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john_mccain_growl_APJohn McCain has said that the NSA’s tapping of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone only happened because they had the capability and were bored.

In the short interview, the senator says variously:

    • “There has not been sufficient congressional oversight, and there has been an absolutely disgraceful sharing of information that never should have taken place.”
    • “We no longer hold anybody accountable in Washington. The Commandant of the Marine Corps fired a couple of generals because of failure of security at a base in Afghanistan. Tell me who has been fired for anything that’s gone bad in this town.”
    • As for why the NSA tapped Merkel’s phone:
      • “I think they did it is because they could do it.”
      • “In other words, there were people with enhanced capabilities that have been developed over the last decade or so, and they were sitting around and said we can do this, and so they did it”
      • “It is a slap in the face of all Americans. Now is the time to fundamentally rethink our relationship with Putin’s Russia. We need to deal with the Russia that is, not the Russia we might wish for…”

McCain also said that Russia was making – in allowing Snowden to remain in the country – “a deliberate effort to embarrass the United States.” He also noted that Russia was committing a “disgrace” by granting Snowden leave to remain in the country.

What’s missing in this story?

The complete lack of concern over the extent to which the United States is perpetrating both national and international espionage. He made no mention of the serious charges that the NSA is hoovering up the telephone records of every American, every day. Not a word.

John McCain

I suggested earlier on Twitter that perhaps McCain is past his prime, perhaps he’s had a stroke or is in the onset of senility. As far as this blog can determine it’s the only way to explain his statements.

For us, it was the “we no longer hold anybody accountable in Washington” quote that clinched the deal. It reveals a lack of concern for the privacy of the electorate at whose pleasure he serves.

What is perhaps most worrying is his concern for secrecy over scrutiny. A loaded position to take given American and international outcry over the extent of the NSA’s surveillance programs.

He has called for the resignation of General Keith Alexander. That’s appropriate, but only on the heels of his own.