ALREADY TICKED OFF German Chancellor Angela Merkel is possibly seething, as newspapers have reported that she was on a US National Security Agency (NSA) phone tapping list for over a decade.
Last week Merkel was annoyed because she saw her mobile number on one of the reams of NSA PRISM snooping related documents released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
This week she is likely to be even more upset, as a report in Der Spiegel reckons that she has been under a microscope since 2002, and perhaps worse, that US President Obama has known this since 2010.
That is not quite what he said last week in a call to Chancellor Merkel. We are given to understand that he was quite contrite and claimed that he was not in the loop about such things.
"The President assured the Chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of Chancellor Merkel," said a spokeswoman for the US National Security Council to Der Spiegel just last week.
Der Spiegel reported that papers suggest a Merkel was under surveillance earlier this year, indeed just prior to a visit from President Obama. It is possible then that someone at the White House was listening in to see what sort of present it might be appropriate to buy the Chancellor.
There is some good news for the White House PR machine and that is that President Obama might have to make similar statements about the US to various countries. This should save some time in making apologies.
Having just attempted to soothe German anger, Obama contacted his French counterpart, while the NSA stands accused of intercepting the communications of 35 world leaders. µ
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