White House Rejects Criticism of Obama on NSA Spying

Administration and Spies at Increasing Odds

Facing growing criticism of President Obama’s attempts to ditch responsibility for the NSA’s surveillance of foreign leaders, the White House once again rejected the idea of blaming the president for the program, insisting President Obama would never think of spying on friendly leaders.

“When the president wants to find out what the heads of state of friendly nations think, he calls them,” insisted press secretary Jay Carney, who added Obama’s interest in terrorism centered on “terrorism intercepts.”

There’s a growing fight between the NSA and the State Department as well, with the NSA insisting that they were only tapping all these foreign leaders because ambassadors keep asking them for intelligence.

Former Ambassador Thomas Pickering said it was far-fetched that the NSA was perceiving every request for intelligence as a green-light to bug friendly leaders, adding that he didn’t think ambassadors would be nearly so persuasive with such a request.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.