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Snowden’s Ride, Part 9: Catherine Ashton, EU Defense and Intelligence Structure and the Muslim Brotherhood


Cather­ine Ash­ton


Enforc­ing aus­ter­i­ty for the EU?

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. [3] (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT: Before doing sum­ma­ry posts (or, per­haps, broad­casts in lieu of that) we high­light some inter­est­ing devel­op­mets in con­nec­tion with L’Af­faire Snow­den.

We have done numer­ous posts since the begin­ning of this dance macabre, and emphat­i­cal­ly encour­age users of this web­site to study them at length and in detail:  Part I [4]Part II [5]Part III [6]Part IV [7]Part V [8]Part VI [9]Part VII [10], Part VIII [11]Part IX [12]Part X [13], Part XI [14], Part XII [15]Part XIII [16]Part XIV [17], Part XV [18]. It is well beyond the scope of this arti­cle to sum up the infor­ma­tion pre­sent­ed in them. Users of this web­site are emphat­i­cal­ly encour­aged to exam­ine them at length and detail.

In this post, we note an inter­est­ing devel­op­ment in EU defense and intel­li­gence pos­ture, jus­ti­fied as an out­growth of the Snow­den “dis­clo­sures” (note the quotes.)

The EU is plan­ning to devel­op [19] its own mil­i­tary and intel­li­gence struc­ture, includ­ing ” . . .  new spy drones and satel­lites for “inter­nal and exter­nal secu­ri­ty poli­cies”, which will include police intel­li­gence, the inter­net, pro­tec­tion of exter­nal bor­ders and mar­itime sur­veil­lance . . . .”

This is being ratio­nal­ized as nec­es­sary because: “. . . . The Edward Snow­den scan­dal shows us that Europe needs its own autonomous secu­ri­ty capa­bil­i­ties . . . .”

Crit­ics have expressed con­cerns ” . . . . that the EU is cre­at­ing its own ver­sion of the US Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency. . . . ” 

Sev­er­al aspects of this are strik­ing:

Among the things that come to mind in con­nec­tion with this:

Stay tuned!

“World Brief­ing | Europe: Report On U.S. Spy Sys­tem” by Suzanne Daley; The New York Times; 9/6/2001. [20]

EXCERPT: [Notice when this was published–9/6/2001.–D.E.] . . . The Unit­ed States-led spy­ing sys­tem known as Ech­e­lon can mon­i­tor vir­tu­al­ly every com­mu­ni­ca­tion in the world — by e‑mail, phone or fax — that bounces off a satel­lite, the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment was told. But in report­ing on a year­long study of the sys­tem that was prompt­ed by con­cern that Amer­i­can com­pa­nies were using data from the sys­tem to gain a com­pet­i­tive edge, Ger­hard Schmid, a Ger­man mem­ber of the Par­lia­ment, said that many Euro­pean coun­tries had sim­i­lar abil­i­ties . . .

“EU Plan­ning to ‘Own and Oper­ate’ Spy Drones and an Air Force” by Bruno Water­field; The Tele­graph [UK]; 7/26/2013. [19]

EXCERPT: The Euro­pean Union is plan­ning to “own and oper­ate” spy drones, sur­veil­lance satel­lites and air­craft as part of a new intel­li­gence and secu­ri­ty agency under the con­trol of Baroness Ash­ton.

The con­tro­ver­sial pro­pos­als are a major move towards cre­at­ing an inde­pen­dent EU mil­i­tary body with its own equip­ment and oper­a­tions, and will be strong­ly opposed by Britain.

Offi­cials told the Dai­ly Tele­graph that the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion and Lady Ashton’s Euro­pean Exter­nal Action Ser­vice want to cre­ate mil­i­tary com­mand and com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems to be used by the EU for inter­nal secu­ri­ty and defence pur­pos­es. Under the pro­pos­als, pur­chas­ing plans will be drawn up by autumn.

The use of the new spy drones and satel­lites for “inter­nal and exter­nal secu­ri­ty poli­cies”, which will include police intel­li­gence, the inter­net, pro­tec­tion of exter­nal bor­ders and mar­itime sur­veil­lance, will raise con­cerns that the EU is cre­at­ing its own ver­sion of the US Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agency.

Senior Euro­pean offi­cials regard the plan as an urgent response to the recent scan­dal over Amer­i­can and British com­mu­ni­ca­tions sur­veil­lance by cre­at­ing EU’s own secu­ri­ty and spy­ing agency.

“The Edward Snow­den scan­dal shows us that Europe needs its own autonomous secu­ri­ty capa­bil­i­ties, this pro­pos­al is one step fur­ther towards Euro­pean defence inte­gra­tion,” said a senior EU offi­cial. . . .

“Assertive­ness”; German-Foreign-Policy.com; 8/12/2009. [22]

EXCERPT: Berlin is insist­ing on access to essen­tial posts in the Euro­pean Exter­nal Action Ser­vice (EEAS). Accord­ing to news reports, the Ger­man gov­ern­ment is demand­ing that the post of EEAS Gen­er­al Sec­re­tary be giv­en to a Ger­man. Lead­ing per­son­nel from the Chan­cellery and the For­eign Min­istry are being sug­gest­ed. The gen­er­al sec­re­tary heads the admin­is­tra­tion and is sec­ond only to the EU High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for For­eign Affairs and Secu­ri­ty Pol­i­cy, Cather­ine Ash­ton, who is con­sid­ered to be very weak, mean­ing that a Ger­man EEAS gen­er­al sec­re­tary would have a free hand. The struc­tur­ing of the EEAS is one of Berlin’s most essen­tial objec­tives since the Lis­bon Treaty took effect, rein­forc­ing the EU on its path toward becom­ing a world pow­er. As was expressed in Berlin’s for­eign min­istry, the basic fea­tures of the new admin­is­tra­tion must be insti­tu­tion­al­ized by April 2010, so that the British Con­ser­v­a­tives, expect­ed to be the vic­tors of the next par­lia­men­tary elec­tions in the spring of 2010, will not be able to have any influ­ence. They are capa­ble of putting up seri­ous resis­tance to Ger­man hege­mon­ic pol­i­cy. . . .

“Mor­si’s Vis­i­tors Leave a Mys­tery On Where He Is” by Kareem Fahim and Mayy  El Sheikh; 7/31/2013. [28]

EXCERPT: Mohamed Mor­si, deposed as pres­i­dent by the Egypt­ian mil­i­tary on July 3, is in good health, a trick­le of vis­i­tors allowed access to him and his aides in recent days has revealed. Where he is, how­ev­er, remains a mys­tery that has enraged his fam­i­ly and sup­port­ers, and aggra­vat­ed Egypt’s cri­sis.

The most recent per­son to vis­it him, Cather­ine Ash­ton, the Euro­pean Union’s top for­eign pol­i­cy offi­cial, was not blind­fold­ed on Mon­day when she was tak­en to him, aides said. But she was flown by heli­copter in the dark of night on the con­di­tion that she not reveal any­thing about Mr. Morsi’s where­abouts. . . .

“Egypt’s Future Should Include Broth­er­hood: Merkel” [AP]; Ahra­mon­line; 7/14/2013. [29]

EXCERPT: Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel is urg­ing Egypt’s new rulers not to exclude the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood from the polit­i­cal process as they work on plans for the future.

In an inter­view with ARD tele­vi­sion Sun­day, Merkel reit­er­ated Germany’s call for the release of Mohammed Mor­si, a Broth­er­hood leader who was oust­ed as Egypt’s pres­i­dent by the mil­i­tary near­ly two weeks ago. The U.S. has backed that call. . . .

“Updat­ed: Ger­many calls for Mor­si release in Egypt” [AFP]; Ahra­mon­line; 7/12/2013. [30]

EXCERPT: Ger­many on Fri­day called for the release of oust­ed Egypt­ian pres­i­dent Mohamed Mor­si amid mount­ing ten­sions between sup­port­ers and oppo­nents over his over­throw.

“We call for an end to the restric­tions on Mr Morsi’s where­abouts,” a for­eign min­istry spokesman told reporters. . . .

“Broth­er­hood Must Play Role in Egypt Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion: Ger­man FM”; Ahra­mon­line; 7/25/2013. [24]

EXCERPT: Ger­man For­eign Min­is­ter Gui­do West­er­welle has urged all par­ties in Egypt to find a prompt solu­tion to the country’s polit­i­cal cri­sis, Al-Ahram Ara­bic news web­site report­ed.

West­er­welle issued a state­ment on Thurs­day stress­ing that Egypt’s future can­not be decid­ed by “con­fronta­tions.”

Egypt’s demo­c­ra­tic tran­si­tion requires the Mus­lim Brotherhood’s inclu­sion in the polit­i­cal scene, he added. “Paving the way for a sta­ble future will not be achieved unless the demo­c­ra­tic tran­si­tion includes all civil­ian lead­ers.” . . .

“Mor­si Release Would Aid Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, Asserts Ger­man Ambas­sador” by Sarah El-Rashi­di; Ahra­mon­line; 7/2013. [31]

EXCERPT: Ger­man Ambas­sador to Egypt Michael Bock has clar­i­fied his country’s posi­tion dur­ing a small press meet­ing attend­ed by Ahram Online Wednes­day at the Ger­man Embassy in Cairo fol­low­ing a con­tentious state­ment made by the Ger­man for­eign min­istry call­ing for the release of deposed pres­i­dent Mohamed Mor­si.

The state­ment was wide­ly con­demned among Egyp­tians amidst ongo­ing polit­i­cal upheaval between sup­port­ers and oppo­nents of Morsi’s removal.

“We call for an end to the restric­tions on Mr Morsi’s where­abouts and sug­gest a trust­ed insti­tu­tion be grant­ed access to Mor­si,” stat­ed a Ger­man for­eign min­istry spokesman Fri­day, iden­ti­fy­ing the Inter­na­tional Com­mit­tee of the Red Cross as a cred­i­ble body for the task. . . .