CIA Spying on 2012 French Elections Fits Into 'Notorious' Pattern

© AP Photo / Carolyn KasterThe CIA seal is seen displayed before President Barack Obama speaks at the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Va., Wednesday, April 13, 2016
The CIA seal is seen displayed before President Barack Obama speaks at the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Va., Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - Sputnik International
The latest documents released by WikiLeaks show that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was spying on all major French political parties and their leaders during the presidential election campaign in 2012. Political writer Diana Johnstone told Radio Sputnik that this operation is part of a larger pattern.

"We know that the United States and the CIA in particular are notorious for intervening in elections all over the world. There is nothing surprising about that," she said. "I don't know what they did with that information. That's another question because of course spying could lead to some actions. On the other hand, the government has to tap into people's private conversations to know what's going on…. That shows a mentality of suspicion and control."

Johnstone, who authored "Queen of Chaos: The Misadventures of Hillary Clinton," added that news media outlets used to have a wide network of foreign correspondents whose stories served as one of primary sources on what was happening outside the United States.

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"The newspapers got rid of foreign correspondents. And instead of going and talking to people to find out what they think, they've got this technique of tapping into and spying on people. And they prefer the technique to human relations that used to exist. I think that this is a very sick mentality," she observed.

Johnstone added that this mentality has been reinforced by the need of the military-industrial complex to have adversaries.

"This search for enemies leads to professional paranoia on the part these agencies," she explained.

Earlier this week, WikiLeaks published CIA documents, saying that the agency directed its operatives to infiltrate key French parties, including the Union for a Popular Movement, the Socialist Party and the National Front and use electronic surveillance to monitor its presidential candidates.

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The large-scale operation is said to have targeted French President Francois Hollande, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, current presidential candidate Marine Le Pen and former presidential candidates Martine Aubry and Dominique Strauss-Khan. It was launched on November 21, 2011 and lasted until September 29, 2012.

The CIA is reported to have been interested among other things in election strategies, internal party dynamics, relations with other countries and views on the EU's economic crisis.

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