From The New York Times today:
-Transcripts of Merkel's phone calls!
-Obama knew or he was stuck in a sand trap since "it would be hard to miss."

WASHINGTON — It was not obvious to the National Security Agency a dozen years ago that Angela Merkel, a rising star as the leader of the Christian Democratic Union, was a future chancellor of Germany.

But that did not matter.

The N.S.A., in a practice that dates back to the depths of the Cold War and that has never ended, was recording her conversations and those of a range of leaders in Germany and elsewhere, storing them in databases that could be searched later, if the need arose. It is unclear how often they searched the databases for her conversations, if at all.

How the N.S.A. continued to track Ms. Merkel as she ascended to the top of Germany’s political apparatus illuminates previously undisclosed details about the way the secret spy agency casts a drift net to gather information from America’s closest allies. The phone monitoring is hardly limited to the leaders of countries like Germany, and also includes their top aides and the heads of opposing parties. It is all part of a comprehensive effort to gain an advantage over other nations, both friend and foe.

“They suck up every phone number they can in Germany,” said one former intelligence official.
At the N.S.A.’s headquarters at Fort Meade, Md., analysts pore over the transcripts of the phone calls and write reports, stamped “top secret,” that are distributed to officials across the government. The most intense interest in the reports is at the State Department, the Treasury, the other intelligence agencies and the National Security Council, former officials said.
...[Former] officials have said that the raw intercepts, if interesting, would have been included in large briefing books given regularly to Mr. Obama’s national security advisers — he is on his third — and their senior deputies, and other National Security Council officials with responsibility for Europe.

“It may not have jumped out at them,” said one former official who knows the process intimately. “But it’s the kind of thing that’s hard to miss.”

Helmut Schmidt, the German chancellor from 1974 to 1982, told the weekly Die Zeit he was certain that Ms. Merkel’s calls had been monitored, but that it was impossible to know what secrets might have been stolen.