go zones": it is rather shocking, isn't it? We should stop and ponder about it.

      Louis, amazing comment: thank you so much for it :D. You were missed, man.

      Cheers

      Delete
  5. I have mixed feelers about the spying thing. Certainly I am all in favor of using the intelligence to stop terrorism. At the same time, there is the fear that the populist demagogues will use the intelligence services to do harm to anyone that they determine is an obstacle to their political objectives.

    In a similar way, I have mixed feelers about Snowden. Being old fashioned, I generally view that we stick to the rules, even if we don't like them or agree with them. This part of me is not favorable to Snowden. Of course, we live in the post-modern world where rules and their underlying words are so plastic that they are meaningless, except to those who have the power to assign the meaning-of-the-day. Snowden's actions are just a product of this newage culture, so my government really has no basis to complain, given that we can define "basis" and "complain" to be whatever we want, not to mention the words "really" and "has". i.e. What goes around comes around.

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    1. Hi Looney :D!

      "At the same time, there is the fear that the populist demagogues will use the intelligence services to do harm to anyone that they determine is an obstacle to their political objectives."

      It has happened. But that is why (in democratic nations) there are committees to oversee the secret services, yes? Even when they do not disclose absolutely everything (because sometimes they can't), they know the weight of the law is hanging above their head. They can be called by the representatives of the people to clarify matters.

      Then call me old fashioned, because I also believe in sticking to the rules. But what happened with Snowden is sheer espionage, and more I will say not.
      You have a point, though, about the post-modern world and its distorted views (encouraged by permissive and ill-intended politicians).

      Looney, thank you so much for your outstanding comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  6. The 3 heads of the British intelligence agencies are being grilled today and they too said they are defenders of freedom and democracy. Are they right? Yeah, they are because thanks to them we have the freedom to trash them all we want when their lives are on the line everyday. I salute their work and I'm proud my tax money pays for their service and I don't need to know everything they do as long as I'm safe.

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    1. Hey Anonymous :D!

      lol You slay me, mate *nodding*. Still, you have a point.

      Anonymous, thank you so much for your great comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  7. If it wasn't for the secret services Al Qaeda would've hit us again and again. How many terrorist attacks have we had since the 9/11 and to who do we owe it? If for that they have to listen to private conversations so be it. I know I'm innocent and I've nothing to hide so go ahead.
    Thought of the week: Avigdor was acquitted? I didn't know but congratulations. We need someone to rattle the cage and he does it well. America needs to stop cuddling those Arabs, we have been doing just that for too long and it took us nowhere. Nothing we do pleases them, not even to Iranians: they still have the Death to America Day and they are proud of it. So, we must stay true to our friends, true and only friends!

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    1. Hi Carl :D!

      True. When you say "we" do you mean the West or the US?
      That is curious "If for that they have to listen to private conversations so be it." as over the weekend we learned that the son of Suriname's president was arrested and charged for terrorism (apparently, he was to receive two million dollars in exchange for letting Hezbollah settle in his country to attack the US and the Netherlands)...phone calls were intercepted in order to set up an op to get this guy. This being said, yes...if they have to listen to phones calls, so be it; because this guy was the president's son and the Head of the national institute for counter-terrorism...

      Thanks for you comment on the thought of the week, Carl :D. And thank you so much for your input :D.

      Cheers

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  8. I'm sorry but the secret services are arrogant and violate our rights! They may protect us but that doesn't give them the right to listen to our private conversations! Edward Snowden is a hero and I'm glad he shed a light on these people's activities!

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    1. Hi Celia :D!

      Are they, do they? I thought we had laws to monitor them...but perhaps in your part of the world there is not?
      All right...it is a different opinion. :)

      Celia, thank you so much for sharing your opinion with us :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  9. It would be great if Obama had the balls to tell the congress to declare Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel and move their embassy there, but alas, he doesn't, Max. Kerry is in the ME making a fool of himself and for what?
    Great thought of the week as always. BTW, this spying story is another distraction, another futility as you say.

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    1. Hi Joseph :D!

      Yes, it would be great....but....
      Can you believe it that Secretary of State Kerry said that if Israel doesn't succeed in the talks there could be a third intifada?
      Thanks, darling. LOL I hear you.

      Joseph, thank you ever so much for your great comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  10. All this controversy is a fait-divers; another one. Germany now is trying to allure Snowden to Germany to testify for them hahahah...Russia immediately said he cannot: is Snowden being held hostage by the Russians or are they telling us something else? Ah, Max I love that TV show called "The Americans" have you watched it?
    I also congratulate Lieberman for his acquittal, we missed his directness (I like the way he pisses the Palestinians off).

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    1. Hi Ana :D!

      I agree. LOL LOL I understand where you are coming from. No, I haven't watched that show yet, is it good?
      I hear you.

      Ana, thank you so so much for your great comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  11. Ana Antunes recommended your blog. You have some pretty good stuff in here, congratulations! I am hugely interested in terrorism, security and politics so I'll definitely come back.

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    1. Hello Michael :D!

      Welcome.

      She did? She is an absolute darling. Why, thank you *bowing*...I am glad you like it.
      If you like those themes, this is the place for you :D. So, please do come back and have fun with us :D.
      Looking forward to seeing more of you: I love your tagline.

      Cheers

      Delete
    2. Thanks. And you bet you'll see more of me :-)

      Delete

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