Carney: Some Intelligence-Gathering Decisions Made — Still Secret

Photograph by Odd Anerdersen/AFP via Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel adjusts her headset during a joint press conference with the Lithuanian prime minister following their meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin on May 29, 2013.

While the U.S. is reviewing its intelligence-gathering, White House press secretary Jay Carney said today, the administration cannot say what practices it has suspended or not.

“We’ve made some decisions — the president has made some decisions — and I expect we’ll make more as this process continues,” Carney said today, asked about Senate Intelligence Chair Dianne Feinstein’s report that the administration is poised to order an end to eavesdropping on American allies.

The White House has encountered a storm of criticism from Germany and other European allies for the reported surveillance of foreign leaders revealed by the former National Security Agency contractor, Edward Snowden, who stands accused of espionage and has found refuge in Russia. The Europeans may be asking for a mutual pact against spying akin to what the United States has had for decades with Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the so-called “Five Eyes.”

The NSA has said it hadn’t informed the president of its reported monitoring of Merkel’s communications since 2002.

“A number of countries, as you know, have voiced concerns,” said Carney, and the administration is having a “robust” conversation with them.

The administration “is engaged in a review” of its intelligence gathering, Carney said. “We need to look at whether we’re gathering intelligence not just because we can, but because we need it.”

The review will be finished this year, he said.

“Upon conclusion of the review, we will endeavor to make public as much of the information as possible,” Carney said. “I think you would expect us to have much more to say at the conclusion of the review than we can say now.”

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