NSA Denies Obama Knew Of Snooping On German Leader

Officials say Obama didn't know about alleged monitoring of Chancellor Angela Merkel

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The ongoing controversy over the U.S. government’s alleged snooping on the German chancellor’s cell phone has the White House starting the week on the defensive, with conflicting reports about what President Barack Obama knew and when.

A German newspaper reported Sunday that Obama has known about the National Security Agency monitoring Chancellor Angela Markel’s phone since 2010. But the NSA says the agency never discussed the matter with Obama, the BBC reports. And the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that the NSA ended the program supposedly used to spy on Merkel and other world leaders after an internal Obama administration review revealed the existence of the program to the White House over the summer,

With the issue mushrooming into a major diplomatic headache between the U.S., Germany and other allies, the administration stepped up its insistence that Obama knew nothing, though it has yet to explicitly acknowledge that the snooping occurred in the first place. An NSA spokesperson said Sunday that agency head Gen. Keitth Alexander “did not discuss with President Obama in 2010 an alleged foreign intelligence operation involving German Chancellor Merkel, nor has he ever discussed alleged operations involving Chancellor Merkel. News reports claiming otherwise are not true.”

The German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, citing an unnamed NSA source and documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, reported that Obama did not stop the bugging after the NSA told him of it, and wanted to know as much as possible about Merkel since he “did not trust her.”

German diplomats are a planning a visit to the White House soon to discuss the matter.

[WSJ]

[BBC]

10 comments
AlisonS49216591
AlisonS49216591

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davidf95
davidf95

Which is actually worse? Him knowing or not knowing?

eagle11772
eagle11772

What did the President know and when did he know it ?  I thing only Watergate-style congressional hearings should begin immediately to get to teh bottom of this. This administration is THE MOST CORRUPT AND SECRETIVE administration in American history !  What happened to The Obamaniac's vaunted "transparency" ? !  START the congressional hearings !  Impeach this BUM !  And throw Stumblebum Joe in there !  Where the heck has he been anyways ? !  Hiding out laying in the weeds to this OBAMACARE fiasco blows over ? !  IMPEACH THIS BUM !  NEXT !

jmanpc
jmanpc

Obama apparently doesn't know anything. Every time some piece of bad news peeks its head, Obama inevitably knows nothing about it. Benghazi, NSA shenanigans, healthcare website glitches, etc.

He is either lying or he just didn't have a clue. Some president!

Heizzzenberg
Heizzzenberg

ENOUGH...I feel like I'm taking crazy pills... It's been known for DECADES that we intercepted communications in countries such as Germany with THEIR permission and assistance. Yeeesh we did this throughout the Cold War without issue and even today we work with German/French/Spanish intel to hack/intercept/interpret communications from their citizens.  This outrage is simple politics. 

Ask any diplomat or high profile business executive heading to places like France... we are constantly warned to be on guard as the French have a history of raiding hotel rooms, stealing information, and committing intense corporate espionage on US businesses and interests..wheres the outrage there? EXACTLY. Please just stop the BS and fake acts of shock...



daridekas
daridekas

A president should know everything that is going on in his country so if Obama really didnt know is something even worse to admit.

admin2:invetrics

DarrenTomlyn
DarrenTomlyn

@jmanpc 

You realize that the NSA hasn't even been informing the whole of the House Intelligence Committee, as they should, about what they've been up to either?  And that that is FAR, FAR, worse than not informing the President?

The NSA has essentially been writing it's own rules about what it should do and how, regardless of any so-called oversight.  That the President hasn't been fully informed, should not be any surprise at all.  Of course, G.W. Bush probably liked it that way :p

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131028/00460525031/rep-alan-grayson-i-learn-much-more-about-nsa-press-than-intelligence-briefings.shtml

vetramon
vetramon

@Heizzzenberg Enough of what, sir? So in your accepted world there is this new god , another one created by man, just to be controlled in any move we make. But who are these new gods that you so willingly and carelessly accept? The nations are controlled by big capitals, by theocratic capitals and by state capitals. So, the reason for existing for everyone of these new gods, is the continuing of their powers. They are going to protect themselves with any meaning at their disposal. Yes, in a nutshell, Power is the name of the game to preserve privileges. Who are these gods? A minority of people, be they, Capitalists, mullahs, Zionists or just plain strong men. The rest of us are just pawns. Pawns, like mr heizzzenberg, who gets too tired in his little and insignificant world to question what everyone should question, Are we really free?  Is the USA citizen really free?  Is the people of the world really free?  What elections? Why in a supposed democratic country the powers that be have to spy on the world and on their on citizens? SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY DON'T WANT RATIONAL AND THINKING HUMANS THAT QUESTION THEIR POWER.

   Hitler was defeated because he tried to impose on the world a master race. Capitalism and now its evolutionary variety, monopoly capital, is trying to impose its ugly results on the world. To achieve this, they use, mr heizzzenberg, the chriptomethods being used and thanks to mr SNOWDEN, you and the rest of the world are seeing this results internally and externally in the world. For the monopolistic Capital there are no friends, no citizens, no family, nada, rien, just the success at all cost of their view of the world.

   YEEESH, MR HEIZZZENBERG, THANKFULLY THERE ARE STILL SOME PEOPLE THAT DON'T WANT THIS KIND OF WORLD FOR THE FUTURE GENERATIONS AND ARE TRYING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS IN SPITE OF YOU AND OF THE NEW GODS. 

jmanpc
jmanpc

Even so, doesn't the lack of action bother you? Here's how it's been going and will ultimately be resolved.

Make a speech about it: check.

Launch an investigation: check.

Investigation unexplainably comes back clean: pending.

Next step: waiting game until something else pretty comes along to get the media's attention.

More than anything, the administration wants the people to care more about American idol again.

I don't understand why Obama isn't so far up the NSA's rear that he would make a proctologist green with envy. It would be another treasured mark on his blame Bush board.

That still doesn't explain why he's clueless about every other major story that had broken.