News & Politics

Ain't No Lyin' Obama Been Spyin', This Time on Our Allies

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Operation Dunhammer

Obama’s National Security Agency (NSA) teamed up to with Denmark’s intel unit to spy on our allies, in what was allegedly referred to as “Operation Dunhammer” and Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen is cool with that.

“I do not think it is correctly put that there is a need to restore relations with France or Germany. We have an ongoing dialogue, and we also have that within intelligence matters,” Denmark’s Frederiksen told local news wire Ritzau.

The NSA allegedly used Danish underwater internet cables to spy on allies, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Other allies allegedly spied upon include senior officials in France, Sweden, Norway, and Germany, including former German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier as well as former German opposition leader Peer Steinbrück, who told German broadcaster ARD he thought it was “grotesque that friendly intelligence services are indeed intercepting and spying on top representatives of other countries. Politically I consider it a scandal.”

Steinbrück also stated that it would be difficult for Germany to be outraged at this revelation as it, too, had spied on allies and neighboring countries, and had even collaborated with the NSA to do so.

Using software designed by the NSA known as XKeyscore, the NSA intercepted calls, texts, and chat messages to and from the telephones of allied officials between 2012-2014.

Danish officials are remaining fairly tight-lipped on the matter as they await more information. Sweden and Norway aren’t as quiet. Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist told Swedish broadcaster SVT that he “demanded full information”. Norwegian Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen told broadcaster NRK that he took the allegations seriously. He stated, “It’s unacceptable if countries which have close allied co-operation feel the need to spy on one another.”

None of this actually new. Whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed as much in 2013 when he leaked documents showing that the NSA had received the phone numbers of almost 200 high-ranking allies.

What is not immediately clear is how the U.S. and Denmark became so chummy, or what Denmark got out of the deal with the Obama administration.

Obama was also busted for spying on members of Trump’s team during the 2016 campaign.

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Denmark is investigating the matter and expects to issue a report later this year.