The Obama administration, which has a spotless track record in taking credit for everything that goes right (all of which is thanks to Bernanke’s flooding the world with record liquidity as when the No Free Lunch bill comes due, it will be some other president’s clean up), has an even more impeccable history of deflecting responsibility for all that goes wrong.
Most recently, it was the horrific rollout of Obamacare which as we observed earlier in the week, was all “someone else’s fault” but certainly not the government’s. Now, as the Snowden whistleblowing scandal has found its third (or fourth) wind courtesy of a furious international response following revelations that Obama was listening in to Merkel and at least 34 other world leaders’, it is time for perhaps the most stunning revelation of all: you see, Obama is shocked, shocked to learn that cell phone spying – of virtually everyone on the planet – is going on in here.
From the WSJ:
The White House cut off some monitoring programs after learning of them, including the one tracking Ms. Merkel and some other world leaders, a senior U.S. official said. Other programs have been slated for termination but haven’t been phased out completely yet, officials said.
The account suggests President Barack Obama went nearly five years without knowing his own spies were bugging the phones of world leaders. Officials said the NSA has so many eavesdropping operations under way that it wouldn’t have been practical to brief him on all of them.
They added that the president was briefed on and approved of broader intelligence-collection “priorities,” but that those below him make decisions about specific intelligence targets.
The senior U.S. official said that the current practice has been for these types of surveillance decisions to be made at the agency level. “These decisions are made at NSA,” the official said. “The president doesn’t sign off on this stuff.” That protocol now is under review, the official added.
NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines said NSA based its operations on priorities set across the U.S. government. “The agency’s activities stem from the National Intelligence Priorities Framework, which guides prioritization for the operation, planning and programming of U.S. intelligence analysis and collection,” she said.
The administration didn’t end all operations involving world leaders following this summer’s revelations because some of the programs are producing intelligence of use to the U.S.
Time to throw the low-cost alternative: where besides every single bank in the past 5 years have we seen this model? But more importantly, as so many were predicting, five years of zero knowledge means… it was all Bush’s fault again!
Which after seeing the following snapshots from 2006, makes some sense.
It makes just as perfect sense that supposedly mid-level janitors decide which leaders of the free and not so free world they will decide to eavesdrop on without even informally informing the president.
It makes even greater sense that a government which is desperately strapped for money, can spend billions on wiretaps in Spain, where El Mundo reports, the NSA monitored 60.5 million Spanish phone calls between December 2012 and January 2013.
Because when in doubt, spend taxpayer money when not even the president has any idea why the entire world is suddenly quite angry with him and America. And then panic when the government shutdown results in the furlough of thousands of spies otherwise busy eavesdropping on Frau Merkel.
But going back to the original point: with just under 3 years to go in his term, an economy that is foundering and which not all the moneyprinting in history can offset the inevitable, a budget deficit that depsite recent dips is still the largest until 2008, does Obama actually have any idea what the US Government is spending money on, or is his daily teleprompted address the only thing that Obama actually has a hand in.
As for the punchline: remember when Obama said he would have disclosed all the Snowden revelations anyway? That is now in the running for funniest phrase of the year.