Intelligence, national interests, counter-intelligence, classified matters, national security, intelligence service, financing.
The National Intelligence Centre (CNI) and the Government's Delegate Commission for Intelligence Affairs (CDGAI): Legal Considerations
The inclusion of Pablo Iglesias in the Government's Delegate Commission for Intelligence Affairs (CDGAI) does not seem to be justified from the point of view of national security by virtue of the ministry he heads: Ministry of Social Rights and Agenda 2030. However, it is more serious from the perspective of the national security is the fact that the second vice-president of the Government forms part of that CDGAI with a background that any intelligence service would subject to a rigorous investigation with the aim of vetoing, if necessary, Pablo Iglesias' access to the secrets on which the pillars of a nation's stability and independence rest.
Act No. 11/2002 of 6 May 2002, regulating the National Intelligence Centre, states in its explanatory memorandum that "The main mission of the National Intelligence Centre shall be to provide the Government with the information and intelligence necessary to prevent and avoid any risk or threat affecting Spain's independence and integrity, national interests and the stability of the rule of law and its institutions".
Article 4 of this legal text regulates the functions of the National Intelligence Centre. "To fulfil its objectives, the National Intelligence Centre shall carry out the following functions: (a) Obtain, evaluate and interpret information and disseminate the intelligence necessary to protect and promote Spain's political, economic, industrial, commercial and strategic interests, and may act within or outside national territory. b) Prevent, detect and enable the neutralization of those foreign service activities, groups or persons that put at risk, threaten or attempt against the constitutional order, the rights and freedoms of Spanish citizens, the sovereignty, integrity and security of the State, the stability of its institutions, the national economic interests and the welfare of the population. (...) f) Ensure compliance with the regulations on the protection of classified information. g) Guarantee the security and protection of its own facilities, information and material and personal means.
(...) For the fulfilment of its functions, the National Intelligence Centre may carry out security investigations on persons or entities in the manner provided for in this Act and in the Organic Act regulating the prior judicial control of the National Intelligence Centre. In order to carry out these investigations, it may seek the necessary cooperation from public and private bodies and institutions".
Likewise, the National Security Office, which is attached to the CNI, is responsible for granting personal security clearances that allow individuals or institutions to access classified information when this is necessary for the fulfilment of their duties. Before deciding on the granting or refusal of such a document, the NSO carries out exhaustive investigations to reduce the risk of leaks of sensitive information (Spanish or foreign - NATO and EU above all).
Article 6 of the Act regulating the CNI states that 2. "The Commission shall be chaired by the Vice President of the Government appointed by its President and shall be composed of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defense, the Interior and the Economy, as well as the Secretary General of the Presidency, the Secretary of State for Security and the Secretary of State Director of the National Intelligence Center, who shall act as Secretary. Notwithstanding the provisions of the previous section, the heads of other higher bodies and directors of the General State Administration may be called to the meetings of the Commission as deemed appropriate. 4. The Delegate Commission shall: a) Propose to the President of the Government the annual objectives of the National Intelligence Centre that are to be included in the Intelligence Directive. b) Follow up and evaluate the development of the objectives of the National Intelligence Centre. c) Ensure the coordination of the National Intelligence Centre, the information services of the State Security Forces and Corps, and the bodies of the civil and military Administration".
According to parliamentary rules, the members of this Commission are also the ones who know about official secrets.
The inclusion of Pablo Iglesias in the GICHD
At the height of the COVID 19 crisis in Spain and on the eve of the declaration of the state of alarm, the Government approved Royal Decree 399/2020 of 25 February, establishing the Government's Delegated Commissions.
It designates the second vice-president and Minister of Social Rights and Agenda 2030, currently Mr. Pablo Iglesias, as a member of the CDGAI, in accordance with the provisions of Article 6(2) and (3) of the CNI law.
However, the second vice-president will not need personal security clearance to have access to classified documentation, since "any member of the government can do so if the president so decides" (Antonio Rodríguez, Vozpópuli, 27/02/2020).
Although all news related to the intelligence services is widely treated in the media, this time the data was treated as a reflex and, in any case, was not mentioned in the main television and radio channels.
If we review the recent past, we find that, in 2016, one of the main reasons for PSOE and Unidas Podemos not reach an agreement to form a government was the former's refusal to assign control of the CNI to Pablo Iglesias. In addition, Pedro Sánchez himself declared in September 2019 that he could not sleep easy if his government included ministers from Podemos.
Links between Unidas Podemos with Venezuela and Iran
According to information published in some media, Pablo Iglesias received 272,325 dollars from the Venezuelan Government in the Euro PacificBank, two months after the foundation of Podemos party.
In 2016, Rafael Isea, Chávez's former finance minister of Venezuela, told Spain's Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit (UDEF) that the former president had paid seven million euros (US$7.6 million) to the Podemos Foundation. Before UDEF agents, Isea ratified the veracity of a document in which the former Venezuelan president approved allocating the money to create "political forces and social movements" in Spain to bring about "political changes in line with the Bolivarian government.
Within Podemos, Enrique Riobóo, former partner of Pablo Iglesias, has stated that the party was created with money from Venezuela.
Following the meeting between Delcy Rodríguez and José Luis Ábalos at the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport, the U.S. has reported that, in addition to cash, Delcy Rodríguez brought copies of the documentation proving the transfer of funds from Venezuela to Podemos. Therefore, the U.S. has stated that they are willing to break all relations in terms of information and intelligence exchange with Spain.
On another note, since 2013 there has been news about the relationship between Paul Iglesias and the Iranian regime.
The CNI is an institution of the Spanish State and not of the various governments, and its main mission is to safeguard national interests and, therefore, national security. In order to carry out its task, it must carry out the necessary investigations to ensure that only those who have a need to know have access to sensitive information - it does not appear that the portfolio of Social Rights and Agenda 2030 is intimately related to national security - and that, furthermore, it has no background (or indications) that would lead one to suspect that its loyalty to Spain has any flaws.
The question raised in this document is whether the CNI, making use of the legal prerogatives attributed to it, has subjected Pablo Iglesias to the investigation that advises its history of relations with leaders of foreign countries who, moreover, are in strong confrontation with Spain's main allies.
We Spaniards want to think that the answer is yes, but the facts do not support this wishful thinking. We were also convinced that we had an intelligence service subject to the rule of law and at the service of the stability of Spain as a nation, but perhaps with the entry of Pablo Iglesias into the CDGAI a shift is taking place towards an intelligence service aimed at defending government interests, even if these do not coincide with those of the country.
From the point of view of counter-intelligence, the case of Pablo Iglesias should not go unnoticed by the CNI because it has been expressly entrusted with this competence in Article 4.b) of the CNI law. The very existence of this article 4 requires the Spanish intelligence service to adopt measures aimed at studying the advisability for Spain, not for the current coalition government, of the second vice-president, Pablo Iglesias, having direct or indirect access to classified national material or material from other countries or international organizations.
Finally: how can we feel safe under the cover of an intelligence service that does not even address its own political independence?
https: //www.boe.es No. 49 Wednesday 26 February 2020 Sec. I. P. 17157. Royal Decree 399/2020 of 25 February establishing the Government's Delegated Commissions.
Law 11/2002, of 6 May, regulating the National Intelligence Centre
https://es.reuters.com/news/topNews Susana Vera and Maxim Shemetov
https://www.europapress.es/ (various dates)