The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is apparently conducting “major spy operations” against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The WSJ said on Wednesday the operations include collecting all of Netanyahu’s transmitted communications even though there were promises such operations against U.S. allies would be “curtailed.”
The story says the information gathered shows Israeli officials tried to turn U.S. lawmakers against the Iran nuclear deal. A White House senior official described this as a shocking revelation.
Apparently The White House now fears Congress will think they are spying on them.
Naturally, The White House and President Obama deny these allegations. The NSA’s spying operation was designed “to give us an accurate illustrative picture of what the Israelis were doing,” according to a senior U.S. official speaking to the Journal.
As the administration has done nothing about this, it is seen as giving a green light to the NSA.
White House officials apparently hoped by monitoring Netanyahu they could counteract his efforts to stop the Iran nuclear deal. To disconnect themselves from the covert surveillance, the White House officials allowed the NSA to do their dirty work, and avoided any paper trail leading to the Oval Office. As one unnamed administration official told the Journal, “We didn’t say, ‘Do it. We didn’t say, ‘Don’t do it.'”
It seems The White House can’t be trusted.
Obama insisted there was a “compelling national security purpose” to monitoring Netanyahu. When the issue of spying on world leaders came up recently, Obama said there were certain exceptions on selected leaders but he didn’t name names.
Now we (and Netanyahu) know why.
Since intelligence contractor Edward Snowden revealed the vast extent of the NSA online surveillance capability, President Obama promised to limit spying on US allies.
It was quickly revealed that he had his fingers crossed behind his back when he said that, because it was revealed German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s offices had been tapped. Other allies immediately expressed private concerns about the breadth of NSA monitoring.
Apparently the Obama White House was concerned Israel was spying on US-Iran nuclear negotiations.
The Wall Street Journal reports Mike Rogers, a former Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said “Intelligence professionals have a saying: There are no friendly intelligence services.”
Trust but verify!