Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Latest NSA Spying Scandal: White House Spied On US Congress.

Has anyone else noticed how Obama always never knows anything about it? (Image source)

During the aftermath of Ed Snowden's NSA snooping revelations which revealed the US had been spying on its closest allies for years, Barack Hussein Obama announced he had banned eavesdropping by U.S. government agencies on leaders of US allies and promised he would begin to curtail the collection of Americans' phone data in a series of limited reforms.

Below are a few key lines from a speech Obama made in January, 2014:

Our capabilities help protect not only our nation, but our friends and our allies, as well. But our efforts will only be effective if ordinary citizens in other countries have confidence that the United States respects their privacy, too. And the leaders of our close friends and allies deserve to know that if I want to know what they think about an issue, I’ll pick up the phone and call them, rather than turning to surveillance.

In other words, just as we balance security and privacy at home, our global leadership demands that we balance our security requirements against our need to maintain the trust and cooperation among people and leaders around the world.

The bottom line is that people around the world, regardless of their nationality, should know that the United States is not spying on ordinary people who don’t threaten our national security, and that we take their privacy concerns into account in our policies and procedures. This applies to foreign leaders as well.

Unsurprisingly the president was lying, and the privacy concerns of "people around the world" have clearly never once been taken into account in Obama's domestic or foreign policy decisions.

Three days before, Senator and Democratic presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders sent an email to the NSA Chief Keith Alexander asking if the NSA 'has or is currently spying on members of the US Congress or other American elected officials.' The letter defined spying as including "gathering metadata on calls made from official or personal phones, content from websites visited or emails sent, or collecting any other data from a third party not made available to the general public in the regular course of business."

The response: the National Security Agency's director, responding to questions from independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, says the government is not spying on Congress.... "Nothing NSA does can fairly be characterized as 'spying on members of Congress or other American elected officials." Alexander wrote in the letter, dated Friday and released Tuesday.

The former NSA head also lied, but that's very clear from the way he qualifies his response. Nothing NSA does can fairly be characterized as 'spying. Clearly Alexander's definition of spying is different to the one cited by Sanders.

In the latest Wall Street Journal report on the NSA's spying scandal, it is reported that even though Obama announced two years ago he would curtail eavesdropping on friendly heads of state, the spying continues and "behind the scenes, the White House decided to keep certain allies under close watch. Topping the list was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu."

The spying, or counterespionage (which is not the same as spying at all - ahem), was necessary 'in order to facilitate the US-Iran nuclear negotiations and deal' which took place this summer over Netanyahu's firm objection to scuttle any lifting of the Iran embargo (an embargo which Iran had skirted for years by importing billions of dollars worth of gold from Turkey via Dubai).

That in itself would not be quite so scandalous considering the frosty diplomatic relations between the two nations in recent years, if it didn't also involve the direct and indirect spying by the NSA and the executive branch, on members of Congress ...

The National Security Agency’s targeting of Israeli leaders and officials also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups. That raised fears—an “Oh-s— moment,” one senior U.S. official said—that the executive branch would be accused of spying on Congress.

White House officials believed the intercepted information could be valuable to counter Mr. Netanyahu’s campaign. They also recognized that asking for it was politically risky. So, wary of a paper trail stemming from a request, the White House let the NSA decide what to share and what to withhold, officials said. “We didn’t say, ‘Do it,’ ” a senior U.S. official said. "We didn’t say, ‘Don’t do it."

Which explains why for the past two years the Obama administration, which knew this moment was inevitable, has been maintaining an attitude of abject incompetence, claiming it had no idea anything like this happened. In fact, as the Bezos Post reported in late 2013, "Obama didn’t know about surveillance of U.S.-allied world leaders until summer "of 2013. That too was a lie.


Back to Contents table

Big Brother State": FBI Says Citizens Should Have No Secrets That The Government Can't Access
Thousands To Make Legal Stand Against UK Government Surveillance
Surveillance is the tool of the totalitarian state
Surveillance will be total soon (even in your home)
The Panopticon
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