When the Obama Administration has justified the military’s massive, daily electronic espionage against Americans’ private emails, telephone calls, Internet use and other information, they have consistently claimed that the unconstitutional spying is necessary to protect Americans from terrorists. New documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden show, however, that a good amount of the spying conducted by the National Security Agency has nothing to do with security from terrorism. Instead, the NSA is conducting espionage for economic purposes.
The NSA has been spying against Petrobas, a big and dirty oil company headquartered in Brazil. Petrobas is no innocent lamb. It’s fouling up the Earth’s atmosphere at a frightening pace. However, no one accuses Petrobas of having anything to do with terrorism.
Confronted with the news, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper admitted that NSA spies have been spying on Petrobas to obtain “early warning of international financial crises which could negatively impact the global economy. It also could provide insight into other countries’ economic policy or behavior which could affect global markets.”
Are President Obama’s economic advisers truly so incompetent that they need to rely on NSA spies to understand foreign countries’ foreign policies and to make predictions of international financial crises?
Since when is it the business of the U.S. military to employ spies to gather economic data from corporations in nations allied with the United States?
How much of the NSA’s electronic spying programs are being used to promote the business interests of American corporations?
Given the lack of transparency from the Obama Administration on NSA spying, I don’t think we can expect an honest answer to any of these questions.