When Edward Snowden revealed the extent of NSA surveillance of foreign countries, President Obama was called upon to address the issue at a press conference in Africa. The following quote is part of what he had to say.
"We should stipulate that every intelligence service – not just ours, but every European intelligence service, every Asian intelligence service, wherever there's an intelligence service … here's one thing that they're going to be doing: they're going to be trying to understand the world better and what's going on in world capitals," he told a press conference during a long-scheduled trip Tanzania. "If that weren't the case, then there'd be no use for an intelligence service."
"And I guarantee you that in European capitals, there are people who are interested in, if not what I had for breakfast, at least what my talking points might be should I end up meeting with their leaders. That's how intelligence services operate," Obama added.
Nevertheless, he acknowledged concern over the revelations in Der Spiegel and the Guardian and said the National Security Agency would evaluate the claims and will then inform allies about the allegations.
"What I've said to my team is: take a look at this article, figure out what they may or may not be talking about, and then we'll communicate to our allies appropriately," Obama said.
As the White House seeks to contain the diplomatic fallout from the controversy, Obama also sought to reassure fellow world leaders that the scale of US espionage against friendly nations did not signify a lack of trust.
"I'm the end user of this kind of intelligence," he said. "And if I want to know what Chancellor Merkel is thinking, I will call Chancellor Merkel. If I want to know President Hollande is thinking on a particular issue, I'll call President Hollande. And if I want to know what, you know, David Cameron's thinking, I call David Cameron. Ultimately, you know, we work so closely together that there's almost no information that's not shared between our various countries."
"Disingenuous" is too kind a word to apply to this verbal tripe. Besides, disingenuous has been applied to so many of Obama's explanations during his 4-1/2 year Presidency that it is no longer valid. It is an excuse. The man deceives and spins and dances away from the truth.
At least Obama is consistent. He tells foreign heads of state the same nonsense he tells us. Obama wants us to believe that, because he is "the end user of this kind (italics mine) of intelligence," they and we have nothing to fear. After all, he is saying, I am the Leader of the Free World. Trust me.
Bullshit, I say. President Obama, I don't believe anything you say. I don't trust you at all.
The Light Refreshment: 1957
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