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White House Admits NSA Disclosures Raise “Legitimate Questions” for U.S. Allies

From The Guardian:

The White House conceded on Monday that revelations about how its intelligence agencies have intercepted enormous amounts of French phone traffic raised “legitimate questions for our friends and allies”.

In a statement released after a phone call between Barack Obama and his counterpart, François Hollande, the White House made one of its strongest admissions yet about the diplomatic impact of the disclosures by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The French government had earlier summoned the US ambassador in Paris on Monday to demand an urgent explanation over claims that the National Security Agency had engaged in widespread phone and internet surveillance of French citizens.

The French daily Le Monde published details from the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, suggesting the NSA had been intercepting French phone traffic on what it termed “a massive scale”.

Well, of course. This was obvious to anyone able and willing to recognize the significance of Mr. Snowden’s disclosures to the public interest, as well as the fact that he, like many whistleblowers, was shut out of the democratic process because of the failures of internal channels and whistleblower protections.

At the risk of inflaming passions in the whistleblower community, it bears asking: will the thought leaders in whistleblower circles who got it so very wrong about Mr. Snowden own up to their errors in judgment?

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