james clapper

Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper are sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., U.S. May 8, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Former Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates said on Monday she warned the White House in January that then-national security adviser Michael Flynn had been compromised and could have been vulnerable to blackmail by Russia. Yates testified at a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing that focused primarily on Flynn, and did not shed much light on other aspects of investigations of allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. election and whether there was collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Moscow.

Christian Piatt 10-31-2013
Rena Schild / Shutterstock.com

Rally against mass surveillance in October in Washington, D.C., Rena Schild / Shutterstock.com

As if it wasn’t chilling enough to learn that NSA cronies are poring over your web browser history, now we discover that Barack Obama sits in bed at night and listens in on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone calls to Domino’s.

Okay, maybe those are a bit of a stretch, but quite a buzz has been generated as of late about the revelation that the United States does, indeed, monitor the communications of leaders from allied nations, including the cell phone activity of Chancellor Merkel. For some, the collective reaction has been more of a collective shrug, as if such impositions should be expected from a global superpower that generally prefers to maintain that status. But for others, there’s a clear sense of shock and outrage.

For starters, let's clarify: nations cannot be friends.

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