U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday conceded that the National Security Agency‘s spying efforts have reached way too far and claims such abusive surveillance tactics will be stopped – but that obligatory statement comes only in light of recent allegations that the NSA monitored the cellphone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, which seems to be more worthy of an explanatory response by the Obama administration than the fact the NSA invaded the privacy of hundreds of millions of Constitutionally protected American citizens. German federal prosecutors are preparing to investigate the matter involving Merkel and the outcome could be less than flattering for the U.S.
Always the straight-faced spinner, Kerry is now trying to convince the world that due to “modern technology” some of the NSA’s recent activities have been happening on “automatic pilot” – insinuating that neither the Obama administration, the President or Kerry himself knew of the abuses until afterwards:
“The president and I have learned of some things that have been happening in many ways on an automatic pilot, because the technology is there,” Kerry said. “In some cases, some of these actions have reached too far and we are going to try to make sure it doesn’t happen in the future,” he said.
Back in Russia Edward Snowden recently met with German officials and says he wants to help them investigate the NSA matter and also insinuated he’d be willing to testify before the U.S. Congress about NSA surveillance but is only willing to do so on the condition that the Unites States drops the espionage charges against him.
In a one-page letter to German officials Snowden said the United States “continues to treat dissent as defection, and seeks to criminalize political speech with felony charges that provide no defense. I am confident that with the support of the international community, the government of the United States will abandon this harmful behavior,” Snowden wrote while maintaining that he wouldn’t talk to Germany or any other country “until the situation is resolved.”
After the meeting Hans-Christian Stroebele, a lawmaker with Germany’s opposition Greens, told a press conference that Snowden appeared healthy and in good spirits:
“(Snowden) said that he would like most to lay the facts on the table before a committee of the U.S. Congress and explain them,” Stroebele said. He also told reporters the 30-year-old Snowden “did not present himself to me as anti-American or anything like that — quite the contrary.”
Stroebele then released the letter from Snowden to Merkel’s staff, German federal prosecutors and the speaker of Germany’s Parliament before releasing it to news agencies.
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