According to a new report, the Obama administration has been conducting a spying operation against Israeli government officials’ communications with U.S. lawmakers since earlier this year.
In what is being called an “Oh, s— moment” for the administration, U.S. lawmakers have also had their calls with leaders from Jewish-American groups eavesdropped on.
Making matters more concerning is that the Obama administration left Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu off a list of world leaders exempt from any spying programs.
Ned Price, National Security Council spokesman, said:
“As a general matter, and as we have said previously, we do not conduct any foreign intelligence surveillance activities unless there is a specific and validated national security purpose. This applies to ordinary citizens and world leaders alike.”
So the question becomes, what was the Obama administration afraid the Israelis were doing?
For their part the Israeli embassy in Washington called the report “total nonsense.”
From Fox News:
The National Security Agency’s effort to eavesdrop on communications between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his aides reportedly also captured private conversations involving U.S. lawmakers and members of American Jewish groups.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the NSA’s monitoring of such exchanges raised fears that the Obama administration would be accused of spying on Congress, with one official calling it an “oh, s— moment”.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a presidential candidate, told Fox News the report just demonstrates the need for more controls on the NSA.
“I’m appalled by it,” Paul said Wednesday. “You could see how it would stifle speech if you’re going to eavesdrop on congressmen, and that it might stifle what they say or who they communicate with.”
What was behind this NSA program? Sound off in the comments below!