It’s a good thing President Obama is in Africa instead of Europe.
Two weeks after the American president – a former darling of the European left – was greeted by paltry crowds in Germany and scornful legislators in Ireland, the United States is coming under attack by the same welfare-state countries he cites as examples for the U.S. to follow.
The hostility came from a report Saturday in the German magazine Der Spiegel that the National Security Agency’s spying program also included monitoring government offices in Europe.
On Sunday, the British online newspaper the Guardian – which published the original leak by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden – reported that the NSA had targeted European embassies and offices in New York to learn about policy differences among its allies.
According to the Guardian, Germany’s Justice minister said the program “was reminiscent of the actions of enemies during the cold war.”
Maybe, maybe not. Or maybe they should just get over it.
In a refreshing blast of candor, a retired Air Force general and former top U.S. intelligence official told the CBS program “Face the Nation” Sunday that the United States has its own interests to look out for, just like European countries do.
Whatever violations of the Constitution – if any – the NSA program committed, they don’t apply to foreign governments, said Michael Hayden, who was director of the NSA from 1995 to 20005 and CIA from 2006 to the beginning of the Obama administration.
“No. 1: The United States does conduct espionage,” Hayden said. “No. 2: Our Fourth Amendment, which protects Americans’ privacy, is not an international treaty. And No. 3: Any European who wants to go out and rend their garments with regard to international espionage should look first and find out what their own governments are doing.”
Check out Hayden speaking some hard truths here: