France and Germany are posturing for their own citizens when they complain about the United States bugging E.U. and U.N. offices, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andy McCarthy tells Newsmax TV.
Former NSA contract employee Edward Snowden told Germany's Der Spiegel in a Sunday story that America has spied on allies, prompting German Chancellor Angela Merkel to say "bugging friends is unacceptable." French President Francois Hollande threatened to call off major trade talks until the United States promised that the spying had stopped.
McCarthy said he doesn't take the outrage too seriously.
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"I don’t have any doubt that they do a good deal of their own intelligence collecting outside of their borders," he said. "Every country does it and every country complains about every other country doing it. So a lot of what they're saying publicly is sort of for the consumption of their citizenry."
Collecting foreign intelligence, even from allies, is vital, McCarthy says, since protection of Germany, France, and much of Western Europe has become an American responsibility over the past 50-75 years. And the leaders of France and Germany are well aware of it, he said.
McCarthy doubts the rhetoric of another world leader, too: President Barack Obama.
Obama downplayed America's interest in getting Snowden extradited by saying he wouldn't "be scrambling jets to go after 29-year-old hacker."
"Obviously, he shouldn’t scramble fighter jets," McCarthy said. "If Snowden is a problem, he's not a problem worth doing a provocative act that could cause a war over."
But when Obama said he's not going to pick up the phone and call Russian President Vladimir Putin, the reason isn't because it's beneath his dignity, McCarthy said. "He knows that Putin is not going to cooperate with him and he will look weak if he makes a call and Putin tells him no."
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