There are still many things that are unknown about the Pegasus case, but what is clear is that it would not be the first time that the State broke the law and operated outside of democratic mechanisms.
One of the darkest episodes in the recent history of our country was the organization of a terrorist group, the GAL, which carried out attacks and assassinations.
In the mid-1990s, Manuel Vázquez Montalbán published “A Pole in the Court of King Juan Carlos”, which portrays the power that condenses in Madrid seen from the periphery and dedicates an entire chapter to interviewing Felipe González.
There is a fragment of this Montalban interview that is interesting to recover. Felipe González, when asked about State terrorism and the responsibility of an Army commander, answers: “this man, from an area of the State in which there is always a certain opacity and a certain foul play, has served democracy so priceless as to allow us to be here having a drink and a coffee and chatting about the state secret”.
Another moment in which the State renounced the right occurred in 2012 with the organization of a “political police”. Fernández Díaz’s Ministry of the Interior created a police structure under the instructions of the former director general of the National Police and his former deputy director: Cosidó Gutiérrez and Eugenio Pino. The objective: to hinder the investigation of corruption scandals that affected the Popular Party on the one hand and persecute political opponents on the other. Through this dirty war, Fernández Díaz investigated and fabricated false evidence against Podemos and the independence movement, which he later leaked to related media outlets.
The commission of the Congress of Deputies that investigated the “patriotic police” of Fernández Díaz was exhaustive. I quote literally that the organization of this police structure involved “an unacceptable partisan use of troops, means and resources of the Department of the Interior and the State Security Forces and Bodies, with an abuse of power that breaks essential rules of democracy and of the rule of law”.
But this is not the only time public resources have been used to spy on political opponents for partisan purposes. The right has also used the state to wage its own internecine wars. Let us remember that as the investigation of the Kitchen operation revealed, the Popular Party of Rajoy and Cospedal illegally spied on its former treasurer, Luis Bárcenas, to cover up the Gürtel plot.
Although the origin of the espionage is still not clear and it may never be known with certainty, there are a series of indications that point to a possible responsibility of the State apparatuses.
First. Theoretically, the Israeli company that supplies Pegasus only sells its spyware to police authorities and state agencies.
Second. As revealed by the newspaper Público, the Pegasus espionage software was illegally acquired as early as 2014 by the then Deputy Director of Police Operations, Eugenio Pino, and his Chief of Staff, José Ángel Fuentes Gago.
Third. The CNI has admitted to the newspaper El País the use of Pegasus and the “individualized and judicially controlled” espionage of pro-independence politicians.
Fourth. Moncloa has only decided to tell that Pedro Sánchez and Margarita Robles were spied on with Pegasus, after The New Yorker made public the espionage of the Catalan independence movement. However, they refuse to go further in the investigations and the PSOE, together with the PP, has today vetoed the investigation into espionage in Congress.
Fifth and last. Minister Robles said in the Senate that she had not spied on anyone and that “the Government strictly complied with the law”, but a few hours later in Congress she justified the espionage due to the actions of the independentistas during the Procés.