Today’s fine editorial, The White House on Spying, got a crucial assumption wrong. It cited,
“the odd defense that the president didn’t know that American spies had tapped the German chancellor’s cellphone for 10 years.”
Addressing the implications of this, it immediately went on to ask:
Is it really better for us to think that things have gone so far with the post-9/11 idea that any spying that can be done should be done and that nobody thought to inform President Obama about tapping the phone of one of the most important American allies? [my italics]
It is not better to think that. But it is far worse and the implications far more dangerous to think that they thought to inform President Obama and then didn’t!
I think the possibility is quite real that some, possibly many, “thought to inform the President,” but realized that informing him, that “they were tapping the cellphone of an ally chief of state,” would shut THEM down. Shut them down for this and for who knows how much more!
I believe that they sense, and I hope, that President Obama would never tolerate such a thing. He would have instantly ended this and simultaneously informed Angela Merkel so she would not have found out in the worst possible way. He would have immediately sent an apology to Germany on behalf of the United States of America.
This aside, a must-read article!