It is hard to imagine that people at the National Security Agency are spying on Americans and heads of state of allies without The White House and specifically the President not knowing about it. Consider the scenarios:
- President Obama knows exactly what is going on at NSA.
- President Obama had no knowledge about what is going on at NSA.
- President Obama is in command of the situation.
Which of the above scenarios are true?
Start with #3: the president is in charge here. He is the one responsible for the performance of every department with his appointees in charge. So, who are they?
National Security Agency
Headquarters: Fort Meade, Maryland
Budget: Estimated at 10.8 billion
Agency Executives: General Keith B. Alexander, U.S. Army,Director of the National Security Agency; John C. Inglis, Deputy Director of the National Security Agency
(edited from Wiki)
Before diving in on General Alexander, consider who he reports to. That is, he is managed by the Secretary of Defense who is now Chuck Hagel. Hagel’s predecessor through many alleged transgressions was: Leon Panetta and Robert M. Gates.
Robert M. Gates was on point for most of the time. It is conceivable that Gates could direct clandestine behavior in such a manner that no one would know except him. But, would he keep secrets from President Obama? Probably not, but one could ask him.
The likely culprit for indiscretion and abuse of power is the man in charge who has been in charge since George W. Bush, General Keith Alexander.
“Keith B. Alexander
16th Director of the National Security Agency
August 1, 2005
George W. Bush
Keith Brian Alexander
December 2, 1951 (age 61)
Syracuse, New York, U.S.
West Point, Boston University, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, National War College, Naval Postgraduate School, National Defense University
* United States of America
* United States Army
Years of service
* National Security Agency
Persian Gulf War
Defense Distinguished Service Medal
Army Distinguished Service Medal(2)
Defense Superior Service Medal (2)
Legion of Merit (6)
Meritorious Service Medal (2)”
Does President Obama know exactly what is going on at NSA? He should, but likely doesn’t spend sufficient effort through his staff to find out. Hagel arrived a short while ago and likely doesn’t know either.
Keith Alexander has likely held that spot too long.
“The White House is under fire to explain exactly how much President Obama knows about U.S. surveillance programs in the wake of a Wall Street Journal article that suggested the National Security Agency (NSA) had been monitoring the phones of 35 world leaders until an internal Obama administration review discovered and ended the program.
The White House has avoided confirming or denying whether the report is true, instead choosing to reiterate that they are not currently and will not monitor the phone calls of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who raised the issue in a phone call with Mr. Obama last week.”