Brits intelligence codename Obama ‘Smart-Alec’

Monday, 30 May 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

It seems we’ve been given a rare insight into what the British really think of US President Barack Obama.

  Obama and his wife Michelle have just completed a successful tour of Ireland and Britain. He was given a rock star reception in Dublin, and met the royal newlyweds and the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

But it’s the President’s codename which is raising a few eyebrows back across the pond in America.

It seems British security forces spent the trip calling the most powerful man in the world ‘Chalaque’, which is a Punjabi word for smart-alec. Scotland Yard has defended the choice of words, saying all code names are generated randomly by a computer.

But as some have pointed, just because a computer chooses the word, it doesn’t mean Scotland Yard must stick with it. The word is ‘sometimes used when we want to denigrate someone who we think is too clever for their own good’, a Punjabi speaking man told the Britain’s Daily Mail.

The word should not be considered rude, but could be mildly offensive, another man told the paper.

The use of codenames is common practice for US Presidents, and they often change over time.

Obama was known to Secret Service officials as ‘Renegade’ during the 2008 Presidential campaign, while his wife was called ‘Renaissance’.

It’s not the first slightly embarrassing moment for the President while on tour. Just days before, his heavily armoured limousine got stuck on a small bump in the road while thousands of onlookers watched on with amusement.