Cablegate: Media Reaction; Us Wiretapping Legislation; Argentine
DE RUEHBU #1525/01 2190849
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 070849Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8840
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001525
STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; US WIRETAPPING LEGISLATION; ARGENTINE
FOREIGN POLICY; US POWER IN THE WORLD; 08/06/07
1. SUMMARY STATEMENT
Weekend international stories cover the new US legislation expanding
government authority to listen in on international phone calls and
read e-mail messages of US citizens without warrants; speculation
about Argentina's future foreign policy, with a focus on the
upcoming meeting between Argentine authorities and members of the
"influential" Council of the Americas; and the consolidation of US
power all over the world.
2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS
- "Political agitation in the US due to the communication
Ana Baron, Washington-based correspondent for leading "Clarin,"
writes "If you happen to be an Argentine who usually gets in touch
with the US on Internet or by cell phone, just be careful with what
you say or write. You should not even make a joke related to
terrorism or Osama bin Laden because you could get into trouble.
"The new US electronic wiretapping legislation broadly expanded the
government's authority to eavesdrop on international phone calls and
e-mail messages sent to the US from overseas without warrants. Even
when the e-mail or the phone conversation is within the US for only
one fraction of a second, it could be subject to monitoring without
a warrant. Furthermore, under certain cicumstances, the e-mail
messages sent by US citizens abroad will be subject to the same
"The new legislation, which was approved by the House of
Representatives for 228-183 votes, is a clear victory for the White
House and for all intelligence agencies, particularly the CIA, the
FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. While all human rights
organizations believe that this legislation infringes on the right
to privacy, 18 Democrats backed it."
- Internal disagreement within Kirchnerism due to Chavez"
Mariano Obarrio, political columnist of daily-of-record "La Nacion,"
writes (08/04) "The Kirchner administration is silently preparing
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's short visit to Buenos Aires,
which will have an economic agenda with a low political profile so
that it does not cloud the following day's meeting with the top
brass of the Argentine Cabinet with the influential Council of the
Americas. This institution gathers main US businessmen with business
interests in Latin America and the Argentine Government considers
them vital to lure foreign investment.
"According to what 'La Nacion' was able to know, Chavez's presence
unveiled some disagreement between President Kirchner and
presidential candidate Cristina Kirchner.
"The President intends his wife's candidacy to 'change the face of
Kirchnerism' so that in the upcoming term of office, productive
investment will come to the country from developed countries, among
other sources. Kirchner feels he is isolated and worn out in the
eyes of those countries.
"According to a high-ranking source from the Argentine Government,
'Cristina would like to adopt a Chilean-style progressive profile.'
This means that she intends to ideologically distance herself from
Venezuela and get closer to Mexico, Brazil and the US, France or
Spain. Hence her international tours.
"Cristina Kirchner does not want to get politically involved with
the Bolivarian regime, although she would like to maintain an
economic strategic alliance.
"The unwritten agreement between the First Lady and the President
means that Kirchner and Planning Minister Julio De Vido will keep
their ties to Chavez. Meanwhile, Cristina will carry out a different
"Kirchner and Chavez will sign energy cooperation deals and an
agreement for the purchase of bonds for one billion dollars that
Argentina needs to honor debt maturities this year.
"There will not be any massive events supporting Chavez that will be
organized by the Kirchnerite militants or picketers, as happened on
previous trips of the Venezuelan leader to the country.
"... The Kirchner administration wants to prevent the Bolivarian
'circus' from being reflected in Tuesday newspapers when it will
attend the Council of the Americas' conference at Hotel Alvear.
"The Argentine Government has given highest priority to the meeting
with the institution that gathers the top brass of US businessmen.
It will be a fundamental step in showing the 'new face' of the
official party's motto 'the change has just begun.'"
- US power"
Centrist "Perfil" newspaper (08/05) "... The remarkable point is
that while (US President) George W. Bush is a 'lame duck,' US power
in the world seems to be consolidating rather than weakening. During
the last two months, the US has reached a deal for the
denuclearization of the Korean peninsula with the mediation of
China. During the last two weeks, Iran has agreed to the return of
the International Atomic Energy Agency agents to monitor its nuclear
program. Last but not least, UK PM Gordon Brown confirmed in
Washington that the US-UK alliance is a priority for the UK... It
seems US political power has a support that goes beyond election
results and the political power of any president.
"During the second quarter of this year, the US economy grew by 3.4
percent... Basic inflation was 1.4 percent per year, its lowest
level in five years... The US corporations' rate of profitability is
the highest one during the last 70 years...
"The hub of world power is moving from the Atlantic to the Pacific
(Ocean), although the historically decisive critical point remains
in the US and is probably located in Southern California. Samuel P.
Huntington pointed out 'All predictions of US decline have proved to
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