It would appear that NSA boss Keith Alexander is beginning to get tired of all these questions about the NSA, and the supposed lack of support
from the White House concerning the revelations of spying on foreign leaders. One of the things that is most often said about Alexander is that he can be very charming and charismatic in talking to people one on one, which has helped him in various political matters for years, but given his latest exchange, it sounds like he's beginning to crack a bit. When confronted by Maryland state senator James Rosapepe, who had been the US ambassador to Romania back in the 90s, Alexander decided to get sarcastic
and blame US diplomats
and the administration for having the NSA spy on foreign leaders:
"We all joke that everyone is spying on everyone," [Rosapepe] said. "But that is not a national security justification."
Alexander replied: "That is a great question, in fact as an ambassador you have part of the answer. Because we the intelligence agencies don't come up with the requirements. The policymakers come up with the requirements."
He went on: "One of those groups would have been, let me think, hold on, oh: ambassadors."
Of course, even if this is true, it's a fairly incredible statement, where the head of the NSA now seems to think it's appropriate to go sarcastic over such a question. It may be true that the NSA is "just following orders," but that hardly excuses the behavior, nor the near constant stream of misleading to outright false statements spread by the NSA, even while it searches for every loophole it can find to expand its spying efforts.