In Latest NSA Spying Scandal, World Learns Obama Lied Again; Congress Furious it Was Spied On

Tyler Durden's picture

In January 2014, during the scandalous aftermath of Edward Snowden's NSA snooping revelations, one which revealed the US had been spying on its closest allies for years, Obama banned U.S. eavesdropping on leaders of close friends and allies and promised he would begin reining in the vast collection of Americans' phone data in a series of limited reforms.

Below are the key highlights from his January 17, 2014 speech:

Our capabilities help protect not only our nation, but our friends and our allies, as well.  But our efforts will only be effective if ordinary citizens in other countries have confidence that the United States respects their privacy, too.  And the leaders of our close friends and allies deserve to know that if I want to know what they think about an issue, I’ll pick up the phone and call them, rather than turning to surveillance.  In other words, just as we balance security and privacy at home, our global leadership demands that we balance our security requirements against our need to maintain the trust and cooperation among people and leaders around the world.


The bottom line is that people around the world, regardless of their nationality, should know that the United States is not spying on ordinary people who don’t threaten our national security, and that we take their privacy concerns into account in our policies and procedures.  This applies to foreign leaders as well.

The president lied, and the privacy concerns of "people around the world" have clearly never once been taken into account in Obama's policies and procedures.

Just three days prior, on January 14 2014, Vermont Senator and current Democratic presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders had written an email to then NSA Chief Keith Alexander asking if the NSA has or is currently spying "on members of Congress or other American elected officials." The letter went on to define spying as including "gathering metadata on calls made from official or personal phones, content from websites visited or emails sent, or collecting any other data from a third party not made available to the general public in the regular course of business."

The response: the National Security Agency's director, responding to questions from independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, says the government is not spying on Congress.... "Nothing NSA does can fairly be characterized as 'spying on members of Congress or other American elected officials." Alexander wrote in the letter, dated Friday and released Tuesday.

The former NSA head also lied.

We know this because in the latest WSJ report on the NSA's spying scandal from this evening, we find that even though Obama announced two years he would curtail eavesdropping on friendly heads of state, the spying continues and "behind the scenes, the White House decided to keep certain allies under close watch. Topping the list was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu."

The spying, or rather counterespionage, was in order to facilitate the US-Iran nuclear negotiations and deal which took place this summer over Netanyahu's firm objection to scuttle any lifting of the Iran embargo (an embargo which Iran had skirted for years by importing billions of dollars worth of gold from Turkey via Dubai).

That in itself would not be quite so scandalous considering the frosty diplomatic relations between the two nations in recent years, if it didn't also involve the direct and indirect spying by the NSA and the executive branch, on members of Congress.

The National Security Agency’s targeting of Israeli leaders and officials also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups. That raised fears—an “Oh-s— moment,” one senior U.S. official said—that the executive branch would be accused of spying on Congress.


White House officials believed the intercepted information could be valuable to counter Mr. Netanyahu’s campaign. They also recognized that asking for it was politically risky. So, wary of a paper trail stemming from a request, the White House let the NSA decide what to share and what to withhold, officials said. “We didn’t say, ‘Do it,’ ” a senior U.S. official said. “We didn’t say, ‘Don’t do it.’ ”


* * *


The NSA reports allowed administration officials to peer inside Israeli efforts to turn Congress against the deal. Mr. Dermer was described as coaching unnamed U.S. organizations—which officials could tell from the context were Jewish-American groups—on lines of argument to use with lawmakers, and Israeli officials were reported pressing lawmakers to oppose the deal.

Which explains why for the past two years the Obama administration, which knew this moment was inevitable, has been maintaining an attitude of abject incompetence, claiming it had no idea anything like this happened. In fact, as the Bezos Post reported in late 2013, "Obama didn’t know about surveillance of U.S.-allied world leaders until summer" of 2013. That too was a lie. Quote the WSJ:

After Mr. Obama’s 2008 presidential election, U.S. intelligence officials gave his national-security team a one-page questionnaire on priorities. Included on the form was a box directing intelligence agencies to focus on “leadership intentions,” a category that relies on electronic spying to monitor world leaders. The NSA was so proficient at monitoring heads of state that it was common for the agency to deliver a visiting leader’s talking points to the president in advance. “Who’s going to look at that box and say, ‘No, I don’t want to know what world leaders are saying,’ ” a former Obama administration official said.

There is much more in the full WSJ article, but here are the salient points: Obama lied, again, and despite profuse promises that the NSA's espionage machinery would be limited, nothing changed. It is safe to assume that nothing has changed to this day despite further lies from the administration to the contrary.

One thing that is different this time, however, from all previous administration lies is that now Congress may have no choice but to retaliate against the executive branch's illegal snooping. Ironically, none other than Former Chairman House Intelligence Committee, Pete Hoekstra, a person who had been most vocal in his support of the NSA's spying on the American people, is most appalled as his recent tweet reveals.

As for the official White House National Security Council, the response is "no comment":

This may well be because Obama was on the golf course in Hawaii when the WSJ article hit.

Finally, while all of the above is at this point largely expected if anything, what is surprising is that as the WSJ notes, among the "allies" excluded from the protected list, were "Recep Tayyip Erdogan, president of NATO ally Turkey, which allowed the NSA to spy on their communications at the discretion of top officials."

In other words the Obama administration has been fully aware Turkey has been providing not only training, weapons and supplies to ISIS, it is also Turkey, and especially people from Erdogan's own family, who served as the source of financial support for the CIA-created Islamic State, whose only purpose from the beginning was to topple Bashar al Assad.

Actually scratch that: did we say "surprising"? We meant precisely the opposite.

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t0mmyBerg's picture

When your every word is a lie you dont think lying matters.  That is Dear Leader

SMG's picture

And Congress will do about this exactly what it has been doing over the past couple decades.  Abosutley nothing....

tmosley's picture

The leadership has proven that it is insane. We need to disband the entire fucking system and start again.

Urban Roman's picture

Didn't they used to jail people for lying to Congress? I mean, what was the Nixon impeachment all about, anyway? And then when they tried to impeach Clinton? Wasn't that for lying to Congress?

Why isn't Alexander in jail?
(Disregarding the WH for now.)

Government needs you to pay taxes's picture

There's .gov employee, and then there's the little people.

Gen. Keith Alexander's picture

Folks, I am booking speaking engagements.  Reach out to my people if interested!

Baby Bladeface's picture


The president lied, and the privacy concerns of "people around the world" have clearly never once been taken into account in Obama's policies and procedures."

What is the problem? Lies from US government is expected behaviour, Obama behaves expectedly. This adhesion to expected behaviour credibilizes global stability as it lends predictatability to US actions.

Scandalous is behaviour Putin. He makes agreements and with agreements abides. He tells something and it later shows as truthful. Worst aspect is Putin words and actions correspond highly. This does not match picture painted by western media, mismatch confusion causes and leads to degenerescence global stability. Putin clearly danger to humanity.

Cunning plan of trolling with truth can only be work of ......... Sneaky Putin©.

TruxtonSpangler's picture

Its simple: The spying isnt about terrorism, its about blackmail and espionage.

Socratic Dog's picture

Espionage, yes.  Congressmen were caught up when they were dealing with Israel.  Imagine the response if you replaced "Israel" with "Iran", or any other muzzie nation.

Hate to say it, but this is a Good Thing.  I'm glad they got them, dealing with the israelites.  Motherfuckers need to hang.  Foreign countries should not be dealing with congressmen, and vice versa.  This is treason.

Paveway IV's picture

That's the only reason the Israeli-firster WSJ reported it at all, Socratic Dog. Imagine the outrage of the tribesters that anyone would dare snoop on them colluding with their little bitches in the U.S. Congress. And exactly as you said, they wouldn't give a crap if the 'scandal' was about the NSA snooping on Iran (or Iraq, or Turkey, or any other stooge nation or imperial conquest).

The really sad part about this is that the NSA Stazi, with all their snooping, still apparently is unable to identify the multiple acts of treason, acts of terrorism or actions on behalf of a foreign agent compromising U.S. national security that are REGULARLY committed by the dual-citizen, traitorous members of the U.S. congress. What good does it do to fund the Stazi when they can't seem to find the Congressional criminals under their own noses... unless the NSA is actually acting on behalf of a foreign agent compromising U.S. national security themselves.

Maybe we should hire someone to spy on the treasonous fucks in the NSA?

beemasters's picture

For NSA's sake, release the contents of their communications already....if indeed the agency is worth the tax money.

VinceFostersGhost's picture





Congress Furious it Was Spied On


Only one thing to do now......Paul Ryan needs to commit Jihad. the beard bitch.

N2OJoe's picture

You mean they're not just spying on the little people??

This is an outrage!!!

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

Sibel Edmonds put it in peoples face that certain congressmen were traitors, they gagged her. Banana Republic.

Lorca's Novena's picture

regarding Paul Ryan. That backstabbing little bitch wont do a damn thing about this. He might hold a breakfast meeting with Pelosi and decide to initiate new 'guidelines', but still wont do anything for fear of becoming unpopular in the eltist crowd.

Lumberjack's picture

Remember the Jane Harman incident?


Jane Harman and Israeli Spying


It is astounding to find that one of the handful of prospects being floated to become CIA director following the fall of General David Petraeus is a person reportedly implicated in a 2005 Israeli spy scandal.

CNNPolitico, and others have all listed former Congresswoman Jane Harman as a potential new CIA head. Oddly, however, none have mentioned reports in 2006 and again in 2009 that an NSA wiretap in 2005 had picked up Harman promising a suspected Israeli agent that she would aid people indicted for espionage on behalf of Israel.

According to reports, Harman allegedly told the Israeli agent that she would lobby the Justice Department to reduce espionage-related charges against two top officials for the powerful Israel lobby organization, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

In return, the suspected Israeli agent (who may have been a dual-citizen American) reportedly pledged to help lobby for Harman to become chair of the House Intelligence Committee. Harman was already the ranking Democrat on the committee.

Lumberjack's picture

I also recall the Verint/Amdocs incident:



Then they were investigated and like the banks, found they did nothing wrong... Which by now we ALL KNOW is bullshit.



ack's picture

Not to disagree -- but simply to say -- perhaps ALL the NSA isn't as co-opted and compromised as in the past. Over the past few years one can sense a general awakening. The worm has turned. If for no other reason than personal survival. Why continue to carry water for ZIOs, if ones own survival is at risk. Sure. Most have been blackmailed and co-opted. But once the tipping point is breached. The flood-gates open.

When the WSJ has Isreal in the lede as being "nabbed" -- it means something BIG is unraveling. They always tip their hand. And play BOTH sides. Finger in the wind. That wind is shifting ALOT these days.  

tarsubil's picture

How much you want to bet that in response to this they add intense surveillance to the WSJ staff among others in the media? Knowing everyone's secrets is now an added right to being President just like Air Force One.

DeadFred's picture

SHTF moment

Nothing happens

Egao's picture

How can you expect US government to respect 'people around the world' if it doesn't regard them as proper human? And according to ZH even most of the US population is treated as a herd of voting livestock.

onthesquare's picture

"policies and procedures" ha!

these are nothing more than weasel words.  They are not laws or regulations or ammendments just a guide to try to follow.  

Corporations use them, police use them, political offices use them but they mean absolutely nothing a mere attempt for stearing in some direction.  Ha!

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

Candid, free-speaking Trump is so wildly popular because Obama is a perpetuallly habitually lying piece of shit propagandist.

brockhardman's picture

Good ol' bathhouse Barry, opening his lying liar hole again. 

Troy Ounce's picture

Noting will change

Obama, Bush, Trump, they're all the same.

Time for a reset

Crash Overide's picture

This planet if filled with with empires of lies.


So sad we allow it.

Down to Earth Thinking's picture

Basically we live in a sort of collective insanity. A place where truth is not an issue and illusions are what matters as control mechanisms. So the many illusions have replaced any reality. A matrix of lies , distortions, and manipulations, spoon fed to the public daily or force fed as necessary ! 

Ignatius's picture

"National security," in this context is anything that substantially challenges the current order.

salvadordaly's picture

When this piece of shit has the dirt on you, he can use it against you! Why do you think he gets everything he wants? You will vote this way or I will tell everyone what you have been doing behind closed doors. Plain and simple, blackmail. Now you get it Congress? Go ahead and vote for more spying on the Murican populas! You did not think it would be you being spyed upon? You stupid fucks! Reep what you have sewn!

DeadFred's picture

But when you've used their dirt against them and then THEY get dirt on you they will use it with relish. This could be the start of a real storm against the Whitehouse. The danger is that the Kenyan Guy is an expert at creating diversions. Plans for false flag events are stored in the top drawer of his desk ready to be dusted off when needed. It won't be an ordinary cop-shoots-unarmed-inner-city-youth diversion this time.

LetsGetPhysical's picture

No, he's usually poisoned or stabbed to death by his own guards. Ask JFK about that one. 

Rusty Shorts's picture
Caligula Gaius - Roman Emperor (assassinated) full movie



Mr.BlingBling's picture

Because he didn't do anything REALLY bad, like the truly evil . . . Mark McGuire?

onthesquare's picture

At least old Ronnie admitted to lying about the Iran Contra scandal.   But that was a long time ago.  Things have changed.  Sociopaths rule

Down to Earth Thinking's picture

with a fair amount of psychopaths as well

Jim in MN's picture

We should just change the word 'lying' to 'congressing'.  It would be easier.


"We congressed to some folks"  you know, that kind of thing.

Money_for_Nothing's picture

1 Nixon resigned so that he wouldn't be impeached.
2 Clinton was impeached, Clinton was not convicted by the Senate. (Clinton did feel the need to bribe Senators. See Senator John Glenn oldest man in space.)
3 Clinton committed perjury (proven and admitted; had to give up law license and pay a fine) but wasn't for lying to Congress.

The Navigator's picture


say it again, and again, and again

"The leadership has proven that it is insane. We need to disband the entire fucking system and start again."

Bring the whole fucking rotten, corrupt, lying, system down.

SilverDOG's picture


Millions will die.
Better to die trying than... sitting on their fat arses...
which is where most will perish.
As their brains have rotted, and vessel now empty.

y3maxx's picture

After  seven years one can count on one hand the # of times Obama hasn't lied.

dogfish's picture

Washington DC is a cancer upon our nation.