It’s hard to think of a time in the history of America’s intelligence community when it has been more battered by accusations of over-stepping or mismanaging its mission: to secretly gather information to support the activities of the U.S. government
The list of recent revelations grew over the weekend with allegations that America has been systematically spying on its European allies. Reports in the European press, apparently drawn from documents provided by Edward Snowden, suggested that America spied on the European Union, France, Italy, Greece and other close international friends, listening in on encrypted fax transmissions and planting bugs and other devices at 38 embassies and missions in Washington and New York, as well as locations in Europe.
he timing is not great: the eve of scheduled trade talks with the Europeans, a priority of the Obama administration. The new reports have caused a furor across the continent, stoking the uproar caused by earlier Snowden-related revelations that America has been listening in on millions of German calls and e-mails.
Top officials, like Secretary of State John Kerry, shrugged it off by saying allies often spy on each other, and others, like former Director of the NSA and CIA Gen. Michael Hayden, noted that some friends spied on us. But the damage was done to important relationships and to the Obama administration’s prior claims that it would conduct itself according to a different standard than past U.S. governments.
This all comes on the heels of reports that the overreach of the intelligence community begins at home. While it will be cold comfort to our NATO allies that we are only treating them as we do our own people, the details of programs that warehouse massive amounts of phone metadata and e-mail traffic were the first shock waves produced by the Snowden leaks.
Full article: http://www.cnn.com/2 … velations/index.html