TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the National Security Agency, blamed US diplomats and policy makers for requesting to place foreign leaders under surveillance, The Guardian reported.
Alexander made the remarks in a forum with the Baltimore Council on Foreign Relations, where foremer US Ambassador for Romania, James Carew Rosapepe, challenged Alexander to explain why the agency used surveillance tools intended for combating terrorism against "democratically elected leaders and private businesses".
Alexander replied by saying that surveillance requests don't come from intelligence agencies, but from policymakers. "One of those groups would have been, let me think, hold on, oh: ambassadors," he said.
Alexander said the agency only recorded the date, time, and duration of the tapped phone calls. According to Alexander, the content of the telephone conversation was not needed.
One of the leaked intelligence report that shook the world was that the NSA had intercepted the phone conversations of at least 35 world leaders, including Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel.
THE GUARDIAN | PRESS TV | SITA PLANASARI AQUADINI