Secretary of State Kerry with Brazil Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota, at a

press conference in Brasilia. Patriota gave Kerry an unapologetic dressing

down over U.S. espionage activity against his and other countries.



Explaining John Kerry's Shellacking in Brazil (Estadao, Brazil)


"In reference to Brazil's once infamous National Information Service, a feature of the 1964 dictatorship, General Golbery do Couto e Silva confessed to having 'created a monster.' What can be said, then, of the monumental U.S. intelligence apparatus, with its extravagant and unaccountable resources and the decisions of its generals, which have been shielded from public scrutiny? Marx used to repeat a phrase by Roman poet and playwright Publius Terentius Afer: 'I consider nothing that is human alien to me.' When an organ of one of the world's most powerful states acts as if that were its motto, there are no limits to what it is capable of perpetrating."




Translated By Gemma Bouchereau


August 22, 2013


Brazil Estadao Original Article (Portuguese)

Secretary of State Kerry listens with surprise as Brazil Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota tells him that the United States must 'terminate' its espionage activities against 'citizens of Brazil and other countries.'


RUSSIA TODAY NEWS VIDEO: NSA spying on Brazilian business interests underline Secretary of State Kerry's visit to South America, Aug. 14, 00:03:35RealVideo

It would be the natural order of things if the harsh words heard by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoken to him publicly in Brasilia by his counterpart Antonio Patriota were mere posturing. They were uttered during a discussion about the monumental global electronic espionage program being conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA) and revealed last May by former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden. However, the indignance of the Brazilian government sounds genuine. Not that the Foreign Ministry, the president, nor our federal lawmaking bodies, are naive enough to imagine that any country in the world able to eavesdrop on others would fail to do so just because they are friends, in line with the principle coined by legendary U.S. Secretary of State Henry Stimson (1867-1950): "Gentlemen," he said, "do not read other gentlemen's mail."


But what led Chancellor Patriota, during an interview alongside Kerry, to go above and beyond any previous expression of protest about the extent of the NSA's activities? Particularly after what has been, paradoxically, a prolonged period of harmony and cooperation between the two nations. Notwithstanding any differences, they have coexisted peacefully on issues like Iran, Syria, and Venezuela. Moreover, Kerry came to Brazil to prepare for the first state visit to the U.S. by President Dilma Rousseff, with all of the positivity that generally infuses the diplomatic sphere before such occasions, and which is scheduled for October. Patriota spoke of the risk of a "shadow of suspicion" being cast over relations if the dispute over intercepted Brazilian electronic communications and phone calls isn't dealt with "satisfactorily." In turn, during her hour-long meeting with the U.S. envoy, Dilma demanded protection of the content of Brazil's intercepted data.


Brazil does not besmirch the imperatives of security after the outrage of September 11, in the name of which Washington adopted policies that came to violate international treaties to which it is a signatory, and which disregard the individual rights enshrined in its Constitution. However, the fact that Brasilia has signed off on these policies - as Kerry highlighted - does not make them any more legitimate. The "land of the free" remains a democracy, but one that is under observation. Since the days of Bush, the White House has claimed that the relative loss of privacy to countless numbers of people has prevented terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and abroad. According to Kerry, this also includes Brazilians, and of course, that is impossible to check. There is an iron law that is well known: the more widely information is disseminated, and the more urgent the "need to know" governments invoke to safeguard national security, the greater the danger of perverting the instruments assembled to achieve that end.


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In reference to Brazil's once infamous National Information Service, a feature of the 1964 dictatorship, General Golbery do Couto e Silva confessed to having "created a monster." What can be said, then, of the monumental U.S. intelligence apparatus, with its extravagant and unaccountable resources and the decisions of its generals, which have been shielded from public scrutiny? Marx used to repeat a phrase by Roman poet and playwright Publius Terentius Afer (185 - 159 BC): "I consider nothing that is human alien to me." When an organ of one of the world's most powerful states acts as if that were its motto, there are no limits to what it is capable of perpetrating. However, the efficiency of an NSA may vary in inverse ratio to its size. According to experts, by this measure, on substance, the U.S. loses to Cuba.


Perhaps to appease Brazilian sensibilities, Kerry admitted during a private exchange with Patriota that Washington should have given prior notice of the interceptions to its allies. But as the chancellor said, "the provision of clarification does not mean accepting the status quo."


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Posted By Worldmeets.US Aug. 22, 2013, 3:59am