Der Spiegel, one of Germany’s most important newspapers, is reporting that the NSA has been spying on United Nations delegations at the organization’s New York headquarters. This could be yet another blow to our international reputation, which is seemingly being battered thanks in large part to the incompetency of the Obama administration. Some days observing the Obama team at work feels like you’re watching “The Three Stooges Take Washington.” At this point, who isn’t the NSA spying on?
The problem here is that the UN building doesn’t seem like prime spying territory. It’s more of a place where people bring ideas and debate their usefulness and whatnot. Maybe some backroom deals are struck there, but it seems rather unlikely given the unimportance most countries seem to place on their UN delegations. With technology as advanced as it is, there is really no need to be entrusting any secrets to these emissaries; maybe there was 50 years ago… but no longer. A scandal like this only makes us look even worse to the rest of the world.
Of the spying Der Spiegel writes, “The surveillance is intensive and well organized and has little or nothing to do with warding off terrorists.” Whoops.
Well at least things at the NSA seem to be improving… they’re finally spying on other countries instead of innocent American citizens. Of course, I’m kidding but it’s not much of a joke. At least we know what the NSA was doing at the UN — we still aren’t completely sure how much they’re spying on the rest of us. Even senior Senators like Bob Corker (R-TN) aren’t sure.
“Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) told Fox News Sunday even he was not sure to what extent the National Security Agency kept tabs on Americans, adding he wanted the NSA to brief Congress “from top to bottom” to explain the programs in place and help ensure appropriate oversight.” (Emphasis mine)
What we do know is that the NSA cannot be trusted to do their jobs with any respect for the law or for our rights. Don’t believe me? In 2012 alone the NSA broke the law and violated the rights of innocent Americans almost 3,000 times. Need more? The Telegraph newspaper recently reported that NSA operatives even spied on their love interests, using the powerful classified technology. This abuse happened often enough that “The employees even had a code name for the practice – “Love-int” – meaning the gathering of intelligence on their partners.” Don’t worry about these handful of cases though, because the “NSA has zero tolerance for wilful violations of the agency’s authorities” and responds “as appropriate.”
I’m really not sure how anybody takes the NSA or the Obama administration seriously anymore.
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