Barack Obama: Yeah.
Angela Merkel: World War II ended 70 years ago, Herr President. J. Edgar Hoover is dead. And we find out from Der Spiegel you're still bugging us! At this very moment in time, you are bugging me telling you that you're bugging me. Was zeum Teufel?
Barack Obama: Angela, Angela, Angela. Did I ever tell you you're the best looking German chancellor in the room? Remember when we chatted at the G-8 and I assured you we are not spying on you and that we only collect your emails and phone calls to keep the World safe from the World? Meanwhile if you let Edward Snowden anywhere near your air space, I'll yank my wasteful billion dollar bases right out of Germany. Meanwhile, I do welcome a transparent conversation behind closed doors.
Angela Merkel: Du Hurensohn! Nixon had to resign for a lot less than you are doing with your NSA plumbers. I'll pull out of the EU free trade agreements, Du Bastard!
Barack Obama: Did I ever tell you you're the best looking German chancellor in the room? We need a balanced approach when it comes to free trade just like we need a balanced approach when it comes to your privacy and our power. We need to balance the important interests of the multinationals against the petty interests of the poor slobs. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. My attorney General Eric Holder will be in touch with your prosecutors to offer them a deal they can't refuse. Money will win in the end. It always does.
I wonder. Yves Smith has an excellent post up asking the question you're not hearing being asked in the mainstream media. Will the blockbuster revelations that America is spying on foreign governments scuttle next week's European Union Trade Deal talks? Even better, will they ruin the super-secret corporation-friendly Trans-Pacific Partnership deal?
No wonder the PTB hate Edward Snowden so much. He's
not only embarrassed them personally, he's cutting into their obscene profits, big-time. Literally trillions of dollars in plutocratic pockets may be in danger because he exposed their criminal snooping enterprise. That is why they're desperately (and increasingly futilely) trying to make him and Glenn Greenwald into the bad guys. The mass murderers are complaining that the star witness for the prosecution is a rudenick and a Peeping Tom.
And nearly 48 hours after the latest NSA scoops, the Spooks are remaining eerily silent.* It's like the scandal that surpasses a thousand Watergates didn't even exist. The silence of stenographic mass media is deafening. I imagine the mad scramble for talking points is in full throttle.
Yves has been scanning the comment boards on NSA/Snowden stories and has unscientifically discovered that the proles are definitely not on the side of the government in this matter. The usual Obamabot sock puppets are hidden away in the drawers, for the most part. And that is a hopeful sign of things to come as regards the trade agreements:
By way of background, the Administration is taking the unusual step of trying to negotiate two major trade deals in the same timeframe. Apparently Obama wants to make sure his corporate masters get as many goodies as possible before he leaves office. The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the US-European Union “Free Trade” Agreement are both inaccurately depicted as being helpful to ordinary Americans by virtue of liberalizing trade. Instead, the have perilous little to do with trade. They are both intended to make the world more lucrative for major corporations by weakening regulations and by strengthening intellectual property laws…Public Citizen has been doing a yeoman's job exposing just a little bit of what the TPP deal means for us. No more accountability for corporate fraud in the courts of sovereign governments. Disease and death because life-saving drugs will be kept from developing countries. Total deregulation of financial predators and the neutering of already toothless Dodd-Frank financial reform. The details are so horrendous that the Obama Administration is even keeping them from Congress while strong-arming them to give him full authority to fast-track the deals. It's nothing less than a global coup d'état.
So Edward Snowden may be a greater hero than I thought. As Glenn Greenwald (h/t Jay - Ottawa) pointed out in a recent speech to a convention of Socialists (yay!), the inspiration he created by willing to literally put his own body on the line can only grow exponentially from here on out.
* Update: Before meeting up with George Bush in Tanzania to lay a ceremonial wreath for
Now that Obama weighed in, the New York Times finally joined the fray as well, with this weasel-worded headline: "France and Germany Piqued Over Spying Scandal."
Piqued? That connotes a lot less than the rage that is actually being felt and reported, and even subtly shifts the blame onto those on the receiving end of the abuse. (To be fair, the article does mention outrage in the first paragraph.) But the use of the word piqued in the headline hugely downplays the real import and content of the story, could even be interpreted to mean that those Europeans find the story really, really interesting. Somebody simply scanning the headlines might assume that the scandal was more along the lines of eavesdropping on an extra-marital affair instead a criminal state spying campaign against millions of innocent people.
From the Online Free Dictionary --
1. Stimulate (interest or curiosity)
2. Feel irritated or resentful.
1.Arouse fierce anger, shock, or indignation in (someone): "he was outraged at this attempt to take his victory away from him".
2. Violate or infringe flagrantly.
Words matter. A lot.