spies

Maybe the leaders of the European Union should have issued a communique at their summit in Brussels Friday, publicly thanking Edward Snowden for stealing U.S. secrets and thus giving them something to talk about other than their own economies.

The euro zone’s unemployment rate hit a near-record 12% in August, up from 11.5% a year ago, and the trumpeted European recovery is clocking in at 0.3% after 18 months of recession. But why call too much attention to that unpleasantness when, OMG, the Americans might be eavesdropping?

The latest fit of European pique comes from further Snowden disclosures about the scale of the National Security Agency’s electronic surveillance programs. Le Monde reported last week that the NSA collected some 70 million French phone records between last December and January. “This type of practice between partners is an assault on privacy, and is totally unacceptable,” says French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who summoned the U.S. Ambassador for a scolding.