Germany has told the CIA station chief in Berlin to leave the country in a dramatic display of anger from Chancellor Angela Merkel at the behaviour of a close ally after officials unearthed two suspected US spies.
The scandal has chilled relations with Washington to levels not seen since Merkel’s predecessor opposed the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. It follows allegations that Merkel herself, who grew up in Stasi-ridden East Germany, was among thousands of Germans whose mobile phones have been bugged by American agents.
“Spying on allies … is a waste of energy,” the chancellor said in her most pointed public remarks yet on the issue. “We have so many problems, we should focus on the important things.” …
US government sources said the official – whom neither side named – was Berlin station chief for the CIA, the Central Intelligence Agency. A German source said the man would face possible forcible expulsion if he did not leave voluntarily.
This is an unprecedented fall out between allies. I can’t say I blame the Germans. Spying on your opponents and enemies, but not your allies.