Despite the NSA’s vaunted claims of being an important force in the so-called war on terror, a draft report by European Union politicians claims that the NSA may be hiding less respectable purposes behind its national-security mantra. The report says that EU parliament members believe it is “very doubtful that data collection of such magnitude is only guided by the fight against terrorism,” according to Network World. Given debacles such as phone taps on German Chancellor Angela Merkel—hardly a suspected terrorist—the likely purpose of NSA spying may focus more on gaining economic and political advantages than thwarting terrorist plots. The report went on to further criticize broad surveillance programs as being unjustified, even by the threat of terrorism.
Political use of the NSA’s vast surveillance capabilities for international espionage is by no means beyond the pale for politicians. In particular, the U.S. is an empire that is seeking to maintain economic dominance as a matter of right more than merit (hence the jingoistic notion that anything made in America is superior simply because of its place of origin), so use of the NSA in this manner can easily be rationalized. And given the agency’s dismal record of stopping any real terrorist plots, one might justifiably wonder why it still conducts such broad and invasive spying.
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