Watergate? That was small time. This is an administration abusing a tool meant for national security purposes to win a domestic political campaign to help Iran go nuclear. Compared to this Nixon was the most ethical man in government.
President Obama announced two years ago he would curtail eavesdropping on friendly heads of state after the world learned the reach of long-secret U.S. surveillance programs.
But behind the scenes, the White House decided to keep certain allies under close watch, current and former U.S. officials said. Topping the list was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
No real surprise here. About the only people who believe Obama gets along with Israel are Jewish Democrats.
The National Security Agency’s targeting of Israeli leaders and officials also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups. That raised fears—an “Oh-s— moment,” one senior U.S. official said—that the executive branch would be accused of spying on Congress.
White House officials believed the intercepted information could be valuable to counter Netanyahu’s campaign. They also recognized that asking for it was politically risky. So, wary of a paper trail stemming from a request, the White House let the NSA decide what to share and what to withhold, officials said. “We didn’t say, ‘Do it,’ ” a senior U.S. official said. “We didn’t say, ‘Don’t do it.’ ”
So Obama let the NSA take the fall while still spying on Congress and Jewish groups in the United States.
Again, this was not spying to stop a terror attack. Or even espionage. It was surveillance whose purpose was to help Obama win Iran deal approval. The NSA was spying on the future Israeli ambassador, members of Congress and Jewish leaders because they were opposed to the Iran deal.
It’s that simple.
The fig leaf here is that they were talking to Israelis, but it’s a small step from here to just spying on them. And who is to say that didn’t happen? Who is to say that Obama didn’t use the NSA to protect ObamaCare?
Privately, Obama maintained the monitoring of Netanyahu on the grounds that it served a “compelling national security purpose,” according to current and former U.S. officials.
The compelling purpose though wasn’t national security, it was domestic politics. But for Obama, the two are one and the same. Yet this isn’t about Netanyahu. There’s a fundamental difference between spying on Netanyahu and spying on members of Congress and other Americans opposed to an Obama political agenda.
And that’s what this was.
Obama has made national security interchangeable with his own political agenda and personal influence. This is beyond Nixon. It’s Caesar.