President Obama tried to justify the reported spying by the National Security Agency (NSA) on European allies and at the same time limit the political damage between the U.S., France and Germany.
The Guardian and Der Spiegel, a German newspaper, recently reported that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been electronically bugging and wiretapping European Union (EU) offices in Washington D.C. and New York City, as well as some EU embassies.
Speaking in Tanzania, President Obama tried to justify the reported snooping by claiming that the U.S. was simply "trying to understand the world better," reported The Guardian.
"Not just ours, but every European intelligence service, every Asian intelligence service, wherever there's an intelligence service. Here's one thing that they're going to be doing: they're going to be trying to understand the world better and what's going on in world capitals around the world," claimed President Obama.
Secretary of State John Kerry also tried to justify the U.S. electronically spying on its allies by claiming that "every country in the world" is engaged in a similar activity.
Kerry's statement was remarkable as there are some countries so impoverished they can't even feed themselves or barely exist in extreme poverty.
"Every country in the world that is engaged in international affairs of national security undertakes lots of activities to protect its national security and all kinds of information contributes to that. All I know is that is not unusual for lots of nations," claimed Kerry.
That explanation fell flat for Martin Schulz, the president of the European parliament, who compared the NSA to the Soviet-era KGB: "It is shocking that the United States take measures against their most important and nearest allies, comparable to measures taken in the past by the KGB, by the secret service of the Soviet Union."
Speaking of the old Soviet Union, Russia's present-day president, Vladimir Putin offered asylum to National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden: "If he wants to go somewhere and someone will take him, go ahead."
"If he wants to stay here, there is one condition, he must stop his work aimed at bringing harm to our American partners, as strange as that sounds coming from my mouth. Russia never gives anyone up and doesn't plan to give anyone up. And no one has ever given us anyone."
Source: The Guardian