Sweden Investigating US Embassy Officials

Posted on 10/01/2011 by

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Isn’t it fascinating what gets swept under the rug when convenient? According to this article, Sweden had “launched a formal criminal investigation into “unlawful intelligence activity” conducted by the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm” in early November 2010.

The investigation began when U.S. Embassy officials told authorities its employees had been conducting surveillance similar to what was recently discovered in Norway.

The scale of surveillance is not known, but… operations have been ongoing since 2000. They were conducted without the knowledge of the Foreign Affairs office, the Justice Department, the security or the local police in Sweden… “I think it’s regrettable they have conducted these activities without informing Swedish authorities,” [said] Sweden’s Justice Minister Beatrice Ask… “I think it is very serious if these activities have been carried out in breach of Swedish law,” she added.

The U.S. Embassy in Stockholm released a statement Saturday that recognized the existence of a program to detect suspicious activities around U.S. facilities, and pointed to past terrorist attacks as evidence for why such a program is necessary.

“It is not a secret program, nor is it an intelligence program,” the embassy said. “The United States fully respects Swedish law, and welcomes Justice Minister Ask’s remarks at her press conference. The U.S. stands ready to answer any questions the Government of Sweden might ask us on this program.”

The timing of this investigation is certainly curious, as it precedes Cablegate’s launch by only a few weeks. I’m going to do some digging, and see what more I can find. If anyone from Sweden has thoughts on this, please post!

The implications of this, is that the US State Department’s spy network was already becoming visible before Cablegate started. It raises questions in my mind, both about where this investigation has gone — if anywhere — as well as what sort of pressure the US brought against Sweden to make it so pliable regarding Julian Assange’s ‘surprise sex’ debacle.

In other words, it’s odd how Sweden went from ‘investigate US embassy’ to ‘let’s just slap any old charge on Assange we can dig up… Rape? Yeah, that’s good enough’.

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Posted in: Analysis