Stealth News: How to Slip Under Media Radars
Stealth News: How to Slip Under Media Radars
The ability of the Western mainstream media and some Western politicians to warp the reality, sometimes to the extent of outright denying it, is indeed impressive. It takes a special kind of talent to be able to keep covering a story which seemingly has not much to say about, while completely ignoring something that can have an effect similar to that of a bombshell. In recent days, we took note of a good example to illustrate what we are saying.
In the late May - early June 2021, a quite sensational news hit the pages of world media. It was revealed that the USA, in close cooperation with one of its European allies, has been spying on its other European allies for years. If you are thinking that you don’t remember seeing anything of the kind in the newspapers or own news websites, or you just vaguely recall the media reporting on it – there’s nothing surprising about it. The story was quickly swept under the carpet after it became public. Instead, the global media concentrated on far more “interesting” stories: situation around Alexey Navalny, mysterious Russian hackers and Belarusian “opposition blogger” Roman Protasevich. But don’t worry, we got this. Here is a quick rundown for you.
According to Danish public broadcaster Danmarks Radio (DR), the US special services, thanks to their partnership with Danish foreign intelligence unit, spied on top European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, then-German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, as well as senior officials in Sweden, Norway and France during the period from 2012 to 2014. («US spied on Merkel, EU officials through Danish cables: Report», Al Jazeera). This report was based on the results of an internal investigation carried out by Danish Defence Intelligence Service back in 2014-2015. The US National Security Agency (NSA), as Al Jazeera cites the investigation, had access to extensive data streams running through Internet cables to and from Denmark, while intercepting every piece of information: text messages, phone calls, internet search data, chat messages – you name it. The ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden even accused the US President Joe Biden of being "deeply involved in this scandal” («NSA spying row: Denmark accused of helping US spy on European officials», BBC).
Shouldn’t that particular aspect of the story be of special interest to the media? In the West, many seem to be still mesmerized by the fact that several decades ago Russian President Vladimir Putin began his career as a special service officer (in Soviet KGB). But what about a civil servant, the then US Vice President Joseph Biden implicated in a massive eavesdropping operation by a leading democracy against its closest democratic allies?
Sounds quite a story to us. There is a whole report pointing at how the US and Denmark literally plotted behind the backs of their European (and NATO) allies for achieving…whatever they tried to achieve. That is the most intimidating part about it - one can only guess how and when the sensitive information on top European officials which had been gathered by NSA might have been used, which decisions of EU elite might have been taken or altered due to their US “partners” having this illegal advantage over them. In layman’s terms, it is equal to playing a game of cards except not only knowing exactly which cards your opponents hold in hands, as well as when and how they will try to play those cards. And what about human rights? The right to privacy, for instance? What if regular citizens, non-politicians, also became targets of eavesdropping? Who knows?
Nevertheless, the whole story got surrounded with a dense wall of media silence – not a single Western mainstream media shows any interest towards it, treating it as if there was nothing special about it, as if it was as trivial as a weather forecast. All this despite the fact that it is, by all means, an international scandal. At least, it is supposed to be. The media should be talking about this 24/7 for it is a sensation if we ever seen one. Then why didn’t it become a “media bomb” of any sort? We can’t see any other reason, other than then the so-called “independent Western media” are not so “independent” as try to make themselves look. Washington crosses all lines imaginable to get an advantage and keep his allies under total control and Western media (as well as political elites), turn a blind eye on this, thus failing to fulfill one of their primary functions – to inform the general public of what is actually going on. In fact, in such a case they go against that primary function and instead distract the public from what is going on.
On the other hand, there might be another reason why the Western mainstream media were not impressed by this story about US and Denmark spying on their neighbours. Maybe it is not much of a sensation after all. Why? Because this happened before.
Here is one headline from 2017 for you – «Wikileaks alleges Frankfurt U.S. Consulate served as CIA hacker base» (Handelsblatt Today). The subtitle is even more interesting: «New leaked documents claim that hackers have been operating out of the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt, and it could have been the headquarters from where plans to hack Angela Merkel's phone were hatched». Sounds familiar?
According to the said article, Frankfurt has been turned into a whole base of operations for U.S. intelligence. Behind the façade of a diplomatic mission, a “nerve centre” for US hackers in Europe, Middle East and Africa was hiding. US Consulate General served as a facility for development and testing of surveillance and data-stealing software. This became known from the facts, stipulated in nearly 9000 (just imagine that) documents that had been published by WikiLeaks. Yet, this hacker attack story which seem to be among the favourites in the West (when it comes to Russian, Chinese, Iranian or North Korean hackers, of course) did not resonate much. Why? The WikiLeaks has already provided the Western media with everything they could possibly need to come up with a sensational story, so why didn’t they seize this seemingly obvious opportunity? Where are all those “brilliant” investigative journalists in shiny armour with an X-ray vision that leaves no evil undisclosed? Why didn’t they make it one of the most discussed and most influential journalist investigation of all times and instead carried on writing on “Russian interference”, “Russian threat” and other myths? Metaphorically speaking, why did they pick the blue pill from Morpheus when they made their choice?
What about today? Does anyone among Western media even remember this story from Frankfurt? We regret to disappoint you, but, apparently, no. The earlier mentioned Edward Snowden warned the international community about Washington’s illegal surveillance around the world long ago. The journalists could’ve written books, never mind articles, on what he has to say. Yet the story with US Consulate General in Frankfurt as well as whatever Edward Snowden could’ve revealed, received similar reaction from Western media, officials and politicians as the recent episode with Denmark and US “spy affair” did.
The European governments (to their credit) “demanded explanations” from the US and Denmark («Europe demands answers after US-Danish spying claims», France24). But that’s just about it. In particular, we took note of what French President Emmanuel Macron said on the matter. “I adhere to trust that unites Europeans and Americans. There is no place for suspicions between us," he claimed. "We expect full disclosure. We expect our Danish and American partners to provide full information in the context of these revelations”. He also added that, “this is unacceptable between allies and even less acceptable between allies and European partners” («France expects explanations from US, Denmark over wiretapping scandal, Macron says», TASS). A very diplomatic and polite response, don’t you think? Especially in comparison to the manner in which the Western officials speak to Russia and other non-Western states. To quote President Macron again, here is what he said in an interview to CBS News in April 2021, amid growing tensions around Ukraine: “after an unacceptable [Russia’s] behavior, indeed, we have to sanction… I think we have to define clear red lines with Russia. This is the only way to be credible. I think that sanctions are not sufficient in itself, in themselves, but sanctions are part of the package” («Transcript: French President Emmanuel Macron on "Face the Nation," April 18, 2021», CBS News). A strikingly different approach! When it comes to Russia, the West “has to” sanction our country under any pretext it likes, because it is “the only way to be credible” and even sanctions are “not sufficient”. And what now? Any sanctions against Washington? Against Copenhagen? Were US or Danish diplomats expelled from a single European country? Has anyone drawn red lines, or, at least, orange lines with the USA or Denmark? Nothing of the kind. Not even close.
Now imagine the same story but with Russia being involved. The Danish Defence Intelligence Service wouldn’t even have to bother investigating and preparing a report – a simple “highly likely” that “Russians did it” would’ve sufficed. The question would not be whether the West would’ve introduced new sanctions against the Russian Federation and its citizens, but how long would it have taken the West to introduce them.
But for an unengaged observer: so much for the fabled Western unity. After these two episodes of US eavesdropping on its closest allies, who would guarantee that there were no other instances in different periods of time from some other unexpected facilities with “a little help” of yet-to-be-disclosed moles? So much for transparency, strong and friendly relations, shared values and other things between liberal democracies. There they all go, streaming away to the abyss via some hacked subsea cables.
This is yet another example of how Washington treats its own allies. They should be surveyed and kept under control. When the US suspects that its ally is about to do something “unscripted” it would stop at nothing to put it back in line. Sounds more like “subordinates” than “allies” to our liking.