AFP – The National Security Agency stopped spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders after the White House learned of the snooping, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
President Barack Obama learned of the electronic surveillance in an internal review he ordered at mid-year, the Journal reported, citing unnamed US officials.
The review showed that the NSA had tapped the phones of some 35 world leaders. The White House ended programs tracking several of the leaders including Merkel, according to the Journal.
Uh huh. Remember “plausible deniability?”
A U.S. Senate committee, the Church Committee, in 1974-1975 conducted an investigation of the intelligence agencies. In the course of the investigation, it was revealed that the CIA, going back to the Kennedy administration, had plotted the assassination of a number of foreign leaders, including Cuba‘s Fidel Castro. But the president himself, who clearly was in favor of such actions, was not to be directly involved, so that he could deny knowledge of it. This was given the term plausible denial.
Non-attribution to the United States for covert operations was the original and principal purpose of the so-called doctrine of “plausible denial.” Evidence before the Committee clearly demonstrates that this concept, designed to protect the United States and its operatives from the consequences of disclosures, has been expanded to mask decisions of the president and his senior staff members.
Plausible denial involves the creation of power structures and chains of command loose and informal enough to be denied if necessary. The idea was that the CIA (and, later, other bodies) could be given controversial instructions by powerful figures—up to and including the President himself—but that the existence and true source of those instructions could be denied if necessary; if, for example, an operation went disastrously wrong and it was necessary for the administration to disclaim responsibility.
Of course Obama knew. Ignore the bullshit. Plausible deniability (translation: the abiity to lie convincingly) is a way of life in the upper reaches of government, especially in the White House.
Ever see The Godfather? Remember the role played by the consigliere? He would give the orders to underlings that were given to him by the Godfather, so that the Godfather himself could never be directly connected to the orders except by the consigliere himself.
As befits a much bigger and more dangerous gangster, Obama has several consiglieris around him at all times. Their primary job qualification, aside from feral, psychopathic ruthlessness, is the requirement that they fall on their swords if necessary rather than expose the true source of the crimes their boss commits, or orders committed.