Over these past several months, Europe has been in a reserved outrage in consequence of the Snowden leaks. As it turns out, the US has not only been tapping its own citizens but those of foreign countries as well. More to the point, the States have been snooping on their own comrades and now Germany, France and Spain, amongst others, are waiting for answers. Preferably adequate ones.
Last weekend, Mike Rogers, chairman of the House of Representatives intelligence committee, said in a CNN interview that Europe should rejoice.
“If the French citizens knew exactly what that was about, they would be applauding and popping champagne corks.”
Will that champagne be wired as well? American lawmakers attempted to justify the data collection on millions of European citizens as necessary for their own safety. Some former US Intelligence officials even went as far as to say that they are not the only ones spying on their country.
The fact that European Parliament President, Martin Schulz, and Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, equated this to Cold War tactics would make one wonder when and if the US will admit their mindset borders on paranoia.
US President Obama said that the White House had no prior knowledge of the tapping of Merkel’s phone, which begs the question of what else the head of state was conveniently not briefed on for a good five years no less.
It seems as if they don’t deem their allies fit to protect themselves should they ever escape the unrelenting gaze of the Western eye.
But Europe is also at fault. With the UK firmly on the side of their American colleagues, retaliation on its part is reduced to stern scolding and the delay of transatlantic pacts that will inevitably be signed.
There is definitely something to be said when a German chancellor’s harshest response is to pick up the potentially tapped phone and call the US president to say how cross they are with them.
What Europe definitely needs at this moment is to grow a pair. They are in dire need of confidence and resolution, and only time can tell if this will be achieved.