Thursday, October 31, 2013

NSA spying on allied leaders: 'POTUS didn't know'

Yet another case of 'POTUS didn't know.'   First from the BBC:

Obama 'not told of Merkel phone bugging'

The chief of the US spy agency NSA has not discussed the alleged bugging of German chancellor's phone with President Barack Obama, officials say.

Gen Keith Alexander never discussed alleged operations involving Chancellor Angela Merkel, an NSA spokeswoman said.

German media say the US has been tapping the chancellor's phone since 2002, and Mr Obama was told in 2010.

The row has led to one of the worst diplomatic crises between the two countries in recent years.

A report in German tabloid Bild am Sonntag claimed that Gen Alexander had told the president about the bugging himself.  [emphasis mine]

More here.

 From Homeland Security News Wire:

White House to curb NSA monitoring of some allies' leaders 
29 October 2013

It appears that President Obama will soon instruct the NSA to stop eavesdropping on leaders of close U.S. allies. 

Yesterday’s indication by the White House that it moving toward banning the NSA from eavesdropping on some foreign leaders is a historic change in the practices of an agency which has enjoyed unlimited and unfettered – and, it now appears, unsupervised – freedom of action outside the borders of the United States. The move is similar to, if more complicated than, the limits imposed on the CIA in the mid-1970s. Security experts note, though, that prohibiting the NSA from eavesdropping on some foreign leaders would be more complicated and potentially more damaging to U.S. interests than the prohibitions imposed on the CIA more than three decades ago.

It now emerges that both the president and Congress’s intelligence committees were kept in the dark about this aspect of the NSA surveillance program, a fact which yesterday has led a staunch supporter of the NSA, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California), chairperson of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to issue an unusually – for her — pointed rebuke of the agency: “I do not believe the United States should be collecting phone calls or e-mails of friendly presidents and prime ministers.” Feinstein said, adding that her committee would begin a “major review of all intelligence collection programs.”

“She believes the committee was not adequately briefed on the details of these programs, and she’s frustrated,” a committee staff member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Times. “In her mind, there were salient omissions.”

The review that Feinstein announced would be “a major undertaking,” the staff member said....

Can you say:  SSDD?  Yes, we can!  You know there is more, here. 

Brought to you by 'the most transparent government EVER'

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