First, there was the US National Security Agency brazenly tapping German Chancellor Angela Merkel's private cellphone and, very likely, many more VIP's in Germany, a key US ally and Europe's most important nation.
Washington and the NSA shrugged off this horribly embarrassing incident with the usual "well, everyone does it."
Not true. Imagine the stink if Germany bugged President Barack Obama's Blackberry. Chancellor Merkel was humiliated but she downplayed the scandal, unable or unwilling to chastise the US by taking any real punitive action – like closing one of the 69-year olmilitary bases
Next, Britain's Mutual Defense Agreement with the US is up for renewal. This 1958 pact is the foundation of the much ballyhooed US-British "Special Relationship."