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German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls out President Barack Obama over spying

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Yesterday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel blasted the United States for its spying on her personal cellular communications and invading the privacy of German citizens, questioning Barack Obama's ethics. Merkel said in her speech to Parliament, "Actions in which the ends justify the means, in which everything that is technically possible is done, violate trust, they sow distrust end result is not more security but less. Is it right that our closest partners such as the United States and Britain gain access to all imaginable data, saying this is for their own security and the security of their partners? Is it right to act this way because others in the world do the same? Is it right if in the end this is not about averting terrorist threats but, for example, gaining an advantage over allies in negotiations, at G20 summits or UN sessions? Our answer can only be: No, this can't be right. Because it touches the very core of what cooperation between friendly and allied countries is about: trust. In the end there will be less, not more security. Billions of people living in undemocratic states today are looking very closely at how the democratic world responds to security threats — whether it acts with self-confidence and prudence, or whether it cuts off the branch that makes it so attractive in the eyes of billions: the freedom and dignity of the individual."

Merkel is commenting on revelations by Edward Snowden that Obama's National Security Agency (NSA) has been regularly listening in on her personal conversations as well as millions of German's telephone and Internet communique. The spying has been going on since the Bush Administration. The NSA spying program has threatened relations between the United States and Germany on the heels of Friday's visit by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Berlin. Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said the purpose of speaking with Kerry on Friday is regarding "the transatlantic partnership and global political issues." As well, Merkel is expected to visit President Obama in Washington, D.C. this Spring.

Meanwhile, Snowden was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by two Norwegian politicians who are members of the country’s socialist left party, saying Snowden “contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order." Also yesterday, James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence said during a U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, he would like Snowden and his "accomplices" to return any and all documents that have not yet been released. By "accomplices" most suspect Clapper was speaking directly of Glenn Greenwald and The Guardian. To which Greenwald tweeted last night, "How to Commit Felonies, Avoid Prosecution, Keep Your High-Level Job, then Anoint Yourself Arbiter of Others' Criminality, by James R Clapper" along with "BIG: DNI spokesman strongly implies Clapper was referring to US journalists when he condemned 'Snowden's accomplices'."

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