NSA Monitored Basically Every Important Person Everywhere at Some Point

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Remember me?Photo: The Guardian

Fresh off yesterday's news that the U.S. government was eavesdropping on German chancellor Angela Merkel's personal cell-phone calls (although not at the moment, supposedly), the Guardian helps guarantee more headaches for the White House: At least 35 world leaders were targeted by the NSA. According to a George W. Bush–era memo leaked by Edward Snowden, the spying agency asked others in the federal government "to share their 'Rolodexes' or phone lists with NSA as potential sources of intelligence ... S2 welcomes such information!"

As White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters yesterday, "The revelations have clearly caused tension in our relationships with some countries, and we are dealing with that through diplomatic channels. These are very important relations both economically and for our security, and we will work to maintain the closest possible ties."

Besides, the memo admits, the numbers in question have resulted in "little reportable intelligence."