Cryptome Interview by La Repubblica

30 October 2013, by email exchange.

Federico Rampini, La Repubblica US Bureau Chief:

1) In several European countries, including my own (Italy), government leaders and citizens are upset after discovering the extent of the NSA reach. Even German chancellor Angela Merkel was wiretapped. The answer from the Obama Administration and the NSA has struck different notes. On one hand President Obama seems willing to review the intelligence guidelines, possibly even offering a "no-spy treaty" to allies and friends (this being a Franco-German request). On the other hand, the intelligence community says: everybody does it. Do you think there is any reasonable hope that something will change? Or will this "incident" soon be forgotten, and the intelligence community will go back to business as usual?


There will be a series of adjustments testing public acceptance. Hearings, press releases, private briefings of the media, public speeches, op-eds, essays by selected friends, leaks of various kinds. There will also be a series of classified performances arranged for each national leader, each spy service, each contractor, each "ex-spy", each NGO, each front, each financial institution, each justice ministry, each foreign affairs ministry. These parallel series are underway now and will continue as long as there is public interest and political capital to be accumulated -- which will decline into a new status quo. However, if public interest remains high, a few officials will be scapegoated, exchange of bribes, arms and intelligence will rise among the governmental, commercial and public service interests groups to capitalize on the public attention while beneficial to do so. Snowden and his media outlets will be complicit, rewarded, attacked, iconized, maybe one or two will be prosecuted then found innocent after lengthy show trials like that of Chelsea Manning. Based on statements by all parties -- governments and media -- they have been briefed to continue to play their role in this hoary tradition...


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