The U.S. got caught paying a German intelligence operative $34K to spy on the German group created to investigate the U.S.’s spying on Germany — at least according to the most recent crop of embarrassing allegations into the NSA’s surveillance activities. And German Chancellor Angela Merkel is not pleased.
Earlier today in China, the chancellor stated that if the allegations prove true, they would contradict the sort of cooperation that should exist among allies. That’s putting it lightly.
It became known in the wake of the Snowden revelations that the NSA had monitored the telephone communications of Chancellor Merkel and her predecessor, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. The U.S. government managed a weak statement indicating that it wasn’t monitoring her phone, and that it wouldn’t in the future. The past tense was noticeably missing.
Germany decided that the action warranted a parliamentary investigation. The accused double spy is said to have shared information regarding that inquiry into the NSA with the U.S. government itself.
There isn’t much like spying into the group set up to investigate your past spying. You must award the United States government at least some credit for its persistence. If the allegations prove true, it will be a fresh blow for relations between the United States and Germany, as well as an embarrassment to both countries.
Component to the Snowden revelations has been a steady drumbeat of information regarding how the U.S.’s surveillance apparatus treats the privacy of foreign individuals. Which is to say that it acts as if they have and deserve none. This goes from the ground up, not exempting the leaders of key allies.
If Germany catches the United States with its hand in the cookie jar twice in such rapid succession, you have to wonder what is next. Hell, we could be back to this in no time.