It wasn’t the US government breaking into the private communications of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, according to top secret documents unearthed by Edward Snowden and published in Le Monde – it was the Israelis.
A four-page internal précis regarding a visit to Washington by two top French intelligence officials denies the NSA or any US intelligence agency was behind the May 2012 attempted break-in – which sought to implant a monitoring device inside the Elysee Palace’s communications system – but instead fingers the Israelis, albeit indirectly:
The visit by Barnard Barbier, head of the DGSE’s technical division, and Patrick Pailloux, a top official with France’s National Information Systems Security, was intended to elicit an explanation for the break-in, which the French media blamed on the Americans. The NSA’s inquiries to the British, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, and other US allies all turned up negative. However, one such close ally wasn’t asked.
As Glenn Greenwald and Jacques Follorou, citing the NSA document, put it in their Le Monde piece: the NSA "’intentionally did not ask either the Mossad or the ISNU (the technical administration of the Israeli services) whether they were involved’ in this espionage operation against the head of the French government."
An interesting omission, to say the least, one justified by the author of the memo with some odd phraseology: "France is not an approved target for joint discussion by Israel and the United States." Meaning – exactly what? This is a job for Marcy Wheeler! But I’ll hazard a guess: the US is well aware of Israeli spying on France and wants nothing to do with it, and/or the author of the memo is simply invoking some obscure protocol in order to justify going any farther.
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