Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

The NY Times doesn’t think much of Obama’s excuses

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It really is starting to see as though Obama simply doesn’t know what is going on in his administration. The Affordable Care Act is his legacy achievement, but apparently he could not be arsed to check up on its implementation and was taken totally surprise by the fact that HealthCare.gov simply did not work—although the contractors gave ample warning and presumably the CMS knew quite well what was going on. And now Obama says that he had no idea that the NSA were spying on foreign leaders—though I think that is probably simply a face-saving lie. However, it doesn’t save much face: it is a statement that he simply is in the dark about what the government is doing.

The NY Times editorial board has some strong words:

 The White House response on Monday to the expanding disclosures of American spying on foreign leaders, their governments and millions of their citizens was a pathetic mix of unsatisfying assurances about reviews under way, platitudes about the need for security in an insecure age, and the odd defense that the president didn’t know that American spies had tapped the German chancellor’s cellphone for 10 years.

Is it really better for us to think that things have gone so far with the post-9/11 idea that any spying that can be done should be done and that nobody thought to inform President Obama about tapping the phone of one of the most important American allies?

The White House spokesman, Jay Carney, kept repeating that Mr. Obama ordered a review of surveillance policy a few months ago, but he would not confirm whether that includes the tapping of the cellphone of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, or the collection of data on tens of millions of calls in France, Spain and elsewhere. It’s unlikely that Mr. Obama would have ordered any review if Edward Snowden’s leaks had not revealed the vacuum-cleaner approach to electronic spying. Mr. Carney left no expectation that the internal reviews will produce any significant public accounting — only that the White House might have “a little more detail” when they are completed. . .

Continue reading.

FWIW, the Germans think that US spying on its allies  is due to a paranoid mindset.

Written by Leisureguy

31 October 2013 at 10:13 am

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