Swiss lawmakers call for expulsions amid probe into possible US embassy surveillance program

Posted: January 18, 2011 in Uncategorized


Coming on the heels of expulsions of U.S. diplomats in Finland, Norway and Denmark, now Switzerland is preparing to send a few U.S. diplomats back to that famous Langley, Virginia facility from whence they apparently came.

The U.S. is certainly losing its prestige along with its empire.  Other nations are no longer doing a double-take when U.S. diplomats are accused of espionage, and the U.S. embassies are now routinely doing what the Soviet embassy in Washington was so famous for – spying on every shred of radio signal that happens its way onto the embassy grounds – U.S. embassies as signal listening stations for the CIA.  Not really new, of course, but the blatancy with which the spying is being done certainly is.



Swiss lawmakers call for expulsions amid probe into possible US embassy surveillance program

By John Heilprin (CP) – 5 hours ago

GENEVA — Angry Swiss lawmakers called Monday for the ouster of U.S. diplomats suspected of illegally spying on people around their diplomatic missions, in a standoff over the use of counterterrorism measures.

The Swiss government said it has demanded a stop to any surveillance and is investigating the scale of what it calls an unauthorized spying program by the U.S. mission to the United Nations in Geneva and the U.S. embassy in Bern.

The probe follows outrage in Iceland, Norway and Sweden over reports that U.S. diplomats were monitoring some of their countries’ citizens — including allegedly taking pictures of street demonstrations and of people deemed security risks, sparking a wave of anti-American sentiment.

A U.S. diplomatic cable obtained by WikiLeaks and reported on by the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten cited an October 2005 incident involving outside surveillance by the U.S. mission in Geneva.

The cable said the mission checked out a Middle Eastern couple who lingered about 100 metres (100 yards) from the mission’s entrance after a U.S. technician noticed a sign in their car with the word “Islam” in French.

Criticism came from across the Swiss political spectrum. Some demanded action by Switzerland’s seven-member executive council that includes the nation’s president, vice-president and heads of agencies.

“If the suspicion turns out to be true, then the Federal Council has to send a signal,” Green Party lawmaker Josef Lang told the Zurich daily Tages-Anzeiger. “It should expel the U.S. agents from the country and summon the ambassador.”

The U.S. embassy in Bern and the U.S. mission in Geneva had applied twice to the Swiss government in 2006 and 2007 for permission to conduct this type of surveillance, as required by Swiss law, said Swiss Justice Ministry spokesman Philippe Piatti said, but they were turned down.


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