Obama: Spying on Europeans ‘Standard Practice’

Downplays Need for Surveillance But Insists It Will Continue

Speaking today from Der es Salaam, President Obama defended the mass surveillance of European diplomats, saying the practice is “standard” throughout the world and would continue despite complaints.

Revelations of the systematic US bugging of European Union buildings in Brussels as well as offices in the United States have fueled a major backlash among EU nations, with officials warning that diplomatic talks with the US will be compromised since the US is known to be listening in on negotiators.

Incredibly, though defiant on the practice, Obama downplayed the need for such surveillance, saying there was “no reason” to rely on intelligence, and that if he really wanted to know what EU officials were thinking he’d just call and ask them.

But despite the huge diplomatic costs, the huge financial costs, and his insistence that the practice is totally unnecessary, Obama insisted that there would always be surveillance of allied diplomats, insists “that’s how intelligence operations work.”

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.