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The Universal Obamaphone

It had to come to this. Bill Greider at The Nation warns that, in addition to tapping the phones of 35 other world leaders, the NSA might be spying on President Obama.

The latest hot controversy launched by Citizen Snowden’s revelations involves the National Security Agency’s listening to the personal cellphone of Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany. Embarrassment all around and the White House now says it is “reviewing” what other foreign leaders the NSA may be eavesdroping on.

But here Is a more explosive question that needs an answer: Is the NSA eavesdropping on Barack Obama?

Officially, this will be promptly denied, of course. But can we believe opaque denials from the same intelligence officials who have previously lied to the press and misled Congress about the unlimited range of NSA snooping? More to the point, can Barack Obama believe them?

That would be terrible if it were true, almost as bad as forcing President Obama to buy Obamacare.

President Obama has shown an alarming tendency to be unaware of most everything. To begin with, he was unaware that the NSA was spying on world leaders until he read about it in the papers. Although he argued that Obamacare would let Americans keep their existing plans, his administration apparently knew all along that millions would lose -- have already lost -- their coverage.  How to explain this contradiction? Well, Obama was probably unaware of what Obamacare would do also.

Why, he didn't even know there were problems with the Obamacare website until two days after it launched, despite the fact that nobody could seem to log on to it! Good thing he reads a lot of news, otherwise he might still think the consulate in Benghazi was razed because some guy in L.A. made a YouTube video.

It's getting so that even Andrew Sullivan is beginning to doubt his word.

It is becoming clearer and clearer that one major power-broker in Washington is resisting the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s allegedly devastating report on the torture program run by the Bush-Cheney CIA. That major power-broker is the Obama administration.

You might be surprised by this, given the president’s opposition to torture and abolition of it. But the evidence is at this point irrefutable – and given extra punch by the invaluable Jane Mayer, who caught a fascinating document related to the Senate confirmation this week of Stephen W. Preston, the top lawyer at the CIA., for a new post as the top lawyer for the Pentagon. ...

Why is Obama allowing Brennan to undermine Obama’s own position? Why is the president allowing the CIA to prevent the very transparency he once pledged to uphold? I don’t know. But what I do know is that it is now Obama who is the main obstacle to releasing the Senate Report on Torture. He needs to tell his CIA director to give up his struggle to keep us all in the dark. He needs to stop dithering and tell Brennan to get out of the way of the report’s release – so we can all see, digest and understand what was done, in secret, in our name.

"Why is Obama allowing Brennan to undermine Obama’s own position?" The answer is simple. There are two Obamas. The public Obama and the private Obama.  There is the Obama who pretended to be morally superior to Bush and Cheney and there is the Obama who figured he could go one better if he interrogated prisoners in secret.

There are probably also two sets of books, two sets of employment figures, and two of everything, as in some Manichean Noah's Ark -- if you will pardon the mixture of metaphors.