Zee Media Bureau
Washington: Rubbishing as "deceit" the United States` claim that the main motive of the NSA surveillance was counter-terrorism, the journalist who exposed the leaks made by Edward Snowden, said that American spying was "economic espionage" and done in order to seek "political power".
Glenn Greenwald, who recently quit The Guardian to join eBay founder Pierre Omidyar for a new online venture blasted the Americans` oft-repeated stance in favour of NSA spying saying that the surveillance was directed not against terrorists but majorly at "innocent peoples around the world".
Speaking to the CNN`s Christine Amanpour, Greenwald said, “This is clearly about political power and economic espionage, and the claim that this is all about terrorism is seen around the world as what it is, which is pure deceit.”
Trashing the US claims that NSA surveillance was aimed at checking terror, Greenwald asked, "Is Angela Merkel a terrorist? Are sixty or seventy million Spanish or French citizens terrorists? Are there terrorists at Petrobras?”
Greenwald`s revelations have brought US under fire from a set of European allies (France, Germany and Spain) and Mexico and Brazil, who have demanded explanations from America over the spying claims.
Glenn Greenwald`s comments come as a strong retort to the US House Intelligence chief Mike Rogers, who recently said that the Europeans must be thankful to the National Security Agency for the surveillance as it kept them safe.
Presenting a strong defence of the NSA in face of the increasing global outrage, the Republican from Michigan went on to say, "If the French citizens knew exactly what that was about, they would be applauding and popping champagne corks. It`s a good thing".
Holding the media reports in the French newspaper le Monde and German magazine Der Speigel as “smash and grab”, Rogers said that the whole notion of spying was disingenuous and the practice was instead “legitimate protection of nation-state interest”.
"This was about a counterterrorism program that had nothing to do with French citizens," Rogers had said.
Trashing such claims, Greenwald said, "What we revealed is that the spying system is largely devoted not to terrorists but is directed at innocent people around the world.”
“It’s something that the world didn’t know, and now they do know, and that’s the reason why US officials are so angry,” he added.
“Not because it damaged national security but because it damages their reputation and credibility around the world.”