Nations spy on each other. Big deal. In fact, societies have been doing so since before the creation of the modern nation-state. Someone in the Obama Administration should remind counterparts in Mexico and Brazil that without it, the world as we know it would cease to exist.
According to numerous news accounts, Mexico and Brazil have “summoned” the U.S. Ambassador to each country to the foreign ministries. “Summoned” is another way of saying: “we are upset and we are going to tell you so, to your face.” This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that a country does so; however, this go around I sense a lot of histrionics.
According to a Reuter’s report, Brazil’s President Vilma Rousseff wants a public mea culpa: “This is a major, major crisis …. There needs to be an apology. It needs to be public. Without that, it’s basically impossible for her to go to Washington in October [for the G-20 summit],” the official said. I pray that the Obama team does no such thing. When Brazil stops coddling Iran, experimenting with nuclear energy behind our backs, or helping state sponsor of terrorism Cuba, come talk to us.
Mexico and Brazil have their own intelligence agencies and, si, they spy on the United States on a daily basis. These and other countries are upset because of the Snowden fiasco. They learned that we have a lot of toys that they do not and, hopefully, never will. They learned that we are better than them at it and, I hope, we always will be. By the way, when it comes to Latin America and the Caribbean, we should be doing a lot of spying.
I’m very glad the NSA is doing its job so well. As is the CIA, DIA, and other entities. Now if we can only do something about the contractor matter? I think there are just too many of them and a lot more of the work needs to be brought in-house, even if it means growing the federal bureaucracy ever so slightly.
Mexico and Brazil are trying to upstage and grandstand before the G-20. And, who knows what other issues they have pending before the U.S. government. They are trying to politically exploit the Snowden story to advance a political agenda. So are the Russians and a few other powers that should know better. The horror.
P.S., the U.S. political establishment should remind our colleagues in Brazil and Mexico to contain the umbrage. This is a non-story. Time to move on. Or it can become a lot more complicated for our friends in Latin America …