NSA Security

Obama’s Fault


Did you hear that the NSA allegedly monitored the communications of German Chancellor Angela Merkel? That darn Obama won’t leave anyone alone, will he?

Actually, by The Guardian’s own account, the alleged monitoring occurred all the way back in 2006 under President Bush.

The National Security Agency monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders after being given the numbers by an official in another US government department, according to a classified document provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. [...]

The memo, dated October 2006 and which was issued to staff in the agency’s Signals Intelligence Directorate (SID), was titled “Customers Can Help SID Obtain Targetable Phone Numbers.”

Here’s part of the memo Edward Snowden provided to The Guardian. (emphasis mine)


Not only was this issued in 2006 under President Bush; 157 of the 200 numbers the program allegedly gathered were already a matter of public record.

This would be a good time to point out that Edward Snowden was a member of the intelligence community he now despises until May of this year. He spontaneously developed a conscience after President Obama was reelected.

Whether it’s intended or not, these 7-year-old documents — which are practically ancient given how far we’ve come in such a short period of time — will have the effect of tarnishing the current administration overseas.

Taking everything into account, I’d say that’s the idea.

(ht Nicole Naum Attorney at Law)

  • villemar

    I am pretty surprised at France’s faux outrage over this. Franco-American relations are better than they’ve been in decades so I don’t understand why the butthurt. Especially when the DCRI (France’s domestic intelligence agency) does the exact same thing. This article pretty much lays it all out:


    The money quote: “I am amazed by such disconcerting naiveté,” he said in the interview. “You’d almost think our politicians don’t bother to read the reports they get from the intelligence services.”

    On the other hand it’s no surprise the butthurt and poutrage and concern trolling by Zee Germans. One would almost think the austerity policies of the German government were in complete alignment with the Tea Party, replete with mutual vilification of PBO.

    Take a look at this slathering of contempt from Der Schadenfreude:


    • All that outrage may just be for show. Their leaders have to appear upset and willing to stand up to the U.S. In reality, it won’t hurt the relationships we have with them. It will hurt our President’s popularity. Which is precisely what Glib Greenwald and Sniveling Snowden wanted.

      • CygnusX1isaHole

        James Ball wrote this article for The Guardian. Glenn Greenwald no longer works there.

        • The Guardian wouldn’t have the documents if it wasn’t for GG and Snowden so I’m not sure who the author is makes any difference.

          • CygnusX1isaHole

            Glenn Greenwald is no longer in a position to make The Guardian publish anything. He may have given The Guardian the documents. However, The Guardian does not have to publish any of them unless they so choose.

          • villemar

            Definitely Qantas, yeah, definitely Qantas.

          • Again, you’re missing the whole point of the document release in the first place. The Guardian just happens to be the current vehicle.
            GG and Snowden had an agenda and it was not limited to exposing domestic spying….the nature of the majority of the documents are damaging to the country’s and the President’s popularity.

    • feloniousgrammar

      Jeez, that der spiegel article makes me want to put my arms around European leaders and day, “Smile— you have each other.”

      • villemar

        Oh ages ago I had to stop following Der Shadenfreude. That whole country has gone full emoprog, if that rag is to be believed. No wonder Glenn, Eddie & Julian went there. Too bad Glenn decided to go solo, unlike the formerly useful Salon & Guardian; I’d rather enjoy seeing Glenn ruin Der Spiegel.

  • Badgerite

    What a ‘revelation’! The Bush Administration did not abide by the law.

  • js hooper

    I’m tired of the faux outrage over spying. Spying has been going on since the beginning of civilization. The coordinated Libertarian ratfucker political campaign has been going on since a Negro entered the White House on January 20, 2009.

    • FlipYrWhig

      Shockingly, it worked like gangbusters on Jon Stewart, who is very concerned indeed.

      • js hooper

        I can’t stand Jon Stewart…with his Putin is Awesome / Obama Sux / Ron Paul is the shit…dudebro bullshit

    • CygnusX1isaHole

      If you hate Libertarianism so much why aren’t you upset at President Obama for repeatedly praising the “Free Market”? Here are just a few quotes (I have many more) from Obama sounding like an Ayn Rand devotee:

      “So I believe deeply that the free market is the greatest force for economic progress in human history.”

      – April 3, 2012 – http://tinyurl.com/7kyuxgw

      “The free market is the greatest force for economic progress in human history. It’s led to a prosperity and standard of living unmatched by the rest of the world,”

      – December 6, 2011 – http://tinyurl.com/k2rnjdx

      “We are fierce advocates for a thriving, dynamic free market.”

      – Feb 11 2010 – http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aDLk0lPYaSa0

      • JozefAL

        Because, in none of those selective quotes you provide does the President SOUND like a “libertarian.” Did he ONCE suggest that we have an UNREGULATED “free market?” Did he ONCE suggest that the “free market” go it COMPLETELY alone? I certainly don’t see either in those quotes.

        See, aHole, what you forget about the *current* state of Libertarianism is this incredibly naive position about the “Free Market” that simply hasn’t existed in this country for well over a 150 years: For the completely “Free Market” to exist, there needs to be a state of laissez-faire in effect. Unfortunately for the WORKING PEOPLE who would be involved in this Libertarian “Free Market,” they would have NO power at all. Rand’s philosophy and literature praises ONLY the “creators,” not the people who actually have to do the REAL work. And in the Randian system, it’s those “creators” who derive all the benefits and privileges from their “work” whereas the people who would have to BUILD the architect’s vision, who would have to ASSEMBLE the engineer’s model would derive nothing–they would get a day’s wage for their labor. And, that “day’s wage” would be determined by the employer, whose sole goal would be to make the maximum profits for the benefit of the “creator” and any shareholders in the company–meaning, the actual workers should be thankful for whatever pittance the company provides.

        And let’s also not forget the effect of a “Free Market” on food prices. We routinely face “sticker shock” at the grocery store when “staple foods” (milk, eggs, bread) go up (a gallon of milk costing more than a gallon of gas; a loaf of “storebrand” bread that costs $1.50 a loaf; a dozen small eggs for $1.50). ALL of those “staples” are essentially subsidized by the government to ensure that farmers do NOT go out of business. When farmers can’t make enough money to pay for next year’s crop, what happens to that land? And that’s what happened during the depression and through the 1950s until the gov’t stepped in and started offering a sum of GUARANTEED money for certain crops. If the price of a crop dropped because of an overabundance one year, the gov’t ensured that farmers wouldn’t get out of the business because that overabundance one year could be followed by massive shortages for the next several years. Pay the farmers enough to keep the milk flowing and the wheat and corn growing and the hens to keep laying so that when the weather decided to not cooperate and dairy cows and hens had to be slaughtered for meat while wheat and corn fields lay barren, thereby causing massive increases in milk and eggs and breads and cereals for what DOES get produced. (Right now, the major cause of sticker shock at the stores is fuel-related; the cost of running machinery to harvest the grain or keep the barns and henhouses comfortable for the animals, and the cost of transporting the farm products to markets.)

        And speaking of Rand, why is it that her FICTION is being used as a viable economic model but her devotees take every opportunity to chastise another economic model that was proposed through NON-fiction essays (I am, of course, referring to Communism)? AND, why does anyone take Rand’s absurdist fantasy literature as some sort of proposal for a real-world economic scenario while many of these devotees snicker at the notion of people speaking languages created for fantasy and speculative fiction worlds (Sindarin from Tolkien’s works; tlhIngan Hol from Star Trek) or philosophies created by speculative fiction authors (talking here, of course, about Dianetics)?

        Oh, and one final thing that should never be forgotten about Rand: She was a greedy TAKER when it suited her purposes. She DEMANDED her Social Security checks (and there are a few instances where she would berate local offices when her check was a day late). She also had this unusual take on “free love”: SHE was entitled to have relationships with as many men (mostly younger than she) as she wanted, but the men were expected to be faithful to her, and her alone until SHE gave permission for them to date someone else (this usually meant she was done with them or had grown bored with them, discarding them like worn-out toys; however, when one of the men who’d been one of her “favorites” started dating another young woman without her “permission,” Rand became a very vindictive woman–she denounced him to the rest of her devotees, instructing that they weren’t to have any further dealings with him, and she cut him out of her life). Oh, did I forget to mention she was also an ardent atheist? So funny how so many of her current devotees seem to have missed that part of her stories, since there’s NO religion involved.

      • js hooper

        If you’re going to change the subject (faux outrage over spying) the least you could do is come with some better shit than the weak bullshit u just brought.

        Troll harder

      • Pink No More

        Lack of substance as usual.

  • feloniousgrammar

    I thought this article had a pretty good summation of issues we need to address to reassert our government’s right and duty to gather intelligence.


  • trgahan

    Ok…the German Chancellor is not an American citizen. The data wasn’t provided through “anytime you want it” back door access to major U.S. social media outlets/search engine servers.

    Does even Snowden remember when this was all supposed to be about the NSA secretly spying on American citizens?!? Exposing current international spying efforts is pretty crappy. But trying to pass off seven year old intelligence as significant is just desperate.

  • MrDHalen

    What you won’t here from many of these countries on the fainting couch, is that they’ve saved hundreds of millions if not billions on their international intelligence cost, because the US provides to them.

    I would suspect most other nations concentrate their spying on the resource management of other nations and outsource the military stuff to us, the Russians, and the Chinese.

  • feloniousgrammar

    I’m sure Kerry and the President can make things clear and suspect that this is posturing on the parts of politicians in Germany and France who can trust that Obama won’t try to fuck them for it. As much as Germany is screwing the rest of the EU with austerity, this may be little more than LOOK! A CHICKEN! Who’s doing real and lasting harm here?