Archive for Espionage

Wanna Read Hillary’s Missing Emails?

Ask the Russians. Pozhaluysta, Vladimir?

Russian hackers reportedly obtained some of President Obama’s emails when the White House’s unclassified computer system was hacked last year, indicating that the breach was significantly more intrusive than originally thought.

Citing officials briefed on the investigation, The New York Times reported Saturday that while the hackers did not appear to have breached more carefully guarded servers that contain Obama’s BlackBerry messages, they did manage to obtain access to email archives of people with whom Obama communicated.

That Obama’s emails were obtained by Russian hackers in particular – presumed to be linked to the Russian government – caused the intrusion to be seen as so serious that officials met on a nearly daily basis for several weeks afterwards, The Times reported.

“It’s the Russian angle to this that’s particularly worrisome,” a senior US official told The Times.

Not that the Chinese angle or the North Korean angle would be any less worrisome.

But who knew Russians worked so hard?

Russian hackers accessed an unclassified Pentagon network earlier this year, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Thursday, the latest high-profile penetration of U.S. government networks that has been blamed on Russian hackers.

Speaking at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, Carter said the breach, which was only recently declassified and was never publically reported, was quickly detected by Defense Department sensors. It was unclear when the penetration occurred or if the hackers were working on behalf of the Russian government. Attempts by CNN to glean additional details were not immediately successful.

“(The hackers) discovered an old vulnerability in one of our legacy networks that hadn’t been patched,” Carter said. “While it’s worrisome they achieved some unauthorized access to our unclassified network, we quickly identified the compromise, and had a crack team of incident responders hunting the intruders within 24 hours.”

Carter added: “After learning valuable information about their tactics, we analyzed their network activity, associated it with Russia, and then quickly kicked them off the network in a way that minimized their chances of returning.”

Maybe you should have left them where they were. If they get into Biden’s account, the game will be over.

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Where Russian Hackers Go, Chinese Hackers Have Already Come and Gone

And Hillary thinks her little wi-fi set-up in Bill’s rumpus room was secure.

Ho-Lee Fuk:

Russian hackers behind the damaging cyber intrusion of the State Department in recent months used that perch to penetrate sensitive parts of the White House computer system, according to U.S. officials briefed on the investigation.

While the White House has said the breach only affected an unclassified system, that description belies the seriousness of the intrusion. The hackers had access to sensitive information such as real-time non-public details of the president’s schedule. While such information is not classified, it is still highly sensitive and prized by foreign intelligence agencies, U.S. officials say.

The White House in October said it noticed suspicious activity in the unclassified network that serves the executive office of the president. The system has been shut down periodically to allow for security upgrades.

The FBI, Secret Service and U.S. intelligence agencies are all involved in investigating the breach, which they consider among the most sophisticated attacks ever launched against U.S. government systems. ?The intrusion was routed through computers around the world, as hackers often do to hide their tracks, but investigators found tell-tale codes and other markers that they believe point to hackers working for the Russian government.

Ben Rhodes, President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser, said the White House’s use of a separate system for classified information protected sensitive national security-related items from being obtained by hackers.

“We do not believe that our classified systems were compromised,” Rhodes told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday.

“We’re constantly updating our security measures on our unclassified system, but we’re frankly told to act as if we need not put information that’s sensitive on that system,” he said. “In other words, if you’re going to do something classified, you have to do it on one email system, one phone system. Frankly, you have to act as if information could be compromised if it’s not on the classified system.”

To get to the White House, the hackers first broke into the State Department, investigators believe.

The State Department computer system has been bedeviled by signs that despite efforts to lock them out, the Russian hackers have been able to reenter the system. One official says the Russian hackers have “owned” the State Department system for months and it is not clear the hackers have been fully eradicated from the system.

You want Hillary’s deleted emails? Ask the Russians. Putin probably keeps them in the bathroom for reading material.

And like I said, it ain’t just the Russkies:

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, in a speech at an FBI cyberconference in January, warned government officials and private businesses to teach employees what “spear phishing” looks like.

“So many times, the Chinese and others get access to our systems just by pretending to be someone else and then asking for access, and someone gives it to them,” Clapper said.

[H]ackers have long made Clinton and her associates targets.

The website The Smoking Gun first reported in 2013 that a hacker known as Guccifer had broken into the AOL email of Sidney Blumenthal, a friend and advisor to the Clintons, and published emails Blumenthal sent to Hillary Clinton’s private account. The emails included sensitive memos on foreign policy issues and were the first public revelation of the existence of Hillary Clinton’s private email address? now at the center of controversy: hdr22@clintonemail.com. The address is no longer in use.

And Obama accuses Israel of spying. What a pantload. Our allies are the last to know what we think.

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Spy vs. Spy

Forget ugly. This is getting Ernest Borgnine ugly:

Soon after the U.S. and other major powers entered negotiations last year to curtail Iran’s nuclear program, senior White House officials learned Israel was spying on the closed-door talks.

The spying operation was part of a broader campaign by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to penetrate the negotiations and then help build a case against the emerging terms of the deal, current and former U.S. officials said. In addition to eavesdropping, Israel acquired information from confidential U.S. briefings, informants and diplomatic contacts in Europe, the officials said.

The espionage didn’t upset the White House as much as Israel’s sharing of inside information with U.S. lawmakers and others to drain support from a high-stakes deal intended to limit Iran’s nuclear program, current and former officials said.

Share information with Congress on a treaty? That’s treason!

But before we go on, I bet you’re as curious as I am how Israel got caught:

The U.S. and Israel, longtime allies who routinely swap information on security threats, sometimes operate behind the scenes like spy-versus-spy rivals. The White House has largely tolerated Israeli snooping on U.S. policy makers—a posture Israel takes when the tables are turned.

The White House discovered the operation, in fact, when U.S. intelligence agencies spying on Israel intercepted communications among Israeli officials that carried details the U.S. believed could have come only from access to the confidential talks, officials briefed on the matter said.

We caught them spying by spying on them. The rats!

Except Israel says they have their own sources:

Israeli officials denied spying directly on U.S. negotiators and said they received their information through other means, including close surveillance of Iranian leaders receiving the latest U.S. and European offers. European officials, particularly the French, also have been more transparent with Israel about the closed-door discussions than the Americans, Israeli and U.S. officials said.

Israeli officials, who said they had already learned about the talks through their own channels, told their U.S. counterparts they were upset about being excluded. “ ‘Did the administration really believe we wouldn’t find out?’ ” Israeli officials said, according to a former U.S. official.

And who do you think leaked the story? Israel and the US spy on each other all the time—yet this story breaks as Obama is launching an all-out offensive against Israel. I don’t think it’s going to work. Maybe some people have a problem with whatever Netanyahu has done or said—not me, not a bit—but they agree with him. This regime would love nothing more than to reach a bad deal with Iran.

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Hey Israel, Do You Mind?

Yes, Israel. Mind very much:

CBS News reports that Obama administration officials want an end to the targeted killings, believed by many to be the work of Mossad, in order to give diplomatic negotiations with Iran a chance to succeed.

The United States is reportedly pressuring Israel to stop assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists, a number of whom have been mysteriously killed in a campaign thought to be carried out by Mossad.

According to CBS News, Obama administration officials have communicated to Israeli intelligence their wish for a cessation of the targeting of scientists in order to allow diplomatic negotiations aimed at rolling back Iran’s nuclear program to take their course.

While Israel has never officially acknowledged that it was behind the killings, it is widely believed that Mossad agents carried out the hits in an effort to slow down Iran’s nuclear development as well as to deter the country’s top scientific minds from cooperating with the government’s clandestine weapons program.

If Israel is behind the mysterious spontaneous combustion of Iranian scientists (were they behind the the same epidemic of drummers in Spinal Tap?), why shouldn’t the Obama regime use that to its advantage? Why give it up before negotiations begin?

What this most arrogant of administrations termed “smart power” is really just stooge power. They have been played for saps by blowhards and dictators over and over for five years. One of these days, someone’s going to get hurt.

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Nice T*ts

That’s not me talking; it’s Edward Snowden.

You should be flattered:

A British spy agency collected millions of still images while eavesdropping on Yahoo webcam chats by citizens of the U.K., the U.S. and other countries, according to a new report Thursday.

Citing documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the Guardian reports that the British program known as “Optic Nerve” was designed to test and improve the agency’s facial recognition software capabilities. According to the documents, the British spy agency GCHQ snooped on “unselected” Yahoo users—that is, people who were spied on at random regardless of whether or not they were suspected of any wrongdoing—during webcam chats and took millions of still shots at five-minute intervals. The GCHQ does not have the technical capability to ensure that no images of British or American citizens were included in the bulk collection, the Guardian reports, and proper legal authorization is required for GCHQ to conduct data searches on people likely to be in the U.K. at the time.

In sorting through the massive amount of information it collected starting in 2008, when Optic Nerve first launched as a prototype program, U.K. spies were met with an explicit challenge: pornography

“Unfortunately, it would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person,” one document leaked by Snowden says. “Also, the fact that the Yahoo software allows more than one person to view a webcam stream without necessarily sending a reciprocal stream means that it appears sometimes to be used for broadcasting pornography.”

I’m sorry, is that wrong?

But it ain’t just British spooks:

The British surveillance agency GCHQ and the United States National Security Agency (NSA) have intercepted and stored webcam images of millions of users worldwide of the online news and social networking provider Yahoo.

Obama didn’t begin this massive violation of privacy, but it’s all his now. And he’s done so little about it, it makes me wonder what movies he’s showing in the White House screening room.

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You Know You Want One

An Edward Snowden action figure!

Move over, Captain Planet. A toy manufacturer in Oregon has commoditized the debate over government surveillance and is now selling customizable Edward Snowden action figures for the cool price of $99.

“This package includes Edward Snowden’s custom action figure head mounted on a 12-inch action figure body with a several [sic] choices of outfit styles,” the website, ThatsMyFace.com, boasts. “By selecting Head only in the Outfit selection box above, you can also buy Edward Snowden’s head for $60 only and fit it onto your own 12-inch figurines.”

Snowden’s head on my Skipper doll? Have they no decency?

Act now, and they’ll include a second doll for just shipping and handling. Julian Assange!

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But this dynamic duo is not complete without a villain. Who’s their Joker?

They may occupy different ends of the secrecy spectrum, but they share a tailor, that’s for sure!

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Our Friends, the Nazis

Hey, don’t laugh.

Or cry:

At a secret site in Germany, after World War II ended, Americans used the services of Nazi scientists to develop advanced techniques for the investigation of Soviet prisoners, including the use of “truth serum” (LSD) and mind controlling methods which they would use on prisoners.

The doctors and elite Nazi scientists helped the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the US intelligence system test the use of LSD and other investigative techniques that would help them extract information from the Soviet spies they had caught. The work took place in a German base named “Camp King”, near Frankfurt. In 1945, the site served as a detention center for the German scientists, but within three years, the detainees were the Soviets, while the German scientists became collaborators with the Americans.

An important asset for the Americans was Dr. Walter Schreiber, the Third Reich’s former Surgeon General who was later moved to an Air Force base in the US. The services of former Deputy Surgeon General of the Third Reich Dr. Kurt Blome, who was involved in biological warfare research, were also used in the base.

Ew. It’s one thing to plunder German rocket ingenuity, as we did with Werner von Braun (“A man whose allegiance/Is ruled by expedience”). But the Nazi eugenicists? What possible common cause would we have with the likes of Mengele’s bosses? (The very idea of a Surgeon General for the Third Reich should make us sick. It does.)

The motive behind the establishment of “Operation Paperclip” was a suspicion raised by top security and military American leadership’s memos – that the US and the Soviet Union may enter a “total war” in 1952, a war that will include the use of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. For that reason, the Americans decided to use every means at their disposal, including Adolf Hitler’s top scientists and the chemical warfare they developed under the Third Reich, including sarin gas and biological weapons.

[T]he CIA soon showed an interest in using LSD outside of the battlefield, and in intelligence warfare. At the time, Americans were examining options of mind manipulation by using drugs, hypnosis and electric shock, in an attempt to match similar Soviet techniques of interrogation.

Take a second here. The Soviets were our allies in WWII (hard not to use “” around allies); the Nazis, the most evil regime the world had ever seen (until Mao?), were our enemies. (I’m going to excuse Genghis Khan out of multicultural sensitivity.) Yet we were cuddling Nazi “doctors” (had to use “” there) before the last mortar was fired, the last camp liberated.

It can’t have been because we didn’t know. Our interest in them meant of course we knew. What else did we want from the “Surgeon General” of the Third Reich? Cold remedies? Come on.

We were expecting “total war” (from ‘shrooms to mushroom clouds) with our “ally” less than a decade after celebrating victory in the ETO with them. There had to be a reason. Maybe we knew something there too.

Maybe we knew that Stalin had been ally of the Nazis too. (No need for “”; they signed a nonaggression pact.) Maybe we knew something about Lenin’s and Stalin’s “cleansing” of any reactionary forces or beliefs (which process was anything but clean). Maybe we knew something about Stalin’s role in the Ukraine famine that took millions of lives (not that we learned anything about it in the New York Times).

Churchill knew:

‘Terrible things have happened. A tide of Russian domination is sweeping forward . . . After it is over, the territories under Russian control will include the Baltic provinces, all of eastern Germany, all Czechoslovakia, a large part of Austria, the whole of Yugoslavia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.

‘This constitutes one of the most melancholy events in the history of Europe and one to which there has been no parallel.

He got that right. He even wanted to go to war with the Soviets to push them back—even using German forces as they surrendered! But no one else had the strength or the nerve. Instead, they hunkered down for forty-five years of Cold War. Eastern Europe—half a continent—was lost to freedom for two generations. The wounds are still raw today.

Every war is dirty, ugly, cruel. The dogs of war maul the innocent as well as the guilty. It’s no different in a Cold War, even if no (or few) shots are fired. Maybe the “Surgeon General” of the Third Reich had clean hands.

Maybe. Doubtful. Nah…

They may have been Nazis, but they were our Nazis. That was not right, but when presented with the monsters of Hitler and Stalin (and later Mao), what the [bleep] was one supposed to do?

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Truth, Justice, and the Israeli Way

Everyone would rather that Iran not foment terrorism around the world. Everyone not Iranian, that is.

But if they are—and they do—there will be consequences:

The perpetrators of a 1994 terrorist attack on the main Jewish community offices in Buenos Aires have, for the most part, been eliminated by Israeli security forces operating abroad, a former Israeli envoy to Argentina sensationally revealed Thursday.

The AMIA (Argentine Israelite Mutual Association) bombing, carried out by a Lebanese suicide bomber who drove a car bomb at the multistory building, destroying it, killed 85 people and wounded hundreds. The bomber was subsequently identified as Ibrahim Hussein Berro, an operative of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group, and he was allegedly assisted by other Hezbollah and Iranian operatives.

In an interview with Agencia Judía de Noticias — or AJN, a Spanish-language Jewish news agency — Yitzhak Aviran, Israel’s ambassador to Argentina from 1993-2000, revealed that many of those involved in the attack had been targeted by Israel.

“The large majority of those responsible are no longer of this world, and we did it ourselves,” an AFP report quoted Aviran as saying.

Aviran castigated the Argentinian leadership, and claimed little had been done to bring to justice the Iranian authorizers and planners of the 1994 attack, or of a 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in the Argentinean capital, in which 29 people were killed.

The final decision to attack the AMIA center was made by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and then-president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, according to the indictment. In the indictment, Argentinian prosecutors relied heavily on the testimony of an Iranian defector, former intelligence official Abolghasem Mesbahi.

The specific motivation for the 1994 AMIA bombing, according to Nisman, was to punish Argentina for suspending its nuclear cooperation with Iran. Once the decision was taken to act against the country, Nisman said in an earlier Times of Israel interview, it was a Jewish target that was decided upon — again, a familiar Iranian strategy. “When they choose to act against a country, the attack is commonly on the Jewish community,” he said. “It’s the first target.”

Nisman also said there are “clear signs” that terrorist networks first established by Iran in several South American countries in the 1980s and 1990s are still in place.

So, the real trick is to take action against the Iranian terrorists before they act. What are you waiting for?

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Who’s the Traitor?

That was then:

This is now:

Edward J. Snowden, the fugitive American security contractor granted temporary asylum by Russia, has appealed to Washington to stop treating him like a traitor for revealing that the United States has been eavesdropping on its allies, a German politician who met with Mr. Snowden said on Friday.

Mr. Snowden made his appeal in a letter that was carried to Berlin by Hans-Christian Ströbele, a veteran member of the Green Party in the German Parliament. Mr. Ströbele said he and two journalists for German news outlets met with Mr. Snowden and a person described as his assistant — probably his British aide, Sarah Harrison — at an undisclosed location in or near Moscow on Thursday for almost three hours.

Mr. Ströbele had gone to Moscow to explore whether Mr. Snowden could or would testify before a planned parliamentary inquiry into the eavesdropping.

In his letter, Mr. Snowden, 30, also appealed for clemency. He said his disclosures about American intelligence activity at home and abroad, which he called “systematic violations of law by my government that created a moral duty to act,” have had positive effects.

Yet “my government continues to treat dissent as defection, and seeks to criminalize political speech with felony charges that provide no defense,” Mr. Snowden wrote. “However, speaking the truth is not a crime. I am confident that with the support of the international community, the government of the United States will abandon this harmful behavior.”

Germans—and everyone else—ask Obama: how could you do this to us? We were so into you. He understands your feelings. Not your outrage, but your adulation. You weren’t into him half as much as he was into himself. Eavesdropping was just a version of the old line: enough about me—what do you think about me?

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He Knows, He Knows Not; He Knows, He Knows Not

Does President Obama know his ass from his elbow? It depends:

‘No matter how we reform health care,’ a newly minted President Barack Obama told a meeting of the American Medical Association in June 2009, ‘we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.’

But regulations formulated by his own administration make it clear that the White House never intended to to give Americans that level of free choice about their medical insurance options.

Washington, D.C. buzzed Friday with reports of what NBC News had surfaced: an under-the-radar notice in the Federal Register, which MailOnline has dated to June 17, 2010, laying out the administration’s expectation that most people who buy their own health insurance will soon have no options other than paying exorbitant rates or joining the federal government’s insurance exchanges.

So, he does know sh*t from Shinola.

Or does he?

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat who chairs the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee, seemed miffed at the idea that she and her colleagues were out of the loop when the president’s men conducted surveillance on foreign leaders in Europe and Latin America.

And she said President Obama’s lack of knowledge about monitoring of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phones going back to 2002 posed ‘a big problem.’

So, he doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground. Hard to say, really:

Did anyone tell him about this?

A pair of tweets sent by President Barack Obama’s Twitter account re-directed users to to pro-Bashar al-Assad YouTube videos Monday afternoon.

One tweet about immigration reform was supposed to send followers to an article from The Washington Post. Instead, it linked to a video montage of terror attacks, starting with the attacks on 9/11.

The account, @BarackObama, is used by the president’s Organizing For Action campaign.

“OFA links that were posted on Twitter/Facebook was hacked and redirected to a video showing the truth about Syria,” a member of the Syrian Electronic Army told CNNMoney. The hacktivist group claims that it gained access to multiple OFA email accounts, in addition to MyBarackObama.com and donate.barackobama.com.

The two manipulated tweets were retweeted hundreds of times.

Though the hack of the president’s tweets was relatively minor, security expert David Kennedy said the SEA could expose more if they gained access to other Website and Twitter management tools for the OFA campaign.

A President who couldn’t rouse himself to follow the sealed fates of four Americans in Benghazi on 9/11/12, while he was prepping for a fundraising jaunt to Las Vegas, has this coming to him.

Enjoy that Shinola sandwich, sir. At least I hope it’s Shinola.

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What Did the President Know

And when did he know it?

The US National Security Agency was forced on Sunday to deny that its director ever discussed a surveillance operation against the German chancellor with President Barack Obama, as the White House tried to contain a full-scale diplomatic crisis over espionage directed at allied countries.

The Obama administration appeared in disarray as it struggled with the fallout over the disclosure that the National Security Agency monitored the phone conversations of at least 35 world leaders, and that the phone of the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, had been monitored.

Early on Sunday, the White House refused to comment on an overnight report in the German tabloid Bild, which alleged that Obama was personally briefed about by the operation to target Merkel’s phone by the NSA’s director, Keith Alexander, and allowed it to continue.

That appeared to conflict with a second report, in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. It said that when Obama spoke to Merkel over the phone on Wednesday, he assured the German leader he had not previously known her phone had been monitored.

Der Bild ain’t buyin':

President Barack Obama personally authorised the phone tapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile because he wanted to ‘know everything’ about the world’s most powerful woman, it was claimed on Sunday.

Bild newspaper in Germany – which also reported surveilance on the phone of her predecessor Gerhard Schroeder who opposed the war in Iraq – called US denials of eavesdropping ‘diplomatic lies’ as new documents from the Nation security Agency in Washington suggest the bugging against the politicians began at least ten years ago, during the Bush administration.

Bild quoted a secret intelligence source saying the president was informed in 2010 about the operation against Merkel by NSA boss Keith Alexander and he sanctioned it.

‘Obama did not stop the action at that time but allowed it to continue,’ said an intelligence official familiar with the NSA operation against Merkel image on Sunday.

‘Obama did not stop the action but rather furthered it,’ said the Bild informant.

So, Obama did—or did not—know that Merkel’s phone was tapped.

Just as he did—or did not—know that Healthcare.gov was an online Chernobyl.

Hmm, he dowsn’t seem to be as smart as advertised. He’s not as articulate, either, when off teleprompter. I’m beginning to wonder how clean he is.


You BETTER be sweatin’!

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Do You Like Apples?


Well, I have all y’all numbers. How do you like them apples?

The National Security Agency monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders after being given the numbers by an official in another US government department, according to a classified document provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The confidential memo reveals that the NSA encourages senior officials in its “customer” departments, such as the White House, State and the Pentagon, to share their “Rolodexes” so the agency can add the phone numbers of leading foreign politicians to their surveillance systems.

The document notes that one unnamed US official handed over 200 numbers, including those of the 35 world leaders, none of whom is named. These were immediately “tasked” for monitoring by the NSA.

The revelation is set to add to mounting diplomatic tensions between the US and its allies, after the German chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday accused the US of tapping her mobile phone.

Hell hath no fury:

The revelations are threatening to create a major rift between the US and its European allies. The former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that such activities had to be curtailled. “There is no reason to spy on Angela Merkel. It’s a real scandal,” he said. “A new agreement is needed between the EU and the US; this cannot continue.”

Despite US efforts to placate Merkel – including a phonecall made by the US president, Barack Obama, on Wednesday – she has refused to conceal her anger over the issue. “We need trust among allies and partners,” Merkel told reporters in Brussels on Thursday. “Such trust now has to be built anew. This is what we have to think about.”

Although the US and Europe were allies facing the same challenges, she said, “such an alliance can only be built on trust. That’s why I repeat again: spying among friends, that cannot be.” She added: “It’s become clear that for the future, something must change – and significantly.

“We will put all efforts into forging a joint understanding by the end of the year for the co-operation of the [intelligence] agencies between Germany and the US and France and the US, to create a framework for the co-operation.”

Her sentiments were echoed by the French president, François Hollande. “What is at stake is preserving our relations with the United States,” he said. “They should not be changed because of what has happened. But trust has to be restored and reinforced.”

What do you want to bet that Obama’s abject apology to Merkel sounded something like this?

Besides, Angie, you know he’s never shy about speaking in Germany!

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