Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Spare Us the Drama

Josh Marshall on the pearl-clutching over spying on foreign leaders:

Churning through countless domestic phone calls is one thing – that has very real constitutional implications. It may be a similar thing with doing that in Spain or other countries in Europe and the Middle East, though the constitutional questions are very different. But please, please spare me the shock and surprise that the US spies on foreign leaders, even allies, even close allies. These countries spy on our leaders too. The only real exception is within the special club of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand where, for a variety of historical reasons, a pretty different set of rules and integration apply.

Now, as a domestic political matter, I totally understand why these European leaders are freaked. It’s a big problem for them domestically when it’s laid out so baldly in front of everyone. Beyond national security issues, this will likely take a real economic toll on the US. So I’m not surprised at the reaction. I don’t begrudge it. But the tenor of the reporting in the US is frankly bizarre, either totally tendentious or wildly naive.

Not only that, five will get you ten that those countries do their level best to spy on us and wouldn’t miss a chance to tap the phone in the Oval Office or even hack the Twitter account of President Obama.

One bark on “Spare Us the Drama

  1. I still don’t understand a) why we’re surprised at all and b) why nobody who’s all twitterpated now over the “scandal” saw nothing wrong with giving the NSA carte blanche to do precisely this ten years ago.

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