Europe must be thankful for NSA spying: Mike Rogers

Echoing similar remarks, Mike Rogers, House Intelligence chief and Republican from Michigan went a step ahead and said that the French must be thankful for the NSA spying as it kept them safe.

Updated: Oct 28, 2013, 15:08 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

Washington: In spite of the increasing outrage over the National Security Agency spying on its European allies, a US lawmaker has defended the surveillance saying that it “saves lives throughout Europe” and the President does not need to apologise for that.

The comments were made by New York Republican Peter King in “Meet the Press” of NBC news when he said, "The President should stop apologizing, stop being defensive. The reality is the NSA has saved thousands of lives not just in the United States but in France, Germany and throughout Europe."

Echoing similar remarks, Mike Rogers, House Intelligence chief and Republican from Michigan went a step ahead and said that the French must be thankful for the NSA spying as it kept them safe.

Speaking at the CNN’s “State of the Union”, Rogers said, "If the French citizens knew exactly what that was about, they would be applauding and popping champagne corks. It`s a good thing. It keeps the French safe. It keeps the US safe. It keeps our European allies safe”.

Holding the media reports in the French newspaper le Monde and German magazine Der Speigel as “smash and grab”, Rogers said that the whole notion of spying was disingenuous and the practice was instead “legitimate protection of nation-state interest”.

Rubbishing the reports in Le Monde newspaper that the US tracked 70 million calls in France, Rogers called the report as 100 percent wrong.

"This was about a counterterrorism program that had nothing to do with French citizens," Rogers said.

The US lawmakers’ defence in favour of the NSA spying comes after Obama was reported to have apologised to Angela Merkel for the monitoring of her phone calls.

Merkel’s phone was reportedly on the list of CSC - NSA’s listening unit in Germany – since 2002.

Adding to the fury is another report in a German tabloid Bild am Sonntag that claims that Obama had been told about the monitoring operations by the NSA chief keith Alexander in 2010. However, Obama did not order to stop spying and instead “wanted to know about Merkel as he did not trust her”.

However the National Security Agency has categorically denied the claims saying that Obama was not informed of the spying by Keith Alexander.