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German Report: Obama Aware of Merkel Spying Since 2010 280

Posted by samzenpus
from the oh-you-mean-that-spying dept.
First time accepted submitter pupsocket writes "Yesterday the German newspaper of record, Frankfurter Allgemeine, reported that the President told German Chancellor Merkel that he would have stopped the tap on her phone had he known about it. Today, another German paper, Bild am Sonntag, quoted U.S. Intelligence sources that the President had been briefed in 2010. 'Obama did not halt the operation but rather let it continue,' the newspaper quoted a high-ranking NSA official as saying."
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German Report: Obama Aware of Merkel Spying Since 2010

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  • Sounds legit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 27, 2013 @09:38AM (#45250777)

    So Slashdot reports that Yahoo News printed an article from AFP that the newspaper Bild am Sonntag heard from a "high-ranking NSA official" that something happened! It's like Obama told me himself....

    • Re:Sounds legit (Score:4, Informative)

      by fisted (2295862) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @12:42PM (#45251759)
      Calling "BILD am Sonntag" a newspaper is a joke by itself. I'm German, so I know this first hand, taking a look at their website, however, should convince everyone else to a similar degree [bild.de] I presume you don't even have to understand German in order to see what sort of 'newspaper' we're dealing with, here.
      • by he-sk (103163)

        Yes, BILD is utter garbage, but sometimes they do land a scoop, for example, when they found out that Christian Wulff borrowed 250K to purchase his new home.

        Given the topic, I'm inclined to believe them.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Given my bias, I'm inclined to believe them.

          Fixed that for you. No "high-ranking NSA official" would talk to the press without a prepared statement, especially not some off-brand foreign rag. This story failed the sniff test from fifty paces, and you're "inclined to believe them?" More telling of your own bias than anything else...

      • Re:Sounds legit (Score:4, Informative)

        by pupsocket (2853647) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @01:04PM (#45251877)

        Yes, if Fox news showed topless women, we would have Bild.

        The other sources include Frankfurter Allgemeine and Der Spiegel, who are in the top tier of journalistic respectability.

        Der Spiegel reports that Merkels was on a list provided to Presidents since 2002.

        The only exclusive that Bild got was the 2010 briefing to the President by the senior NSA officials.

        You know, the ones who are supposed to provide the President deniability.

  • by flyneye (84093) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @09:41AM (#45250789) Homepage

    Quietly spying on the womans cell since 2010, no one else knew but a few NSA lackeys. Even they couldn't see him locked in a dark office, alone, with no sound but the repetitive monkey slapping between his legs and the faint conversation of Merkel in his earpiece. " MMMmmm, I got your cigar Biatch! Daddy's gonna Farfergnugen your strudel, Heidi".....

    It's a Democrat thing, ask Bill or John or Lyndon.

    • Since 2002 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:44AM (#45251133)

      She's been spied on since before she became the German leader, the 2010 thing comes out from possible Keith Alexander backers:
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24692908#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

      "But on Sunday Bild newspaper quoted US intelligence sources as saying NSA head Keith Alexander personally briefed the president about the covert operation targeting Mrs Merkel in 2010."

      Which sounds like Keith Alexander having a go at Obama if anything (or supporters of Alexander).

      But what struck me is the sheer naivety of the woman:

      "Mrs Merkel - an Americophile who was awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 - is said to be shocked that Washington may have engaged in the sort of spying she had to endure growing up in Communist East Germany."

      That's why they let her become Chancellor! if she was against America, you can be damn sure they'd be using all that info they have on her to her disadvantage to make sure she didn't come into power. It's not *her* who is the victim here, its the German they spied on to weed him out of the race for Chancellor. And the democracy they undermined in the process.

      She should know this from the KGB control of East Germany that ensured only party approved leaders could ever be elected.

      They're shaping their 'allies' to make them into 'servants'. I think a few of them know it. 5 eyes countries leaders seems to know they have to tow the US line or be leaked against, and maybe a few others. Some others, might suspect it, but don't want to seem paranoid.

      Merkel needs to realize that her surfing history is known too, so is her emails, the public info she read that's known, the open discussions, known. Coutresy of Bullrun, probably even the encrypted one. It's not done for laughs, it's done for control.

  • Credibility gap (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PoochieReds (4973) <(ten.sdereihcoop) (ta) (notyalj)> on Sunday October 27, 2013 @09:43AM (#45250801) Homepage

    Why would anyone believe anything that Obama or NSA lackeys say at this point? It's too late for that. Obama's successor is going to have a huge credibility gap to bridge...

    • Re:Credibility gap (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 27, 2013 @09:51AM (#45250835)

      If you like your doctor you can keep him.
      If you like your insurance you can keep it.
      My administration will be the most transparent ever.
      This is the moment when the rise of the oceans began to stop video [youtube.com]
      Gitmo will close by the end of my first term.
      The average family of four will see their health insurance lower by $2500 a year.
      If we pass my stimilus the unemployment won't go over 8%.
      The US is the country that invented the automobile video [youtube.com]
      What you are not seeing with the NSA spying is abuses of their abilities.
      via Clapper... The NSA is not spying on millions of Americans
      I did call the attack on Benghazi a terrorist attack right from the beginning.

      I could go on all day. Its actually harder to find things he say that are truthful then lies. Not sure why it takes what has been going on recently for everyone else to start seeing this.

      • Re:Credibility gap (Score:5, Insightful)

        by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:24AM (#45251009)
        To be honest, many of these things probably stem from delusional optimism and self-deception; a mental disorder endemic within Homo politicus.
        • by JWW (79176) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:36AM (#45251081)

          Not just optimism and self deception, theres a great deal of narcissism and megalomania there too.

          • by Boronx (228853)

            Which, sadly, is par for the course for recent presidents except for Carter, but most people don't think he was a good president.

            Americans on average want a folksy, likeable, confident, dominant, stone-cold killer for president.

            There's also just politics. The president isn't a dictator and doesn't get everything he wants. Lastly, sometimes a man changes his minds.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by evilviper (135110)

        Oh, well if an AC on the internet says the president is a liar, it must be true. I've got chain-emails that say so...

        How about actually getting a fair and reasonably comprehensive assessment from an unbiased source? Crazy, right?

        http://www.politifact.com/personalities/barack-obama/ [politifact.com]

      • by Boronx (228853)

        > If you like your doctor you can keep him.

        Broken promise.

        > If you like your insurance you can keep it.

        Broken promise.

        > My administration will be the most transparent ever.

        Broken promise.

        > This is the moment when the rise of the oceans began to stop video [youtube.com]

        Vague, too soon to tell.

        > Gitmo will close by the end of my first term.

        Broken promise. He actually tried and was blocked.

        > The average family of four will see their health insurance lower by $2500 a year.

        Too soon to tell. (

      • Re:Credibility gap (Score:5, Insightful)

        by 7-Vodka (195504) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @02:38PM (#45252485) Journal

        How about recently:

        • Raising the debt ceiling won't raise the debt.
        • We have to raise the debt ceiling to pay our bills
        • If we don't raise the debt ceiling we will have to default.
    • None of that matters one bit. It will change nothing, and democrats and republicans will continue to dominate. Not without the electorate's approval, of course. People were actually pissed about Watergate and Vietnam and the FBI, and it changed nothing then either. The "outrage" is nothing but farting into the wind.

      • You had me until the farting into the wind part. The outrage is actually very carefully crafted into election results for the "good guys" who do nothing but continue the same policies, just not as publicly.
    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      It could actually be bad for Obama personally, if say someone in the EU named him in a civil suit or a law enforcement agency decided to put an a European Arrest Warrant for him. He wouldn't be able to attend summits in Europe any more... If he really is the fall guy for the NSA they have stitched him up well.

  • what a joke (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 27, 2013 @09:44AM (#45250805)

    IRS targeting conservatives? Nobody at the White House knew.

    Healthcare enrollment website has massive problems? The President didn't know.

    NSA tapping German Prime Minister's phone? The President didn't know.

    At some point, the American people have to start wondering if the President knows anything.

    • Re:what a joke (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Shavano (2541114) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:28AM (#45251033)

      Some corrections. The IRS wasn't targeting conservatives per se. It was targeting ALL political groups that were applying for tax exempt status under new absurd rules handed down from the (SCOTUS) Ivory Tower.

      Healthcare enrollment website has massive problems, well yeah, I'm sure the President knew as much from press reports as the rest of us. But I'm guessing that his subordinates at several levels down the chain were minimizing the problem so what at the level of the people directly responsible for working on the problem looked like a total nightmare was regarded with decreasing severity at each level up the chain. Like this:

      webmasters: Website is fucked. Needs basic redesign that will take months to fix.
      direct managers: Website has major problems. Some elements will need to be overhauled.
      middle managers: Website has significantly underperformed. Some changes will be needed before it performs as expected. ...
      Deputy HHS Secretary in charge of project: Website is experiencing some customer difficulties. We are working on it but it might take a while.
      HHS Secretary: There have been some troubles with the website rollout. We're working on it. Should be fixed soon.
      President of the United States: ???

      Who hasn't seen pretty much this same scenario play out in their own organizations?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Some corrections. The IRS wasn't targeting conservatives per se. It was targeting ALL political groups that were applying for tax exempt status under new absurd rules handed down from the (SCOTUS) Ivory Tower.

        Nice talking point that has been shown to be a lie. They were "on the lookout" for all groups, which is what you are claiming. They "prevented registration" only for conservative groups. Two different things and you are hoping people are too stupid to know the difference, or you are the stupid one. No conservative group got their tax exempt status for 2 years, a process that is supposed to take no more than 90 days. NO liberal groups were similarly restricted and when Congress had hearings the DNC was

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by onyxruby (118189)

          Proven a lie? Obama himself apologized and the targeting guidelines literally had the very words that were being used by conservatives. You would be up in arms if this happened under Bush with an identical scenario focused on things like "progressive".

          The IRS official in charge of the debacle pleaded the 5th amendment when asked to testify about the whole thing. You only do that because you don't want to incriminate yourself. The numbers for targeting conservative groups were overwhelming and it was one of

          • Re:what a joke (Score:5, Informative)

            by TubeSteak (669689) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @02:13PM (#45252317) Journal

            Proven a lie? Obama himself apologized and the targeting guidelines literally had the very words that were being used by conservatives. You would be up in arms if this happened under Bush with an identical scenario focused on things like "progressive".

            Fox Still Ignoring That IRS Targeted Progressives
            http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/08/21/fox-still-ignoring-that-irs-targeted-progressiv/195511 [mediamatters.org]

            The problem with a lot of the coverage on the IRS non-scandal was that the Inspector General's report did not investigate all the facts, the Republican chairman of the oversight committee was only selectively releasing information from the incomplete IG report, and then he got very pissy after the ranking Democrat on the committee aired out all the laundry.

            Guess what the facts showed?
            Spoiler: that the IRS was targeting progressive groups as well.

      • Healthcare enrollment website has massive problems, well yeah, I'm sure the President knew as much from press reports as the rest of us. But I'm guessing that his subordinates at several levels down the chain were minimizing the problem so what at the level of the people directly responsible for working on the problem looked like a total nightmare was regarded with decreasing severity at each level up the chain. Like this:

        webmasters: Website is fucked. Needs basic redesign that will take months to fix. direct managers: Website has major problems. Some elements will need to be overhauled. middle managers: Website has significantly underperformed. Some changes will be needed before it performs as expected. ... Deputy HHS Secretary in charge of project: Website is experiencing some customer difficulties. We are working on it but it might take a while. HHS Secretary: There have been some troubles with the website rollout. We're working on it. Should be fixed soon. President of the United States: ???

        Who hasn't seen pretty much this same scenario play out in their own organizations?

        The problem I have with this scenario is that this is the president's baby. I don't see why he wouldn't demand regular progress reports and/or demos to people he trusted.

        I've been involved in a few website roll-outs. I've mostly done UAT testing and bug hunting. Why wasn't the site sufficiently stress-tested? Why were their multiple companies being dealt with, rather than the government simply picking a Web designer and saying, "Build this site"? And how did it happen that they picked a vendor so shady

        • by Shavano (2541114)

          Yeah, this is the President's baby. But the thing is he has a lot of babies. That's the trouble. At high levels of any organization, one is forced by the sheer volume of responsibilities to rely on subordinates and subordinates of subordinates and subordinates of subordinates of subordinates to (1) handle the situation (2) tell you what you need to know and (3) not tell you details that you don't need to know (because you've only got so much time).

          When you're head of whole fucking country (and a big one

          • by DarkOx (621550)

            I call bs. I doesn't take much time sit through a round of test cases on a website. You expect any us to think that the CEO and board of directors at f500s don't sit down for a working demonstration before major go lives? I happen to know from first hand experience they do! Yea the POTUS probably has much more on his plate than those guys but this thing is his biggest political objective, it's at the very center of his parties agenda, central to their election strategy, everything.

            He knew.

            But he could no

      • Obviously this is a joke too, but not a very good one. My common sense told me not to post this but my hand did anyway. I had no idea that I posted it until somebody pointed it out on slashdot.

        Who hasn't seen pretty much this same scenario play out in their own mind?

      • In the beginning was the Plan and the Specification.

        And the Plan was without form and the specification it was void.
        And darkness was on the face of the implementation team.
        And they spake unto their Leader, saying,
        "It is a crock of shit and it stinks"

        And it was the Leader and it was the Project Head.
        Now the Leader spake unto the Project Head, saying,
        "It is a crock of feces and intolerably malodorous."

        And it was the Project Head and it was the Department Manager.
        Now the Project Head spake unto the Department

    • There are known knowns . . . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There_are_known_knowns [wikipedia.org] although I would have hoped that things would have moved on from then.
    • Re:what a joke (Score:4, Insightful)

      by wmac1 (2478314) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @11:28AM (#45251419)

      So you say the president in a country should know everything (like website problems, every action of spy agencies and problems in tax and financial organizations)? That's Terra bytes of information.

      I am not American but I cannot think how can he know about everything.

      • by smpoole7 (1467717)

        > I am not American but I cannot think how can he know about everything.

        No, but as an effective politician, he should hire people, and surround himself with people, of demonstrated competence and who will inform him when they think it's important.

        Not with ideologues (or worse) who color the truth. And before anyone here raises the usual "but ... but .. BUSH" objection, I'll freely admit (nay, assert) that Bush was guilty of the same thing. He surrounded himself with ideological Neocons and people who wan

    • by antdude (79039)

      As my queen ant would say to say to me, "WHAT DO YOU KNOW THEN?!" :P

  • by bradley13 (1118935) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:03AM (#45250889) Homepage

    ...but I repeat myself.

    Like a spoiled kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar, Obama needs a good spanking. Amongst genuine "small government" and "limited government" types, this just leads to feelings of frustration and despair. The Tea Party movement seemed promising, until it was hijacked by the religious right. What other chance is there, really, to reign in the US government? It's no wonder that talks about secession and revolution are kicking up again.

    • by khallow (566160)

      The Tea Party movement seemed promising, until it was hijacked by the religious right.

      That's the problem with good ideas. People start agreeing on them. We can't have agreement with people I don't like.

    • by khallow (566160)
      As to "all politicians being liars", some can lie successfully and others can't be bothered to plan a few days ahead. Here, I believe the original call from Merkel was a way for Obama to save face, to own up to the problem (without taking responsibility for it, I might add) without a lot of fuss.

      He didn't take it and lied, once again, even though he should have known the lie would be quickly caught.

      The problem here isn't that Obama lies, but that he does so both brazenly and incompetently. He has squa
  • by mrsam (12205) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:10AM (#45250917) Homepage

    ...the President told German Chancellor Merkel that he would have stopped the tap on her phone had he known about it.

    A textbook example of the Limbaugh Doctrine. For those of you in Rio Linda, CA: the Limbaugh Doctrine states the president had absolutely no idea that something bad was going on, he's just as shocked as everyone else, at the turn of events, but he's going to put a stop to it.

    The president had absolutely no clue how big of the train wreck the healthcare.gov web site was going to be, until the day of the launch. As far he knew, everything was going just fine, and he was just as shocked as everyone else, how big of a botch it turned out to be.

    The president had no idea that the IRS was harassing his political opponents. He read about it in the papers, when the story broke.

    The president did not know that our troops on the ground in Libya called for help several times, when the barbarians attacked the Benghazian embassy, but someone in the military chain of command told them to stand down, and that no help was forthcoming. The president found that out only after the fact.

    The president did not know that the Dept. Of Justice was sending illegal firearms to Mexican drug gangs. He was shocked, just shocked, to find out about it, in the papers.

    Etc... etc... The president never has any idea what's going on in his administration. Who's running the government anyway?

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Etc... etc... The president never has any idea what's going on in his administration. Who's running the government anyway?

      I don't recall.

      Or, also as Reagan said, "Oh dear"

    • by TheCarp (96830) <sjc@@@carpanet...net> on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:47AM (#45251167) Homepage

      Well why should the President know about most of this? If some guy in shipping fucks up your order, are you shocked when the CEO of the company isn't personally aware of the status of your package?

      That is why this case is different, because this presents a case that, in fact, he did know; and not only did he know but since:

      NSA, which sent the intelligence gathered straight to the White House bypassing the agency's headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, according to the report.

      Is a very specific claim in a report put out by the German government, and a very damning one.

      • by fritsd (924429)
        Oh, so that's what went wrong with Oliver North's order .. the address label.
    • Well the President shouldn't know about these things. That's what his Secretaries of State are for.

      The President is the Head of State. I put those capitals in for a reason. It is an almost religious position. A large part of the authority and legitimacy of the state is invested in the current head of state and their behaviour has to be of an appropriately high standard. This is difficult under an executive presidency like the US, but the principle still applies.

      Of foremost concern here is the simple princip

  • Wutend (Score:5, Informative)

    by Phoenix666 (184391) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:12AM (#45250931)

    I've been reading Der Spiegel for 25 years. I've never seen them get angry about anything, not even when Russia shut off the natural gas pipeline running to Central Europe to mess with the Ukraine and whacked Germany in the process. They're white hot mad about this. The German Interior Minister is talking about bringing the NSA to justice. The SPD is pushing to drop trade talks with the US unless Washington does something real about it. Meanwhile, Obama wants to talk about immigration and fly off to visit schools in Crown Heights rather than deal with this directly. Caught in lie after lie after lie about the NSA he owns this now, and he owns the consequences for the entire world if he doesn't deal with it.

    Consider, fellow Americans, what goes if Germany goes. That's NATO and the EU. That's all our happy European client states cheerily playing along when Washington wants to force the President of Bolivia's plane down and search it. That's an economy bigger than ours, a continent whose population is much bigger than ours, suddenly not playing ball with us any more and pushing back hard on everything. That's a profoundly different world for American geopolitical power that will have material consequences for every American.

    This, the government shutdown, the near default, the promise of more of the same in February, it all has everyone who has been on our team the last 50 years looking for the exits at once. The American government has proven it can't even get a website right; there's no way in hell they can deal with all of this at once. A fat, happy American middle class would have been a bulwark against it, but the elites have spent 20 years scraping out their substance. Most of us are running mighty thin. The risk of a trigger event, like the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand or the Rodney King verdict, bringing it all down is growing.

    • Spiegel does "wütend" frequently and well. I'm not aware they are any angrier about this than a host of other issues in the past.
      What got me here was that Merkel and Friedrich were playing everything down until it was *her* phone being tapped.

      • by Gryle (933382)
        That's just the thing. No one really worries about this stuff until if affects them directly. Of course the cynical part of me says that if the Germans had the same capabilities (and who's to say they don't?) they'd be just as curious to know what President Obama is up to.
      • This. I'm still eagerly awaiting the details on wiretapping that has been going on in the Netherlands. Then, when politicians finally express outrage at their phones being tapped, we can throw their dismissive attitude on matters of privacy back in their face. "How did this become an issue only when it was your phone being tapped? After all, surely you guys have nothing to hide!".
      • by bfandreas (603438)
        You will have to remember that their journalists spend quite a lot of time in the BStU which keeps whatever is left from the Stasi files. Once you see first hand what kind of information they kept you will feel very uncomfortable about what foreign nationals do.
        The rumors about espionage and also economic espionage have been very loud since the 90ies. Then we spoke about Echelon and how trade secrets of German eco-tech companies turned up in US patent applications(and in some cases even still showing the G
    • Given the subject, maybe we can get an actual gibbon to write it this time.

    • Re:Wutend (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:31AM (#45251051)

      Speaking as an American: that's probably what needs to happen. Our leaders are going to "manage the dialog" and attempt to weasel out of any responsibility unless their feet get held to the fire by every ally we've got. Unless the pain level gets cranked up high enough to effect the day to day lives of average Americans, those average Americans aren't going to do jack shit. They'll keep voting for the same two political parties, no matter how corrupt, incompetent, and irresponsible they are.

      I'll be disappointed if this leads anywhere short of a dissolution of trade agreements and cessation of cooperation on military and economic fronts from our allies. And I hope that's a temporary situation, and eventually things can be made right again. But for now, the only path to a less dysfunctional situation is by holding people actually responsible - like jail terms up to the highest levels, with "just following orders" not allowed as an excuse, followed by disbanding the institutions responsible, and starting over with a new system that's accountable to the people it's supposed to serve.

      So yes. Please. Stop playing ball with the US. That's what's needed to fix this clusterfuck. It can't be "papered over" at this point.

    • Re:Wutend (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ImOuttaHere (2996813) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:42AM (#45251111)

      I used to believe that Democrats would do the right thing for We The People. I always felt the Republicans were nothing more than shills for the Already Rich. But...

      I've watched as Bill "Mr Blue Dress Man" Clinton passed NAFTA and GATT where Papa Bush couldn't. This allowed the Already Rich to move working and middle class jobs to China (over 21million of these jobs last year), knowing that the only effect they were interested in was increasing the value of their stock options so they could make a killing on Wallstreet.

      I've watched as Baby Bush invaded a country that had not one single thing to do with the events of 911... and... get away with it. Sure, Mr. Rumsfeld couldn't travel to Germany for awhile during the time they wanted him on war crimes. But that was quickly delt with and not one single person in the Baby Bush administration has gone to jail for what they did.

      I've watched as Obama strengthened the Baby Bush-era spying machine... and... has not preserved the liberties nor freedoms formerly guaranteed by the Constitution and it's Amendments. By his own words (as printed in an interview in the Rolling Stone), Obama was to be the blast shield against the Republicans who want to burn the place to the ground. And yet, Obama has proven to be no better than his predecessors in protecting and guaranteeing the liberties and freedoms of We The People. Shouldn't a Constitutional Law professor have known better? Apparently not.

      Freedoms? It's only an idea to Americans. Liberties? Not when you're scared or paranoid. In short, the US continues to exist as a pre-Magna Carta, pre-Habeas Corpus state.

      Reading The Victorians reminds me that the role of Government is to limit the power of the common people and to enable the powerful elite. In this, the American government has succeeded. Supremely.

    • by Sique (173459)
      I'm just wondering how Premier Minister Cameron will spin this. His last public statements were all about "journalists that publish the Snowden papers aid the enemy", and suddenly he's on the receiving end of a big cluestick from his allies in the EU, who might even award Edward Snowden and the Guardian with high honours. Some german MPs were already suggesting to call Edward Snowden as a witness into the Parliament. And then James Cameron has a lot of weaseling to do to somehow play down the role of his ow
      • by sconeu (64226)

        Snowden wouldn't go to Germany. I'm sure they have an extradition treaty with the US, and Germany hasn't granted him asylum.

        • by Sique (173459)
          If the Bundestag wants him as a witness (and now even the Minister of the Interior agrees that Edward Snowden's information was correct while the U.S. government outright lied to hime), they might even grant him asylum or give at least a warrant of safe conduct.
          • by Sique (173459)
            Sorry. David Cameron of course.
          • by bfandreas (603438)
            ...and now the conservatives have to form a coalition with the social democrats. A couple of weeks ago the conservatives had declared the Snowden affair over and now are obviously left with egg on face. I don't know what will come out of this but it now SEEMS like they will at least go through the motions. Also I'm fairly certain the Bundestag will be allowed to send a delegation to Snowden. Putin must be chuffed to bits over the cooldown of EU/US reletions and the way he humiliated the US over the the Syri
    • by evilviper (135110)

      Consider, fellow Americans, what goes if Germany goes. That's NATO and the EU. That's all our happy European client states cheerily playing along when Washington wants to force the President of Bolivia's plane down and search it. That's an economy bigger than ours, a continent whose population is much bigger than ours, suddenly not playing ball with us any more and pushing back hard on everything. That's a profoundly different world for American geopolitical power that will have material consequences for ev

  • by ciantic (626550) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:23AM (#45251001)

    Really, the story is that Obama was unaware of spying for 8 years! How on earth is that possible? 2007 - 2008, he was Chairman of United States Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs, and after that as a president.

    I know there is oversight, but geez it must be really loose. You'd think that those two posts would let one know about things.

    • by Zak3056 (69287) on Sunday October 27, 2013 @10:37AM (#45251083) Journal

      To be fair, Obama didn't show up for work in 2007-2008, he was too busy running for higher office to do the job he was elected to do. I wish /. had emoticons so I could do the "rolling eyes" smiley right now.

      Once upon a time, politicians would resign from their current office in order to run for a different one, but the last one I can remember doing that was Bob Dole in 1996. The worst example I can think of was Joe Lieberman, who simultaneously ran for reelection to the Senate and for Vice President just four years later.

  • An empire that has nowhere to expand can only contract and fall, at least in the long run.

    I think the US empire probably peaked in the late 1990's at the end of a 10-15 year long time when it could expand easily and relatively peacefully without any interference from the rest of the world which was largely taken by surprise by the fall of the Soviet Union. Now Russia, although still relatively poor, is arming itself like there's no tomorrow (Russia recently carried out its second or third largest military e

  • He probably planted a bug on Merkel when he gave her that creepy hug.

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James

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