Sen. Feinstein opposed to practice of snooping on leaders short of emergency decree by government.
October 29, 2013
On Monday, the Obama administration said it will “review” the NSA practice of spying on friendly world leaders following outrage from Germany and other nations over the practice.
According to the Associated Press, Obama has yet to make a final decision, but “the fact that it is even being considered underscores the level of concern within the administration over the possible damage from the months-long spying scandal — including the most recent disclosure that the National Security Agency was monitoring the communications of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.”
Merkel’s outrage over spying tempered by fact the German government used NSA programs on its own people.
The latest revelations prompted California Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, to call for a “total review of all intelligence programs” following allegations by Merkel that the super-secret spy agency had listened in on her phone calls.
Merkel’s outrage, however, is tempered by the fact German intelligence used NSA spy programs for domestic surveillance.
“With respect to NSA collection of intelligence on leaders of U.S. allies — including France, Spain, Mexico and Germany — let me state unequivocally: I am totally opposed,” Feinstein said. She said “collecting phone calls or emails of friendly presidents and prime ministers” should not occur unless authorized under an emergency decree by the president.
Feinstein said the Obama administration had informed her that “collection on our allies will not continue,” although the White House later characterized the Democrat’s statement as inaccurate.
The large scale snooping on Merkel and others was revealed by former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden.
Feinstein and Obama, however, have not pledged to stop NSA surveillance of the American people despite polls showing 60 percent of them oppose unconstitutional spying and the extralegal process used by the government’s secret court to authorize widespread surveillance.
Despite a non-stop effort by the establishment media to portray Edward Snowden as a “leaker” who broke the law and thus cast doubt on his revelations, a large number of Americans no longer believe it is necessary to violate constitutional rights in order to fight terrorism, a practice that has increased in intensity in the years since the September 11 attacks.