Last week the world acted outraged to find out that the NSA has been tapping the world leaders, like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, since as early as 2002. Of course there has always been an assumption of this happening in one of our main spy agencies, but there was shock, none the less.
Saturday the German magazine Der Siegel, citing anonymous NSA sources, reported that President Obama was informed and signed off on this program in 2010. This went further yesterday when the UK’s Telegraph picked up on the story and was then promoted by Drudge.
And today the story takes another turn. The Wall Street Journal, a publication known to not be friendly towards President Obama, is reporting that not only are reports that Obama knew and approved of these programs in 2010 false, but that when President Obama found out about them, he ordered the spying immediately halted.
So now we are sitting with reports that serious conflict one another and that raises some serious questions. First, if the Der Spiegel report is to be believed, then we are at a time and point where the administration must come under some serious oversight by Congress. But if that story is false, which evidence is suggesting now, then hopefully we can find out who this “anonymous NSA source” is that reported information that was only meant to hurt our countries standing with our allies and that person be fired and brought up on charges. I’m not advocating going after a whistleblower, but this person is anything but that. The wrong information this person put out there to the media had no other intent but to destroy the credibility of our nation on the international front, and that is very dangerous, teetering on treason.
Hopefully we can all put partisanship aside and Congress can start seriously looking into the spying stuff. A government agency running without checks and balances is a very serious threat to our democracy. That threat level increases countless times when that agency is one as powerful as the NSA, and given that we know these activities have gone on under two different administrations run by both parties, that means this issue needs to be looked at through red, white and blue eyes instead of just red and blue. If not, then the rest of the world will feel the need to take action and our diplomatic missions just took a really bad turn for the worse.