Ron Ridenour

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Denmark's Defense Serves USA First: Sovereignty Denied
[December 11, 2020]

Danish Defense Intelligence Service property collects massive data for the NSA. Sandagergaard, Amager Island, close to Copenhagen.

Denmark’s military allows the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on the nation’s Finance Ministry, Foreign Ministry, the private weapons company, Terma (1), the entire Danish population, and Denmark’s closest neighbors: Sweden, Norway, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

Information that NSA acquired, with the aid of Denmark’s Defense Intelligence Service (FE) under the command of the Defense Department, was used to convince the government to buy Lockheed-Martin’s Joint Strike Fighter F-35 capable of carrying nuclear weapons, albeit Denmark forbids the possession of nuclear weapons on its territory. (2) Such favoritism for both US government and the country’s private weapons industry knocked out European competition from the Eurofighter GmbH Typhoon and Sweden’s Saab’s Gripen-fighter. Boeing’s Superhornet was also a competitor.

In 2016, the government decided to buy 27 F-35 to replace F-16s. The price today is around $10 billion, which is double the annual defense budget. After years of technical problems, the first F-35 for Denmark is just about to reach the assembly line in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Danish government ignored its own national audit agency, which had “identified serious shortcomings in the decision-making process and calculations used as the basis for selecting the aircraft.” NSA Spied On Den mark As It Chose Its Future Fighter Aircraft: Report (
FE is comparable to US’s CIA. It is unknown if FE has informed its own government leaders of all its’ spying for NSA/CIA, and for private concerns.

No member of the government, parliament, military, nor the civilian-led Danish Intelligence Oversight Committee (TET) will comment.
DR, Denmark’s public-service broadcaster and online medium, recently reported these developments based on revelations that one or more intelligence whistleblower(s) provided. Hemmelige rapporter: USA spionerede mod danske ministerier og forsvarsindustri | Indland | DR
No major English-language medium has covered this most serious revelation of extensive spying in Denmark’s history, at least not that I could find in two hours of searching.

Danish Journalists Could be Imprisoned in US for Whistleblower Revelations

Ironically, Denmark’s media, both DR and newspapers, have not covered the extradition trial of the Australian Julian Assange in England. The US government had long denied that Assange is a publisher but changed course midst in the trial. It now contends that he is a publisher, and thereby asserted that any journalist anywhere in the world can be prosecuted in the US for reporting “national security secrets”.

DR foreign news editor answered my complaint of suppression of this important news. Niels Kvale wrote that DR’s decision of what to cover is based on, “importance is the most important criteria”. Extraditing a journalist-publisher to the United States, which could imprison Assange for 175 years for 17 alleged violations of its Espionage Act, is therewith not important enough. By not covering this not “important” trial, DR may not realize that its reporters and editors can be prosecuted for violating the 1917 Espionage Act for revealing NSA-FE “national security secrets”. In 1961, the US congress removed language that restricted the Act’s application to United States territory and its inhabitants. Now the US law applies to every human being in the world, including journalists.

If NSA-CIA get angry enough they could order whatever president is in office to demand that Denmark extradite “bad guy” journalists for letting the public know of its war crimes. We can be certain that whatever political party is in office in Denmark will obey orders while saluting.

Motives for revealing war crimes are not allowed as a defense in US courts. That is a warning to all humans that the US does not abide by basic democratic rights of free press and free speech.

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

The British magistrate, Vanessa Baraitser, will make her decision on extraditing Assange on January 4, 2021. Whatever her decision, it will be appealed by one or the other party while Assange rots in isolation, in Belmarsh high security prison for 20 months. Last month, Manoel Santos killed himself in a cell in Assange’s wing. He had lived in England for 20 years, but the Home Office served him with a deportation notice to Brazil, and imprisoned him at Belmarsh. Assange knew him and is devastated, according to his partner Stella Moris, who is the mother of two of Julian’s children. Many doctors, and the UN Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, judge that Assange is being psychologically tortured, and that suicide is a possibility.

NSA-FE New Deal

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 built with NSA guidance and technical assistance on the small Danish island of Sandagergaard to which the NSA has access. Sandagergaard is one of three Danish military-intelligence “listening posts”, which trawls through and analyzes global internet data, seeking information, for example, on what Terma has. This is clearly an intrusion on capitalism’s basic principle and need for free market competition.

The military whistleblower(s) first reported on illegal espionage to the military leadership in 2015. His reports to superiors were ignored. Four years later, he revealed illegal spying to the Danish Intelligence Oversight Committee. This undermanned five-person civilian oversight committee has only eight employees and a pauper’s budget of $1.3 million. It has no power of interrogation or even to see secret documents the FE wishes to hide.

The Defense Intelligence Service’s budget is $160 million (2020). How the funds are used is secret, and no oversight committee, parliamentary or civilian, knows how the money is used nor can they determine its usage.
NSA with FE “are deep inside and digging into some Danish industrial secrets, which is usually what we accuse the Chinese of doing all the time [Huawei, for example],” Tobias Liebetrau, intelligence researcher for the Center for Military Studies at the University of Copenhagen, told DR.
(Kilder: NSA snagede i det danske milliardindkøb af kampfly | Indland | DR Reporters: Niels Fastrup, Lisbeth Quass, Lasse Lindegaard, Henrik Moltke)

Another DR report the same day headlined: “Headache for Denmark: USA Used Danish Access to Spy Against Our Neighbors”. Sub-head: “It is a real losing cause to set foot against Denmark’s most important partner in the intelligence world, experts assess.” ’Kattepine’ for Danmark: USA brugte dansk adgang til at spionere mod vores nabolande | Indland | DR
Those two juxtaposing headlines show, perhaps unwittingly, a deep dilemma for Danes. Do they want sovereignty or rather to be lackeys for Big Daddy? Without having taken a poll, my guess is that nine out ten would choose the latter.

There is no doubt, say Danish experts in intelligence and military services, Denmark’s military (and therewith the governments) are spying on their own people, their friendly neighbors, providing information asked of them by the US government-military-intelligence services, and doing favors for US private war industry. This includes spending billions in Danish taxes to buy war weaponry, in my words, with the intent of murdering people the US wants it to murder.

Nevertheless, Liebetrau dismissed these crimes as being decisive: “Because you can hardly gain anything by going public about it. You can only lose. You can lose in relation to your European allies, and you can lose in relation to the very big player with whom you have an incredibly great interest in having a strong relationship.”

Secret Revelations Background

In my August 27 piece in Covert Action Magazine, I reported what TET revealed to the media. It listed six major critical areas of concern. Huge Intelligence Agency Scandal Rocks Denmark and Puts its “Deep State” on Trial - CovertAction Magazine

• Withholding “key and crucial information to government authorities” and the oversight committee between 2014 and today;
• Illegal activities even before 2014;
• Telling “lies” to policy makers;
• Illegal surveillance on Danish citizens, including a member of the oversight committee. [At that point, it was not known that the “foreign intelligence service” mentioned was the US’s NSA, but it could not have been any other];
• Unauthorized activities have been shelved and;
• The FE failed to follow up on indications of espionage within areas of the Ministry of Defense.

The Defense Minister, Trine Barmsen, temporarily suspended three, then four, then five FE leaders, including its current director, Lars Findsen, and its previous director, Thomas Ahrenkiel. They received full salary ($20-25,000 per month) while on leave. She refused to be interviewed, but stated that an investigation would take place before she could decide on their future.

War Minister Trine Bramsen (Facebook)

Bramsen met with extreme criticism by the previous war minister, the neo Liberal party’s Claus Hjort Frederiksen. He accused her of “opening the biggest threat to our security”. All the bourgeois parties joined in and called for her to be fired. They said she should have forbidden the civilian committee from releasing any information to the media. The public should not know what occurs behind Defense Intelligence Service’s barricades.
Bramsen reinstated the five suspended suspects albeit in different posts, because of opposition by the “blue block”—as those opposing social democrats and its’ small support parties in the “red block”—is called, and even before the investigative committee had begun its work.

This will be the first time that FE is actually under investigation. A new format is being constructed under the Ministry of Justice. Bramsen said it will be able to see secret documents and make recommendations, but not for public disclosure. We cannot know how deep the anonymous investigators will be able to dig nor if crimes have been committed.

Following these developments, and with the civilian oversight committee maintaining silence, the whistleblower decided to reveal more evidence, and this time directly to DR. Reporters wrote that they knew the code name for the new advanced spy system but chose not to reveal it. They wrote that NSA personnel traveled to the new facilities regularly to “help FE build the necessary hardware and install the needed software.”

On September 24, DR published articles (and broadcasted) more illegal activity. Ny afsløring: FE masseindsamler oplysninger om danskere gennem avanceret spionsystem | Indland | DR

FE may have violated one of the clear rules that apply to the Danish military and foreign intelligence service: FE is only set in the world to protect Denmark from external threats and to safeguard Danish interests abroad. FE may therefore only come into possession of Danish information by chance.”

Fiber optic cables suck up and copy metadata, sms, chat, telephone calls, emails. The cables fetch data over Danish internet traffic, tapping into Russian communication, as well as German and other European countries’ internet world. Whatever this new equipment is, it probably is similar to or more advance than XKEYSCORE, which Denmark also possesses.

XKEYSCORE was, in 2013, the most advanced electronic surveillance NSA 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 developed it had greater capabilities than ECHELON (3) in that it can access all users’ email database, all computer communications, even spy upon us as we watch television.

At the time of Snowden’s expose, he told The Guardian newspaper, “Any analyst at any time can target anyone… I, sitting at my desk, had the authority to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president if I had a personal email.” Glenn Greenwald: Low-Level NSA Analysts Have 'Powerful and Invasive' Search Tool - ABC News (

Snowden’s disclosures helped reveal that NSA was continuously spying on France and Germany’s state leaders and many more in dozens of countries. NSA gets so close that private mobile telephones of state leaders, United Nation leaders, any and all political party members are listened in on. Trade Secrets : Is the U.S.'s most advanced surveillance system feeding economic intelligence to American businesses? (

Denmark is a special helping hand in aiding the US in its global spying with the purpose of dominating the world, that is what “globalization” is all about.
When Snowden’s revelations were in the news, Denmark’s first woman prime minister was another Social Democrat, Helle Thorning-Schmidt. Some members of parliament were asking if NSA was also spying on Denmark. She waved it off: “Pour a little cold water in the blood”.

Most countries have their own signals intelligence agency (SIGINT), which focuses on intelligence gathering for national security interests. Some SIGINT also conduct counterintelligence and law enforcement operations. But NSA and the CIA have taken the actual national security intention far beyond self-defense with the aim of spying upon the entire world, in order to influence foreign governments and private business decision-making and actions.

Even before the XKEYSCORE program, ECHELON was used to undermine a deal between the European firm Airbus, in order to secure a $6 billion contract for Boeing-McDonnell Douglas. Raytheon was among other weapons companies garnering such favors from NSA, whose information gained from spying helped Raytehon win a $1.3 billion contract to provide radar to Brazil, edging out the French company Thomson-CSF. Trade Secrets : Is the U.S.'s most advanced surveillance system feeding economic intelligence to American businesses? (

Spying Eyes Ready for Nuclear World War

NSA shares XKEYSCORE with selected allies, who submit to the US as the world policeman. The first is UK. The UKUS Agreement was signed on March 5, 1946 to spy upon Russia/Soviet Union. Already the year before, at the close of the war in Europe, Winston Churchill had devised Operation Unthinkable—a surprise army attack upon Soviet forces in Europe with the possible use of atomic weapons against Moscow, Stalingrad and Kiev. The US was still constructing its first atomic bombs (Operation Manhattan).

President Harry Truman told Churchill he didn’t have enough nuclear bombs as the first two were to be used against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Operation Unthinkable was put on the shelf as the Labour party won the July 5, 1945 elections. The following year, however, Truman incorporated Churchill’s atomic bomb strategy against the Soviets in his Operation Pincher.

Fortunately, the Soviet Union acquired its own atomic weapons in 1949 before the US-UK had sufficient atomic bombs for a first strike. Nuclear weaponry balance of power has prevented a nuclear world war, although today we stand at 100 seconds before midnight. (4)

In 1955, the UKUS pact was extended to Canada, Australia and New Zealand. These Anglophone countries, known as Five Eyes, later shared the first global electronic spying ECHELON program started in late 1960s. This network of military espionage evolved into a global system for intercepting private and commercial communications, “industrial espionage”. ECHELON - Wikipedia and History of 5-Eyes – explainer | Surveillance | The Guardian
In 1972, the leftwing Ramparts magazine first exposed ECHELON. NSA analyst Perry Fellwock blew the whistle on its existence. He showed the widespread involvement of NSA and CIA personnel in drugs and human smuggling, and that CIA operatives were burning villages in China. U.S. Electronic Espionage: A Memoir (

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

Israel is suspected of being the sixth eye, but this has never been confirmed just as its illegal nuclear bombs have never been officially acknowledged.
Following the formation of Five Eyes, in 1976, Denmark took the initiative with US approval to form what is today 9 Eyes: Denmark, Norway, France and the Netherlands (NL). 9 Eyes are of second rank in the spying club to 5 Eyes. The same apples to the last of the spying partners, 14 Eyes, adding Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium and Sweden to the list of US vassal states.

NSA uses some Asian countries in a parallel network (Japan, South Korea and Singapore). Snowden, and now Denmark’s newest whistleblower, showed that countries in the Eyes alliances engage in regular mass surveillance of their own citizens and freely share that intelligence with other nations, representing an even stronger threat to ordinary people using the internet.

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

Earlier Intelligence Whistleblower Jailed

Denmark’s first defense intelligence whistleblower, Major Frank Grevil, leaked secret information, in 2004, that there was no evidence that Iraq 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. He convinced a majority in parliament to declare war on Iraq, the only nation to actually declare war, and hundreds of Danish soldiers were sent to kill people in Iraq. This was the first time that Denmark had declared war since 1864, then against Germany, which turned out to be a foolish disaster.

Authorities discovered Grevil to be the whistleblower. He was arrested for deluging state secrets. U.S. whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg came to Denmark to help his defense. Grevil was found guilty and served four months in prison, whilst war criminal Rasmussen served two terms as PM. The US then rewarded him with the top post in NATO.


No consequences! Regardless of the conspiracy in commission of crimes between Denmark’s military intelligence and the United States intelligence agencies, the Danish government, parliament, military and the so-called civil oversight committee will do absolutely nothing to correct these illegalities and illegal business will continue as usual.

That is the essence, in my words, of what DR news analysis program “Deadline” concluded on November 26. The secretive investigation just set up will take at least a year. Only five parliamentarians, representing five of the eight parliamentarian political parties, will see what investigators decide to present, the politicians cannot say anything about it to anyone. The ministers of state, justice and war will see the report. The TET committee may or may not get to see it.

Will the latest revelations about illegally collecting information in the interest of the private corporation Lockheed Martin, and rampant spying upon Denmark’s European neighbors be part of the investigation? We don’t know. Nor do we know if the unknown investigators even have the power to interrogate suspects and see all relevant documents. No relevant leaders would answer “Deadline” reporters’ questions.

Representatives of two political parties were on the program. The Conservative Party spokesperson, Naser Kadar, said, “Everybody spies. If it is OK or not [legal or not], it is a consequence of our joint security with the United States.”

Kristian Hegaard, a spokesperson for the Liberal-Center party (Radikal Venstre), agreed that secrecy is preeminent, but added that the civilian control committee could have more access to FE’s activities, as is the case with several European countries.

In Sweden, parliamentarians have open debates on how much surveillance should be allowed on its citizenry. In a 2009 law, several restrictions were made on collecting massive information through fiber-cables. Its civilian oversight committee has greater control powers than in Denmark. The same is the case in Holland. Following Snowden’s revelations, a referendum majority voted against a government measure allowing intelligence services to tap into fiber-cables. The government then made several adjustments, including three-stage legal guarantees with some openness about what is collected. In Germany, and even Hungary, parliament has greater control over intelligence services than in Denmark.

Kader’s reply is what most Danes think, and why there is no hue and cry: “Confidentiality is more important than my [our] curiosity. I won’t have so much to know. I trust our military intelligence.”

1. Terma is Denmark largest weapons firm. It specializes in electronic parts for war aircraft, including F-35, and has been charged with illegal sale of war equipment to Saudi-Arabia and United Arab Emirates in their war against Yemen’s population.

2. Lockheed Martin is the world’s largest war contractor. 85% of its sales are to the US government-military; 13% to foreign governments-military. Its 2019 revenues were $60 billion. It also works in surveillance for NSA/CIA/FBI. It “donates” $15-$20 million annually to US politicians’ campaigns. According to a Sludge review of financial disclosures, 51 members of Congress and their spouses own between $2.3 and $5.8 million worth of stocks in companies that are among the top 30 defense contractors in the world. Eighteen members of Congress, combined, own as much as $760,000 worth of stock of Lockheed Martin. The value of Lockheed Martin stock surged by 4.3% on the day after Iranian’s top General Qassem Soleimani was assassinated by a Trump-ordered drone. The Members of Congress Who Profit From War – Sludge (

Four companies—Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, and General Dynamics—make up 90% of arms sales to Saudi Arabia in deals worth over $125 billion, according to a July 2019 report by the Center for International Policy. American-made weapons have been used to murder over 100,000 people in Yemen.

3. ECHELON was exposed in the mid-1990s for its electronic spy stations around the globe, which intercept data transmitted via telephones, faxes and computers. See The 14 eyes, 9 eyes, 5 eyes agreements (Explained) - ProtonVPN Blog

4. See my book, The Russian Peace Threat: Pentagon on Alert, chapters 10-11. The Russian Peace Threat: Pentagon on Alert (9780996487061): Ridenour, Ron: Books.

See also Daniel Ellsberg’s latest book, “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner”. The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner |

Regarding Operations Unthinkable and Pincher. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists invented the Doomsday Clock as a weathervane of how close humanity is to a global apocalypse, including nuclear war. In 1947, at its inception, we were seven minutes to midnight. In January 2020, the clock was set at 100 seconds to midnight. Doomsday Clock – Wikipedia


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