PLM Solidarity Statement with Edward Snowden PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Monday, 01 July 2013 13:56

“The mass movement can defeat and dismantle repressive state machinery.”

 

The Philippine left, like most left and anti-imperialist movements in the Third World, have an intimate knowledge and experience of US intelligence services and their ‘covert’ operations. In the Philippines many of these activities are conducted under formal agreements between the Philippines and

US governments.The CIA and other institutions of the US state apparatus have a long and actively

felt presence here and the left is well aware of the enormous capacity of the US state machinery

to conduct operations against us. Our individual and political freedoms have been murderously

violated, including through torture and assassinations, by the US state machinery.

This is a fact of imperialist domination.

 

The CIA in the Philippines has engaged in countless covert ‘dirty tricks’ operations. The CIA's

activities in its Manila station have never been limited to information gathering. Information

gathering is but a part of an offensive strategy to attack, neutralize and undermine any

organization, institution, or personality that the US state considers to be a danger to its

national interests.  The campaign of mass terror during the Marcos dictatorship

-- the “total war policy” against the left -- could not have lasted as long as it did

without the full backing and even instigation by the CIA and the US government.

 

It’s also a well-known fact that the US embassy, especially the political section, is a

cover for many CIA operatives. CIA front companies also provide cover for operatives

assigned overseas (commonly named are Coca-Cola, Ford, Citicorp, United Fruit, Nike).

In general, wherever you find US big business interests, you also find a very active CIA.

 

There is also knowledge of how the CIA works closely with the National Security

Agency (NSA). It is known that the NSA  developed a global surveillance system,

“Project Echelon”, which is a powerful electronic network operated by super-computers

that intercept, monitor and process all phone, fax, e-mail and modem signals.  Echelon,

is a sophisticated and technologically advanced eavesdropping system, based on a relay

system of satellites and spy stations in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom,

Canada and United States. Through Echelon the US government is able to intercept

all telephone, fax, e-mail, internet and cellphone transmissions worldwide.

Its nerve center is located at the NSA headquarters.

 

All private citizens' and government communications are intercepted and monitored.

There is said to be extensive interception of the ASEAN countries. ASEAN meetings

receive special attention with both public and private communications of countries being

intercepted. The CIA is known to have relied heavily on the Echelon Project for its

technologically advanced Signal Intelligence or SIGNIT, which is managed by the

US National Security Agency (NSA).

 

Edward Snowden’s revelations provide us with additional information on how the SIGNIT data

collection system has now been further developed incorporating the NSAs Boundless Informant

data mining tool, described by the NSA as the ‘New Way’ using “Big Data technology to query

SIGNIT collection in the cloud to produce near real-time business intelligence”. According to

the Guardian newspaper, Boundless Informant, details and even maps by country the voluminous

amount of information collected from computer and telephone networks. An NSA factsheet

about the program, acquired by the Guardian, says: "The tool allows users to select a

country on a map and view the metadata volume and select details about the collections against

that country." In March 2013 the agency collected 97bn pieces of intelligence from computer

networks worldwide.

 

Iran was the country where the largest amount of intelligence was gathered, with more than

14bn reports in that period, followed by 13.5bn from Pakistan. Jordan, one of America's

closest Arab allies, came third with 12.7bn, Egypt fourth with 7.6bn and India fifth with

6.3bn. The heatmap gives each nation a color code based on how extensively it is

subjected to NSA surveillance. The color scheme ranges from green

(least subjected to surveillance) through yellow and orange to red (most surveillance).

 

The Edward Snowden revelations about the NSA spying program, exposes the

extra-ordinary scope of coverage of surveillance and other covert operations conducted

by the US state and the extent to which surveillance has encompassed the domain of the

internet. It’s also becoming very apparent that the development of the internet and

ICT technology has taken the surveillance capabilities of the US state to a qualitatively

different level of globalized (and simultaneously highly centralized) surveillance.

 

The privatization of the internet, large sections of which are controlled by major

multi-national capitalist corporations, has facilitated this process. The owners of

Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, YouTube and Apple don’t have to be

tortured to provide information to the US state. They routinely do so, on a

regular basis. It’s a known fact that US multinational corporations have a close

history of colluding with US intelligence services. Desmond Fitzgerald, for instance,

a former CIA chief of station in Manila was said to have fronted as a legitimate

businessman of an American multinational corporation. The US state,

after all, represents the interests of big-US capital. This is the basis of their collusion.

As for Barack Obama and his Democratic Party colleagues, the ‘shift’ that has

taken place from when he criticized the Bush regime for similar operations and

violation of individual rights, is that Obama and his Democrat colleagues are

now the government of the US state machinery. The political imperative compels

them to continue, ‘smarten up’, adapt and even scale-up the

Bush government’s ‘covert’ intelligence programs.

 

The mass anti-dictatorship movement in the Philippines rendered inutile the all-powerful

US state machinery of surveillance, torture and assassinations and defeated the “total war policy”

that propped up the Marcos dictatorship. The mass movement that forced the closure of the

US bases at Clark and Subic in 1992 rendered a major blow to the CIA and US government’s

spy network and infrastructure in the region. The lesson for us is that the mass movement, that

organizes and mobilizes the masses in their millions, is key.

 

The anti-Vietnam war movement is an example which holds invaluable lessons here. The Watergate

revelations were a major political crisis that seriously undermined the legitimacy of the Nixon

administration. But it was the mass movement in the US, spearheaded by the anti-imperialist

movement against the Vietnam War, that was ultimately responsible for bringing

down the government.

 

We stand in solidarity with Edward Snowden, for his brave decision to expose the NSA and

the US governments’ arrogant violation of individual rights and freedoms, the democratic rights

of the world’s people and the sovereignty of our nations. Edward Snowden needs our solidarity.

June 18, 2013.

Last Updated on Monday, 01 July 2013 17:23
 

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