How Does Spying on Pope Francis Keep Americans Safe?

 

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According to the Telegraph, the United States government spied on Pope Francis during the conclave preceding his election as pope.

I can think of only one reason to do something like this and that reason is schoolboy voyeurism. I’ve said it before, and I’m going to say it again right now: We have elected people who do not belong in office.

Things have gotten so bad that the United Nations put out a story saying that the United States has pledged not to spy on them and the NSA is now saying that President Obama didn’t know they were spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Uh-huh. And Bill Clinton didn’t have sex with that woman, and Richard Nixon had no idea what was on that 18 minutes of blank tape.

Even some members of Congress are upset about all this spying on our allies.

Interestingly, even as the government skitters around, trying to cover its garbage, the spin machine is already beginning to churn out explanations as to why we are going to keep on doing it to “keep Americans safe.”

Boy in papal chair

Of course none of this explains why these dead-from-the-neck-ups need to spy on Pope Francis. Babies aren’t even afraid of Pope Francis. Little kids steal his chair and intellectually challenged people take over his popemobile.

Pope boy popemobile

There is no reason to be spying on Pope Francis, except, perhaps, his predilection for standing up for peace and the rights of poor people all over the world. That Jesus stuff can be, in fact always has been, revolutionary.

But, as the Communists learned when they bugged Cardinal Wojtyla in Poland, spying doesn’t intimidate the Holy Spirit.

I imagine these idiots have thoroughly embarrassed themselves by spying on the Pope. I also imagine that they will keep it up.

I don’t think they are going to stop until the people who pay the bills and write the laws stop them. That, in case you don’t know, would be Congress.

What’s missing in this whole thing is the representation that we the people deserve from those we have elected.  Nobody is speaking out for the American people. Why aren’t the people we sent to Washington to represent us in the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives speaking up for our rights to privacy?

Why is it ok for our government to build a huge … spy thing … in Utah to house the information it has gleaned from listening in on our cell phones and reading our emails?

How long are we the people going to stand for this?

From The Telegraph:

The National Security Agency spied on the future Pope Francis before and during the Vatican conclave at which he was chosen to succeed Benedict XVI, it was claimed on Wednesday.

The American spy agency monitored telephone calls made to and from the residence in Rome where the then Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio stayed during the conclave, the secret election at which cardinals chose him as pontiff on March 13.

The claims were made by Panorama, an Italian weekly news magazine, which said that the NSA monitored the telephone calls of many bishops and cardinals at the Vatican in the lead-up to the conclave, which was held amid tight security in the Sistine Chapel.

The information gleaned was then reportedly divided into four categories — “leadership intentions”, “threats to financial system”, “foreign policy objectives” and “human rights”.

 

At that time, Benedict XVI was Pope, suggesting that the Vatican may also have been monitored during the last few weeks of his papacy.

To read another perspective, check out Frank Beckwith and Kathy Schiffer.

Update: NSA denies spying on Pope Francis.

  • FW Ken

    I know it’s not funny, but this is the best laugh I’ve had all day. And I laughed a lot today.

    You know the latest excuse is that our allies are spying on us. And they probably are, but at least they are smart enough to not get caught.

  • Steve

    What I want to know is, what do they hope to achieve by spying on the Pope? I mean really, what is the objective. Just think about the meeting that occurred.

    “Alright, guys, we’ve been tasked to place surveillance on the new Pope, now first… yes, Johnson, what is it?”
    “Why?”
    “What do you mean why?”
    “Why are we spying on the Pope?”
    “What are you getting at, Johnson?”
    “I mean, what could that possibly accomplish. Isn’t this just kind of ridiculous?”
    “…Johnson, get the hell out of this office.”

    • hamiltonr

      No cursing Steve.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    Some of the foreign leaders are grandstanding. They know this goes on. However i have no idea why the need to spy on the Pope. The only thing I can think of is that the Democrats booed God at their National Convention and so Obama fears Papal retribution. :-) [I'm kidding if anyone doesn't get the tongue in cheek.]

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      Dream on. Angela Merkel is furious beyond control, and she is as reasonably cynical as any politician. It is clear that the Americans have broken every unspoken gentleman’s agreement in sight, and the thing must have been particularly painful to someone like Mrs.Merkel, who grew up in East Germany and knew what it was like to be spied on before she was old enough for school.

      Let me explain it to you clearly. Each of our countries plays hosts to tens of thousands of armed American soldiers and hundreds of American warheads. From time to time we have to keep ourselves in check and remind ourselves that, whatever these gentry do, they are allies and mostly trustworthy. But if we find that our relationship with you is one where you spy on our leaders and try to blackmail and second-guess them, then those forces are nothing but an army of occupation, and must be sent home.

      • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

        I didn’t see anything about blackmail.

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

          Blackmail is a major consequence of snooping. I feel no doubt whatever that it was one of the main reason driving the “security” operation.

          • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

            Well I haven’t seen anything about blackmailing the Pope or Merkel. If the US government did that, it would be dispicable, but even though it is Obama, I don’t think that is what’s going on. But if you can prove me otherwise, please do so.

  • kenofken

    “How long are the people going to stand for this?”
    Forever, I’m afraid. An entire generation has had the expectation of privacy bred out of them through reality television, social media and post-9/11 hysteria. Nobody much under 40 has ever lived in a world where privacy was the norm, and they don’t value what little they have. Their lives don’t seem validated unless they’e sharing every detail of every medical procedure and relationship (even sometimes the crimes they commit!) with the entire world 24/7.

    They’re not going to press Congress, and in any case, the national security apparatus has grown far beyond the control of Congress. Most members have no access at all to the details or scope of what is done on behalf of, or to Americans. I doubt whether even those on the select committees know the full extent of what is happening. The only reason any of us know even the rough scope of this horror is because of leakers who risked their freedom and or lives to disclose it.

    Not that we should give up, but I don’t see much near-term hope for stopping it by law. I also don’t see any way to stop it technologically. Maybe some brave and principled cryptographers will come up with an unbreakable system, but I doubt it. The NSA has staggering resources and seems to force all of industry to build in back doors it can access.

    The one thing that might work is to go retro. Go back to the days where business was handled face to face or through hand-carried or mailed documents. Yes, all those things can also be compromised, but not without enormous effort. Computers can vacuum up and analyze billions of e-mails, phone calls and texts. No spy agency ever created has the ability to do that routinely and mindlessly with human intelligence that requires boots and eyes on the ground where the communications happen.

  • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

    An interesting fact: Panorama weekly, which broke the story, belongs to Berlusconi. Which sounds as if another political leader – despicable though he is – has also got honked off at the NSA’s snooping and decided to repay them by multiplying the scandal. Certainly, and in spite of what the business-as-usual crowd insists on saying, this targeting of individual friendly leaders for snooping does seem to be something new and unexpected. Angela Merkel, who is no shrinking maiden, is clearly furious beyond reconciliation, which shows that this is simply not what she expected.


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