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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

If Obama spied on Merkel, did he spy on Romney?

Here's an article that raises a should-be-obvious question that hasn't occurred to many Americans: If the NSA can spy on an Angela Merkel, then why can't it spy on domestic politicians?
Did Obama spy on Mitt Romney? As recently as a few weeks ago if anyone had asked me that question I would have consigned them to a right (or left) wing loony bin. Today, the only loonies are those who think the question unreasonable.
Did the NSA use the information they gathered on Mitt Romney and other political candidates for political purposes? Probably not. Will the next president or the one after that be so virtuous so as to not use this kind of power? I have grave doubts. Men are not angels.
That said, I would point out that most people within the American intelligence community vote Republican. I've heard lots of stories about the election-year bumper stickers one tends to see in the CIA parking lot, and I doubt that the situation is much different in Fort Meade.

But that's the problem with granting too much power to the executive branch of government. Even if you find the current executive tolerable, the same power will one day go to someone you cannot abide.
But Joseph, if Obama has been CIA all along as some insightful observers have suggested, then the suspicion that Obama is the top-level spooks' choice is certainly justifiable. And he's the Devil they know, where Romney may have been an unknown quantity.

Even if Obama is not CIA, the notion that the top dogs in the Republican party wanted Obama to win in 2008 and in 2012 both is defensible. They could rely on Obama to do nothing that would harm the 1% in any way, while making inconsequential gestures that would serve the "We tried socialism and it didn't work" propaganda line.

A fair point, bug. But if Obama did do work for the CIA in his younger days -- ad I have made that very argument in various posts -- then his history would be a closely guarded secret. Only a few people in Langley would have access to that file.

One could argue that if one of those people rang up NSA and asked them to spy on Romney -- well. I'm not sure how well it would have worked out.
It certainly crossed my mind. Not just that: Snowden's contractors are a private corporation. We already know they engaged in economic espionage in Brazil... At who's request? What is the corporate infrastructure behind the NSA? If Isreal has back door access, then are there other "back-door" men?

I think things are far beyond democratic control; look to corporate control instead.
For your digestion:

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