Not content spying only on Americans, the NSA appears to be spying on all of our allies as well. It has been discovered that we’re spying on French citizens to the tune of 70.3 million phone records over a 30 day period. We’re also spying on Mexicans, including a former President. Allegedly the NSA is spying on high profile foreigners in business and politics, though the shear amount of data collected suggests it goes well beyond those people. Even if the NSA program is so limited, it’s just a touch shocking that we’re spying on our allies in this broad manner. You can bet that if the Federal government is spying on the French and Mexicans they’re also spying on the British, Germans and Canadians as well. This in addition to 300+ million Americans.
Our disinterested President coolly told us that NSA spying raises some “legitimate questions for our friends and allies.” It’s big of Obama to believe the French have some legitimate questions when their private citizens and political leaders are having their phone records tracked by a foreign power. Once again, Obama acts like a disinterested outsider looking at both sides and then judging that the French might have legitimate concerns. The problem of course is that Obama is the President and has been so for five years. He knows the NSA is spying on people and has so ordered it to do so. It’s just a tad disingenuous for him to speak about this in such a disinterested manner.
NSA spying on Americans is a blatant violation of our 4th amendment rights. Those rights don’t extend to foreign nationals. As such, there’s nothing unconstitutional about Obama’s NSA spying on French, Mexican or other foreign people. The issue here is that the NSA is spying in such a broad manner on the private citizens of allies. For what purpose isn’t clear, especially so if the NSA was truly targeting high profile people in business and politics. France may be a hotbed of Islamic terrorism but it isn’t their business leaders who are involved. It’s Muslims in Paris suburbs who are involved in or associated with Islamic terrorism. It begs the question then why Obama wants to track French businessmen with the National Security Administration.
Even between allies there is a certain amount of spying which takes place. Israel and the United States have spied on each other over the years. We spied on West Germany, Britain and France during the Cold War. Those nations also spied on us. However, that spying was limited to people in government. If it extended to private citizens it was only based on information that would lead a government to believe the private citizen knows something or is perhaps spying himself. It wasn’t a blanket collection of 70 million phone calls. It wasn’t a wide selection of business leaders targeted. Private citizens were generally left alone.
This is no longer the case under President Obama. Perhaps it extends back into President Bush 43 as well, though we don’t know that yet. In the very least, under Obama the NSA has collected data on foreign nationals without any just cause. If these people were terrorists or associated with terrorists the spying would be justifiable. There just aren’t that many terrorists in France’s business elite and as such the NSA’s actions are highly questionable. Our disinterested President even thinks they have “legitimate concerns.” How noble of him to acknowledge the concerns of our allies as his government spies on their private citizens.