Have we finally found someone that the NSA (National Security Agency) never spied on? Maybe. Of course, that’s assuming we are willing to just go on their word. Or do we go on the word of the magazine that reported it?
After Italian magazine Panorama reported that the NSA was guilty of spying on Pope Francis before and during the March 13th conclave in which he was selected by cardinals, the NSA vehemently denied the allegations. According to Panorama, the NSA monitored the phone calls of various Vatican bishops and cardinals as well as the phone calls to and from Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergolio’s residence.
Spokesman Vanee Vines, In a statement to The Telegraph:
The National Security Agency does not target the Vatican. Assertions that NSA has targeted the Vatican, published in Italy’s Panorama magazine, are not true.
The allegations came about after a report showed up on Cryptome, a website that gathers intelligence on surveillance and national security. The report claimed that the U.S. intercepted 46 million phone calls in Italy for a one month period between December 10, 2012 and January 8, 2013, and began after Pope Benedict’s resignation. From the magazine:
“The National Security Agency wiretapped the pope. There are apparently also calls from and to the Vatican. It is feared the great American ear continued to tap prelates’ conversations on the eve of the conclave,” the magazine, which is owned by former Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, said. (RT)
It added that there were “suspicions that the conversations of the future Pope may have been monitored,” but provided no hard evidence or quoted sources for the claim. (The Telegraph)
For its part, the Vatican seems unconcerned. Vatican’s spokesman Federico Lombardi told The Telegraph.
We have heard nothing of this and in any case we have no concerns about it.
Italian prime minister Enrico Letta said that U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry told him that the Obama administration has “put the issue under review.”
Hey, who knows? Maybe we have finally found someone that the NSA hasn’t spied on. Stranger things have happened. Who are you going to believe? A bunch of priests, an Italian tabloid-esque magazine, or the NSA? Good grief. With those as our choices, who even wants to try to guess? Should we even care if the Vatican doesn’t? Yes. We’re being hit nearly daily with one embarrassment after another. Even if no one else is sick of it, the American people are.
Who’s telling the truth? I know where I’d be placing my bet, were I a betting soul.