A Battle For Britain’s Loyalty
In the real-life game of Spy vs. Spy, a breech of trust has been revealed between Britain and the rest of the European Union, due specifically to the United Kingdom’s close relationship with the United States.
Strong nations require strong businesses. And in the business world, in an information-dominated society, a company’s future depends upon possessing the right information. Having more knowledge than a competitor is vital for success. In other words, keeping secrets can be essential.
So with the latest revelation of echelon, the global spy network created by the U.S. and shared with England, EU member nations now find it more difficult to trust Britain. The United States’ and United Kingdom’s world spy network gives these countries an intelligence-gathering advantage. Suspicion of deliberate undermining of Europe’s economic ambition has forced the EU to draw the line, thus forcing Britain to choose between America and the EU concerning a full-fledged intelligence partnership.
“[I]ntelligence gathering may be precisely the issue which forces the United Kingdom to decide whether its destiny is European or transatlantic,” said the European Parliament’s Temporary Committee on the echelon Interception System draft report of May 18.
The French National Assembly claimed last year that echelon was no longer used for cold war purposes but for political and industrial espionage against other nato states. However, the EU report of May 18 could not prove that the U.S. was using the system to spy on European companies for economic advantage. The report concluded, “The current legal position is that an echelon-type intelligence system is not in breach of Union law.”
But, the report stated, if a member state (such as the UK) were to use the system for industrial espionage or give “foreign [eg. American] intelligence services access to its territory for this purpose, it would undoubtedly constitute a breach of EC law” (emphasis mine here and throughout). Every member state is obligated first to defend the common interest of the EU.
EU’s Spirit of Independence
For over 50 years, Western Europe has relied on the United States for protection, political guidance and an infusion of enormous sums of capital beginning with the Marshall Plan. Consequently, their infrastructure and industries have flourished. Now the EU is cashing in on years of American generosity, taking ground inch by inch, to become the pre-eminent world power. A spirit of determination leads the advance.
One fundamental step to this ever-growing EU powerhouse is its intended creation of its own intelligence arm. With Europe’s burgeoning 60,000-man rapid reaction force set to be ready by 2003, the EU report surmised, “The existence of such a multinational force will make the development of an autonomous intelligence capacity inevitable.”
The EU report stressed this needed change by stating, “It is inconceivable that the intelligence services will be the last and only area not affected by the process of European integration.” Assimilating existing EU member intelligence agencies or continuing reliance upon echelon was counted as unacceptable. The need to protect vital European industries from economic espionage originating from outside the EU supercedes the current intelligence arrangement with the U.S. by way of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
The EU wants to be a fully independent power incorporating economic and defense aspects, including the field of intelligence gathering. The report confirmed, “The lack ofsuch a system ofpolitical control…would be detrimental to the process of European integration.” Political control equals power.
Britain’s Divided Loyalties
“Britain has one leg in Europe and one in mid-Atlantic,” said Gerhard Schmid, vice president of the European Parliament and chairmanå of the committee that drafted the EU report on echelon (Guardian, April 25). Schmid added, “If there are conflicts of interest between the EU and the U.S., there could be potential conflict for the UK.”
A house with divided loyalties cannot stand. This is a principle the EU vigorously agrees with. Most British leaders see no problem with having close ties to both continents. But the EU views things much differently.
In anticipation of future trade conflicts with the U.S., the EU is seriously reviewing its list of team players, confirming who is and who is not loyal to its economic team. And when it comes to the business of choosing sides, Britain has been found wanting.
“We thought Mr. Haider’s Austria was endangering our freedom,” said Jean-Claude Martinez, a French EU Parliament member, during a debate of the European Parliament on March 30, 2000. “But it is through Mr. Tony Blair’s Britain…that 15,000 agents, stationed in Gibraltar, Cyprus and even onBritish territory, are spying on us.”
Most European officials have severe misgivings concerning England’s sincerity regarding EU partnership. “Britain must choose Europe or betray it,” declared a French official, insisting that Britain would not be able to play a leading role in the EU while maintaining its close security ties with the U.S. (Prospect, June 2000). Likewise, one Italian EU official complained that Britain’s listening station in Cheltenham, which works with the U.S. national security agency, had already tested the EU Council of Ministers’ encryption equipment; this council is directly in charge of the budding rapid reaction force (Guardian, April 25).
The U.S. has access to various listening posts throughout England to carry out surveillance of European citizens, deeply irritating EU member states. This has spawned criticism of Britain, charging that it was in violation of Article 8 of the EU Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees right of private communication. To fight this, the EU’s present response to America’s and Britain’s intelligence advantage is to encourage all businesses within the EU to encrypt their data before it is electronically transferred, thus attempting to render it unreadable by America’s global spy network.
Nearly a Century-Long Bond
The United States and the United Kingdom have increasingly shared intelligence information since the First World War. It was in the area of signals intelligence (signint) that the most essential and crucial collaboration occurred. In the spring of 1941, British and American code-breakers teamed up at Bletchley Park in England to share their best technology with intentions of breaking Germany’s code. Once considered unbreakable, the German Enigma code machine could put a message into code using a staggering 150 quintillion possible combinations. Breaking the German code was acclaimed as one of the greatest intellectual achievements of the last century.
During the war, British intelligence dominated the Nazis. In one instance, the Germans awarded the Iron Cross to a double agent, who was siding with England, for supposedly destroying a Mosquito bomber plant (bbc, July 5). London went so far as to fabricate news coverage and pictures to convince the Nazis the sabotage was a real success. Even today, the British are regarded as the best in the espionage business. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s security adviser verified this in a remark last year (Prospect, June 2000).
America, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have been bound together by various intelligence agreements since the 1940s. Yet it was the ukusa agreement that integrated their intelligence partnership. Because of the many years committed to this intelligence relationship, it would be very difficult for Britain to turn on its Anglo-Saxon partners. Even if it could, England would never be fully trusted by other EU nations. Nearly a century-long bond cannot easily be severed. “This intelligence sharing among the five Anglo-Saxon countries is institutionalized at the very heart of the British system of government” (ibid.).
Each nation in ukusa contributes to the echelon global espionage eavesdropping network. With a global network of supercomputers connected with the geosynchronous satellites of signint, echelon is reportedly able to automatically search through billions of intercepted messages from faxes, telephone calls and e-mails, and then, with computer dictionaries, automatically flag specific words. Echelon integrates the entire system connecting all the individual stations throughout the world. Where America doesn’t have a listening post in one part of the globe, England has one—it’s the perfect intelligence match. So trusting in this partnership, America’s National Security Agency and Britain’s Government Communications have been exchanging personnel for years.
The value of the ukusa relationship is priceless. Even if the EU attempts to build a duplicate echelon, it would take years and an enormous amount of money to complete.
As long as the United Kingdom continues to work with the United States on intelligence matters, the U.S. will not give up its strategic spy network advantage over Europe. Therefore Britain will be required by the EU to make a decision concerning its support of either Washington or Brussels.
“Britain will have to decide where it wants to stand. How can we have a common European Union security policy if they continue with this attitude towards other member states,” surmised Plooij-van Gorsel, 1st vice-chairman of the EU Temporary Committee (European Report, June 2).
Apprehension over becoming full members of the European Union has been the UK’s enduring problem. Their initial commitment was halfhearted at best. Whether the UK stands with the EU or not, political integration in Europe is marching full stride ahead. The EU knows that it cannot openly compel the U.S. to submit to the EU Charter on Human Rights. “Nobody can force the Americans to do it—but we can force the member states [like Britain] to abandon certain sorts of co-operation [as with America],” said Neil MacCormick, 2nd vice-chairman of the Temporary Committee on the echelon Interception System (Sunday Business, May 27).
A Matter of Trust
A notorious leader once said this about ruling over nations: “A shrewd conqueror will always enforce his exactions on the conquered only by stages…. The more numerous the extortions thus passively accepted, so much the less will resistance appear justified in the eyes of other people.” These are the words of Adolf Hitler in his book Mein Kampf, and they certainly mirror Germany’s present strategy regarding leadership and power over Europe.
The former British admiral of the fleet, Lord Hill-Norton, and ten other retired senior officers of the British and French armed services certainly recognize this ominous tactic being put into use by the EU. Candidly expressing their warning message in a letter published in the Daily Telegraph, they said, “We wish to voice our concerns at the manner in which the ability of our nations to protect our vital interests is beingwhittled away” (June 12). They went on to say, “The actions of federalist politicians and technocrats…will only serve to weaken even further our national capabilities to the detriment of our own security and world stability.”
Ironically, it was British Prime Minister Tony Blair who was one of two advocates and initiators of the EU’s future 60,000-man rapid reaction force. Britain’s support for this EU force endangers its bond with America. This is the heart of the matter.
In support of the above letter, British Vice-Admiral Sir John Roxburgh and Admiral Sir John Woodward fully concurred with the senior officers by letter the following day: “We believe it is far preferable to have a full and proper debate on the Euroforce than risk undermining our rare and immensely valuable special relationship with the Americans” (Daily Telegraph, June 13).
How will Britain choose? It all breaks down to a matter of trust: America and Britain trust each other; the European Union does not trust either of them.
The Bible makes it very clear the direction Britain will go, and Herbert W. Armstrong understood this with great clarity. He stated back in June of 1956 that even after the Second World War, most Europeans couldn’t understand why America was so willing to assist in rebuilding Europe. They suspected “ulterior motives,” said Mr. Armstrong. Even today, nothing has changed.
Today the EU is able to stand alone because of years of American and British aid and protection. Europe no longer needs or wants to lower itself to a submissive role to America and Britain—two nations they have never genuinely trusted.
“The Germans are coming back from the destruction of World War ii in breathtaking manner. Germany is the economic and military heart of Europe. Probably Germany will lead and dominate the coming United States of Europe,” warned Mr. Armstrong in 1956. “But Britain will be no part of it!” he declared.
The spirit of a united Europe will eventually be revealed. Mr. Armstrong concluded that America’s and Britain’s “real number-one enemy has been perfecting its plans secretly, under cover, in Europe!”
This is why the EU wants its own secret intelligence network. Their agenda for the future is much different than the way Britain and the U.S. view it. The United Kingdom, America and the rest of the world will be awe-struck by this astonishing rise of the Holy Roman Empire. Sadly, Europe has, in part, Britain and the U.S. to thank for this newfound strength. The bonds of partnership, however, are breaking.
Although Britain cannot fully realize it now, it will not be allied with this European power—rather dominated by it.
“Strangers have devoured his [Britain’s] strength, and he knoweth it not” (Hos. 7:9). Both Britain and America need to restore their alliance with Jesus Christ! Such a choice would save them from great suffering in the soon-coming Tribulation at the hands of the Holy Roman Empire. When it comes to choosing sides, this would be the intelligent choice.