Lots of conservative folks – especially the ones in Congress – haven’t been bothered much by Obama’s massive expansion of the surveillance state put into place by his predecessor. This is because they insist that they have “nothing to hide” and therefore a violation of their Fourth Amendment rights is ok. But the NSA programs were never as much about preventing “terrorism” – like the Boston Marathon bombing – and always were geared towards more nefarious purposes such as monitoring and crushing political dissent, blackmail, industrial espionage, accumulation of money and power and snooping on political enemies. Now in a Wall Street Journal bombshell it has been revealed that the NSA Stasi was actively engaged in spying on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders and that the eavesdropping also caught up members of the U.S. Congress colluding to sink the Iran nuclear deal.
The WSJ Report is entitled “U.S. Spy Net on Israel Snares Congress” and I excerpt the following:
President Barack Obama announced two years ago he would curtail eavesdropping on friendly heads of state after the world learned the reach of long-secret U.S. surveillance programs.
But behind the scenes, the White House decided to keep certain allies under close watch, current and former U.S. officials said. Topping the list was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The U.S., pursuing a nuclear arms agreement with Iran at the time, captured communications between Mr. Netanyahu and his aides that inflamed mistrust between the two countries and planted a political minefield at home when Mr. Netanyahu later took his campaign against the deal to Capitol Hill.
The National Security Agency’s targeting of Israeli leaders and officials also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups. That raised fears—an “Oh-s— moment,” one senior U.S. official said—that the executive branch would be accused of spying on Congress.
White House officials believed the intercepted information could be valuable to counter Mr. Netanyahu’s campaign. They also recognized that asking for it was politically risky. So, wary of a paper trail stemming from a request, the White House let the NSA decide what to share and what to withhold, officials said. “We didn’t say, ‘Do it,’ ” a senior U.S. official said. “We didn’t say, ‘Don’t do it.’ ”
The entire article can be read here.
Perhaps this will finally provide an impetus for the fat and happy corrupt Congress to actually convene some investigations and implement restrictions on the totally out of control surveillance powers of the state that is both Orwellian and unconstitutional in nature. It will be interesting to get the establishment and the media’s bipartisan savior Paul Ryan on record as to what he thinks about this – especially since he was largely responsible for sneaking Obama’s long sought cybersecurity bill into the government funding omnibus which erased any progress that was made in reigning in Big Brother after the Edward Snowden leaks.
The report also indicates that Obama’s Stasi was spying on American Jewish groups – shades of the Gestapo.