Greenwald’s Shock News of the Day: The US Spies on Foreign Leaders
Josh Marshall has it about right: Ok, Please, Enough.
Churning through countless domestic phone calls is one thing - that has very real constitutional implications. It may be a similar thing with doing that in Spain or other countries in Europe and the Middle East, though the constitutional questions are very different. But please, please spare me the shock and surprise that the US spies on foreign leaders, even allies, even close allies. These countries spy on our leaders too. The only real exception is within the special club of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand where, for a variety of historical reasons, a pretty different set of rules and integration apply.
Now, as a domestic political matter, I totally understand why these European leaders are freaked. It’s a big problem for them domestically when it’s laid out so baldly in front of everyone. Beyond national security issues, this will likely take a real economic toll on the US. So I’m not surprised at the reaction. I don’t begrudge it. But the tenor of the reporting in the US is frankly bizarre, either totally tendentious or wildly naive.
The disruption that Marshall mentions in the second paragraph is, of course, exactly what Greenwald intends with these continuing NSA stories. By publicly embarrassing the leaders of Spain, Germany, etc., he forces them to make statements to address the public outcry — which usually ends up making them look even worse.
Meanwhile, Greenwald continues to deny even the possibility that his reckless pseudo-journalism might be causing real harm to national security — not just America’s national security, but all of the countries he’s pulling into his little super-villain ego-driven melodrama.