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Brazilian President Cancels State Visit Over NSA Surveillance

The President of Brazil has canceled a state visit to the White House over the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs:

Brazilian newspaper O Globo reported Tuesday that president Dilma Rousseff was so miffed over the National Security Agency snooping into her communications that she decided to cancel her trip to the White House on October 23.

According to Reuters, President Obama spent twenty minutes on the phone with Rousseff last night but she still refused to come. Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed Tuesday afternoon that, yes, Rousseff will no longer be visiting Washington. Obama agrees this is the right thing to do because “the relationship is so important,” Carney told reporters Tuesday. The White House also released this statement:

The President has said that he understands and regrets the concerns disclosures of alleged U.S. intelligence activities have generated in Brazil and made clear that he is committed to working together with President Rousseff and her government in diplomatic channels to move beyond this issue as a source of tension in our bilateral relationship.

The White House hopes they can reschedule. But you know how these things can go.

Of course, the NSA probably knew about her decision before the President did.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    Obama should send Mark Sanford down there to smooth things over.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  2. Jeremy R says:

    Greenwald is gloating about it on twitter. You can tell he’s quite proud of what he has achieved with his localized Brazilian media, both TV and Print, stories / leaks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  3. Obama agrees this is the right thing to do because “the relationship is so important,” Carney told reporters Tuesday.

    Wow, that’s some grade A bullshit right there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  4. electroman says:

    regrets the concerns disclosures of alleged U.S. intelligence activities have generated

    No, this is the unmitigated BS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  5. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    @Jeremy R:
    I find it increasingly difficult to believe Greenwald is doing this for any reason other than Greenwald.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gold Star for Robot Boy: What was your first clue? When Snowden was stuck in a Russian airport for a month and a half?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  7. Jeremy R says:

    @Gold Star for Robot Boy:

    He’s a hero to the Brazilian people (/sarc):

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/18/magazine/laura-poitras-snowden.html?pagewanted=2

    As dusk fell one evening, I followed Poitras and Greenwald to the newsroom of O Globo, one of the largest newspapers in Brazil. Greenwald had just published an article there detailing how the N.S.A. was spying on Brazilian phone calls and e-mails. The article caused a huge scandal in Brazil, as similar articles have done in other countries around the world, and Greenwald was a celebrity in the newsroom. The editor in chief pumped his hand and asked him to write a regular column; reporters took souvenir pictures with their cellphones. Poitras filmed some of this, then put her camera down and looked on. I noted that nobody was paying attention to her, that all eyes were on Greenwald, and she smiled. “That’s right,” she said. “That’s perfect.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Ben Wolf says:

    @Gold Star for Robot Boy: Ad hominem much?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  9. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    @Ben Wolf:
    I think it’s quite appropriate, in this instance, to examine the reporter’s motivations along with his reporting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  10. Jeremy R says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    Greenwald does a fine job outing himself as he’s all too willing to blurt out his anti-western-intelligence motivation in interviews and in his constant twitter flame wars:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/18/magazine/laura-poitras-snowden.html

    The Snowden story, they both said, was a battle they were waging together, a fight against powers of surveillance that they both believe are a threat to fundamental American liberties.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/18/magazine/laura-poitras-snowden.html?pagewanted=6&_r=0

    “We couldn’t believe just how momentous this occasion was,” Greenwald said. “When you read these documents, you get a sense of the breadth of them. It was a rush of adrenaline and ecstasy and elation. You feel you are empowered for the first time because there’s this mammoth system that you try and undermine and subvert and shine a light on — but you usually can’t make any headway, because you don’t have any instruments to do it — [and now] the instruments were suddenly in our lap.”

    Snowden’s essentially been disappeared somewhere in Russian since the airport & temporary asylum. Every once in a while we get an update on how he’s living freely and happily from his FSB-associated lawyer / handler, but that’s about it. It’s now Greenwald and Poitras in charge of the classified document trove, cherry-picking what to leak for maximal damage, targeting releases to the biggest papers in countries mentioned in the documents, slow walking releases to keep the outrage alive, in their roles as aggrieved activists:

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/rosiegray/british-embassy-approached-new-york-times-about-snowden-docu

    [Greenwald]: Only Laura and I have access to the full set of documents which Snowden provided to journalists.

    The stories published in Germany and Brazil were authored by each of us (Laura in Germany with Der Spiegel, me in Brazil with various outlets). We are continuing to partner with media organizations in countries around the world to ensure that all materials in the public interest are reported and disclosed.

    As the Guardian reported, the New York Times and ProPublica have only the portion of the archive relating to GCHQ. That is a small subset of the documents.

    [The Washington Post’s] Bart Gellman also has only a small subset of the documents, though the number is substantial and relate to NSA.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  11. Rafer Janders says:

    The President has said that he understands and regrets the concerns disclosures of alleged U.S. intelligence activities have generated in Brazil

    Note that the president said he understands and regrets the concerns disclosures of alleged U.S. intelligence activities have generated in Brazil — that is, he regrets that they found out about it, not that we’re doing it.

    Similarly, I understand and regret the concerns disclosures of my alleged extra-marital activities have generated in my wife.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  12. Rafer Janders says:

    @Gold Star for Robot Boy:

    I think it’s quite appropriate, in this instance, to examine the reporter’s motivations along with his reporting.

    Why? Who cares? Seriously, who cares? All this focus on Greenwald is just a diversion tactic, and you’re falling for it (or are going along with perpetrating it).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  13. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    @Rafer Janders:
    I can walk and chew gum, you know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  14. george says:

    Actually if I was a leader of a nation I’d be kind of surprised (and maybe even a bit insulted) if foreign spy agencies weren’t trying to get information on me. She seems quite intelligent, I find it hard to believe she doesn’t expect that the Russians and Chinese (not to mention the Argentinians and Columbians) aren’t also spying on her.

    Or maybe she’s just miffed that the NSA was so clumsy as to get caught – having amateurs instead of pro’s on your case is probably somewhat degrading.

    Now the NSA spying on normal citizens is a different matter. Though again, that kind of electronic spying on both foreign and their own citizens is probably being done by every major country.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. bill says:

    @al-Ameda: good one, just lock up all the hot Brazilian chicks!
    but seriously, is this a bad thing for us, brazil giving us the shaft for stuff they all do?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. al-Ameda says:

    @bill:

    @al-Ameda: good one, just lock up all the hot Brazilian chicks!
    but seriously, is this a bad thing for us, brazil giving us the shaft for stuff they all do?

    This is a freebie for her – she gets to be “appalled” and show those “damned Americans” that Brasil will do as Brasil pleases. It’s a predictable kabuki – short term it is crappy PR for us, long term — ummm … what’s that, what happened?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  17. 11B40 says:

    Greetings:

    I’m sure that the moral superiority of her leftist suasion will have Brazil’s President immediately paying off President Obama’s petro loano to her predecessor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. al-Ameda says:

    @11B40:

    Greetings:
    I’m sure that the moral superiority of her leftist suasion will have Brazil’s President immediately paying off President Obama’s petro loano to her predecessor.

    Of course, as we all know, those on the Right approve of being the subjects of electronic surveillance.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  19. 11B40 says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Greetings, al-Ameda:

    I’m afraid you got me on that one. I didn’t realize that “those on the Right” (and thanks for the capitalization) had been granted the right to approve or disapprove of anything. Ms. Lerner, somewhat of the IRS, will be shocked.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. An Interested Party says:

    I’m afraid you got me on that one. I didn’t realize that “those on the Right” (and thanks for the capitalization) had been granted the right to approve or disapprove of anything.

    Well of course because conservatives are nothing more than victims of the evil liberals, media, Hollywood, academia, unions, etc. etc. etc….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  21. bill says:

    @al-Ameda: they’ll look good to their SA brethren i suppose, i’ll forget about it by friday, maybe tomorrow- hell maybe after this bottle of wine!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0