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We Can Hear You Now

October 29th, 2013 - 1:23 pm

No, we’re not going to stop spying on friendly heads-of-state. But we might be about to make ourselves look like jerks, pretending we will:

President Obama is poised to order the National Security Agency to stop eavesdropping on the leaders of American allies, administration and congressional officials said Monday, responding to a deepening diplomatic crisis over reports that the agency had for years targeted the cellphone of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.

The White House informed a leading Democratic lawmaker, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, of its plans, which grew out of a broader internal review of intelligence-gathering methods, prompted by the leak of N.S.A. documents by a former contractor, Edward J. Snowden.

Years ago, and I think it might have been in a Clancy novel, somebody explained that when we eavesdrop on bad guys it’s called “spying,” but when we eavesdrop on allies it’s just “keeping an eye on things.” The trick is, not to get called out on it in such a public and embarrassing way.

But that ship has certainly sailed, hasn’t it?

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All Comments   (3)
All Comments   (3)
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Any other country in the world would eventually, (and not taking too much time about it) say 'so what, that is want intelligence agencies are for and we all do it'. The U.S. is the only country that will go into spasms and cut it's own hands off in public regret when something like this is exposed.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is why Snowden is a traitor. His actions weren't about domestic spying, which he knows does not happen unless some idiot who will soon be fired checks his girlfriend's call records... The problem is that everything he is going to put out there will cause much more trouble between the U.S. and its allies than anything our enemies could cause with decades of effort. Putin will protect him forever and facilitate further releases because he is former FSB (KGB) and who could hold it against him for playing such a delicious hand against his (former/current) antagonists? Anyone who thinks the US and Russia have ever been real partners in pretty much anything has not been paying attention.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I believe this is what John Kennedy meant when he said "trust but verify". See, we've been doing it for a long time.

Problem is, President Obama left off the first part. He doesn't trust any of our erstwhile allies, and guess what? Now they don't trust us either.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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