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Landler and Sanger report: "President Obama is poised to order the National Security Agency to stop eavesdropping on the leaders of American allies, administration and congressional officials said Monday, responding to a deepening diplomatic crisis over reports that the agency had for years targeted the cellphone of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany."

German officials are particularly angry that the United States' eavesdropping operation appears to have been run from inside the American Embassy or somewhere near it, in the heart of Berlin. (photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
German officials are particularly angry that the United States' eavesdropping operation appears to have been run from inside the American Embassy or somewhere near it, in the heart of Berlin. (photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)


Obama May Ban Spying on Heads of Allied States

By Mark Landler and David E. Sanger, The New York Times

29 October 13

 

resident Obama is poised to order the National Security Agency to stop eavesdropping on the leaders of American allies, administration and congressional officials said Monday, responding to a deepening diplomatic crisis over reports that the agency had for years targeted the cellphone of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.

The White House informed a leading Democratic lawmaker, Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, of its plans, which grew out of a broader internal review of intelligence-gathering methods, prompted by the leak of N.S.A. documents by a former contractor, Edward J. Snowden.

In a statement on Monday, Ms. Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said, "I do not believe the United States should be collecting phone calls or emails of friendly presidents and prime ministers." Ms. Feinstein, who has been a stalwart defender of the administration's surveillance policies, said her committee would begin a "major review of all intelligence collection programs."

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+2 # paulkinzelman 2013-10-29 08:35
So if Obama institutes a ban, or limits NSA in any way, who's going to believe him? How can we "trust but verify" (to quote one of our earlier embarrassments to the world)?
 
 
-5 # RICHARDKANEpa 2013-10-29 08:41
This may not actually be good news, What we learn from direct listening and observation is better than indirect analyst, filled with slants and even confusion. For instance back before the Iraq War the US wanted to believe Saddam had Chemical-Biolog ical Weapons and the Iraqi Congress in Exile were paid more for bigger lies than smaller ones.

Would Bugging Saddam have prevented a US attack?

France did something on the surface strange. It cut its defense budget while al Qaeda of North Africa was making direct threats to attack the Eiffel Tower and other French landmarks. A casual comment listening to the French President discuss if they convinced al Qaeda that attacking France wouldn't help bankrupt the West

A casual comment that we should let al Qaeda know that attacking the West wouldn't help them in their goal of doing so, would be especially helpful.

If there was a recording device in bin Laden's hide out that the CIA lost track of where bin Laden mentioned trying to help bankrupt the US by derailing US trains while not baiting a US draft a more expensive way to fight it might be helpful to changing US policy of making .al Qaeda happy by spending a lot of money
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2013-10-29 08:59
Considering the fact that saddam had nothing to do with 9/11 and that he and bin laden were sworn enemies, I think bugging saddam wouldn't have accomplished anything. Still, don't worry. We WERE bugging both of them BEFORE 9/11, so it's a false argument.

By the way, we knew bin laden planned to attack, we knew how he planned to attack, and we knew when he planned to attack. Yet, we did nothing to stop him.

Perhaps, bugging Cheney, Bush Jr. and Rumsfeld could have stopped 9/11.
 
 
+3 # Billy Bob 2013-10-29 09:00
Apparently, heads of foreign states deserve a measure of respect, freedom and liberty, that ORDINARY LAW ABIDING AMERICAN CITIZENS don't deserve.
 
 
+3 # Dale 2013-10-29 09:23
Better solution--aboli sh the NSA, destroy its files on everyone everywhere. If everyone against such nonsense would add this routinely to their emails--

Message to NSA, FBI, CIA, Homeland Security and whatever other agency of the U.S. Government monitors my mail, phone, internet postings, invades my privacy, puts me on a list of subversives, and tries to interfere with my rights to free speech, peaceful protest, free association and other rights so many have fought for for so long—you are a cartel of criminal organizations that violates the rights of millions in the U.S. and abroad. So far your secret renditions, torture of prisoners, drone attacks, Special Operations assassinations, war crimes, and crimes against humanity have been committed with impunity. I hope that all of you responsible will in time get your due.

Message to those on government lists. You can request NSA for your Freedom of Information Act file by going to www.nsa.gov and from the FBI by emailing foiperrequest@ic.fbi.gov When you are denied on grounds of “national security” appeal, then turn your requests over to the ACLU and National Lawyers Guild so that they can do class action litigations.
 
 
0 # Archie1954 2013-10-29 10:07
If he does that what will all the US corporations do? They are used to being advised by the NSA on the latest information from the mouths of allied leaders, you know, how to beat them in trade negotiations and who is going to get the next big defense order.
 
 
0 # tpmco 2013-10-29 23:24
Yeah, it's gotten to the point where even an honest criminal can't make a living anymore. But we need to cut out an exception for the privileged, right...Diane?
 
 
0 # RMDC 2013-10-31 19:11
Obama and Feinstein are up to their necks in the national security state. They will say anything to placate the media and foreign leaders. But they won't stop spying. They both believe deeply in spying, covert actions (including murder and terrorism), and the power of all US spy agencies.

This is about nothing.
 

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