Wikileaks published a new trove of top secret documents revealing that the NSA spied on the private meetings of major world leaders, including UN chief Ban Ki-Moon, German chancellor Merkel, as well as the prime ministers of Italy and Israel.
The National Security Agency (NSA) listened in on high-level meetings on climate change, global economics, and even “how to deal with [US President Barack] Obama,” according to the new documents released by WikiLeaks.
One of the revelations was that the NSA bugged a private meeting between UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in which they discussed how to tackle climate change. The goal of the snooping, according to WikiLeaks’s press release, was to protect American oil 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,” said WikiLeaks founder and editor Julian Assange.
Assange added that the UN will most likely react to these leaks.
“We previously published Hillary Clinton’s orders that US diplomats were to steal the Secretary General’s DNA. The US government has signed agreements with the UN that it will not engage in such conduct against the UN — let alone its Secretary General. 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.”
The top secret documents have also brought to light other meetings held by top world leaders that were bugged by the NSA, including one between Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu and Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi in 2010 during which Netanyahu pleaded with Berlusconi to help him deal with US President Barack Obama.
The NSA apparently spied on another meeting involving key EU and Japanese trade ministers tasked with discussing final compromises that might be made as part of WTO (World Trade Organization) negotiations.
Moreover, the NSA also gained access to a secret conversation between former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, during which Sarkozy said that the Italian banking system would soon “pop like a cork.”
Even the UN’s Refugee Agency was not spared form the NSA’s spying eyes. US intelligence agents reportedly kept tabs on the phone lines of the organization’s regional directors, including that of Bernard Doyle, the regional representative of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for Central Asia, according to the new report.
WikiLeaks also showed that the NSA targeted a Swiss telephone line belonging to the Director of the Rules Division of the WTO, Johann Human.
WikiLeaks is famous for disclosing secret documents demonstrating government abuses and overreaches, including information about US military conduct in Iraq and Afghanistan, portions of the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership pact, and documents that the director of the CIA kept on his personal email account.