Wednesday, October 30, 2013
A COMPROMISED CONCLAVE?
It is now revealed that the NSA was tapping the phones and communications of the entire Vatican establishment, including Pope Benedict and Pope Francis before, during and after the Conclave. Is such a thing possible? Here is one of many reports:
While it is true that the Cardinals agreed that no cell phones would be allowed in Conclave during the actual discussions and proceedings there is no iron-clad guarantee that the things that were discussed before the Conclave, and after the Conclave stayed in the Sistine chapel, and that very fact could have serious repercussions. Apparently not even the Saint Marta Guesthouse escaped the big brotherish ears of the spying agency. Cardinal Bergoglio's phone calls were eavesdropped on, as were numerous others. Benedict himself was monitored for a number of years.
In the International Business Times report linked above the reporter states:
"The NSA allegedly eavesdropped on cardinals before the conclave in March 2013 to elect the new Pope, including calls between them and Cardinal Bergoglio, who became Pope Francis, succeeding Benedict."
That being the case, and given what we now know about the NSA's nefarious activities, it is legitimate to ask the $64,000 Question "Was the Conclave compromised?" The fact that the agency is run by the amoral General Keith Alexander, perjurer, and defended by James Clapper, perjurer, should give us sufficient cause for concern. The government is of course denying the story which, given their aptitude for lying not only to the public but to Congress, is not altogether reassuring.
Needless to say the official Vatican spokesman sees nothing. "In any case, we have no concerns about the matter," a Vatican spokesman told IBTimes UK. The Vatican spokesman is none other than that Jay Carney of the Vatican, Father Lombardi. But if Rome is not concerned about this they sure as hell should be. Already it has been credibly suggested that the NSA is using some of its scooped-up info for a discreet version of blackmail. The agency has been monitoring the phone calls of Senators and Congressmen and there are those who surmise that some of the juicy bits of information they have picked up are being used to "convince" wavering legislators that they should not try to cut back on the activities of this gigantic, super secret, unaccountable Orwellian department.
It is damaging enough that they were eavesdropping on the Cardinals before and after the papal vote; it would be shocking if somehow they were privy to what was going on during the Conclave. Despite the safety features that were put in place it is hard to say with certainty that the ears of the NSA were not listening in some way.
Person of Interest?
In another report, from Al-Jazeera we read:
Bergoglio "had been a person of interest to the American secret services since 2005, according to Wikileaks”, it said.
The bugged conversations were divided into four categories: "leadership intentions", "threats to financial systems", "foreign policy objectives" and "human rights”, it claimed.
Why the American Secret Service considered Cardinal Bergoglio a person of interest for the past eight years is an interesting question although the Secret Service like all other US agencies is widely believed to have been corrupted, so it remains unclear as to how one should assess this piece of information or what it was about the activities of the Cardinal that prompted their extreme interest. Still it is curious to say the very least.
Other sources are suggesting that this latest example of US spying has broken the Vatican's long-established secrecy when it comes to papal elections. The Eponymous Flower site has a translation of a German report on the matter.
If that is so the Vatican might wish to emulate the Russians who are now reverting to type-written and hand-delivered important communications.
But if the Conclave was compromised in some way (and even if it wasn't we do know that the NSA has been listening to electronic communications of high Churchmen in Rome and probably everywhere else) then this opens up a whole new avenue of inquiry. Especially in view of the fact that the United States shares the information it illegally obtains with its partner, Israel.