It seems an unlikely app has become the weapon-of-choice for anyone involved in government – Twitter.
Last week, President Trump tweeted an accusation aimed at former President Obama, which claimed Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 election to counter any offense the Trump campaign used against Hillary Clinton. The accusation sounded outrageous to everyone, including both Democrats and Republicans in Washington.
As of this past Sunday, however, the narrative has shifted.
Wikileaks took to Twitter to drop a bomb on Obama after he adamantly denied partaking in any such action toward Trump during the election. The tweet simply claimed “Obama has a history of tapping and hacking his friends and rivals.” In addition to the caption, a link was added to a report that describes accounts of NSA spying on foreign leaders throughout Obama’s presidency.
Obama has a history of tapping & hacking his friends and rivals
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks)
So as it turns out, the president everyone thought was above doing such a thing has actually done exactly that on multiple occasions.
The NSA to spy on both allies and other foreign leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, and former French President Nicholas Sarkozy. covers Obama’s entire term, and describes instances in which he directed the
When Obama was informed about the monitoring of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone in 2010, he had two options: he could let it continue, or he could put an end to it. The president allegedly allowed US intelligence officials to listen to calls from the German Chancellor’s mobile phone after he was briefed on the operation by Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency.
A report released in the German newspaper, Bild am Sonntag, claimed , when she was still the opposition leader and well before being elected Chancellor. This step was taken by President George W. Bush to ensure there was no ill intention coming from Merkel or her party. Since becoming Chancellor, however, there really hasn’t been a need to gather this intel. So why did Obama continue the operation? Perhaps it was a security measure, or maybe we had a president that wasn’t confident enough in his position to deal with world affairs without hacking into someone’s private phone calls.
The former president has also tapped the Chief of Staff of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for long term interception by recording calls made from his private Swiss cell phone, many of which had nothing to do with foreign affairs.
Since tapping cell phones proved to be an easy feat, Obama also hacked the Director of the Rules Division of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Johann Human, by targeting his personal devices. This interception lasted over a year.
His fascination with wiretapping didn’t stop at phones, either. In 2010, Obama ordered the tapping of telegraph cables in order the steal private information between Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. The telegram included information on how to mend Netanyahu’s rocky relationship with Obama. The text, titled “Italy Would Help Israel Mend Relations With U.S.” is as follows:
“… Israel has reached out to Europe, including Italy, for help in smoothing out the current rift in its relations with the United States, according to Italian diplomatic reporting of 13 March. Speaking with Italian Prime Minister (PM) Silvio Berlusconi, Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu insisted that the trigger for the dispute–Israel’s decision to build 1,600 homes in contested East Jerusalem–was totally in keeping with national policy dating back to the administration of Golda Meir, and blamed this mishandling on a government official with poor political sensitivity. The objective now, Netanyahu said, is to keep the Palestinians from using this issue as a pretext to block a resumption of talks or to advance unrealistic claims that could risk sinking the peace negotiations altogether. Continuing, he asserted that the tension has only been heightened by the absence of direct contact between himself and the U.S. President. In response, Berlusconi promised to put Italy at Israel’s disposal in helping mend the latter’s ties with Washington. Other Israeli officials, meanwhile, believed that this tiff goes far beyond merely the question of the construction plans, marking instead the lowest point in U.S.-Israeli relations in memory.”
The Wikileaks report also uncovered actions by Obama and his administration that were taken without probable cause or evidence.
In 2013, the Washington Post reported that the Justice Department had investigated activities of a Fox reporter as a potential crime in a probe of classified leaks. The reporter, Fox’ James Rosen, along with his family, were part of an investigation into government officials anonymously leaking information to journalists. It turned out there was no evidence that Rosen had done anything wrong, but the administration tried to make an example out of him by following his every move. Looks as if Obama had his own issues with the press.
Now that we know a little more about what Obama hid during his presidency, we begin to wonder if Trump’s claims regarding possible wiretapping hold any weight. After the accusations surfaced, Obama denied any activity, but his track record seems to prove otherwise.
On Monday, Wikileaks released another tweet, this time involving their own reporters. The tweet showed a photo of a warrant issued by the administration that allowed privacy breaches by Google in favor of the US government, along with a caption stating “Did Obama spy on@realDonaldTrump‘s campaign? Here is proof the Obama administration spied on our journalists.”
Did Obama spy on‘s campaign? Here is proof the Obama administration spied on our journalists
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks)
During his time in office, Obama led the country to believe that he was the unblemished president. Too bad his past has come back to haunt him.
We’ve now reached a time in which all of the falsehoods that have been covered up by politicians and government organizations are finally coming to light. Let’s hope during Trump’s term we can become more informed about the individuals we trust with our country.