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Speaking with Radio Sputnik, Israeli political analyst and commentator Avigdor Eskin noted that the NSA's latest spy scandal, this time involving top French officials, is proof of America's double standards. The expert pointed out that unlike its allies, the US treats espionage against it very seriously, even when it involves friendly governments.
On Tuesday, WikiLeaks published a new round of classified US government documents, this time purportedly showing that the National Security Agency had methodically intercepted the communications of three French presidents, along with dozens of other top French officials, including the French Ambassador to the United States.
Commenting on the scandal, Eskin noted that it was "proof of American double standards. If you open up the newspapers, you'll see that France is upset with this scandal, but not too harshly. The French position will be [the same as] usual –to make some noise, but then comes a deodorizer that makes the situation much calmer. The French are not going to protest strongly. And [everyone else] also takes for granted that America is spying on everybody."
The analyst noted that when the shoe is on the other foot, the US reaction is very different. "When someone spies on America, like Jonathan Pollard did [before being captured] in November 1985 –he is still in prison. He was sentenced to life in prison for passing classified information to Israel." Eskin notes that despite decades of negotiations, nothing has changed. "At the beginning, Americans accused Israel [of passing] these documents to South Africa, where they were picked up by Soviet agents. And then it was discovered that the American version had nothing to do with reality." The analyst notes that former US President Bill Clinton had promised to release Pollard over a decade ago, before backing down after being told by the intelligence community that this would not be advisable."
"It's so typical and so brutal that Americans allow themselves to spy on everybody, but hand out life sentences if someone spies on them. They give much smaller sentences to people who have committed crimes that are much worse. If you look more into the case of Jonathan Pollard, you'll be surprised."
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