Politics Magazine

There's No Limit To United States Spying

Posted on the 25 October 2013 by Jobsanger

There's No Limit To United States Spying The newest information to come to light out of the files released by Edward Snowden is that the United States was spying on our German friends -- including listening in on the phone line of German Chancellor Angela Merkel (pictured above). Merkel is mad as hell about it, and didn't believe President Obama when he called her to deny it.
This should not surprise anyone. We already knew the U.S. had spied on the French, and some are already saying we have done it to the British also. And a new newspaper report from The Guardian says the Italians are now accusing the U.S. of spying on them too. It would not surprise me at all if all of these reports are true. The United States has been spying on everyone -- both friend and foe. After all, if a government will spy on its own citizens (and we know that happened, and is probably still happening), what would stop them from doing it to everyone else?
The reason this was done is because of a flaw shared by all governments (of every kind), and that is that any government will do whatever it has the capability to do (and simple ethics and morality will not prevent that -- nor will the fact that it may not even make sense). And the American government has the awesome capability to spy on the entire world (or at least anyone in the world they want to spy on), so they do it -- and it does not make any difference which party is in the White House.
But why spy on our friends, instead of just our enemies? Simply because we have the capability to do it, but don't have the will-power to rein in that power. Now we will probably have to pay a price for that ridiculous spying on our friends. German officials are already questioning whether they want to enter into an economic trade agreement with the U.S. because of the spying. This will undoubtably affect our relationship with many nations in many ways.
The Patriot Act and our seemingly endless capabilities to eavesdrop of anyone anywhere should not be taken to have given our government an unlimited license to spy. The government should not be spying on its own citizens, and it should not be spying on friendly nations (because the negative effects will far outweigh any imagined benefit).
One of the most reasonable comments I have heard so far come from Senator Bernie Sanders, in a letter he wrote to President Obama about the spying. Bernie said:
“The strained relations with our allies as a result of wholesale NSA eavesdropping have impacted our ability to work with these countries in combating terrorism and advancing common economic goals. Clearly, in the complex and difficult world we now find ourselves, it is imperative that we try to improve our relations with friendly countries, not exacerbate them.”
“I hope you will work with me and other members of Congress in support of legislation that ends the current reckless activities of the NSA, and to develop policies which protect civil liberties and privacy rights while keeping our nation safe.”
If there is any good to come out of this mess, it is that maybe now these nations we consider friends will hesitate to back any future military invasions the U.S. wants to engage in on nations that pose no security risk to us (but are invaded just because we don't like their government, or their form of government). And maybe their hesitation will cause our own leaders to have second thoughts.

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