The latest batch of National Security Agency documents revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden on Monday show that the NSA offered tailored training to staff on national security issues in Latin America in an effort to steer the region toward U.S. interests.
A June 2003 edition of the SIDtoday newsletter, an internal publication run by the Signals Intelligence Directorate, the electronic eavesdropping division that The Intercept describes as “arguably the NSA’s most important,” announced a training opportunity for NSA staffers on Latin American strategic intelligence issues.
The course, titled “Latin American Futures Project” and offered through the Strategic Intelligence National Intelligence Officer Council and National Cryptologic School, promised to “analyze potential developments in the Andean region and Brazil over the next five years along with their implications for U.S. interests in the region.”
The spy training planned to delve into “economic, social, political, and security issues” as well as “policy options available to the United States to move developments toward U.S. objectives in the region.”
The Intercept’s release of 166 documents from the earliest SIDtoday publications, most published just after the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, is the first of what will be several batches of Snowden documents to be unveiled in the coming weeks.
The latest leak also shows that the NSA had a direct role in “interrogations” programs at the Guantanamo Bay military prison from the outset of the “global war on terror.”
U.S. meddling in Latin American affairs is commonplace. As teleSUR reported inNovember last year, the NSA accessed the internal communications of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela (PdVSA) and acquired sensitive data it planned to exploit in order to spy on the company’s top officials.
The March 2011 document, labeled, “top secret,” was released by former NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden and jointly revealed by teleSUR and The Intercept.