https://asset.dr.dk/imagescaler/?protocol=https&server=www.dr.dk&file=%2Fimages%2Fother%2F2022%2F02%2F04%2Fscanpix-20200824-092932-a.jpg&scaleAfter=crop&quality=70&w=900&h=600
Lars Findsen, a 20-year intelligence officer, incarcerated on a charge of “treason.” [Source: dr.dk]

Part 1 of a 2-part series on U.S. penetration of Denmark’s National Security State

[BREAKING NEWS: As we go to press, the only named suspect, FE Chief Lars Findsen, is released from remand arrest by order of a Regional Court. The three-judge court met with prosecution and defense for 20 hours over a three-day period only on the matter of continuing the remand custody or not. Findsen goes free but is still charged with leaking secret(s). The prosecution refuses to let the media and public know what it is all about. Whether this unprecedented secrecy scandal will end in court or not is unclear.—Editors]

Lars Findsen, Denmark’s Defense Intelligence Service (FE) chief—the equivalent of the U.S.’s CIA director—walked into Copenhagen city court with three large police escorts pressed against the country’s leading spy charged with treason. Findsen is forbidden to speak to reporters, but they understood his opinion about his arrest when they saw the paperback in his hand: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.[1]

He was one of four FE and PET (Danish Security and Intelligence Service—the police equivalent of the FBI) employees arrested last December 8. Findsen was charged with violating Criminal Code §109—“disclosing highly classified information from the intelligence services”—an act of “treason” punishable by 12 years’ imprisonment.[2]

Copenhagen City Judge Merete Engholm allowed his name to be released in a subsequent court hearing, January 10, 2022, at his request. Findsen told reporters from a distance: “I want the preliminary charge brought forward, and I plead not guilty. This is completely insane.”

Findsen has since been forbidden to say one word to any media from any distance. The other three persons’ names and whereabouts are unknown to the media and public. It is not even known if they are formally charged and awaiting trial, either in prison or at home.

The prosecution and the judge refuse to disclose what information on what secret matter(s) Findsen allegedly disclosed or to whom he disclosed them. At the end of the 10-hour court hearing, the judge continued his remand detention until March 3.

DR court reporter Trine Maria Ilsøe explained that Findsen’s detention allows him television but no access to IT or telephone. He is allowed a few visitors but cannot speak about the case. Guards watch. (DR is Denmark’s largest media outlet—online, radio and TV—and is state-supported.)  

This case can well be associated with the U.S.’s Espionage Act, Britain’s Official Secrets Act, and what the U.S./UK are doing to Julian Assange now. Yet the mass media do not mention any of that. It seems Julian Assange’s name is taboo.

Since the judge and government will not say what the case is all about, reporters predict that we may never be told, which leads to even more speculation. The fact that the judge is keeping Findsen confined until trial—which has no time limit and some remanded prisoners have been kept in jail for more than a year—also raises questions of lack of respect for human rights.

The judge simply agreed with the state that, if he were released, he could talk to the media and/or in some way hinder the police investigation, or even continue to commit whatever “crime” he is charged with. 

DR produced a video in the style of a future detective novel. It speaks of three possible issues that could lay behind these arrests: 

1) FE delivered a recent report to the government about children of Danish citizens involved with Islamic State terrorists. They are now interned in a Kurd-controlled concentration camp in Syria. FE told the Danish government, which does not want them returned, that they could be trained in terrorism and return to Denmark to do damage. 

2) A Danish citizen, Ahmed Samsam—assumed by Danish journalists to have been an FE agent, and perhaps a PET agent as well—was arrested in Spain for aiding the Islamic State there. He received eight years in prison, and apparently Danish intelligence personnel are upset that their government has not aided him. 

JIHAD IT COMING: Spain's 'most dangerous terrorist' facing 7-year-sentence  after being snared on Costa del Sol 'enjoying drugs, alcohol and  prostitutes' - Olive Press News Spain
Ahmad Samsam [Source: theolivepress.es]

3) The most likely issue behind these arrests is Denmark’s cable spying for which FE is responsible, the results of which NSA receives. Some legal experts and some journalists raise the possibility that such activity may be against Denmark’s constitution.  

Journalists were again kept out of the February 4 hearing by double-locked doors. They protested the lack of transparency, sparking speculation that Findsen may be considered “too open toward the media.” 

Lars Kjeldsen, one of Findsen’s two lawyers, said the 57-year-old career intelligence officer is “sad and shocked.” “He has cooperated fully…I remain baffled that it should not be possible to make public the charges and the basis for his detention.” “I think there would be a considerable debate if we actually [understood] what is going on here,” Kieldsen told reporters.

Kjeldsen is not allowed to comment on the substance of the case for fear of violating the same Criminal Code §109. Media headlines in recent days have spoken of this case as an “Unprecedented Scandal,” “Spectacular,” “Violent,” “Internal Chaos” and “Something’s Rotten in Denmark”!

The right-wing daily, Jyllands-Posten, editorialized that “Denmark’s security and credibility stand to become the big loser” no matter how the case ends, and that it “undoubtedly must trigger the question: What is rotten in Denmark?” 

Dommer tror at spionchef vil fortsætte kriminalitet på fri fod
Several of these silver-coated metal boxes containing prosecution documents were carried into court. [Source: dr.dk]

Former PET chief Hans Joergan Bonnichsen, who worked under Findsen, wrote in the liberal Danish daily Politiken (February 1) that he is “the person in Denmark, and maybe internationally, who has the deepest insight into the soul, means and methods of the intelligence service.”

Bonnichsen wrote that Findsen made “the largest turnaround process in PET’s history. We created a modern organization with greater openness about the work of the service, with a website, annual report; meetings were held with the press and interviews were given. I find it infinitely difficult to see that such a profile has a motive for national harm, but let the process determine this.”

Five days after Findsen and the other three were arrested, the three-judge government commission delivered its year-long report on the FE whistleblower case: “Acquitted: There is no basis for criticism of either FE or its employees in this case.” No more details were forthcoming. [Kommission frikender Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste | avisendanmark.dk]

“There are no grounds for critique,” informed Minister Trine Bramsen. “I am very satisfied with that conclusion.” Nevertheless, Findsen is not back on the job as FE chief but in prison.

Apparently, that has had no effect on the government’s prosecution or the judge concerned. We do not know if it has even been brought out in court, as lawyers are forbidden to speak about the proceedings. Nevertheless, anyone following this grave matter must wonder why the government’s investigation by judges cleared Findsen (maybe the others as well), but the police (PET) investigation resulted in arrest with the severest of charges against intelligence officers.

To confound matters all the more, the Ministry of Justice has also charged Claus Hjort Frederiksen, a leading hawk member of Parliament and defense minister (2016-19), with the same law leveled against Findsen. Hjort revealed this in mid-January; the Justice ministry has been silent.

“I can confirm that I have been charged under Section 109 of the Penal Code for violating the limits of my freedom of expression. I have expressed myself as a member of parliament on a political matter and I have nothing further to add at this stage. But I could never dream of doing anything that could harm Denmark or Denmark’s interests.” 

https://olfi.dk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/20170309_Hjort_Oksbol-696x392.jpg
Former Defense Minister Claus Hjort Frederiksen (Venstre Party) observing tank war games in Denmark, 2017. [Source: oifi.dk]

Three weeks later, Hjort gave more details to the “lunch” daily Extra Bladet.

“I came home after a massage on December 20 last year. Two policemen came to my door and handed me a citation that I was charged with Criminal Code §109. I was shocked. I have not been charged with any criminal offense in my life. This charge is about nationally harmful activities with a sentence of up to 12 years in prison.” The charge does not explain what he is supposed to have done. 

Hjort has not been jailed, as members of Parliament have certain immunity rights that can be removed by parliament only in exceptional cases. That could be forthcoming; however, the Ministry of Justice has made no comment on the matter. Hjort was recently sent material that he had violated required silence about “state secrets,” which he says is not the case.

Hjort believes the claim has to do with a television interview and newspaper articles he participated in more than a year ago. He said he did not state anything that had not already come out in the media. A former head of FE, Thomas Ahrenkiel, had been one of four leading FE men suspended in August 2020 after a whistleblower informed Danish media about what he considered to be constitutionally illegal surveillance of all Danish citizens and other residents, which is sent to NSA. Denmark has also spied upon its closest European leaders. [See below.]

Thomas Ahrenkiel - Wikipedia
Thomas Ahrenkiel [Source: wikipedia.org]

Edward Snowden first revealed in 2013 some of this spying, XKEYSCORE, which also involves spying within the “international community.” 

Hjort had also stated that Denmark is part of the U.S.’s 9 Eyes: UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand—5 Eyes—plus the Netherlands, Norway and France. There is also “14 Eyes,” which includes Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Italy and Spain. The U.S. and UK started the first Eyes just after WWII to exchange “security secrets.”

The first 2 eyesU.S.-UK, signed an agreement on March 5, 1946, to spy upon the Soviet Union.

Already the year before—at the close of the war in Europe—Winston Churchill had devised Operation Unthinkable—a surprise attack on Soviet forces in Europe, with the possible use of atomic weapons against Moscow, Stalingrad and Kiev. It did not happen because he lost the July 1945 election to Labour Party leader Clement Attlee. Additionally, President Harry Truman did not have enough atomic bombs. The few he had were used the next month against Japanese civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

The only official restrictions set upon the Eyes is that they must not spy on their own citizens. However, Edward Snowden proved that the U.S. does so. While U.S. authorities have lied about the fact that they spy upon everyone in the U.S., Britain passed a law—the Investigatory Powers Act of 2016—granting the state the power to record anyone’s browsing history, text messages and connection logs. 

The USA PATRIOT Act, following 9/11, allows the government to force social media to turn over any information they have on customers—that means all of us.  

Hjort’s former political party leader and PM, Lars Loekke Rasmussen (Venstre Party) called charges against him an “over-reaction…which could have been avoided…here lies the germ of a political scandal.” 

What has been unraveling for 18 months seems to show that Denmark is the U.S.’s lead Eye into spying on other European allies. The Nordic countries share the same original language and cultural roots, including having been the warring slave-trading Vikings. Sweden and especially Norway were also under Danish colonial control for centuries. 

Spying on them and their own citizens has nothing to do with spying upon the U.S./Denmark’s new “Cold War enemies”: Russia, China and Iran. 

Background on FE-NSA Spying Since 1990s Eyes, and Since 2008 Through Fiber Cables

In August 2020, I wrote the first of several CAM pieces about this unprecedented exposure of rampant spying on all Danes and other residents, and other Europeans, all to please the United States of America’s self-purported interests in managing the world’s affairs. 

A military whistleblower first reported on illegal espionage to the military leadership in 2015. His superiors ignored his reports. Four years later, he revealed illegal spying to the new Danish Intelligence Oversight Committee (TET), and later to Danish media.

Some information about what appears to be long-standing illegalities in the Defense Intelligence Service, which TET presented on August 24, includes:

  1. Withholding “key and crucial information to government authorities” and the oversight committee between 2014 and today;
  2. Illegal activities even before 2014; 
  3. Telling “lies” to policymakers;
  4. Illegal surveillance on Danish citizens, including a member of the oversight committee. [Some of this illegal spying had been shared with unnamed sources (perhaps the U.S.?)];
  5. Unauthorized activities have been shelved; and
  6. The FE failed to follow up on indications of espionage within areas of the Ministry of Defense.

TET was created in 2014 with five civilian members, experts in the rule of law, chief judges and professors. It has eight employees and a budget of only $1.3 million. TET told the media that, in November 2019, it received from unnamed whistleblower(s) four thick ring binders of classified material showing FE illegalities. When TET delivered its report to the government, it asked Parliament to create a whistleblower scheme for the FE, which it has not done.

Operation Dunhammer is the code name for an FE internal investigation, begun in 2012, concerning NSA sucking all surveillance out of Denmark. Who knew about that? Was it sanctioned by top Danish leaders over decades? Those questions are at the heart of the current growing scandal.

“Four leading Defense Intelligence Service personnel were suspended on Monday, August 24, pending an independent investigation into serious charges of illegalities—amounting to what the liberal Danish daily Politiken is calling the greatest ‘life scandal in its history’.”

Lars Findsen, his predecessor, Thomas Ahrenkiel, and two other current intelligence officers, were temporarily suspended. A fifth was suspended later. After Bramsen was bombarded with protests from opposition politicians, they were placed in military positions other than intelligence until a three-judge commission investigated the matter for more than a year, until December 2021. The government would not explain what it would and would not look into.

“We cannot expect that most of the possible illegalities committed will be made public,” Bramsen said. “Denmark’s intelligence services are connected to and dependent upon foreign powers [i.e., the U.S.]. Denmark could be compromised if secrets were revealed.” 

Claus Hjort speculated for the daily Ekstra Bladet that he might be in trouble with the Ministry of Justice, because he had told the media that then-Defense Minister Bramsen should have handled the sensitive information about FE/NSA spying much better. She should have prevented TET from sending out a news release with its critique of FE, and that she should not have suspended the four leading FE figures. 

For several months, DR worked with journalists from Sweden (SVT), Norway, Germany (Süddeutsche Zeitung, NDR, WDR) and France (Le Monde) on these developments. Their work forced some of the 35 national leaders, known to be spied upon to come forward.

“We demand to be fully informed about matters concerning Swedish citizens, companies and interests,” Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist told national broadcaster SVT. 

The leaders of Germany and France said that spying on them is “unacceptable among allies.”

PM Merete Frederiksen’s Social Democrat (SD) government neither confirmed nor denied the assertions, simply stating that such spying is “unacceptable among allies.”

https://asset.dr.dk/imagescaler/?protocol=https&server=www.dr.dk&file=%2Fimages%2Fother%2F2021%2F05%2F31%2Fscanpix-20210531-180436-3.jpg&scaleAfter=crop&quality=70&w=720&h=414
Macron and Merkel. [Source: a2news.com]

“Can the government guarantee that the Danish Defense Intelligence Service (FE) does not allow the U.S. secret service NSA to spy on Denmark’s neighboring countries?” wrote DR on September 26, 2021

This was one of the key questions for Defense Minister Bramsen and Justice Minister Nick Haekkerup when they were in consultation with the Folketing [Parliament] Defense Committee. They would not reply “for fear there are major risks if confidential information from the intelligence services comes out publicly” said Minister Bramsen. Apparently, the committee did not ask if the government would continue spying on its own citizens.  

https://i0.wp.com/covertactionmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/denmark6.png?resize=264%2C264&ssl=1
War Minister Trine Bramsen. [Source: facebook.com]

NSA and FE signed an agreement in 2008 that enables NSA to tap huge amounts of data sourced from Danish fiber-optic communication cables passing through Denmark. This metadata is stored by the Danish Defense Intelligence Service in a center called Sandagergãrd built with NSA guidance and technical assistance on the small Danish island of Amager to which the NSA has access.

Sandagergãrd is one of three Danish military-intelligence “listening posts” which trawl through and analyze global internet data seeking information, for example, on what Terma, Denmark’s largest weapons firm, has. This is clearly an intrusion on capitalism’s basic principle and need for free-market competition. 

A picture containing grass, tree, outdoor, road Description automatically generated
Danish military base’s data center at Sandagergãrd close to Copenhagen, on the island of Amager, to which NSA has access. [Source: datacenterdynamics.com]

Fiber-optic cables suck up and copy metadata: sms, emails, people’s internet searches, chats and telephone calls. Cables fetch data over Danish internet traffic, and tap into Russian communication, as well as German and other European countries’ internet world. Whatever this new equipment is, it is similar to or more advanced than XKEYSCORE, which Denmark also has.

In 2013, XKEYSCORE was NSA’s most advanced electronic surveillance program, which Edward Snowden exposed. Another NSA whistleblower, William Binney, had designed a program prior to XKEYSCORE, which could be used for extensive surveillance. He opposed using it to spy on entire populations, and resigned in 2001 after 30 years’ service. When XKEYSCORE was designed, it had greater capabilities than ECHELON in that it could access all users’ emails, all computer communications, and even spy on us from our computer screens that have cameras.

https://i0.wp.com/covertactionmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/denmark7.png?resize=696%2C570&ssl=1
[Source: covertactionmagazine.com]

Denmark’s military also allows NSA to spy on the nation’s Finance Ministry, Foreign Ministry, and private weapons company Terma. Information that NSA acquired through FE was used to convince the government to buy Lockheed-Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter F-35 capable of carrying nuclear weapons, although Denmark forbids nuclear weapons on its territory. 

In 2016, the government decided to buy 27 F-35s to replace F-16s. The price today is around $10 billion, which is double the country’s annual defense budget. After years of technical problems, the first F-35s for Denmark were to have arrived two years ago. Not one is yet in sight, fortunately. 

Besides land-based electronic surveillance, there are hundreds of transoceanic submarine cables carrying information between many countries. For decades, Denmark has had a key cable connected to the U.S., which NSA taps into. In addition, there are new submarine commercial cables.

Denmark and Iraq

The first and last serious case of illegalities connected to the government and its military intelligence service took place in 2004. Major Frank Grevil was an analyst at FE. He led a report that concluded there was no solid evidence that Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi government possessed weapons of mass destruction.

This information was forwarded to then-Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen who lied to the public, stating he was “absolutely certain” Iraq had such weapons.

Rasmussen convinced a majority in parliament to declare war on Iraq because it had such weapons—as though that is a global crime in itself but not for the West. Hundreds of Danish soldiers and mercenaries were sent to Iraq to murder thousands. Military aircraft and ships were also later sent to Afghanistan and Libya. Some 50 Danish warriors were killed in a 15-year period.

Grevil’s conscience bothered him so he let the media know the prime minister had lied. He was identified and charged under Criminal Code §152 for violating a secrecy obligation. Since it was only an internal report to the PM, the more severe §109 provision was not used. He received the maximum sentence of six months’ imprisonment, serving four months, and lost his job. The prime minister, on the other hand, served two terms and the U.S. then rewarded him with the top NATO post.

https://i0.wp.com/covertactionmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/frank-grevil-81b8c747-54aa-4917-a3c9-de12cf61093-resize-750.jpg?resize=465%2C310&ssl=1
Major Grevil speaks to the media about the case. [Source: alchetron.com]

On March 13, 2003, when PM Rasmussen convinced parliament to go to war—the first time since 1864 that war was declared, that time against Germany, a foolish undertaking that led to defeat—two anti-war activists, Lars Grenaa and Rune Eltard-Soerensen, advanced near enough to pour organic red paint over him. No such militancy exists today. No group or political party is even organizing a protest against the government’s attacks on whistleblowers, journalists, and escalating war preparations against Russia.

Danish Journalists Could Be Imprisoned in U.S. for Whistleblower Revelations

Denmark’s Constitution (Grundlov) from 1849, Chapter 8, §72, is as close as Denmark’s fundamental law comes to the U.S.’s First Amendment guarantee of free press and speech, and the right to privacy.

“The home is inviolable. House investigations, seizures and examinations of letters and other papers, as well as breaches of postal, telegraph and telephone secrecy, where no law confers a special exemption, may be carried out solely on the form of a court order.”

When that law speaks of the “home” it also means the people living in that home, and “other papers” includes today’s e-mails and internet searches. Has any subsequent law changed that guarantee? CAM asked an expert in constitutional law who responded that it would take many hours to determine the answer. Unfortunately, he did not have the time (or, apparently, the interest) to do so. 

Is Criminal Code §109 such a possibility? I asked a former member of TET, political science professor Joergen Groennegaard Christensen. He had written in Weekend Avisen that the laws governing state secrets are “very broadly formulated,” “really problematic” and that, in recent years, “intelligence services have been freed from restrictions they were earlier subject to.”

Christensen spoke cautiously due to his “sealed lips duty,” and the fact that he is not an attorney, but he indicated that the constitution is “not absolute”—that one or more laws could be interpreted as making exceptions to civil liberties guarantees.

Given these circumstances, it is certainly ironic that Denmark’s media have not covered England’s extradition trial of the Australian Julian Assange, nor do they openly support him. The U.S. government had long denied that Assange is a publisher but changed course midway in the extradition trial. The U.S. now contends that he is a publisher, thereby asserting that journalists worldwide can be prosecuted in the U.S. for reporting the “U.S.’s national security secrets.”

In December 2020, DR foreign news editor Niels Kvale and I communicated concerning press freedoms and why DR does not cover Julian Assange’s extradition trial.

Kvale responded to my complaint of suppression of this important news. He wrote that “importance is the most important criterion” in making DR’s determination of what to cover.

Extraditing an Australian publisher to the U.S.—which could imprison Assange for 175 years for 17 alleged violations of its Espionage Act—is apparently not important enough. By not covering this trial, let alone not coming out in support of Assange and WikiLeaks, DR may not yet realize that its reporters and editors can also be prosecuted for violating the 1917 Espionage Act. In 1961, the U.S. Congress removed language that restricted the Act’s application to U.S. territory and its inhabitants. Importantly, the motivations for revealing war crimes are not allowed as a defense in U.S. courts. That is a clear warning to all that the U.S. does not abide by basic democratic rights of free press and free speech.

I spoke by telephone with DR editor Kvale about the U.S. government threat. He replied: “I was not aware of that. This sounds interesting. Send me your article and I will inform our journalists.”

Well, a year later, Danish journalists must now realize that the Assange matter is of concern to them. Yet they still do not incorporate Julian’s punishment for publishing factual documentation of state war crimes into their reports. In these months that the media have been reporting what a Danish whistleblower(s) has revealed, and now with the government desperate to worm its way out of a chaotic mess it feels is damaging its cozy relationship with Big Daddy, reporters still refuse to make any association with the legitimate Assange/WikiLeaks work for real democracy: transparency.

Denmark’s’ temporary FE chief, Svend Larsen, and PET chief Finn Borch Andersen personally admonished two dailies, Politiken and Extra Bladet, for suggesting that those arrested on December 9 had divulged information to Danish media about those agencies, that they had committed illegalities to please the U.S.

The spy chiefs also warned other daily newspapers that they have a duty to be “silent” about such secrets. They also threatened to use Criminal Code §109 with 12 years’ imprisonment against them, the same law now being used against FE Chief Findsen.

The Communist Party’s website article on this matter maintains that, since FE and PET warned the media not to reveal any more leaks, at least one article has been stopped from publication


No doubt, Denmark’s government is emboldened by the British aristocratic “high court” decision to help the U.S. silence all journalists about “national security secrets” by deciding to extradite publisher Julian Assange to a U.S. torture prison.

Edward Snowden told Politiken (January 22) that this is a “democratic scandal.” 

https://i0.wp.com/covertactionmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/denmark14.png?resize=243%2C294&ssl=1
Edward Snowden [Source: time.com]

By charging whistleblowers with high crimes, the Danish state is “moving in an authoritarian course—punishing people for telling the truth to a population that needs to know,” says the activist-whistleblower. “This should be a screaming red alarm for everybody that something is all wrong.”

Snowden says that Danish and American laws about national security secrets have to do with handing over national secrets to enemies, especially in times of war—that is classic espionage—and should not be spying on their own citizens and friendly neighbors.

Interviewer Sebastian Stryhn Kjekdtoft speculated that whoever the FE whistleblower is who passed on secrets to the oversight committee TET, may have been inspired by Snowden’s 2013 revelations. Snowden says he does not know who he is, but he feels “inspired by that person’s courage and ability to do it. He has captured them [those responsible] breaking the law and the civil rights of everybody in Denmark and the whole world.”

The former CIA/NSA employee turned people’s activist hopes that Danes will be inspired to demand answers from the government instead of allowing a blackout. “I think the Danish society has a duty to support that person [the whistleblower]…and see to it that the situation is changed.” 

A. When you have such enormous surveillance with all of internet…some slips through…NSA is indifferent…Not because Denmark is an enemy, rather that NSA is part of the American state, which seeks to maximize its power and influence in all corners of the world.

Q: The Danish government considers partnership with NSA vital. Justice Minister Nick Hækkerup recently spoke of a paradox, “the secret that lays in the intelligence service, is part of the foundation so that we can preserve our freedom.”

A: That is silly, really silly…The idea that Denmark finds itself in a threatened situation, such that, in desperation, you reduce yourself to some kind of colony in USA’s foreign policy department is hopeless…And when you gather communication on everybody outside Denmark, treating them as second-class citizens, you create enemies.

Snowden told the reporter that he has seen the most secret documents about Danish-American cooperation. Each prime minister and president signs an agreement (which permits massive surveillance), which is shown to and signed by each successor. “A form of written handshake…There is no public debate allowed, nothing must be known. How can that be considered democratic?”

“Just because an official comes out and says that something is secret and cannot by law be disclosed doesn’t make it so. If a government does something illegal but calls it ‘secret,’ and any who discloses this is a ‘traitor,’ so raises the question: Who is the real enemy? In that case, the enemy is the people. The media is an intelligence service for a free society.”

Snowden furthermore explained that the U.S.-Danish government heads’ agreement sets in motion the technological problem that effective filtering is “impossible.” He adds that spies think they “need as much data as possible.”

Q. Kjekdtoft ended the interview by asking Snowden what he thought about intelligence

chiefs’ threat to at least eight journalists, himself included, that they must testify in an eventual court case that could run the course of several years.

A. “This is really extortion. If the government mixes in press freedom there should be civil opposition…If the government is stupid enough to demand that journalists [serve as] witness in this case, so it is the government that is in the dock and not the journalists or their sources.”

That is basically what several national and international civil liberties and press freedom organizations conclude as well. Nevertheless, neither those that I have seen nor Politiken’s interviewer, is willing to point out that the precedent for this is the case against WikiLeaks/Julian Assange. (And, of course, the case against Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, which we won.)

The World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) is one of several such organizations, which has condemned Danish authorities for threatening journalists with imprisonment. 

“The overly broad application of national security laws to criminalize the press, combined with attempts to stifle publication of public interest journalism designed to hold authorities to account, is of growing concern globally. It is a favored tactic of oppressive, authoritarian regimes and we sincerely hope this is not a direction that Denmark is choosing to go towards.”

This is nothing short of intimidation by the authorities in an attempt to impose pre-publication censorship,” said WAN-IFRA CEO Vincent Peyrègne. 

WAN-IFRA spokespeople refused to answer CAM’s question about why the association refuses to take a stand on Assange.

Mads Brandstrup, chief executive officer of Danske Medier, the Danish Media Association, said: “The intelligence services must subject themselves to public scrutiny just as any other part of government. I find this kind of approach deeply concerning and it should have no place in a democratic society.”

“Can the government guarantee that the Danish Defense Intelligence Service does not allow the U.S. secret service NSA to spy on Denmark’s neighboring countries?” wrote DR, September 26, 2021

This was one of the key questions for then-Defense Minister Bramsen and Justice Minister Haekkerup when they were consulting with the Folketing [Parliament] Defense Committee. They could not reply “for fear there are major risks if confidential information from the intelligence services comes out publicly” said Minister Bramsen. Apparently, the Defense Committee did not ask if the government would continue spying on its own citizens.


  1. “Winner of Pulitzer Prize, 2015, and NYT bestseller involves a Parisian father and daughter fleeing invading Nazis with “invaluable secrets.” The novel is a study in how people against all odds try to find out what is right and good. Besides being framed for “treason”—perhaps a whistleblower for democracy—Findsen must also be an avid reader of Graham Greene, John le Carré and Kafka.”
  2. Criminal Code §109 : Anyone who reveals or transmits secret notifications, sub-actions, consultations or decisions of the State in cases in which the security or rights of the State in relation to foreign States, or which relate to significant socio-economic interests abroad, is punishable by imprisonment up to 12 years. [Author’s translation] The only other time this statute was applied was in 1980 when a man named Jorg received six years’ imprisonment for smuggling Danish state secrets concerning atomic and oil energy for East Germany’s Stasi. His lover, Karen Vinter, who photographed secret documents, received 18 months’ imprisonment.

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About the Author

9 COMMENTS

  1. The best part of work is from the comfort of your house and get paid from $700-$2k each week. Start today and have your first cash at the end of this week. that is what I do

  2. ‘There’s something rotten in the state of Denmark ‘, and there still is 800 years later!
    We all know that here in Denmark ! The question still is, will we change that ,and turn our country into
    something worth living in again!?🌿

  3. DARPA admits HCQ and Ivermectin are effective treatments aganist Covid. However doctors in US had their medical license revoked for “spreading Covid misinformation” and treating patients with Ivermectin. Doctors who go aganist the narrative are under investigation for daring to speak out against the Biden Regime and for daring to question Big Pharma. They want to block every way possible to reach people for cheap and alternative treatments. You can get your ivm by visiting ivmcures.com

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