Terrifying: President Claims He Was Unaware NSA Spying on Merkel

Last week it came to light that the NSA has been snooping on the personal mobile phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Following the revelation, President Obama spoke with an understandably angry Chancellor Merkel, and assured her that the United States is not monitoring her now, but wouldn’t comment on the past… Which means we were obviously monitoring her.

Obama Merkel

This is clearly messed up.

This isn’t 1939, and the leader of Germany isn’t Adolf Hitler. Chancellor Merkel is the leader of one of our closest allies… But believe it or not, this isn’t the scary part.

Two terribly possibilities

I’m not naive. Espionage and diplomacy are two sides of the same coin. They have been since the birth of nation-states. However, there are two possibilities here. Either…

President Obama knew this was happening, or he did not.

He claims he did not know that the NSA was spying on her.

If he knew

If the President knew that his spooks were spying on the Chancellor, this is scary because the implied paranoia is scary. Really scary.

It also means that he’s lying.

If he didn’t know

If the President was truly unaware of  the NSA’s snooping on the leader of Germany this is completely terrifying.

Every time a new NSA abuse has hit the press, Mr. Obama has claimed that he didn’t know what was going on, and would have to ask them what they were up to.

These abuses have been surfacing for half a year, and still the President isn’t up to speed?

It’s reached a point where it’s clear that the President is:

  • Playing dumb, and lying
  • He really has no control over the NSA

Both options are terrifying. The latter is much scarier.

It baffles me that the President doesn’t recognize how insane it is that the United States built such an expansive surveillance system that the President doesn’t even know when we’re spying on his allies.

The leadership of the NSA needs to be cleaned out, and a full audit of that system needs to happen. The American people shouldn’t be learning about these abuses through leaks, and the President of the United States sure as hell shouldn’t be learning his own administration’s behavior through leaks.

Something’s rotten in DC.

[Story via Techdirt, image via Politico]

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