Obama Legacy NSA Spying Scandal?
THUNDER BAY – Editorial – In the aftermath of the September 2011 terror attacks in the United States, the American Government enacted the Patriot Act. That piece of legislation opened the door for greater government intervention into the lives of American citizens. It now appears that the United States, through the NSA engaged in far more activity.
The American Government now stands accused of tapping into the cellular phone of German Chancellor Merkel. According to Der Spiegel that NSA surveillance started back in 2003.
Chancellor Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert stated, “The federal chancellor spoke with President Obama today by telephone. She made it clear that, if the indications prove to be correct, she unequivocally disapproves of such practices, and considers them totally unacceptable. Among friends and partners, like the Federal Republic of Germany and the US have been for decades, such surveillance of communication of heads of government should not take place. This would be a grave breach of trust. Such practices must immediately be put to a stop”.
The allegations brought White House Press Secretary Jay Carney into the mix. Speaking from a prepared statement, earlier this week, Carney said President Obama had spoken on the telephone with Chancellor Merkel.
The President, according to Carney assured the Chancellor that “The United States is not monitoring and will not monitor her communications”.
“The United States greatly values our close cooperation with Germany on a broad range of shared security challenges,” stated Carney.
The United States is now in damage control mode over these serious allegations.
First, the comment from the Obama White House is on current and future actions. There was no admission or apology to the German government or to Chancellor Merkel.
Do you remember the outrage when President Bush gave Chancellor Merkel a quick back rub at a summit meeting?
That is nothing compared to the anger that these allegation have brought forward in Europe.
The anger over allegations that the American government had been listening in to the cell phone calls for almost ten years is growing.
Obama and United States in Damage Control
The image of President Obama and the American Government is now, after more information provided by Edward Snowdon who first leaked the scope of American spying on citizens across the globe. The scope of the spying now, with the news that the Americans were bugging the cell phone of Chancellor Merkel long before she was elected German Chancellor has serious ramifications.
First the anger in Germany has Chancellor Merkel stating that the relationship with the United States has to start over.
Other European and world leaders are likely now eying the Americans with far greater suspicion and distrust.
President Obama is often far more aloof and arrogant in his dealings with world leaders now faces a monumental task in rebuilding relationships.
That comes at the same time that the President and American government are facing growing anger at home over the inability of government to get things done, and the actions of the government in spying and listening in on possibly their communications.
The long term legacy of President Obama is at stake. It is very likely that the President will have this NSA spying scandal be what history remembers.
It might be said to be a fitting legacy for a President who has used charm and eloquence as a substitute for real deeds and actions.