National Security

Spies Like U.S. — Obama Listens in on Congress

NSA listened to Benjamin Netanyahu during Iran negotiations.

Lewis Morris · Jan. 6, 2016

The Obama administration is facing fresh allegations that it abused its intelligence gathering capabilities, this time for domestic political purposes. A Wall Street Journal story published just before the New Year holiday claims that the White House approved NSA surveillance of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during last year’s debate over the Iran nuclear deal. In the process, conversations with American lawmakers and members of the American Jewish lobby were also recorded.

Of course, government wiretapping of political opponents is nothing new, but the Leftmedia never cares when a Democrat does it.

Barack Obama promised back in 2013 that he would curtail U.S. spying on its allies after leaks provided by disgruntled NSA employee Edward Snowden revealed an ongoing surveillance program that kept tabs on a number of U.S. allies. That was the public statement. In private, the White House and the NSA went right on with the show, working with the catch-all national security trump card.

As stated by National Security Council spokesman Ned Price, “We do not conduct any foreign surveillance activities unless there is a specific and validated national security purpose.”

This convenient statement could be applied to just about any instance, depending on the needs, or in this case, the desires of the commander in chief. The incident involving Netanyahu came about not because Obama wanted to learn more about Israel’s intentions involving Iran, which could be considered national security, but how Obama could sell Congress on his flimsy nuclear agreement with the Iranians.

It’s no secret that Obama has never been a fan of Israel, and he was more concerned about making a deal with Iran for his legacy than he was for the well being of one of our closest allies. When Netanyahu made the case against the nuclear agreement to Congress, Obama saw him as more of a threat than the mullahs. As has been the case throughout his entire administration, Obama was willing to go to any lengths to see his agenda fulfilled.

National security had nothing to do with the NSA’s spying on Israel, and Obama knew it. His administration played dumb, shrugging its shoulders and allowing the NSA “discretion” on whether to continue its surveillance of Netanyahu and what the agency planned to share. A senior official told The Wall Street Journal, “We didn’t say, ‘Do it.’ We didn’t say, ‘Don’t do it.’”

Not exactly the words of an administration eager to uphold the law or honor alliances.

The question is what the consequences will be. The Journal’s story, while great reporting, came out at a lousy time. The week between Christmas and New Years is a notoriously bad time to grab attention on issues of such complexity. Much of the media, deep in the tank for Obama, has already proven that it has no interest in carrying on the story.

The faux outrage of some members of Congress, Sen. Dianne Feinstein chief among them, doesn’t help matters. It’s fine when the NSA intrudes on the privacy of American citizens, but when Congress itself gets swept up in the dragnet, well, that’s apparently a bridge too far.

The Obama administration has broken many more laws and maintained a much more clandestine intelligence operation than the Bush administration was ever even accused of, but the media and Obama acolytes still look upon our current president as a shining example of transparency. As long as they agree with his agenda, they are willing to put up with any crooked dealings he engages in, whatever the cost to our citizens’ rights or the lasting impact on the Constitution.

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