Thursday, 31 December 2015

Carson: Spying on Israel 'truly disgraceful'


Ben Carson is lashing out at the Obama administration over National Security Agency surveillance of Israel.

“It is truly disgraceful that the Obama administration has spied on [Israeli] Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu, his colleagues and pro-Israel lawmakers in Congress,” the GOP presidential candidate said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Instead of focusing on deterring the Iran nuclear threat and fighting against the mullahs who chant, ‘death to America,’ President Obama has treated Israel, our staunch, democratic ally in the Middle East, as his real enemy,” Carson continued.

“Not only did he not curtail surveillance of our close friend, he has once again proven himself to be a president that our enemies need not fear and our friends cannot trust.”

Carson tied Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton to the surveillance.

“No doubt President Obama’s former secretary of State Hillary Clinton knew of the administration’s spying efforts on Israel,” he said. "It is shameful that she participated in undermining the U.S.-Israel relationship.

“Once again, she has shown that her experience in government is merely an indication that she is unfit to lead,” the retired neurosurgeon added.

“When I am president, I will stand firmly with Israel, and one of my first acts in office will be to revoke Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran.”

Carson's comments come after reports Tuesday that the NSA spied on communications from Netanyahu and his aides during the debate over the Iran nuclear deal earlier this year. The agency’s dragent also snared communications between Israeli officials and pro-Israel lawmakers and advocacy groups.

Obama promised in 2013 that the U.S. would no longer snoop on allies following leaks from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The president vowed that heads of state like German chancellor Angela Merkel would be off limits after Snowden disclosed that U.S. surveillance monitored Merkel's communications.

Carson's statement comes as the 2016 contender faces scrutiny over his national security chops.

Critics say the former neurosurgeon is unprepared to handle foreign policy and national security.

Source: The hill


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