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German Report: Obama Aware of Merkel Spying Since 2010

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the oh-you-mean-that-spying dept.

United States 280

First time accepted submitter pupsocket writes "Yesterday the German newspaper of record, Frankfurter Allgemeine, reported that the President told German Chancellor Merkel that he would have stopped the tap on her phone had he known about it. Today, another German paper, Bild am Sonntag, quoted U.S. Intelligence sources that the President had been briefed in 2010. 'Obama did not halt the operation but rather let it continue,' the newspaper quoted a high-ranking NSA official as saying."

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280 comments

Happy Sunday from The Golden Girls! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250759)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

Germany sells nuclear tech to Iran (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250773)

Just remember Seimens (a German company) has sold nuclear tech to Iran.

I have no problem with what Bush and then Obama did.

And if Seimens were to sell to North Korea, I say we start bombing.

About what (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250809)

How do you know the US is the good guy. Unmanned drones killing women and children in the middle east, psychotic banks out of control, eugenics. You sound so emboldened and brash about ur choices considering ur country is becoming completely satanic..

And bear in mind that China and Russia already have an alliance to protect themselves from u. If the EU (inclusing France and UK) joined that - both have nukes - your potential list of allies will have dwindled and you could be alienated internationally.

However, I think u just don't get it. It's not about u or me. It's all a big charade by rich people globally, to hide pillaging from their own countries. And American people seem to be the biggest suckers of them all in this regard.

Re:About what (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250837)

So lick my butt and suck on my balls!

Re:About what (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45251389)

Your dog can do that! but be careful of your balls.

Re:About what (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 6 months ago | (#45250907)

The question is not whether the US is the "good guy." In international politics there aren't any "good guys." But there are things that countries need to know about what's going on in other countries.

Re:About what (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45251391)

But these societal failures are the unwashed with a proven track record of being sub-human.

Re:Germany sells nuclear tech to Iran (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250921)

And what is wrong with selling to Iran? Just because Bush wants to throw his toys out of his pram does not mean that Iran really is any worse than his friend Saudi or look at Pakistan who got their tech from the US. Stop swallowing the stupid propaganda. NK are bat shit crazy but not really any different from most of the other bat shit crazy countries that US used to support in South America. You want to keep waving the flag and following the dumb bullshit like a commie, that is your choice but do not think that it makes sense. Remember, the US used to support terrorists while they fund raised in NY (NORAID etc.) until you got bombed and now you want to tell the world how you can lead the way... Wonder why no one listens...

Re:Germany sells nuclear tech to Iran (0)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 6 months ago | (#45250975)

I have no problem with what Bush and then Obama did.

You also have no problem with Obama lying? He should have been wearing a kilt by now. Permanent lying can cause a wardrobe malfunction, as we all know.

Re:Germany sells nuclear tech to Iran (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45251047)

How can you tell when a politician is lying?

His lips are moving.

One can also substitute "lawyer" for "politician" in the above joke. Oh, wait, he matches that case as well, doesn't he?

Well, in a democracy, you get the government you deserve. Even in a republic, where you don't actually take part in government but only elect the representatives, you still get what you deserve. It's only when the people, take a moment to really think this over and think about who they are voting for rather than just responding to the charisma campaigns that you might see some real change in government.

Oh, yeah, and you have to get control or get rid of the Electoral College that stands between the people's votes and the actual decision of who runs the country because that's just a shadow tyranny.

Re:Germany sells nuclear tech to Iran (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45251341)

"Oh, yeah, and you have to get control or get rid of the Electoral College that stands between the people's votes and the actual decision of who runs the country because that's just a shadow tyranny."

Good Idea! That way, my vote can be nullified through the use of dead voters in Chicago, too! Why should the people of Illinois get all the fun! The way it is now, Chicago corruption only affects Illinois' say in the election... it should effect EVERYONE!

I mean, why should people who live in states with ethical and competent election officials get to not have their vote watered down? It's not fair! I say, EVERYONE's vote should be affected by corrupt states! Share the corruption!

Re:Germany sells nuclear tech to Iran (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45251441)

Seimens (a German company)

Your intellectua bazelles me.

Sounds legit (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250777)

So Slashdot reports that Yahoo News printed an article from AFP that the newspaper Bild am Sonntag heard from a "high-ranking NSA official" that something happened! It's like Obama told me himself....

Conspiracies (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250787)

And that, my friends, is why large conspiracies fail: a slight change in the initial conditions (such as a threat to NSA's funding, or top officials denouncing covert programs to save face) will make fellow conspirators angry or scared and the whole thing blows open. If the energy put into "we never went to the moon" crap would be put to good use, we could have some real, positive change.

The Pervert! (5, Funny)

flyneye (84093) | about 6 months ago | (#45250789)

Quietly spying on the womans cell since 2010, no one else knew but a few NSA lackeys. Even they couldn't see him locked in a dark office, alone, with no sound but the repetitive monkey slapping between his legs and the faint conversation of Merkel in his earpiece. " MMMmmm, I got your cigar Biatch! Daddy's gonna Farfergnugen your strudel, Heidi".....

It's a Democrat thing, ask Bill or John or Lyndon.

Re:The Pervert! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250869)

Hilarious! Mod this up +1 Nigger please!

Since 2002 (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45251133)

She's been spied on since before she became the German leader, the 2010 thing comes out from possible Keith Alexander backers:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24692908#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

"But on Sunday Bild newspaper quoted US intelligence sources as saying NSA head Keith Alexander personally briefed the president about the covert operation targeting Mrs Merkel in 2010."

Which sounds like Keith Alexander having a go at Obama if anything (or supporters of Alexander).

But what struck me is the sheer naivety of the woman:

"Mrs Merkel - an Americophile who was awarded the US Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 - is said to be shocked that Washington may have engaged in the sort of spying she had to endure growing up in Communist East Germany."

That's why they let her become Chancellor! if she was against America, you can be damn sure they'd be using all that info they have on her to her disadvantage to make sure she didn't come into power. It's not *her* who is the victim here, its the German they spied on to weed him out of the race for Chancellor. And the democracy they undermined in the process.

She should know this from the KGB control of East Germany that ensured only party approved leaders could ever be elected.

They're shaping their 'allies' to make them into 'servants'. I think a few of them know it. 5 eyes countries leaders seems to know they have to tow the US line or be leaked against, and maybe a few others. Some others, might suspect it, but don't want to seem paranoid.

Merkel needs to realize that her surfing history is known too, so is her emails, the public info she read that's known, the open discussions, known. Coutresy of Bullrun, probably even the encrypted one. It's not done for laughs, it's done for control.

To Everyone: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250791)

To Everyone:
If you have a phone or an email account or even a computer, please, please assume that the NSA and other parts of the US government is monitoring your communications and your movements. What else can we infer from all of this?

Re:To Everyone: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250843)

"What else can we infer from all of this?"

That the NSA knows I don't call my mom enough, and that I prefer pepperoni pizzas?

Re:To Everyone: (2)

JustOK (667959) | about 6 months ago | (#45251067)

Everytime you order your "pepperoni pizza", we've detected a financial trail from one of their other customers who also likes "pepperoni pizzas" around the same time. These financial transaction involve non-domestic countries. Therefore, you are a conspirator. The meta-data don't lie.

Credibility gap (4, Insightful)

PoochieReds (4973) | about 6 months ago | (#45250801)

Why would anyone believe anything that Obama or NSA lackeys say at this point? It's too late for that. Obama's successor is going to have a huge credibility gap to bridge...

Re:Credibility gap (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250835)

If you like your doctor you can keep him.
If you like your insurance you can keep it.
My administration will be the most transparent ever.
This is the moment when the rise of the oceans began to stop video [youtube.com]
Gitmo will close by the end of my first term.
The average family of four will see their health insurance lower by $2500 a year.
If we pass my stimilus the unemployment won't go over 8%.
The US is the country that invented the automobile video [youtube.com]
What you are not seeing with the NSA spying is abuses of their abilities.
via Clapper... The NSA is not spying on millions of Americans
I did call the attack on Benghazi a terrorist attack right from the beginning.

I could go on all day. Its actually harder to find things he say that are truthful then lies. Not sure why it takes what has been going on recently for everyone else to start seeing this.

Re:Credibility gap (4, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 6 months ago | (#45251009)

To be honest, many of these things probably stem from delusional optimism and self-deception; a mental disorder endemic within Homo politicus.

Re: Credibility gap (5, Insightful)

JWW (79176) | about 6 months ago | (#45251081)

Not just optimism and self deception, theres a great deal of narcissism and megalomania there too.

Re:Credibility gap (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45251121)

A sad truth stated in a glib moment in the "Men in Black" movie that explains why this state of affairs can continue so long.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals."

That's what you have in a republic, a pack of dumb panicky dangerous animals picking the representatives who will control their lives for the next two, four or however many years that representative is being elected for. Their not elected on their abilities, their track record, their core beliefs. They are elected based on the amount of charisma the spin machine can generate for them.

Re:Credibility gap (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#45251035)

None of that matters one bit. It will change nothing, and democrats and republicans will continue to dominate. Not without the electorate's approval, of course. People were actually pissed about Watergate and Vietnam and the FBI, and it changed nothing then either. The "outrage" is nothing but farting into the wind.

what a joke (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250805)

IRS targeting conservatives? Nobody at the White House knew.

Healthcare enrollment website has massive problems? The President didn't know.

NSA tapping German Prime Minister's phone? The President didn't know.

At some point, the American people have to start wondering if the President knows anything.

Re:what a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250817)

He's a professional politician. He completely understands the concept of "plausible deniability". Just like every other professional politician out there.

Re:what a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45251021)

Re:what a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250903)

At some point, the American people have to start wondering if the President knows anything.

Nothing [youtube.com].

Re:what a joke (4, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | about 6 months ago | (#45251033)

Some corrections. The IRS wasn't targeting conservatives per se. It was targeting ALL political groups that were applying for tax exempt status under new absurd rules handed down from the (SCOTUS) Ivory Tower.

Healthcare enrollment website has massive problems, well yeah, I'm sure the President knew as much from press reports as the rest of us. But I'm guessing that his subordinates at several levels down the chain were minimizing the problem so what at the level of the people directly responsible for working on the problem looked like a total nightmare was regarded with decreasing severity at each level up the chain. Like this:

webmasters: Website is fucked. Needs basic redesign that will take months to fix.
direct managers: Website has major problems. Some elements will need to be overhauled.
middle managers: Website has significantly underperformed. Some changes will be needed before it performs as expected. ...
Deputy HHS Secretary in charge of project: Website is experiencing some customer difficulties. We are working on it but it might take a while.
HHS Secretary: There have been some troubles with the website rollout. We're working on it. Should be fixed soon.
President of the United States: ???

Who hasn't seen pretty much this same scenario play out in their own organizations?

Re:what a joke (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45251153)

Some corrections. The IRS wasn't targeting conservatives per se. It was targeting ALL political groups that were applying for tax exempt status under new absurd rules handed down from the (SCOTUS) Ivory Tower.

Nice talking point that has been shown to be a lie. They were "on the lookout" for all groups, which is what you are claiming. They "prevented registration" only for conservative groups. Two different things and you are hoping people are too stupid to know the difference, or you are the stupid one. No conservative group got their tax exempt status for 2 years, a process that is supposed to take no more than 90 days. NO liberal groups were similarly restricted and when Congress had hearings the DNC was unable to find a SINGLE group on their side similarly targeted, but the GOP found 172 of them.

Don't lie and cover up for assholes. Its people like you that have enabled what is going on now because no matter what they do they know someone like you will come along and defend them.

Re:what a joke (1)

bhartman34 (886109) | about 6 months ago | (#45251185)

Healthcare enrollment website has massive problems, well yeah, I'm sure the President knew as much from press reports as the rest of us. But I'm guessing that his subordinates at several levels down the chain were minimizing the problem so what at the level of the people directly responsible for working on the problem looked like a total nightmare was regarded with decreasing severity at each level up the chain. Like this:

webmasters: Website is fucked. Needs basic redesign that will take months to fix. direct managers: Website has major problems. Some elements will need to be overhauled. middle managers: Website has significantly underperformed. Some changes will be needed before it performs as expected. ... Deputy HHS Secretary in charge of project: Website is experiencing some customer difficulties. We are working on it but it might take a while. HHS Secretary: There have been some troubles with the website rollout. We're working on it. Should be fixed soon. President of the United States: ???

Who hasn't seen pretty much this same scenario play out in their own organizations?

The problem I have with this scenario is that this is the president's baby. I don't see why he wouldn't demand regular progress reports and/or demos to people he trusted.

I've been involved in a few website roll-outs. I've mostly done UAT testing and bug hunting. Why wasn't the site sufficiently stress-tested? Why were their multiple companies being dealt with, rather than the government simply picking a Web designer and saying, "Build this site"? And how did it happen that they picked a vendor so shady that they would hide major problems with the website rather than saying, "Look, we need more time"? It's not as if Web projects always run on schedule. The website being delayed would be the most ordinary thing in the world.

It just seems to me like the administration left it up to HHS, and HHS didn't exercise any diligence at all - let alone due diligence.

Re:what a joke (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 6 months ago | (#45251287)

Yeah, this is the President's baby. But the thing is he has a lot of babies. That's the trouble. At high levels of any organization, one is forced by the sheer volume of responsibilities to rely on subordinates and subordinates of subordinates and subordinates of subordinates of subordinates to (1) handle the situation (2) tell you what you need to know and (3) not tell you details that you don't need to know (because you've only got so much time).

When you're head of whole fucking country (and a big one at that), you're necessarily going to have a very abstracted understanding of the very many things the government is doing. Even the ones you're most interested in will still get a thin slice of your attention.

Yes, I agree this should have had more of his attention. But should the budget fight with the Republicans, the NSA scandal, the war in Afghanistan or negotiations with Iran over nukes have had less? How much trust should he put in the organizations under him and the information coming from them?

Re:what a joke (2)

DarkOx (621550) | about 6 months ago | (#45251453)

I call bs. I doesn't take much time sit through a round of test cases on a website. You expect any us to think that the CEO and board of directors at f500s don't sit down for a working demonstration before major go lives? I happen to know from first hand experience they do! Yea the POTUS probably has much more on his plate than those guys but this thing is his biggest political objective, it's at the very center of his parties agenda, central to their election strategy, everything.

He knew.

But he could not admit he new because it would have screwed up the shutdown narrative, it would have made the GOPs demand for an implementation delay appear prudent and shown him and Reid to be the unreasonable ones. Now we both know long term the GoP wants to delay until the ACA dies of neglect but that's another matter as far as the public is concerned, For Obama it's his legacy and if he has to harm millions of Americans to protect it, he damn well will.

Re:what a joke (1)

moteyalpha (1228680) | about 6 months ago | (#45251249)

Obviously this is a joke too, but not a very good one. My common sense told me not to post this but my hand did anyway. I had no idea that I posted it until somebody pointed it out on slashdot.

Who hasn't seen pretty much this same scenario play out in their own mind?

Re:what a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45251155)

IRS targeting conservatives? Nobody at the White House knew.

Healthcare enrollment website has massive problems? The President didn't know.

NSA tapping German Prime Minister's phone? The President didn't know.

At some point, the American people have to start wondering if the President knows anything.

Lemme see:

  1. - Conservative judges in Supreme Court lift ban on voter discrimination.
  2. - Several red states pass discriminatory voting laws faster than you can say 'Jim Crow'.
  3. - Republican functionary resigns after blurting out on television that these laws are primarily aimed at making it hard to vote for democratic candidates.
  4. - But of course there is no connection between these events and there is no chance the supreme court is being anything other than impartial.

Lesson: Politics is a Machiavellian process that involves a lot of lying, cheating and backstabbing. News at 11!

Re:what a joke (2)

DaHat (247651) | about 6 months ago | (#45251299)

So wrong from the start:

Conservative judges in Supreme Court lift ban on voter discrimination.

They did no such thing. They struck down Section 4 of the VRA, not Section 5, leaving it to congress to replace Section 4 to allow Section 5 to go back into effect.

What color is the sky in your world when you miss such clear facts from the start?

Re:what a joke (3, Insightful)

wmac1 (2478314) | about 6 months ago | (#45251419)

So you say the president in a country should know everything (like website problems, every action of spy agencies and problems in tax and financial organizations)? That's Terra bytes of information.

I am not American but I cannot think how can he know about everything.

Stopped the tap on her (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250815)

He sure shouldnt tap that

Please tell me no one is surprised by this. (0)

bhartman34 (886109) | about 6 months ago | (#45250829)

This isn't a surprise, right? I mean, what are the odds that the NSA would spy on a leader of another country and the president of the United States not even know it's going on? It sounds laughable to me.

Re:Please tell me no one is surprised by this. (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 6 months ago | (#45250849)

It's very common for "sources and methods" for a piece of information to be more highly classified than the content of the information.

Re:Please tell me no one is surprised by this. (1)

bhartman34 (886109) | about 6 months ago | (#45250881)

I can buy that, but spying on a world leader - and an ally - sounds like something that could get you into a sh*tstorm of trouble. It's hard for me to believe they wouldn't have to run that kind of thing up the food chain. We're not talking about spying on some Afghani village leader here.

Re:Please tell me no one is surprised by this. (1)

houghi (78078) | about 6 months ago | (#45250927)

I can hardly believe that the President of the USofA will know all. Could be that it is in his line of command to know. But I would not be surprised if it was just a general 'we can spy on whomever we want' kind of thing.

And spying on some Afghan village leader is just as bad in my book. Just because he is an Afghan does not mean he is a terrorist or has anything to do with terrorism.

Re:Please tell me no one is surprised by this. (2)

bhartman34 (886109) | about 6 months ago | (#45250977)

I can hardly believe that the President of the USofA will know all. Could be that it is in his line of command to know. But I would not be surprised if it was just a general 'we can spy on whomever we want' kind of thing.

I would hope that spying on another country's leader isn't something the U.S. would do as a matter of course - especially if that leader was an ally. How could something like that be done and the president not be told? It's an incredibly risky venture (as we can see now).

And spying on some Afghan village leader is just as bad in my book. Just because he is an Afghan does not mean he is a terrorist or has anything to do with terrorism.

Spying on an Afghan leader might be just as bad morally, but it has nothing like the same international diplomacy consequences.

Re:Please tell me no one is surprised by this. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250859)

Well I can think of at least one leader of a country that the NSA would be spying on without the president of the United States knowing...

Re:Please tell me no one is surprised by this. (2)

bhartman34 (886109) | about 6 months ago | (#45250871)

Well, yes. Obviously if they spy on Obama, they're not going to tell Obama. :)

Re:Please tell me no one is surprised by this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250901)

Who the hell would want to spy on Obama? He isn't exactly hot grits...

Re:Please tell me no one is surprised by this. (1)

bhartman34 (886109) | about 6 months ago | (#45250989)

Who the hell would want to spy on Obama? He isn't exactly hot grits...

I can't really imagine the NSA spying on him, but I could certainly imagine political enemies wanting to do it. :)

Re:Please tell me no one is surprised by this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45251447)

Well, yes. Obviously if they spy on Obama, they're not going to tell Obama. :)

You can bet your sweet ass that they will tell him exactly what they have on him when he tries to moderate their funding.

And that's just the friendly fire from the NSA. After the U.S.A. was ruled for an eternity through FBI under emperor Hoover, congress passed laws that limited the FBI presidency to 10 years to avoid a similar abuse of power and investigations.

Guess what: the current head of the FBI is in his position for 12 years already and everybody pretends not to have noticed. Why? Probably for similar reasons nobody dares fucking with the NSA.

Re:Please tell me no one is surprised by this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45251015)

Still, it's quite important, politically; nobody believes anything he says anymore, and certainly not denial of spying or knowledge. However, in the political world, from sovereign leader to sovereign leader, you can't just *say* the other one is lying. At least not if you're allies, even if one of them isn't taking the whole ally thing too seriously.

Re:Please tell me no one is surprised by this. (1)

bhartman34 (886109) | about 6 months ago | (#45251237)

Still, it's quite important, politically; nobody believes anything he says anymore, and certainly not denial of spying or knowledge. However, in the political world, from sovereign leader to sovereign leader, you can't just *say* the other one is lying. At least not if you're allies, even if one of them isn't taking the whole ally thing too seriously.

Well said. There's a serious credibility gap that seems to grow every day.

Re:Please tell me no one is surprised by this. (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 6 months ago | (#45251061)

Whats interesting:
Germany selected a German firm to keep the voice part secure (after 2007 till 2009?).
Later the text part was secured by the same German firm (2010?)
Finally the e-mail and sensitive data aspect was also closed up in 2012?
Beyond that was the public key method for key agreement via dedicated landline phone for the real chats classified as top secret.
So the NSA got in very easy to text and data until a more complete German solution was ready for the lower level restricted phone.
Why did Germany take a 3 part upgrade cycle for the one/only phone they really had to get sort of secure?
The selection of a German firm founded in 2007 is telling too. They did not go with a gov solution or a big German brand..for the one/only phone they really had to get secure first time and do it in one step?.
The interface? Power usage? Or the Germans recall Enigma and will never full trust US/UK tech again and played a game?
This is also very telling of the NSA skill set and what is reflected back to the US gov - WOW the top secret super German phone was 'hacked'.
vs Germany took its time in trying to get any working encryption over 2 phone over a few years for text, data and emails.
i.e. with the correct number and the US having a total understanding of the EU phone network it was more "celebrity' vs 'press' hacking?
But wait http://www.bild.de/politik/inland/spionage/obama-billigt-lauschangriff-auf-merkel-33140378.bild.html [www.bild.de] talks of the NSA having real skills.
The US broke the encrypted phone too :)
http://www.bild.de/politik/inland/spionage/obama-billigt-lauschangriff-auf-merkel-33140378.bild.html [www.bild.de]
"Die Amerikaner knackten den Informationen zufolge auch das neue, angeblich abhörsichere Handy"
So Germany has top tech staff handing out 'generations' of encryption and even when encryption is offered its junk.
How good is Germany feeling about its cute looking, approved secure landline telephone (unit does telephone, fax, data and video communication)? Same staff look after that too? US/UK trained staff?
So did the German high command sell out to the US seeing its own political leaders as untrustworthy?
Did the German high command not understand what the USA will always do with any encryption it can find?
Did the German high command sell out to the US, tell the German political leaders and feed the US digital junk that the NSA/CIA reported back as 100% pure fact?
Would Germany be that silly? Would the CIA be that trusting with such a win?

Re:Please tell me no one is surprised by this. (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about 6 months ago | (#45251331)

Do not quote that rag when there are more reputable sources available. They are not as silly as the Daily Fail but their credibility and journalistic quality is very low by German standards.

That Palin Thing says: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250833)

"How's that "hopey changey" stuff workin' out for ya?"

:: winks ::

:: snaps gum ::

Re:That Palin Thing says: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250971)

EDITORIAL: Miss me yet? [washingtontimes.com] - Thursday, April 25, 2013

Though still slightly under water, as the campaign wise men might put it, the former president’s job-approval rating is now at 47 percent, up 14 points from his last day in office — and tied with President Obama’s 47 percent. Mr. Obama succeeded Mr. Bush in no small part by blaming the Great Recession (and everything else) on the Bush economic policies. Mr. Obama still rarely lets a day go by without bashing Mr. Bush, but the public now recalls the Bush policies fondly. Approval of his economic policies is up 19 percent from 2009.

This sharp change in public opinion confounds historians who insist that it takes years, if not decades, for a substantial revision of public opinion of a president’s legacy. Obamanomics has reduced the standard of living for many Americans, and they pine for the recent past. T-shirts bearing an illustration of a smirking Mr. Bush with the slogan “Miss me yet?” [newsbusters.org] are flying off the shelves.

This is a news story? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250865)

Are people really so foolish to think that the man isn't aware of the multitude of abuses under his administration?
 
No wonder this nation is so fucked.

Re:This is a news story? (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 6 months ago | (#45250899)

Well, maybe the news is that he got told about it only in 2010. You don't really think the NSA hadn't tapped her before 2010, do you?

All politicians are liars... (4, Insightful)

bradley13 (1118935) | about 6 months ago | (#45250889)

...but I repeat myself.

Like a spoiled kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar, Obama needs a good spanking. Amongst genuine "small government" and "limited government" types, this just leads to feelings of frustration and despair. The Tea Party movement seemed promising, until it was hijacked by the religious right. What other chance is there, really, to reign in the US government? It's no wonder that talks about secession and revolution are kicking up again.

Re:All politicians are liars... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45251041)

Maybe voting for people and not parties might work?

Re:All politicians are liars... (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 6 months ago | (#45251119)

Thats the way out. Vote for any other party/person outside the 2 main parties.

Re:All politicians are liars... (1)

khallow (566160) | about 6 months ago | (#45251449)

The Tea Party movement seemed promising, until it was hijacked by the religious right.

That's the problem with good ideas. People start agreeing on them. We can't have agreement with people I don't like.

The Limbaugh Doctrine (4, Interesting)

mrsam (12205) | about 6 months ago | (#45250917)

...the President told German Chancellor Merkel that he would have stopped the tap on her phone had he known about it.

A textbook example of the Limbaugh Doctrine. For those of you in Rio Linda, CA: the Limbaugh Doctrine states the president had absolutely no idea that something bad was going on, he's just as shocked as everyone else, at the turn of events, but he's going to put a stop to it.

The president had absolutely no clue how big of the train wreck the healthcare.gov web site was going to be, until the day of the launch. As far he knew, everything was going just fine, and he was just as shocked as everyone else, how big of a botch it turned out to be.

The president had no idea that the IRS was harassing his political opponents. He read about it in the papers, when the story broke.

The president did not know that our troops on the ground in Libya called for help several times, when the barbarians attacked the Benghazian embassy, but someone in the military chain of command told them to stand down, and that no help was forthcoming. The president found that out only after the fact.

The president did not know that the Dept. Of Justice was sending illegal firearms to Mexican drug gangs. He was shocked, just shocked, to find out about it, in the papers.

Etc... etc... The president never has any idea what's going on in his administration. Who's running the government anyway?

Re:The Limbaugh Doctrine (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#45251037)

Etc... etc... The president never has any idea what's going on in his administration. Who's running the government anyway?

I don't recall.

Or, also as Reagan said, "Oh dear"

Re:The Limbaugh Doctrine (1)

mrsam (12205) | about 6 months ago | (#45251463)

Actually what Reagan said was: "My fellow Americans, today I've signed legislation that outlaws the state of Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."

That's how a real leader sounds, instead of President "I don't know/I had no idea/Nobody told me".

Re:The Limbaugh Doctrine (3, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | about 6 months ago | (#45251167)

Well why should the President know about most of this? If some guy in shipping fucks up your order, are you shocked when the CEO of the company isn't personally aware of the status of your package?

That is why this case is different, because this presents a case that, in fact, he did know; and not only did he know but since:

NSA, which sent the intelligence gathered straight to the White House bypassing the agency's headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, according to the report.

Is a very specific claim in a report put out by the German government, and a very damning one.

Re:The Limbaugh Doctrine (1)

mrsam (12205) | about 6 months ago | (#45251451)

Well why should the President know about most of this? If some guy in shipping fucks up your order, are you shocked when the CEO of the company isn't personally aware of the status of your package?

Splendid. So, when "some guy in shipping fucked up", and told that president that Iraq has obtained weapons of mass destructions; and the president went ahead and made some decisions based on that information which later turned out to be wrong -- when that happened, I'm sure you were also defending the president, because he was only acting on the information he received from his subordinates.

Re:The Limbaugh Doctrine (2)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 6 months ago | (#45251321)

Well the President shouldn't know about these things. That's what his Secretaries of State are for.

The President is the Head of State. I put those capitals in for a reason. It is an almost religious position. A large part of the authority and legitimacy of the state is invested in the current head of state and their behaviour has to be of an appropriately high standard. This is difficult under an executive presidency like the US, but the principle still applies.

Of foremost concern here is the simple principle that there are certain things the president should not see or hear. Sometimes countries need to spy on others, or assassinate people, or steal, or whatever. But there is absolutely no reason why the President needs to be told about these things. The only time the President should hear about things like this is in the newspapers, shortly before he makes a pledge to hold the guilty responsible.

The President is not going to be able to uphold the law if all of the lawbreakers make him an accessory before or after the fact as a matter of routine.

This is to say nothing of the loss of legitimacy that comes with being involved this close to the coal-face of the uglier side of state operations. As bin Laden was being killed, the President should never have been allowed into a room where live images of people being shot and killed were displayed on screen. Without exaggeration: His aide-de-camp deserves to be court-martialed for allowing that. The damage to the image of the US President as a head of state will take decades to undo. Heads of State do not watch gunbattles on live feeds.

There is Politics, or PR-Politics as it is practised today. There is Government, and the business of running it. Then there is Diplomacy and grand and murkier business of deal with other countries.

And finally there is Statecraft, the art of running a country wisely. No PR-man, economist, scientist or other technocratic advisor can speak with any authority on this most essential of topics. It is nebulous, yet essential to all actions of the state. Systems ; political, economic, national, international, are made or unmade by the actions of senior officials and heads of state. It is essential that these actors have the gravity and respect necessary to inspire confidence in their actions. It is simply not possible to do this effectively if you have been repeatedly seen emerging from the latest political abattoir, covered from head to twitter feeds in fallout gore and scandal. Heads of State have to be above such things.

Re:The Limbaugh Doctrine (1)

mrsam (12205) | about 6 months ago | (#45251437)

That's what his Secretaries of State are for.

I'm genuinely curious: when the president's cabinet, which includes the Sec Of State, and other Cabinet members, informed the president that Iraq has obtained weapons of mass destruction; and the president acted on that information which later turned out to be wrong -- when that happened, were you also defending the president because he was merely acting on the information that he god from his subordinates, and "that's what his secretaries of state are for?

Hhhhhhhhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm???

Re:The Limbaugh Doctrine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45251365)

...the President told German Chancellor Merkel that he would have stopped the tap on her phone had he known about it.

A textbook example of the Limbaugh Doctrine. For those of you in Rio Linda, CA: the Limbaugh Doctrine states the president had absolutely no idea that something bad was going on, he's just as shocked as everyone else, at the turn of events, but he's going to put a stop to it.

In Germany that's called the "If only the Fuhrer knew" principle.

Etc... etc... The president never has any idea what's going on in his administration. Who's running the government anyway?

The last one told you there were WMDs in Iraq, none were found but just because he fabricated evidence to make his case that does not mean he lied about it. One of his predecessors knew nothing about weapons sales to Iraq, until... oops, he did remember after all. Yet another of his predecessors knew nothing about a burglary in the Watergate building... until ooops, it turned out he was aware of it after all. Fake presidential cluelessness is an old and cherished American institution stop dumping on it.

Wutend (5, Informative)

Phoenix666 (184391) | about 6 months ago | (#45250931)

I've been reading Der Spiegel for 25 years. I've never seen them get angry about anything, not even when Russia shut off the natural gas pipeline running to Central Europe to mess with the Ukraine and whacked Germany in the process. They're white hot mad about this. The German Interior Minister is talking about bringing the NSA to justice. The SPD is pushing to drop trade talks with the US unless Washington does something real about it. Meanwhile, Obama wants to talk about immigration and fly off to visit schools in Crown Heights rather than deal with this directly. Caught in lie after lie after lie about the NSA he owns this now, and he owns the consequences for the entire world if he doesn't deal with it.

Consider, fellow Americans, what goes if Germany goes. That's NATO and the EU. That's all our happy European client states cheerily playing along when Washington wants to force the President of Bolivia's plane down and search it. That's an economy bigger than ours, a continent whose population is much bigger than ours, suddenly not playing ball with us any more and pushing back hard on everything. That's a profoundly different world for American geopolitical power that will have material consequences for every American.

This, the government shutdown, the near default, the promise of more of the same in February, it all has everyone who has been on our team the last 50 years looking for the exits at once. The American government has proven it can't even get a website right; there's no way in hell they can deal with all of this at once. A fat, happy American middle class would have been a bulwark against it, but the elites have spent 20 years scraping out their substance. Most of us are running mighty thin. The risk of a trigger event, like the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand or the Rodney King verdict, bringing it all down is growing.

Re:Wutend (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250987)

Germany is just starting to flex its muscles again after that whole unpleasant business with them shoving millions of people into gas chambers within living memory. Having undercut most socialprotections and let local authorities run riot running up debt forbidden by their constitution to give a facelift to their natioanl economy, it is an offence to have their aryan balls walked on by anyone else. Expect more of the same as the lederhosen discover just how little anyone gives a fuck about them and their new germanic superstate.

Re:Wutend (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 6 months ago | (#45251229)

Germany is just starting to flex its muscles again after that whole unpleasant business with them shoving millions of people into gas chambers within living memory.

When all else fails, bring up the Nazis. I think it's time to invoke Godwin's law...

Re:Wutend (2)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | about 6 months ago | (#45250993)

Spiegel does "wütend" frequently and well. I'm not aware they are any angrier about this than a host of other issues in the past.
What got me here was that Merkel and Friedrich were playing everything down until it was *her* phone being tapped.

Re:Wutend (1)

Gryle (933382) | about 6 months ago | (#45251159)

That's just the thing. No one really worries about this stuff until if affects them directly. Of course the cynical part of me says that if the Germans had the same capabilities (and who's to say they don't?) they'd be just as curious to know what President Obama is up to.

Re:Wutend (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 6 months ago | (#45251247)

This. I'm still eagerly awaiting the details on wiretapping that has been going on in the Netherlands. Then, when politicians finally express outrage at their phones being tapped, we can throw their dismissive attitude on matters of privacy back in their face. "How did this become an issue only when it was your phone being tapped? After all, surely you guys have nothing to hide!".

Re:Wutend (2)

bfandreas (603438) | about 6 months ago | (#45251403)

You will have to remember that their journalists spend quite a lot of time in the BStU which keeps whatever is left from the Stasi files. Once you see first hand what kind of information they kept you will feel very uncomfortable about what foreign nationals do.
The rumors about espionage and also economic espionage have been very loud since the 90ies. Then we spoke about Echelon and how trade secrets of German eco-tech companies turned up in US patent applications(and in some cases even still showing the German logos on the applications). Back then nobody wanted to do something about it for obvious diplomatic resons. Now that the US has been exposed everybody feels like this is the perfect opportunity for a reckoning. Every European country(apart from the UK) has some major beef with the US over this. France, Italy, Germany, Belgium for sure. The EU institutions, too. The SWIFT agreement is in jeopardy. Trade agreements, too. The diplomatic fallout is tremendous. And even in the UK the government and Cameron in particular are facing more and more internal pressure. The US is being more and more internationally isolated in a way that's not even funny. And from what I can tell this has been coming for the past 20 years.

Time to break out the Freedom Fries again?

Re:Wutend (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45251051)

Speaking as an American: that's probably what needs to happen. Our leaders are going to "manage the dialog" and attempt to weasel out of any responsibility unless their feet get held to the fire by every ally we've got. Unless the pain level gets cranked up high enough to effect the day to day lives of average Americans, those average Americans aren't going to do jack shit. They'll keep voting for the same two political parties, no matter how corrupt, incompetent, and irresponsible they are.

I'll be disappointed if this leads anywhere short of a dissolution of trade agreements and cessation of cooperation on military and economic fronts from our allies. And I hope that's a temporary situation, and eventually things can be made right again. But for now, the only path to a less dysfunctional situation is by holding people actually responsible - like jail terms up to the highest levels, with "just following orders" not allowed as an excuse, followed by disbanding the institutions responsible, and starting over with a new system that's accountable to the people it's supposed to serve.

So yes. Please. Stop playing ball with the US. That's what's needed to fix this clusterfuck. It can't be "papered over" at this point.

Re:Wutend (4, Interesting)

ImOuttaHere (2996813) | about 6 months ago | (#45251111)

I used to believe that Democrats would do the right thing for We The People. I always felt the Republicans were nothing more than shills for the Already Rich. But...

I've watched as Bill "Mr Blue Dress Man" Clinton passed NAFTA and GATT where Papa Bush couldn't. This allowed the Already Rich to move working and middle class jobs to China (over 21million of these jobs last year), knowing that the only effect they were interested in was increasing the value of their stock options so they could make a killing on Wallstreet.

I've watched as Baby Bush invaded a country that had not one single thing to do with the events of 911... and... get away with it. Sure, Mr. Rumsfeld couldn't travel to Germany for awhile during the time they wanted him on war crimes. But that was quickly delt with and not one single person in the Baby Bush administration has gone to jail for what they did.

I've watched as Obama strengthened the Baby Bush-era spying machine... and... has not preserved the liberties nor freedoms formerly guaranteed by the Constitution and it's Amendments. By his own words (as printed in an interview in the Rolling Stone), Obama was to be the blast shield against the Republicans who want to burn the place to the ground. And yet, Obama has proven to be no better than his predecessors in protecting and guaranteeing the liberties and freedoms of We The People. Shouldn't a Constitutional Law professor have known better? Apparently not.

Freedoms? It's only an idea to Americans. Liberties? Not when you're scared or paranoid. In short, the US continues to exist as a pre-Magna Carta, pre-Habeas Corpus state.

Reading The Victorians reminds me that the role of Government is to limit the power of the common people and to enable the powerful elite. In this, the American government has succeeded. Supremely.

Re:Wutend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45251219)

The German Interior Minister is talking about bringing the NSA to justice. The SPD is pushing to drop trade talks with the US unless Washington does something real about it.

Yeah, good luck with that (caveat: I'm a German). It would be funny though (as in: comedy), Is it even possible for a foreigner to sue the NAS in US courts for unreasonable searches and seizure? I mean at the very least, if you are calling somebody in the USA couldn't your friend in the US sue the NSA for violation of the 4th amendment?

Those assclowns need to get their stories straight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250937)

And with a large and loosely coordinated bunch of people, the easiest way not to repeatedly get caught lying is to tell the truth. And if the truth is too ugly to be told, one needs to change the truth in synch with the facts rather than trying to twist the truth while keeping the facts ugly.

And "telling the truth" does not mean "masking the truth" as long as possible with technically accurate but wildly misleading statements. Those assholes just love word games and one does not exactly know why: the have no problems to just outright revert to lies or perjury when evading the questions becomes too tricky. Probably they just want to keep in practice.

Come on.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250949)

Does ANYONE believe ANYTHING obama says anymore?

Really?

Whats wrong with you? How many times does he have to flat out lie before you wise up?

Once? Ten times? A hundred?

I don't know what the count is upto by now. But it's getting pretty high.

Only of solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250967)

Dismantle, defund and shut down the entire NSA. Fire all of them and put the responsible directors on court trial.

Either that or the USA will be one day as isolated as North Korea with no friends left whatsoever.

Re: Only one solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45250985)

Fixed subject. Sorry.
One not of. Must have been auto-"correction".

Re:Only of solution (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 6 months ago | (#45251161)

Germany will just treat the USA like it did East Germany - route around it.

Re:Only of solution (1)

bfandreas (603438) | about 6 months ago | (#45251415)

West Germany kept East Germany alive with money. A lot of money. When the underhanded deals struck between the staunchest anti-communists of the west and the eastern camarilla came to light 15 years ago everybody was genuinely shocked.

Obama Was Unaware of Merkel Spying 2002-2010 (4, Interesting)

ciantic (626550) | about 6 months ago | (#45251001)

Really, the story is that Obama was unaware of spying for 8 years! How on earth is that possible? 2007 - 2008, he was Chairman of United States Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs, and after that as a president.

I know there is oversight, but geez it must be really loose. You'd think that those two posts would let one know about things.

Re:Obama Was Unaware of Merkel Spying 2002-2010 (3, Interesting)

Zak3056 (69287) | about 6 months ago | (#45251083)

To be fair, Obama didn't show up for work in 2007-2008, he was too busy running for higher office to do the job he was elected to do. I wish /. had emoticons so I could do the "rolling eyes" smiley right now.

Once upon a time, politicians would resign from their current office in order to run for a different one, but the last one I can remember doing that was Bob Dole in 1996. The worst example I can think of was Joe Lieberman, who simultaneously ran for reelection to the Senate and for Vice President just four years later.

Re:Obama Was Unaware of Merkel Spying 2002-2010 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45251135)

It is bizarre to imagine he'd be unaware of so much that's been going on - particularly high risk spying on the leaders of important western allies.

What comes to mind is a "legitimate businessman" who in court seems implausibly unaware he's running a vast crime empire. My pizza factory being used to produce cocaine? No, that's news to me. Armed guards? Don't all pizza factories employ 24 hour armed guards, and import the bulk of their ingredients from Latin America?

The only thing worse than a liar is a liar who doesn't even do us the courtesy of trying to sound plausible.

Re:Obama Was Unaware of Merkel Spying 2002-2010 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45251165)

You have to remember that Obama has very little in the way of experience and capability. He's risen to the top playing the race card, he's well spoken but doesn't write his own speeches (watch him when he's off rambling on his own). He barely spent much time the US Senate to understand how our political system works, evidenced by his lack of any sort of deal-making (even Reagan compromised with Democrats). As far back, he's been a non-entity, but because he could give a good speech and could play on Americans desire to harmonize race relations, he's now the American President.

But a President who continually passes the blame to others, accepts very little real responsibility, allows his subordinates to make bold face lies in public (because they are rarely questioned by a willing media to play along), and claims he doesn't know much of what is going on in his own administration, is not someone who should have been reelected. But Americans are now getting a glimpse of what real incompetence looks like, and it's not pretty.

Re: Obama Was Unaware of Merkel Spying 2002-2010 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45251357)

Obamacare (ACA) IS already the compromise and deal the democrats had with the republicans. Until the tea baggers decided that their hatred for Obama was more important than to honor the compromise. ACA is almost identical with the model Mitt Romney suggested in Massachusetts.

It is the "G"OP that isn't willing to make a deal an stick by it.

"The president" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45251253)

There's probably a 100 countries with a president. Fuck you editors.

Anonymous official says it and it's accepted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45251281)

Sounds legit. A fair amount of gullibility on /. Also if your biggest problem is electronic spying then you don't have any real problems. Min wage that's too low for people to support themselves, homelessness, college debt, bloated military budget which robs from valid infrastructure investments, etc.. are real problems.

Moreover, complaining about what governments have done since before the beginning of civilization is a first world problem.

After WWI and WWII can Germany be trusted? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45251297)

I say we are right to spy on them - who knows what they have planned.

This is the world that Wikileaks was fighting for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45251363)

The stated goal of Wikileaks was to make it too expensive and dangerous for powerful people to keep significant secrets, for fear of exposure. It doesn't matter whether Wikileaks was involved in this, it seems that we are much closer to that world today than we were 10 years ago. That's a good thing.

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