- Activists vow to occupy fast-food restaurants to get higher pay
- Rep. Luis Gutierrez: Senate Dems wary of immigration politics
- Summer camp for 1 percenters: Sushi, limos and shopping at FAO Schwarz
- Colorado gun crackdown law found to be built on faulty data
- Hank Aaron steps to fundraising plate for Democrat Michelle Nunn
- ISIL terrorists blow up burial site of Jonah, vow more of same
- Impeach Obama, say 35 percent in new poll
- Taliban yank 14 Shiites off bus, bind and shoot them on Afghan road
- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
Crimea crisis puts US spying in new spotlight
Question of the Day
Soon, U.S. intelligence collection was not just a political problem for Obama domestically, it became a diplomatic liability and forced the White House to make a judgment call.
“Is the intelligence value that we would get greater than the risk of having a political blow-up with an ally?” said Michael Allen, a former member of the National Security Council, the White House body that typically weighs such policy decisions. Allen, now managing director at Beacon Global Strategies, a national security consulting firm, said that’s a decision that has to be made on a case-by-case basis.
One of the panels tasked with reviewing U.S. surveillance operations came to the same conclusion last year and suggested a new process for “high-level” approval of sensitive intelligence collection, like spying on U.S. allies.
For now, though, Obama has said the U.S. won’t spy on Merkel anymore. And he’s reined in the surveillance of dozens of other foreign leaders.
“I’ve made clear to the intelligence community that unless there is a compelling national security purpose, we will not monitor the communications of heads of state and government of our close friends and allies,” Obama said in January.
Obama has said the situation in Crimea is a national security concern for the Ukraine and Europe. But the White House would not say whether Crimea meets the threshold for spying on foreign allies.
Associated Press writers Julie Pace, Nedra Pickler, Nancy Benac and Matthew Lee and contributed to this report.
Follow Eileen Sullivan on Twitter at www.twitter.com/esullivanap
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
- PRUDEN: The Democratic-wannabe mice under Hillary Clinton's feet
- Crime-ridden U.S. cities differ on ways to fight gun violence
- Let it roll: D.C. Council hits Las Vegas on taxpayer's dime, leaves $14,000 tab
- Obama takes aim at 'corporate deserters'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq