U.S. To Merkel: Don’t Worry A Functionary Ordered Your Surveillance

PresObama220px-Angela_Merkel_(2008)As the world joins in opposition to the U.S. attack on privacy worldwide, President Barack Obama has to face awkward meetings with world leaders of allied countries who were subjects of his surveillance. Some reports have stated that Obama personally approved the monitoring of Angela Merkel’s telephone three years ago. Now, the National Security Agency (NSA) is insisting that Obama did not order the monitoring personally. I am not sure what is worse: that Obama ordered interceptions of allied leaders like Merkel or that the surveillance state is so large that functionaries now have the discretion to order such surveillance. Merkel may not find it as more assuring that Obama didn’t order her monitoring than the notion such she is just another target delegated to discretion of lower level officials. It is also not clear if Mike Rogers is going to suggest that Merkel should also thank us for the monitoring.

NSA and the White House will only say that it is not currently monitoring Merkel’s phone calls as opposed to prior surveillance of our ally. The most chilling aspect of the response is the suggestion that this is just another delegated act from Obama. After all, he delegated the decision of which citizens should be killed on his unilateral authority under his Kill List policy. It is all part of our new Security State. Killing citizens, surveilling allied leaders, seizing the records of Americans from email and phone systems . . . it is all the new normal of delegated presidential authority. I have previously written about the dangers of the Imperial Presidency established by Obama. However, what is even more chilling is how absolute presidential powers become delegated absolute presidential powers. Such delegation not only gives presidents like Obama some deniability in scandals like this but allow for the expansion of such programs under a thousand faceless functionaries. Of course, the Administration is also pursuing a scorched earth policy against reporters and whistleblowers in the hopes of avoiding any future need to explain itself to anyone.

Even in the face of global condemnation, the cult of personality surrounding Obama continues to silence any significant opposition from Democrats. We have allowed the creation of a security state employing hundreds of thousands with hundreds of billions of invested public funds and giant annual budgets. It is a system that is designed to be used, not to remain dormant. We are not just the protected class but the targeted class of such surveillance. It is a system that runs on any source that could be a threat or reveal information of a threat — a standard that allows monitoring of friends and foes alike.

The Germans are of course upset because such surveillance happens to violate German law, but that has hardly proven a barrier in the United States. In expanding these programs, we appear to have transcended the rule of law to embrace a new model of a security state. We have gotten to the point that we not only treat our own laws as increasing discretionary but treat the laws of other nations as equally discretionary. Diplomatic principles are no more inviolate as civil liberties in the new world being fashioned around counter-terrorism. Once transparency has been achieved in the United States, it is inevitable that the world will then look unacceptably opaque to our security forces.

What is most striking from comments like those of Rogers is that we appear completely clueless or willfully blind to the view of our actions by other nations. Since we do not doubt our motivations, we cannot understand why anyone would be uncomfortable with our actions. As with drone strikes and assassination units, our view might change if other countries engaged in the same actions by ordering special forces to kill targets in the United States or unleashing drone attacks or seizing all of our phone records. As we break down legal walls and limits, we are returning the world to a diplomatic version of the state of nature. At that point, we will be left with the simple rule of “might is right.” It is the original law of the jungle and it is perfectly sustainable for the strongest amongst us. Having realized Nixon’s dream of an Imperial Presidency, Obama seems to have moved on to extending Teddy Roosevelt’s Big Stick policy to cover the world and the world leaders.


Source: National Post

124 thoughts on “U.S. To Merkel: Don’t Worry A Functionary Ordered Your Surveillance”

  1. Pingback: click here
  2. ap,
    Disturbing hypocrisy on Feinstein’s part. Either fix the problem or push your CYA bill through.

  3. SOTB,

    I strongly suspect, though I was never actually told, that Arab terrorists were at home there at the time for this was shortly after the failed rescue attempt under Carter.

  4. @Blouise – I was just listening to the war-criminal-#2 (i.e. Cheney) talking to Charlie Rose this past Tuesday about his new heart and how Mr. Obama is doing everything wrong as it applies to the NSA debacle. My hand had an autonomic reaction (palm to face?)… This cretin has the nerve to talk about ANYTHING at this point? I think the family should demand their child’s heart back. Charlie zinged him back though: “Might you have seen Iraq differently if we had more oxygen to your brain?”

    Yes Spain was one of the cry-baby NSA targets too. Come on! A lot of the tangos are in Madrid – right? What about the train attacks? Spain doesn’t have any room to balk at anything we are doing. It’s only to help them in the GWOT in the long run. Didn’t Spain’s own CNI have something to do with the NSA spying on 60 million Spanish citizens?

    This reminds me of the scene in Analyze This (1999) where DeNiro was mocking a hit victim crying like a baby. These European leaders are mostly all in bed with the “rowdy friends” and Mr. Obama needs to know where the next shoe is coming from. Machiavellian? Yes it is. But Ben Franklin once said “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
    ==================== 2500 years ago ====================
    Thus, what enables the wise sovereign and the good general to … achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is FOREKNOWLEDGE. Now this foreknowledge cannot be elicited from spirits; it cannot be obtained inductively from experience, nor by any deductive calculation. Knowledge of the enemy’s dispositions can only be obtained from other men. Hence the use of spies, of whom there are five classes: (1) Local spies; (2) inward spies; (3) converted spies; (4) doomed spies; (5) surviving spies. [and maybe (6) NSA PRISM?] When these five kinds of spy are all at work, none can discover the secret system. This is called “divine manipulation of the threads.” It is the sovereign’s [or Obama’s] most precious faculty.” – Sun Tzu – The Art of War – Chapter 13 verses 4-8.

    Persona non grata in Spain huh? Someone told me that the same thing applied to me but only in Moscow (or any where the Grey Cardinal rules) – unlike Snowden huh? No worries. Wasn’t planning on doing any overseas trips anyway. Canada and Mexico are my only trips recently and I’m fine now for the next decade or so.

    1. “This cretin has the nerve to talk about ANYTHING at this point? I think the family should demand their child’s heart back. Charlie zinged him back though: “Might you have seen Iraq differently if we had more oxygen to your brain?”


      I saw that Charlie Rose interview and when he asked that question I was blown away. As you might know I am three years out of a heart transplant after almost dying from Cardiomyopathy. People don’t really understand how much such heart disease affects judgment and the thought processes. I noe instance I even cursed my wife out when I was clearly very sick and she wanted me to go to the hospital. The lack of oxygen put me into a psychotic state and she was told at the hospital that she saved my life by calling 911 despite my ravings. I wrote a guest blog about my experience here:


      Charlie Rose’s question to Cheney was an insightful one. From my experience I learned that I couldn’t even make the right decisions for myself, much less my country. Cheney’s hubris wouldn’t let him see that or acknowledge that.

  5. Nate,

    Not to speak for our host, but complicity is complicity whether directly active (and I do agree there is some of that going on, looking your direction Feinstein and Pelosi) or indirectly via another mechanism (such as the definite air of Cult of Personality the man so unjustly enjoys). You may differ on prime causes, but I think the observation of the result nets the same complicity.

  6. Dr. Turley,

    “Even in the face of global condemnation, the cult of personality surrounding Obama continues to silence any significant opposition from Democrats.”

    With all due respect, I find your repetition of this position tiresome.

    Complicit is the word, and thereby my utter uninterest in the group as a whole. No better than the other side they so vehemently condemn, in my humble opinion.

    When the rest of the world tires of the U.S. and disengages from it by replacing the dollar as the de facto standard currency…

  7. SOTB,

    Hopscotch … will find it this week.

    When I mentioned Spain I was specifically referring to a country that would bring those 2 boys to trial.

    Many, many years ago I was planning a trip overseas. Spain was on the list until I was told, in no uncertain terms, that it was not a safe place for me at that time because I would be vulnerable based on a my close relationship with a certain relative. If I didn’t cross Spain off my list, my passport would develop problems. Hand to heart.

  8. Oops!!! My bad…
    “This is a parody of nsa.gov and has not been approved, endorsed, or authorized by the National Security Agency or by any other U.S. Government agency. Much of this content was derived from news media, privacy groups, and government websites. Links to these sites are posted on the left-sidebars of each page.”

    It’s hosted by http://www.1and1.com owned by United Internet a German company.

  9. I must admit I never heard of a YOTTA. I did not know that NSA was that high in DASD space. To speed up your algorithm why don’t you take a lesson from Google and index the ENTIRE database (which will take several days probably) and then search via an index? Maybe you’re doing that already? I believe they use spiders and robots. But that probably wont work for you as you download everything first then search it right? I assume your using Linux? Do you take out all line-feeds in your code and make it just on continuous line of code? Or do you use an compiler versus an interpreter? Interpreters are very slow…

    Screen scraping? Are you following in the footsteps of the ill-fated Russ Kick’s memory hole? He was hacked in 2009 by the intelligence community and he never recovered. It would be nice to see another memory hole unlike WikiLeaks which is just an Israeli-funded propaganda machine IMO. Notice NOTHING is ever mentioned about their black ops. I wonder why?

  10. SOTB,

    It’s called a raid farm. Way more than one drive (thirty, to be exact, not counting the index).

    The NSA facility in Utah, according to the NSA, is the, “first facility in the world expected to gather and house a yottabyte.”


    Yotta is 10^24.


    My indexing and search algorithms don’t perform well though, but my scrape code does. I have to take naps in between searches.

  11. @Blouise – Yes GBK’s story is very interesting. It appears that not only Jr. had his daughter close the deal but Rev. Sun Y. Moon has even bigger property at Chaco about 1.4m acres! On top of that Sr. purchased property near the Rev’s plot, also big! And to make things even worse the USAF opened a SpecOps base at Mariscal Estigarribia staffed with 400 men in 2005 (Coordinates: 22°2′0″S 60°38′0″W). The base is still operational. And to top even that off Paraguay has a war-criminal immunity stance. They granted ALL of the property owners and the troops at MEAFB the same immunity.

    Scuttlebutt is that it’s all about a Venezuelan invasion but has since stand-down due to Chavez’s mysterious death recently. However, that only covers MEAFB not Moon or the Bushes. I hope it’s not some “rowdy friends” reunion place. And Angela Merkel is related to them too.

  12. If GBK has a 15 terabyte hard drive I must be way too low on the size of the acres of supercomputers and DASD space NSA has. Does anybody know the true size of the data storage capacity of Bumblehive? If not what’s bigger than terabytes? My nephew just bought one from Best Buy and I was floored. They actually sell stuff like that? What was he going to use it for I asked. He said photos and video images as he is a Hollywood producer/director. He said it was quite expensive. I’m still old-school and working off of 10GB drive. Call me old fashioned.

  13. @Gene H. – You’re right my friend, all that data could and was used for LEVERAGE as you say. Bush Jr. did. It’s debatable that Barry is though. I think General Alexander will do the right thing and be a proper “custodian” with all of those multiple-Terabytes of data he is crunching out in that Bluffdale Utah data center know as “Bumblehive”. They didn’t open 24 Sept due to an electrical fire which stopped the ribbon-cutting ceremony. I wonder if they’ll give the Gray Cardinal a tour? He’s a friend now and not an enemy any more – right? Harboring an enemy of the US state should not be a problem? Maybe they’ll let Snowden tag along during the tour too. Don’t get me wrong I do not have a man crush on the GC. I agree with Nick he is not a good person. And yes he is holding people in the Gulag including an American which no one in USA seems to be concerned about because they think he died in a plane crash. But that’s another story…

  14. Obama said it… You can believe it…. He wouldn’t mislead the US….or anyone else…..

  15. OK… Diane Fienstien can only work with the IC (intelligence community) only if they are willing to sit in a Senate chamber in executive session to talk about IC operations. Most of them cooperate but sometimes they don’t. They can’t be forced to talk about black ops if they say they don’t do black ops (which is common). The NSA and CIA are notorious for sending in the clowns who act like Johnny Tightlips from the Simpsons.

    @Blouise – Well I guess they won’t be using their passports any time soon. I know The Hague would love to meet them. The idea that the Bushes have land in Paraguay or Uruguay does not shock me. You know my contentions about ALL of them and where their TRUE political alliances really are. Those two countries have been harboring fugitives from WW2 for 68-years now! So a great place to FLEE to when the other shoe drops hopefully before 2016 when John or Neil take the oath of office in January. Did you know the younger sister was married to a KOCH? Wow!

    White House OK’s spying on allies? NSA has tons of pointless data to data mine for terrorists? I don’t see the problem. If 2,500 years ago General Sun Tzu had such resources his Art of War would had been even more phenomenal. And as you know the IC and our military still follow Sun Tzu’s advice. Know your enemy better than you know your self. With all that data who’s to say WHO the real enemies are? That way when you sift (or data mine) you may discover NEW enemies you never even knew about.

    James Spada is playing a really cool role in BLACKLIST (2013) about an ex-ONI spook who was being groomed as a Admiral. He goes freelance as a cobbler who makes shoes (or false flags in the parlance). He exposes enemies we didn’t even know we had. However, he’s working for Phoebe (FBI) and not CIA or NSA in the TV series. Why? Because he detests them. There is a CIA woman liaison-ed to FBI in the series though. She promptly EIT’s (aka tortures) a prisoner to set the stereotype that CIA officers are cruel and beastly people (well not all of them are) 🙂

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