Revelations Rearrange the Focus of What Ought to Be Asked
By Staff News & Analysis - July 01, 2013

U.S. plays down reports of spying on EU, other allies … Nearly all national governments, not just the United States, use "lots of activities" to safeguard their interests and security, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday, responding for the first time to allegations that Washington spied on the European Union and other allies. – Reuters

Dominant Social Theme: Horrible revelations have shocked the world.

Free-Market Analysis: We have noticed, depressingly, that it is all about calibration at the moment.

What we will call the Snowden affair is in the process of changing the context of important issues. A courageous whistleblower, Edward Snowden has shown the world the reality of the US's massive surveillance.

The conversation in the mainstream media is all about what the US Surveillance State is doing and how much ought to be done. But what if the 9/11 Commission Report – which wasn't so much a report as a series of observations – didn't fully examine the facts in question?

What then?

Things are moving quickly. Here's more:

The EU has strongly demanded that the United States explain a report in a German magazine that Washington is spying on the group, saying that, if true, the alleged surveillance was "shocking". The Guardian newspaper said in an article late on Sunday that the United States had also targeted non-European allies including Japan, South Korea and India for spying – an awkward development for Kerry as he arrived for an Asian security conference in Brunei on Monday.

Kerry confirmed that EU High Representative Catherine Ashton had raised the issue with him in a meeting with him in Brunei but gave no further details of their exchange. He said he had yet to see details of the newspaper allegations. "I will say that every country in the world that is engaged in international affairs and national security undertakes lots of activities to protect its national security and all kinds of information contributes to that. All I know is that is not unusual for lots of nations," Kerry told a news conference.

Some EU policymakers said talks for a free trade agreement between Washington and the EU should be put on ice until further clarification from the United States. Martin Schulz, president of the EU Parliament, told French radio the United States had crossed a line. "I was always sure that dictatorships, some authoritarian systems, tried to listen … but that measures like that are now practiced by an ally, by a friend, that is shocking, in the case that it is true," Schulz said in an interview with France 2.

The press is focused on the concern – domestically and internationally – over US spying. But the same mainstream press that is sorrowfully or defensively reporting on US surveillance still refuses to entertain lingering questions regarding a precedent.

Will these issues ever go away if they are not resolved?

After Thoughts

Have we really moved on from credible concerns over 9/11? Is that conversation over?

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