The real scandal behind President Obama’s spying on Israel’s Netanyahu is that the rationale was purely domestic, Charles Krauthammer argued tonight on Fox News.
“Well, first of all it’s not surprising that we spy on other leaders, what is surprising that Obama announced publicly after the Merkel scandal that we will cease doing that to close allies,” Krauthammer said on Wednesday’s Special Report. ”But apparently he made just a few exceptions, one of them is the leader of Turkey, Erdogan, not exactly a savory character. The other one was a close ally of democracy, an elected leader, Netanyahu.”
“You could understand that, if there were reports that Israel might launch a preemptive attack in 2011 or 2012, that would perhaps be a national security reason,” he said. ”But this was not about that. This was long after Obama was re-elected. Long after it was obvious that the Israelis were not going to conduct a surprise attack.”
“This was about trying to get through the Congress the Iran agreement,” Krauthammer continued. “That is not a validated ‘national security’ purpose. This is a way to win a battle with Congress.”
Worse, Krauthammer said, is that the administration knew it was acting improperly:
And they knew that this was not something you’re supposed to do. That’s why there was no paper trail or request. What they did is they didn’t, they didn’t demand it. And of course they didn’t nix it. Which is what they were supposed to do — knowing they would get lots of information, which they did. And that is, I think, a violation of the power of the executive interfering with legitimate activities and interactions of the Congress.