Germany says nein to US

July 12th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

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.

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27 Responses to “Germany says nein to US”

  1. Tautaioleua (296 comments) says:

    Merkel was also in China last week. This is the beginning of the end for America. The sun will soon rise from the east, and the Germans are already jumping ship. The British have also agreed to conduct trade & investment agreements with China that do not involve a single US dollar. Times are changing.

    :-)

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  2. Fentex (912 comments) says:

    Spying on your opponents and enemies, but not your allies.

    An unusual position for people who support legislation that enables increased spying on citizenry.

    I find it an odd distinction that would privilege allies but not (as it seems to equate them with enemies) citizenry.

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  3. Johnboy (15,858 comments) says:

    Obama….. “Ich nein bin ein Berliner”! :)

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  4. Johnboy (15,858 comments) says:

    Not that he could easily be confused for one of course! :)

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  5. adze (2,046 comments) says:

    Johnboy:

    *”Ich bin kein Berliner”

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  6. stephieboy (2,616 comments) says:

    The agent at the cenlnter of the row was a known double agent working also with the Russians.Am sure the FSB have a station in Berlin.Will Merkal shut that down?

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  7. GPT1 (2,111 comments) says:

    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.
    Well at the very least it is the height of bad manners for it to become public and force your ally into notice such things.

    Can we blame Barry for this as well?

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  8. PaulL (6,012 comments) says:

    Dividing the world into allies and not allies is a little simplistic. There are many reasons a country might want information on “allies”, particularly if there are some things they aren’t allies on. So, for example, it would be interesting to know what their thinking was on Syria before you went to the UN and proposed some sort of sanctions. And, of course, Germany aren’t know for being an overly reliable ally, it takes 10 years or more to build an intelligence network – are we sure that Germany will still be an ally in ten years?

    The newspapers may be reporting this as is, but I suspect there’s something else going on behind the scenes. I’d be interested to know the next level down story – it’s a message of some sort, or this particular guy is up to some other sort of no good, or the spying that they were doing has gone beyond “normal” spying on allies.

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  9. tom hunter (4,643 comments) says:

    …. but I suspect there’s something else going on behind the scenes.

    I think that too. Merkel is too smart not to be aware of the potential charges of hypocrisy on this issue that will arise when it’s found that Germany is spying on friends like France, Poland and other Western countries. I’m reminded of a similar tantrum from the Brazilian president who cancelled a head-of-state visit to Obama over similar issues of US spying – only for people to point out that some of Brazil’s neighbours were none to happy with the way Brazil had spied on them!!

    In short, everybody does it, to allies, friends and enemies alike, the only difference being that the efforts are supposed to be greater towards the latter and that with allies and friends you’re not supposed to embarrass them by making it obvious and having them look like fools.

    The message is probably more that Merkel has simply had a gutsful of Obama and doesn’t want to hear any more of his flatulent nonsense on anything.

    It would seem she’s in good global company on that front.

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  10. kowtow (8,091 comments) says:

    Obummer, the greatest president the USA has ever had, has already had to apologise to Frau Merkel for tapping her phone,last year. Now this. She’s in coalition with the Social democrats while the Greens are strong in Germany. She’s got to look tough or it just plays into the hands of the left.

    As to China, be very careful,it’ll all unravel, perhaps sooner rather than later.So don’t become over reliant on that market.

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  11. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    ‘Merkel has simply had a gutsful of Obama’
    No matter what happens, it’s always Obama’s fault.

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  12. G152 (260 comments) says:

    After 2 World Wars where millions died because of Germany why shouldn’t the rest of the world keep an eye on them ?

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  13. Captain Pugwash (98 comments) says:

    Considering the German habit of taking a “European Tour” every 50 years or so, and it’s been seventy years since the last one. I’m not surprised the Americans like to know whats going on in the “Furher bunker”

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  14. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    I reckon they’ll win the World Cup though

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  15. stephieboy (2,616 comments) says:

    Tom Hunter ,

    “The message is probably more that Merkel has simply had a gutsful of Obama and doesn’t want to hear any more of his flatulent nonsense on anything.

    It would seem she’s in good global company on that front.”

    Your Putin for example.???

    Others.???

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  16. PaulL (6,012 comments) says:

    @mikenmild: well, after 6 years in charge, you’d have to assume that most things that happen in US govt he needs to be accountable for. But I suspect this is a storm in a teacup.

    To me it’s similar to Abbott taking a hammering for the spying on Indonesia (all of which happened on Gillard’s watch). It’s part of the game, it was election time in Indonesia and everyone knew they were just playing politics for domestic consumption. Sure enough, after the election they’re all chummy again. Obama’s in the seat, he gets the hammering, but let’s not pretend that if Romney had won it’d be any different. The US aren’t going to stop spying on Germany any more than Australia will stop spying on Indonesia.

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  17. PaulL (6,012 comments) says:

    @kowtow: some years ago I went to a talk by Colin Powell (must have been 4-5 years – after he was in govt, but a fair while ago). He was pretty clear on China – they need 8% growth minimum just to absorb the people moving from rural to urban, they have massive disparities in wealth between their regions, they have significant ethnic differences within the country, and they have a political system that is only palatable so long as people perceive that they’re doing well out of it (if then). He was very clear that there was a high probability of a Chinese breakup or significant civil unrest in the near future.

    The problem for the Chinese leaders is the old proverb: Ch’i ‘hu nan hsia pei, translated as He who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount. There is no evidence that there is a feasible way to unwind the system, so they have to ride it through….

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  18. Tautaioleua (296 comments) says:

    The same Colin Powell who lied to the UN general assembly over WMD’s in Iraq? his word isn’t worth much.

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  19. Fletch (6,225 comments) says:

    Of course, this episode is yet another thing Obama was “unaware of”.
    As another site points out, this administration must be the most unaware in the history of the U.S. They don’t seem to know a damn thing that’s going on.

    Earlier today we posted on the CIA station chief being expelled from Germany for running intelligence operations against German targets. As incredible as it seems, Obama, according to the New York Times, was unaware of either the operations or the fact that one of our agents had been busted by German counterintelligence.

    This is a sad and continuing trend in this administration. Whenever anything blows up on this guy the buck does not only not stop with him, he’s never even seen the buck.

    They follow with a list of all the things Obama didn’t know about.

    http://www.redstate.com/2014/07/10/obamas-unaware-presidency/

    He’ll just continue to fundraise and play golf.

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  20. WineOh (624 comments) says:

    Would have thought they would have taken a warning when they got snapped bugging Merkel’s phone. Why would you deliberately antagonise the biggest economy in Europe?

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  21. stephieboy (2,616 comments) says:

    Fletch, rather weak actually. Certainly can’t match these gaffes/ brain fades ( to use local parlance ) by Sarah Palin,

    ://www.stylist.co.uk/people/sarah-palins-greatest-gaffes

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  22. tvb (4,307 comments) says:

    I am glad the Germans are taking this line. The attitude seems to be we have the means so we will. Unless the US considers Germany an unfriendly nation. There is no need to spy on us. Our politicians will tell the Americans anything for a decent lunch and a glass of wine. David Cunliffe’s tell-all to an American Diplomat is evidence of that. So the Americans have to chose. Do they want a friendly relationship with open dialogue or do they want an unfriendly relationship that needs spying and surveillance.

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  23. Psycho Milt (2,401 comments) says:

    After 2 World Wars where millions died because of Germany why shouldn’t the rest of the world keep an eye on them ?

    Er, you’re living in a country created by the biggest empire in world history, an empire built on slavery and mass murder just like all the others. Why shouldn’t the rest of the world be keeping an eye on you?

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  24. ShawnLH (4,481 comments) says:

    “I am glad the Germans are taking this line.”

    So the Germans are going to stop spying on France and Britain then?

    Everyone does it. This CIA station chief just got caught (the only real crime). It is standard practice, and for good reason. So it has nothing to do with your silly views about the US, and even if the US stopped, everyone else would still be doing it.

    The US exposes Russian spies almost every ten years or so.

    “Open dialogue” is for blogs. Nations sadly have to practice darker arts. That is just the nature and reality of the world.

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  25. tvb (4,307 comments) says:

    I am not saying stop spying. But why spy on a ally? Unless you don’t trust that ally. By spying you say you don’t trust the person. OK don’t trust them with the consequences that flow from that.

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  26. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    And people say there is no such thing as conspiracy. The blind fools.

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  27. Viking2 (11,332 comments) says:

    I think this shows glaringly that the USA has an out of control bunch of spy agencies and associates who do their work for them.
    They are out of control from President down.
    They need severe budget cuts bought to bear to clear out their public services.

    For a country that was once land of the free and where anyone could rise to be anything they want it seems the spooks have won and now they are frightened of the rest off the world.

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