Apparently both organisations spied on French presidents Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande.
According to WikiLeaks documents first reported in French daily Liberation and on news website Mediapart, the NSA spied on the presidents during a period of at least 2006 until May 2012, the month Hollande took over from Sarkozy.
WikiLeaks said the documents derived from directly targeted NSA surveillance of the communications of Hollande, Sarkozy and Chirac, as well as French cabinet ministers and the French ambassador to the U.S.
Sarkozy was spied on because he was considering restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace talks without US involvement and Hollande because he feared a Greek euro zone exit back in 2012.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said in the statement that the French people have a right to know that their elected government is subject to hostile surveillance from a supposed ally. He is clearly planning to milk the document leak by staggering their release.
The documents include summaries of conversations between French government officials on the global financial crisis, the future of the European Union, the relationship between Hollande’s administration and Merkel’s government, French efforts to determine the make-up of the executive staff of the United Nations, and a dispute between the French and U.S. governments over U.S. spying on France.
The documents also contained the mobile phone numbers of numerous officials in the Elysee presidential palace including the direct cell phone of the president, WikiLeaks said.
Last week, WikiLeaks published more than 60,000 diplomatic cables from Saudi Arabia and said on its website it would release half a million more in the coming weeks.
Socialist Hollande, who at that point had been in power a few days, had been disappointed by a first meeting as president with conservative German Chancellor Angela Merkel and requested talks with leaders of the Social Democratic Party, her centre-left junior coalition partner.
“Hollande stressed that the meeting would be secret,” WikiLeaks quoted an NSA intercept from May 22, 2012 as saying of talks he requested with “appropriate ministers” in his cabinet to discuss possible fall-out on France’s economy and banks if Greece exited the euro zone.
Ironically the Sarkozy leak is beneficial to the pint sized former president. In France he was widely considered in France to be a pro-American puppet who propped up the US film industry so he and his nice wife could go to Hollywood parties. However these leaks showed him being critical of the U.S. government’s handling of the financial crisis and blamed many of the current economic problems on mistakes made by the US government.