The United States is doing nothing different from what other nations do when it spies on world leaders, says Mike Baker, a former CIA covert operative who hosts the new Travel Channel show "America Declassified."
"The French are incredibly aggressive. They one time wired up all of the first-class seats on Air France flights going from New York to Paris just to see what they might pick up from U.S. businessmen traveling over to Paris," Baker told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"The Germans are doing the same thing. Everybody's in that same business, right? To the degree that their resources allow," he said Tuesday.
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Baker said the outrage over recent leaks from former National Security Agency contractor — and now fugitive — Edward Snowden is that it has pushed what was a "quiet understanding" into the public domain.
"So, a lot of this is theater, what you're seeing in Europe, the outrage," he said.
"Here in the U.S., what we're seeing is a nonsensical response from the president claiming he didn't know about a strategic NSA program. I wouldn't even expect the president to know day-to-day concerns, day-to-day operation. But to say that he was unaware of an NSA strategic program, it defies belief, frankly."
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