Rich Galen

When Senator Barack Obama became President-elect Barack Obama, then President Barack Obama there was not-so-secret high-fiving in newsrooms and editorial offices world-wide that after eight years of plundering and bumbling by that cowboy George W. Bush, finally America's foreign policy would be led by a sophisticated internationalist sitting in the White House.

America's foreign policy, after four years, nine months, and one week under the guidance of that sophisticated internationalist is as scrambled as a Rotary Club golf tournament on a summer Tuesday afternoon in Beverly, Ohio.

Forget about the Sunday talk shows yesterday that had guest-after-guest quacking over one another about the state of the Obamacare website and whether the ACA would ever work.

We'll know that in about 18 months when people who are supposed to have signed up either have or haven't, whether health insurance is cheaper and better, or more expensive and worse or some combination.

The only thing we know at this moment is that the ACA is going to go into effect sometime in 2014 and by the next Presidential election will either be a success or a failure. Neither side can wish its desired result to come true.

Let's look at what's going on outside our borders - the kind of events that led the geniuses at the Nobel Peace Prize committee to award it to President Barack Obama on October 9, 2009 for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."

How far we've come in just four years, huh?

Last week it came to light that the U.S. has been intercepting signals from German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone since 2002. She didn't become Chancellor until November 2005, so who knows what George W. and Dick Cheney were listening for in those first three years?

When asked about the tapping of Chancellor Merkel's phone, CBS news reported White House Press Secretary Jay Carney as saying:

"The president assured the chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of the chancellor."

That leaves open the question: Did the United States EVER monitor the communications of German Chancellor Angela Merkel?

The German Newspaper Die Welt, The World, (as I know from my three years of German I in high school) claimed Obama had been told about tapping Merkel's phone in 2010.

The head of the NSA, according to Reuters' excellent translation, "General Keith Alexander informed Obama in person about it in 2010."

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at