John Ransom

Yes, the most transparently opportunistic administration is becoming more transparent every day.

In the midst of negotiations for a free-trade agreement between Europe and the U.S., the NSA Papers, made transparent by Edward Snowden, reveal that America has been spying on allies as well as enemies.

Yeah I know. Obama has a hard time telling the difference between U.S. allies and U.S. enemies. Hence he’s arming our allies, er, enemies, Al Qaida, in Syria; he’s being flexible for Vladimir Putin, the Russian dictator, er, president; helping the Venezuelan government wing disguised as an oil company, our ally, er, enemy; and he’s snubbing those Jews, er, our ally, Israel, anytime he can.

The latest revelation from the NSA, the guys who are supposed to keep our secrets, has Euro types fuming.

From the Associated Press:

French President Francois Hollande demanded on Monday that the United States immediately stop its alleged eavesdropping on European Union diplomats and suggested that the widening surveillance scandal could derail negotiations for a free-trade deal potentially worth billions.

The Obama administration is facing a breakdown in confidence from key allies over secret programs that reportedly installed covert listening devices in EU offices. Many European countries had so far been muted about revelations of the wide net cast by U.S. surveillance programs aimed at preventing terrorist attacks, but their reaction to the latest reports indicate Washington's allies are unlikely to let the matter drop without at least a strong show of outrage. 

A breakdown in confidence would imply that someone had confidence in the Obama administration to begin with.

And France is really more like a frenemy than an ally. The issue won’t have much impact on “free-trade” negotiations, but it will likely make it harder for the U.S. to have an agreement that really encourages “free” trade.

“Free” trade with Europe? That hotbed of special interests, and quotas, and splinter parties, and subsidies and protectionism wrapped into a single currency that fell apart at the first gush of strong wind?

HA! Remember what happened to Cyprus under “free” trade?

John Ransom

John Ransom’s writings on politics and finance have appeared in the Los Angeles Business Journal, the Colorado Statesman, Pajamas Media and Registered Rep Magazine amongst others. Until 9/11, Ransom worked primarily in finance as an investment executive for NYSE member firm Raymond James and Associates, JW Charles and as a new business development executive at Mutual Service Corporation. He lives in San Diego. You can follow him on twitter @bamransom.

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