by WorldTribune Staff, March 6, 2017
Barack Obama played 333 rounds of golf during his presidency. But wiretapping may have been the activity closest to his heart, reports said.
“The Obama administration absolutely loved wiretapping, intercepting confidential transmissions, bugging – well, anyone it could,” The Daily Wire’s Joseph Curl reported on March 6.
Team Obama monitored the phones of the Trump campaign, wiretapped 35 world leaders, bugged a private climate change strategy meeting between United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin and tapped officials at the World Trade Organization, Italian diplomats, European Union economic officials, the report said.
Wikileaks on March 5 tweeted excerpts from a report it released last month detailing Obama’s wiretapping history:
“Obama has a history of tapping & hacking his friends and rivals,” the tweet said.
WikiLeaks also provided specifics:
“WikiLeaks publishes highly classified documents showing that the U.S. National Security Agency bugged a private climate change strategy meeting; between UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin; singled out the Chief of Staff of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for long term interception targeting his Swiss phone; singled out the Director of the Rules Division of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Johann Human, and targeted his Swiss phone for long term interception; stole sensitive Italian diplomatic cables detailing how Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu implored Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to help patch up his relationship with U.S. President Barack Obama, who was refusing to talk to Netanyahu; intercepted top EU and Japanese trade ministers discussing their secret strategy and red lines to stop the U.S. ‘extort[ing]’ them at the WTO Doha arounds (the talks subsequently collapsed); explicitly targeted five other top EU economic officials for long term interception, including their French, Austrian and Belgium phone numbers; explicitly targeted the phones of Italy’s ambassador to NATO and other top Italian officials for long term interception; and intercepted details of a critical private meeting between then French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Merkel and Berlusconi, where the latter was told the Italian banking system was ready to ‘pop like a cork.’ ”
Some of the intercepts are classified TOP-SECRET COMINT-GAMMA and are the most highly classified documents ever published by a media organization.
WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange said: “Today we proved the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s private meetings over how to save the planet from climate change were bugged by a country intent on protecting its largest oil companies. Back in 2010 we revealed that the then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had ordered her diplomats to steal the UN leadership’s biometric data and other information. The U.S. government has signed agreements with the UN that it will not engage in such conduct. It will be interesting to see the UN’s reaction, because if the United Nations Secretary General, whose communications and person have legal inviolability, can be repeatedly attacked without consequence then everyone is at risk.”
The Gateway Pundit published a list of what is said was “more than a dozen proven victims of Obama’s many wiretaps.” The list includes journalists.
“In 2013 the liberal Washington Post expressed outrage after the revelation that the Justice Department had investigated the newsgathering activities of a Fox News reporter as a potential crime in a probe of classified leaks. The reporter, Fox News’ James Rosen and his family, were part of an investigation into government officials anonymously leaking information to journalists. Rosen was not charged but his movements and actions were tracked.
“Also in 2013, members of the Associated Press were also a target of the surveillance. The ultra liberal New Yorker even noted that “In moderate and liberal circles, at least, the phone-records scandal, partly because it involves the dear old A.P. and partly because it raises anew the specter of Big Brother, may well present the most serious threat to Obama’s reputation.”
A report from 2013 detailed how Obama’s NSA was tapping world leaders:
“The National Security Agency monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders after being given the numbers by an official in another U.S. government department, according to a classified document provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
“The confidential memo reveals that the NSA encourages senior officials in its ‘customer’ departments, such the White House, State and the Pentagon, to share their ‘Rolodexes’ so the agency can add the phone numbers of leading foreign politicians to their surveillance systems.
“The document notes that one unnamed U.S. official handed over 200 numbers, including those of the 35 world leaders, none of whom is named. These were immediately ‘tasked’ for monitoring by the NSA.
“The revelation is set to add to mounting diplomatic tensions between the U.S. and its allies, after the German chancellor Angela Merkel accused the U.S. of tapping her mobile phone.”