The European Union has demanded that the United States explain a report in a German magazine that Washington is spying on the group, using unusually strong language to confront its closest trading partner over its alleged surveillance activities.
A spokeswoman for the European Commission said on Sunday the EU contacted U.S. authorities in Washington and Brussels about a report in Der Spiegel magazine that the U.S. secret service had tapped EU offices in Washington, Brussels and at the United Nations.
The French are getting into it, too. This could turn into a clusterstuff of a diplomatic mess.
But my first reaction to this story was, Of course we’re spying on our allies. It’s what nations do. Although when you spy on your friends, it’s better to think of it as “Just keeping an eye on things.” They do it to you, too.
The question is whether the Administration has engaged in the gentlemanly amount of “Keeping an eye on things,” allowed by unwritten agreement, or if it’s risen to a sinister level. But my guts tells me we’ll see a gentlemanly amount of diplomatic protest, followed by gentlemanly apologies, followed by a swift return to gentlemanly business as usual.
Gotta keep an eye on things, after all.