UPDATED 11:28 AM PT – Tuesday, June 1, 2021
According to new revelations from a Danish media outlet, the U.S. National Security Agency under the Barack Obama administration was using resources provided by Denmark’s intelligence agency to spy on European politicians. The investigation and subsequent news, known as the Dunhammer Report, followed details laid out in Edward Snowden’s Whistleblowing episode in which he uncovered the NSA’s abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act courts to spy on private citizens.
The new revelations show the extent to NSA surveillance wasn’t only limited to U.S. citizens as it is now clear the agency was also spying on European politicians, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Previously in 2013, Merkel made it clear that the NSA spying on her would be unacceptable.
This cooperation between the American and Danish intelligence agencies even escalated to the point where Denmark allowed the NSA to set up south of Copenhagen on the Island of Amager. In addition to Germany, elite government officials in France, Sweden and Norway were under surveillance as well. French President Emmanuel Macron responded to those reports on Monday.
“It, very clearly, is not acceptable between allies, even less so between allies and European partners,” he asserted. “I care about the relationship of confidence that unites Europeans and Americans, and we thus have to do everything in our power for our common security.”
In 2013, Obama’s State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki, stated this matter would be alleged because of Snowden’s report, but reserved the administrations right to neither confirm nor deny every single report.
“More allegations will surface given the quantity of classified information leaked by Mr. Snowden. I want to set the precedent, or set the point I guess, from here today that we have no plans to lay out our tactics or further specifics details from here,” she announced. “We feel as you’ve heard us say a couple of times that the best place to have these conversations is with our allies, with our diplomatic partners. Those will continue and we’ll address pieces as they come.”
The most eye opening discovery of the report is the possible dishonesty of the Obama administration as the question now is whether the spying took place before or after Obama had promised to stop spying on allies. In early 2014, Obama made this promise in response to the Snowden reports.
“I’ve made clear to the intelligence community that unless there is a compelling national security purpose, we will not monitor the communications of heads of state and government of our close friends and allies,” the former President expressed. “I’ve instructed my national security team, as well as the Intelligence Community, to work with foreign counterparts, to deepen our coordination and cooperation in ways that rebuild trust going forward”
It is unclear why the administration felt the need to collect data on top ranking officials of American allies, though the latest Dunhammer Report does expand our understanding of the extent to which the spying was taking place. This additionally provides clear evidence that the Obama administration had been making secret deals with foreign nations to achieve those goals.