Growing international outcry about NSA surveillance is straining alliances worldwide, and time and again official denials are proven untrue in the wake of new revelations. One would think it would be a tense time in the White House, but the comments show a remarkable level of indifference about the whole situation.
Several days of reports on whether or not President Obama knew about an 11-year-long wiretap against German Chancellor Angela Merkel were brought up today during President Obama’s interviews, and he shrugged them off, saying he didn’t feel like he had to comment on that sort of report.
Obama insisted the question of whether or not he knew was itself classified, a remarkable position to take when the White House itself has been pushing the idea that he didn’t know and had nothing to do with the surveillance. It reflects a trend in the administration to refuse to go on the record with its own narrative in public interviews, preferring to just hit a few buzzwords, reference 9/11, and leave.
White House press secretary Jay Carney insisted in separate comments that President Obama has “full confidence” in everything the NSA is doing, an even more perplexing claim if, as Carney and others assert, Obama hasn’t the foggiest idea what the NSA is doing. Whatever they’re doing, Carney insisted, they’re “doing extraordinarily well,” because they’re doing it post-9/11.