Monday, July 7, 2014
So, Now Germany Is Pissed at Us, The U.S.
From the Minneapolis Star Tribune: With mystery enveloping a German intelligence service employee accused of spying — reportedly for the United States — German officials and commentators on Sunday angrily demanded a response from Washington, warning that an already troubled relationship was at risk of deteriorating to a new low.
The demands for a statement from the United States were nevertheless couched in cautious terms, suggesting that the scandal, which exploded Friday when Germany’s federal prosecutor reported the arrest of the 31-year-old employee of the Federal Intelligence Service, might not be as bad as initially feared.
The chairman of a parliamentary inquiry into U.S. intelligence activities told German radio that it seemed there was no breach of security surrounding his committee’s work, as some news reports had suggested.
Still, the anger was palpable. President Joachim Gauck, whose role is largely ceremonial but who increasingly speaks out on daily matters, told German television that if it turned out that the United States had been spying on Germany, “then that is really a gamble with friendship, with a close alliance.”
“Then we really have to say, ‘Enough,’ ” Gauck added.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, on a trip to China, kept silent on the matter, although reporters cited unidentified people in her circle as saying she was “surprised” and “disappointed” at the suggestion that a U.S. intelligence agency had recruited a German agent. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, traveling in Mongolia, was quoted in the German news media as saying that “if the reports are true, then we are not talking about something minor.”
The U.S. “should fully explain the matter as soon as possible,” Steinmeier added.
Perhaps the most striking sign of the strained relationship was Germany’s decision to summon the U.S. ambassador, John B. Emerson, to the Foreign Ministry on the Fourth of July, just before the U.S. Embassy’s holiday party for hundreds of guests. The newsmagazine Der Spiegel reported that the ambassador had smiled and greeted guests, but that the tension was noticeable: “It was as it has so often been recently when official America meets official Germany. The facade was perfect, but behind it there was little accord.” http://www.startribune.com/nation/265975511.htmlI guess, With the Obama administration, everyone is fir game when it comes to spying.
At least, with other presidents, their spies usually didn't get caught.