Soon after it was revealed that the NSA was spying on our allies President Obama assured America and the world that we would no longer spy on friendly nations. A new Wall Street Journal report shows that his no spying promise, like so many others made by Barack Obama, was a lie.
The President was so anxious to protect his Iran deal and have something he can call a foreign policy legacy, he decided to keep “certain allies under close watch” and topping the watch 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.’ ”
But it was done. As they listened in to the Israeli Premier, Obama learned how Bibi and his team leaked the secret details of the White House capitulations negotiations with Iran, how Israel coordinated talking points with American Jewish organizations, and how they played horse trading with members of Congress.
And the Obama spying lie was bigger than just Netanyahu, he continued to spy on other friendly governments…well, just because.
In closed-door debate, the Obama administration weighed which allied leaders belonged on a so-called protected list, shielding them from NSA snooping. French President François Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other North Atlantic Treaty Organization leaders made the list, but the administration permitted the NSA to target the leaders’ top advisers, current and former U.S. officials said. Other allies were excluded from the protected list, including Recep Tayyip Erdogan, president of NATO ally Turkey, which allowed the NSA to spy on their communications at the discretion of top officials.
Apparently Obama believed that spying on Netanyahu served a “compelling national security purpose,” which was of course, reach a deal with Iran, no matter how much it may place Americans in danger of a nuclear attack by Iran or more likely one of its terrorist flunkeys….as long as the President has his foreign policy legacy.
Once Israel began its lobbying effort to congress, the NSA began to collect those conversations.
A 2011 NSA directive said direct communications between foreign intelligence targets and members of Congress should be destroyed when they are intercepted. But the NSA director can issue a waiver if he determines the communications contain “significant foreign intelligence.”
They got around the rule by removing the names of the congressional members from the reports, as well as taking out personal details and “trash talk,” “such as personal attacks on the executive branch.”
The NSA reports allowed administration officials to peer inside Israeli efforts to turn Congress against the deal. Mr. Dermer was described as coaching unnamed U.S. organizations—which officials could tell from the context were Jewish-American groups—on lines of argument to use with lawmakers, and Israeli officials were reported pressing lawmakers to oppose the deal.
“These allegations are total nonsense,” said a spokesman for the Embassy of Israel in Washington.
A U.S. intelligence official familiar with the intercepts said Israel’s pitch to undecided lawmakers often included such questions as: “How can we get your vote? What’s it going to take?”
Gee that sounds like any lobbying group.
The agency’s goal was “to give us an accurate illustrative picture of what [the Israelis] were doing,” a senior U.S. official said.
Just before Mr. Netanyahu’s address to Congress in March, the NSA swept up Israeli messages that raised alarms at the White House: Mr. Netanyahu’s office wanted details from Israeli intelligence officials about the latest U.S. positions in the Iran talks, U.S. officials said.
Thanks to Barack Obama, the NSA spying which blunted the opposition, and the Democratic party Americans are less safe in December 2015 than we were December of 2014. Obama’s many capitulations to the terrorist regime in Iran showed him to be weak and feckless, and his spy program confirms what we already know, this president puts his political legacy in before the truth and the safety of the American people.