WikiLeaks have claimed to expose the most classified of all the Intel to date in which surveillance of foreign leaders by the US National Security Agency has been revealed.
The document released by WikiLeaks reveals the interception of calls between Ban-Ki Moon and German Chancellor Angela Merkel that took place before the Copenhagen conference in 2009. The document also includes Italian diplomatic cables from 2011 that reveals how Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeks help his Italian counterpart, Silvio Berlusconi, in order to patch his derailed relationship with the President of the United States, Barrack Obama.
According to the WikiLeaks, the discussion between the Israeli Prime Minister and his Italian counterpart was about Israel’s decision to build 1,600 homes in contested East Jerusalem. And according to Netanyahu Israel adhered to international commitments and did nothing wrong.
“Netanyahu insisted that the trigger for the dispute—Israel’s decision to build 1,600 homes in contested East Jerusalem—was totally in keeping with national policy dating back to the administration of Golda Meir, and blamed this mishandling on a government official with poor political sensitivity,” the NSA cable reads.
Berlusconi in returned promised Netanyahu of full support from his side in patching up relation with the United States.
This news has left Italy fuming with rage and Italy’s Foreign Ministry called on their US ambassador to clarify the report.
“The Italian Foreign Ministry has summoned the U.S. ambassador, John Phillips, to clarify the news appeared (in) the press, according to which the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and some of his close collaborators would have been subject to wiretaps in 2011,” the ministry wrote in a statement.
However, the State Department has denied the contents of the cables.
“As we have said previously, we do not conduct any foreign intelligence surveillance activities unless there is a specific and validated national security purpose,” US State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner told CNN on Tuesday. “This applies to ordinary citizens and world leaders alike.
“Indeed, (President Barack Obama) has made clear that — unless there is a compelling national security purpose — we will not monitor the communications of heads of state and government of our close friends and allies.”
Toner further added that Italy and United States are long lasting friends who have worked together for years and have mutual international interests.
“Today we showed that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s private meetings over how to save the planet from climate change were bugged by a country intent on protecting its largest oil companies,” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said in a statement on the website.
Washington has signed several agreements with the United Nations committing to the cause that the US will not conduct such activities against any member of the United Nations.
“It will be interesting to see the UN’s reaction, because if the Secretary General can be targeted without consequence then everyone from world leader to street sweeper is at risk.”
How this revelation from WikiLeaks will affect world politics is yet to be seen.