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United States President Barack Obama has spent this past week awkwardly responding to claims that the National Security Agency has been spying on Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel since 2010.
According to some German news sources, Obama was mistrustful of Merkel’s politics when he personally approved of the monitoring of her cellphone. The White House staunchly denies this.
NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines released a statement, “[NSA chief Keith Alexander] did not discuss with the president Obama in 2010 an alleged foreign intelligence operation involving German chancellor Merkel, nor has he ever discussed alleged operations involving chancellor Merkel,” quotes ABC News.
Obama has since apologized to Merkel, adding that if he knew about the bugging he would’ve immediately stopped it. Merkel released a statement in response pleading America to stop taking advantage of its global strong-hold on power.
America’s N.S.A program has defenders as well. One unnamed German intelligence official emphasized that the September 11 terrorist attack was entirely orchestrated from Hamburg.
The Telegraph quotes him, “The Americans did not want to rely exclusively on us after September 11th. That is understandable.”
Many others back the N.S.A., noting the countless terrorist attacks which have been avoided due to the organization’s controversial operations.