(UnitedVoice.com) – Whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the United States had a broad ongoing spying operation in both its own country and across the globe when he leaked documents. In the years after the ex-CIA contractor’s 2013 leak, the surveillance program the National Security Agency (NSA) had been using was determined to be unlawful. A decade after the revelations, it’s still having an impact.
A former Danish defense minister is being charged with divulging state secrets by helping the US intelligence agency.
Consequences in Denmark
On February 21, The Associated Press reported that 75-year-old Claus Hjort Frederiksen is facing a number of charges. The former defense minister retired last year, but his time out of office is not going as smoothly as he had hoped. Hjort Frederiksen was interviewed several times, and he claimed the Danish Defense Intelligence Service helped the NSA listen in on conversations had by the leaders of Norway, France, Germany, and Sweden. In 2021, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) reported that in 2014, the intelligence service conducted a probe into whether the Danes cooperated with the NSA to spy on Denmark and its neighboring countries.
The investigation became known as “Operation Dunhammer” and found the NSA had been listening in on the political leaders of the nations in question. When the operation was revealed in 2021, several European nations demanded to know why Demark’s intelligence service helped the US.
The AP reported Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hulqvist said he wanted all of “the cards on the table,” saying it was “unacceptable to eavesdrop on allies.” Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg also called it “unacceptable” that countries that are close allies are spying on one another.
Denmark’s government moved to prosecute Hjort Frederiksen in 2022. It asked lawmakers to remove his immunity, but they refused because they didn’t know what the government suspected him of doing.
On February 18, Hjort Frederiksen posted about the incident on social media, stating he was charged with violating the criminal code over a year ago. He explained that when he failed to run for reelection, his immunity disappeared.
In another post, Hjort Frederiksen confirmed there was an indictment against him but said it’s “classified as secret.” He denied disclosing any state secrets.
Prosecutor Jakob Berger Nielsen released a statement, according to the AP, said the case involves classified information that is so sensitive it can’t be revealed publicly. While he understands there is public interest in the case, he said the office of the prosecutor believes “heavier consideration [must] be given to the work of the intelligence service.”
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