back to article German government orders local CIA station chief to pack his bags

The German government has ordered the local station chief of the CIA to leave the country immediately – after a second German government official was arrested in an investigation into US surveillance on its erstwhile ally. "The representative of the US intelligence services at the embassy of the United States of America has …

  1. TheColinous

    I read this elsewhere, and it said that if the Germans wanted to make a public things for internal consumption they would have sent some low level people packing. They would have made a point, and then expected everyone to believe that the matter was dealt with.

    However, this person is the liaison person in all the public and secret co-operation projects between the Germans and the US. So, sending him home throws a spanner in the works of all levels of co-operation - not least the intelligence sharing. So, yeah, the Germans aren’t screwing around.

    Maybe that’s something Cameron should think about after the less than stellar performance during the EU summit in Ypres earlier.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Interesting

      So who will be running Threadstone now?

      1. knarf

        Re: Interesting

        It's always Berlin what gives Threadstone issues.

        1. theblackhand

          Re: Interesting

          I'll start off by being a pedant - isn't it Treadstone?

          As for expelling the local CIA station chief - didn't this happen every few months between the US and USSR during the Cold War? The station chief may have a role, but seems to be a disposable pawn in the spying game.

      2. Mips
        Childcatcher

        Re: Interesting

        Treadstone is it not?

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: TheColinous

      ".....However, this person is the liaison person in all the public and secret co-operation projects between the Germans and the US...." So, yes, the Septic in question is important enough to register as a serious political gripe, but doesn't actually impact on the NSA's or CIA's spying ability, just the ability of Germany to benefit from co-operative programs. So, in essence, it's political cutting off of your nose to boost votes. Whilst it may please the German voters, it will do nothing to actually secure Germany against spying, either by the States or other countries, and will not give Merkel what her intelligence chiefs actually (hypocritically) want - in on the Five Eyes program, which Germany has asked for but been rebuffed.

      ".....Maybe that’s something Cameron should think about after the less than stellar performance during the EU summit in Ypres earlier." You failed to read the politics behind Cameron's 'defeat'. In essence, Cameron knew he could not stop Juncker being selected, what he could do was milk it for all it was worth with the voters at home. He has managed to present himself as 'independent-minded Dave' and 'not afraid to say "no" to the Europeans', which plays very nicely to the majority of his own party plus undermines a lot of the UKIP and Lib-Dem positions. It helped that Juncker could be portrayed as an 'unelected Euro beureucrat' being 'forced on the UK' and likely to steamroller us into more of the 'Euro Federalism' that Labour were so happy to sign up for. It is very telling that no-one in the Tory Party seemed to actual have a detailed plan for an alternative, they were all just happy 'fighting the fight' against Juncker. Cameron throws out a conciliatory bone to the City by saying he still wants to 'work on changing the EU to make it work better for us' whilst his party wave the idea of a referendum on EU membership (after the next election, of course).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: TheColinous

        What intrigued me about the Junckers kerfuffle was that nobody pointed out he was in charge when Luxembourg invented all those wonderfully creative tax constructs that have turned out to be so popular with the Vodafones of this world. Bit of luck him getting this new job just when the EU were about to launch a financial investigation into all that stuff.

  2. FuzzyTheBear
    FAIL

    Friends ?

    Friends don't need to spy on each other , they take the phone and talk.

    The USA are no friends they are the new common enemy to the free world and a free society.

    They got the FAIL of the century calling themselves " friends to the free world ".

    1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Friends ?

      There's no land to fight over, though China is trying, so the next best thing that corrupt government agencies can do for big money is fear and espionage. I guess the super-villain back story here is that the NSA tried really hard to warn everybody about critical infrastructure exploits but nobody listened. Now they've turned to using those exploits for their own power.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Friends ?

      Not so 'new' really. The US has been the enemy of other nations (and arguably their own citizens) freedom and democracy for pretty much as long as I can remember. Fighting proxy wars purely in your own interest on other peoples turf, with little regard for the collaterlal damage they suffer on your behalf, isn't a great way to make real friends beyond the tyrannical right wing despots and murderers with whom the US state has always seemed most comfortable. Their supposed enemies today; Isis, al Qaeda, Boko Haram are all born from the lamentable US strategic decisions of yesterday, yet the people they slaughter en masse are rarely Americans.

      Other peoples human rights, freedoms and security seem to be a luxury the US cannot often afford, so while they may have friends in high office, everyone else has a long memory for what being a 'friend of America' costs. That the 'other' guys might be worse is always a pretty piss poor excuse to pass your own despicable behaviour off as reasonable or civilised.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Anon Cluetard Re: Friends ?

        Pootie, is that you? Or just a member of the RT propaganda club?

        "..... Isis, al Qaeda, Boko Haram are all born from the lamentable US strategic decisions of yesterday...." Don't tell me - because the CIA invented a time-machine just so they could go back in time and create Islam and the Sunni-Shia divide, right? You are obviously far too clueless to note that the vast majority of the weapons being wielded by such groups were provided and still are being provided by Socialist states (especially Communist Russia) happily fighting proxy wars.

        1. DanDanDan

          Re: Anon Cluetard Friends ?

          @Matt Bryant - I can't tell if you're trolling or serious. I'm gonna assume trolling, because the alternative depresses me too much.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: DumbDumbDumb Re: Anon Cluetard Friends ?

            "....I can't tell if you're trolling or serious....." Is that because you have never run into anyone that questioned what you have been assured is The Truth?

            "...,, I'm gonna assume trolling....." Well, I suppose it would be too much for you to actually go do some research into the origins of the Sunni-Shia schism, or Middle Eastern history, and maybe learn something about the so-called proxy wars fought there and in Islamic Africa.

            ".....because the alternative depresses me too much." I can see why it would upset you to have someone question The One True Faith that you have accepted as the cornerstone of your 'opinions', so much easier for you to just deny reality and stick with the comforting one-ness of the flock, right?

    3. dan1980

      Re: Friends ?

      @FuzzyTheBear

      "Friends to the free world."

      Actually, the US thinks it is the 'free world'. Don't get me wrong, they're freer than North Korea but the idea that they are some kind of paragon of freedom and liberty and democracy that the rest of the world should look up to is somewhat out-of-date.

    4. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Friends ?

      We don' need no steenkin friends!

      America has allies not friends, even the much vaunted 'Special Relationship' between the US and UK is not a friendship, it just means the UK should be ready to drop its pants and bend over at a moments notice.

      Something to think about; Spies are like fleas and cockroaches, if you can see one, there are a thousand more that you can't see.

      As I have said before, national security for the US is more about providing huge profits for its industries at the rest of the World's expense while maintaining enough of a good standard of living for the general US population to not question their lot too much.

      The American people are like everyone else on the planet and have the same needs as the rest of us and they stay blinkered by the use of parochial, content free news on TV and in their papers but if you shake hands with an American politician be sure to count your fingers afterwards.

      Don't be surprised to see more news like this soon, possibly from other countries.

    5. Nathan Brathahn
      Mushroom

      Re: Friends ?

      There are no friends in politics, only temporary allies with common interests for a particular periode of time.

    6. knarf

      Re: Friends ?

      Pppssttt...... EVERYONE is spying on EVERYONE else, even the Germans are releasing malware for they own spying purposes.

      It's not spying that the issue its getting caught.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The games people play

    This is just a façade to appease the clueless masses. It don't mean anything.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: The games people play

      Yes it does, it means somebody fairly senior in the German govt is seriously pissed off.

      1. Jaybus

        Re: The games people play

        "Yes it does, it means somebody fairly senior in the German govt is seriously pissed off."

        It is just a political move on Merkel's part. After all, how do you suppose the moles in their Defense Ministry were caught? Info received from their own mole(s) in the American agencies most likely.

  4. Mephistro Silver badge

    They should have sent the ambassador packing too.

    Now, THAT would send a clear message!

  5. Faux Science Slayer

    NSA....National Security Administration is ASN....American Stasi Network.....

    Following the 911 false flag, Baby Bush hired former East German, STASI Secret Police force director to set up the NSA. Guess they just couldn't resist spying on Germans again.

    1. localzuk

      Re: NSA....National Security Administration is ASN....American Stasi Network.....

      Whut? The NSA was "set up" in 1952. So, unless Dubya had amazing abilities at the age of 6, I doubt he'd've been creating many spy agencies...

    2. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: NSA....National Security Administration is ASN....American Stasi Network.....

      "Following the 911 false flag"

      It's at this point in your post I first began to wonder if you were off your meds.

      Having been late for work for the first time in years, I narrowly avoided having my office drop on my head on 11th September 2001. The internet crackpots seem to have no idea how offensive many people find their "false flag" conspiracy theory bollocks, particularly those who were present at whichever event underlies their conspiracy. When it comes to 911, I've heard them all. Seriously, STFU, you're spoiling the internet for the grown ups.

      "Baby Bush hired former East German, STASI Secret Police force director to set up the NSA"

      What? Wait. Does "baby Bush" have a DeLorean? Can I have my hoverboard now? I'm a bit fat and old for it, but I've been waiting most of my life to try one.

      By this point in your post I'd stopped reading as I'd come to the conclusion you're not off your meds, you're Just Another Feckin Teenager, sat in mommys basement posting garbage all over the web. JAFT.

  6. Ole Juul Silver badge

    A mild reaction

    Based on what other countries do in circumstances like this, the CIA station chief could have been jailed and charged (or worse). In fact one might imagine something like that happening if it had been a foreign agent on US soil.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: A mild reaction

      Well yes, except for, you know, diplomatic immunity.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Ole. Jule Re: A mild reaction

      "....the CIA station chief could have been jailed and charged (or worse)....." Well, one hopes that, even in the your socio-political Utopia, the correct chain of events would be charged, tried, then if convicted, jailed? I know that's not how it happens in a lot of the Workers Paradises, but even Merkel knows she has to follow the law when pushing such vote-bait. And, besides, if the Germans wanted to charge the CIA station chief they would have to actually gather enough evidence of criminal activity, which - going by the fact they have already dropped the vote-baiting 'investigation' into 'mass surveillance' (even Pootie's propaganda service, RT, have admitted that - http://rt.com/news/162120-germany-nsa-case-spying/), seems unlikely.

      And then there would also be the chance the CIA section chief, in his own defence, might ask in court how Germany justifies their own involvement in mass surveillance and spying (https://my.news.yahoo.com/germany-france-spain-carry-mass-surveillance-snowden-files-131011005.html), which doubtless has listened in to more than a few American conversations?

      So, no, it is highly unlikely even Merkel would risk arresting and charging the CIA station chief.

      1. Mephistro Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: Ole. Jule A mild reaction (@ Matt Bryant)

        "the correct chain of events would be charged, tried, then if convicted, jailed"

        No. For serious crimes and with some evidence the suspect is put in custody -i.e. 'jailed'- until a judge assesses the case and decides on escape risks, bailout and such.

        And I'm glad to see you don't like the way they do things in Guantánamo.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Mephhead Re: Ole. Jule A mild reaction (@ Matt Bryant)

          "No. For serious crimes and with some evidence the suspect is put in custody -i.e. 'jailed'- until a judge assesses the case and decides on escape risks, bailout and such...." Yes, but that's not what the original indignant poster demanded, they want jail without charge or trial, which is quite old-style Soviet. Maybe he wanted the Germans to create a special Gulag as well, just for the CIA section chief?

          And it's always nice to see the sheeple falling back on a staple bleat when they know they're losing -".....And I'm glad to see you don't like the way they do things in Guantánamo." Gitmo is for non-uniformed combatants, not alleged criminals being tried under normal law. If you think it is so easy to settle then do please go tell Obambi as he has been unable to keep his election promise of closing Gitmo for years now.

          1. Mephistro Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Mephhead Ole. Jule A mild reaction (@ Master Bullshit)

            "but that's not what the original indignant poster demanded, they want jail without charge or trial"

            Exactly where does the 'original indignant poster' demand jail without charge or trial? What he actually wrote was "... jailed and charged ...". .

            Another low quality straw man argument from Matt. Colour me surprised. ;-)

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Mephhead Ole. Jule A mild reaction (@ Master Bullshit)

              "Exactly where does the 'original indignant poster' demand jail without charge or trial?...." In his post. Trying reading before bleating, mmmkay?

              ".....What he actually wrote was "... jailed and charged ..."....." So where is the bit about arrest, trial or conviction before jail, and why does jail come before charged if what he actually meant was remanded? Oh, because you want to shriek and bleat, right?

              ".....Another low quality straw man argument from Matt. Colour me surprised. ;-)". I'm never surprised at your content less, fact-free, completely unrelated to the thread posts. I'd ask you if you had a opinion on the actual matter but I don't think Oprah has been on to give you one yet.

              1. Mephistro Silver badge
                FAIL

                Re: Mephhead Ole. Jule A mild reaction (@ Master Bullshit)

                " In his post. Trying reading before bleating, mmmkay?"

                Again, he wrote "... jailed and charged ...". Who's bleating, Matty?

                Oh, hell!. I'm trying to reason with Matt. That's a waste of bandwidth. I'm really really sorry.

          2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Mephhead Ole. Jule A mild reaction (@ Matt Bryant)

            > Gitmo is for non-uniformed combatants, not alleged criminals being tried under normal law.

            In the USA "normal law" for some agent of a foreign power spying on your country would be an electric chair - ask Mrs Rosenburg

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: Yet Another Cluetard Re: Mephhead Ole. Jule A mild reaction (@ Matt Bryant)

              ".....Mrs Rosenburg." You sheeple really do have zero perspective from behind those blinkers! Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were American citizens convicted of spying for a foreign power (Soviet Russia). They tried to give nuke weapon secrets to the Soviets during the Cold War. Just slightly different from Merkel getting her knickers in a twist over the US allegedly spying on her government's attempts to investigate the NSA. An investigation which seems pointless when you consider her government's BND spies were happily working with the NSA on spying on Germans - surely she should be investigating herself then? Oh, but that wouldn't boost her in the polls, would it.

      2. kraut

        Re: Ole. Jule A mild reaction

        That whole "diplomatic immunity" nonsense might get in the way of arresting and charging foreign diplomats....

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Ole. Jule A mild reaction

          "That whole "diplomatic immunity" nonsense might get in the way of arresting and charging foreign diplomats...." True, but the US could waive immunity if the Germans managed to show they had evidence he personally had committed a serious enough crime. Diplomatic expulsion is the political answer when you don't have (or do not want to show) such evidence. Oh, and it no doubt gives Merkel a nice little boost in the polls....

  7. Gray
    Trollface

    A pretty restrained response ...

    Consider that the NSA was exposed by Snowden for monitoring Ms. Merkel's cell phone ... along with other rude silliness ... and now we've the one-two punch of two CIA plants dug out of her government.

    I'd say she'll agree to a new CIA station chief on the proviso they send someone competent, and if they're going to plant spies, try to certify their competence as well ... just to avoid the embarrassment of on-going exposure, you know? Oh ... and an iron-clad promise that the NSA won't be planting any video peeps in her bathroom.

    Meanwhile, back in the US, the CIA Director neglected to inform Pres. Obama that Merkel had rooted out the spies, and Obama was on the phone to her, asking for cooperation with some thing or another, totally unaware that she was steaming from both ears.

    Obama should call the CIA Director to a private meet & greet, to open with an acceptance of the Director's letter of resignation and followed by a bum's rush out the back door.

    But it won't happen.

    None of it.

    No competent director; no accomplished spies; no resignation.

    Oh well, back to war with ... ISIL? the Levant? the Caliphate? Syria? Iran? Everybody?

    Has that new Federal Reserve bond sale gone through yet?

    (Hey! Don't blame me ... I'm just a U.S. taxpayer. I'm not in the loop!)

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Gary Re: A pretty restrained response ...

      "Consider that the NSA was exposed by Snowden for monitoring Ms. Merkel's cell phone...." All Snowjob 'exposed' was that Merkel's phone number was in a spreadsheet which he claimed came from the monitoring section of the local US embassy, nothing more. He presented no evidence that the NSA had actually listened to any of Merkel's calls or even gathered her metadata, but don't let a few facts get in the way of your bleating. For all you (or Merkel) can prove, the number could have been on the exclusion list, as in "automatically drop any monitoring if it picks up this number". And whilst Merkel can claim her phone number is a German national secret, she has certainly given it to the Yanks in the past given that Obambi has called her on it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A pretty restrained response ...

      as someone has already truly wackily referred to 9/11 as a False-Flag (there have been MANY False-Flags in history, even up to recent history, luckily the agencies themselves have special departments to diffuse the focus...) anyway back to this particular rant

      Gray: Obama should call the CIA Director to a private meet & greet, to open with an acceptance of the Director's letter of resignation and followed by a bum's rush out the back door.

      That would be all well & good, had not great journalists already revealed that not only did Obama's mum meet Obama's dad at the CIA Russian language school in Hawaii but some further claim that President Obama himself learned Pushtu and was meeting Mujahideen in Pakistan/Afghanistan in 1981.

      It is even acknowledged in wackypedia that later in the 80's Barry worked for "Business International Corporation" (which was, according to the NYT in 1977 "one of the lesser known of 22 news organizations found to have employed journalists who were also working for the Central Intelligence Agency")

      I find it highly credible that no-one mentioned anything about Germany to the pres., overtly!

      lets talk about lizards/area51/saucers now - cue the "Persona Management workstations" one plausible psywar identity per usb thumb-stick, ten usb sticks per workstation, how many thousand workstations are there nowadays?

      1. Gray
        Facepalm

        Re: A pretty restrained response ...

        @ AC: That would be all well & good, had not great journalists already revealed that not only did Obama's mum meet Obama's dad at the CIA Russian language school in Hawaii but some further claim that President Obama himself learned Pushtu and was meeting Mujahideen in Pakistan/Afghanistan in 1981.

        Omigawd! Do you mean! "Barry" Hussein Obama is ... he is ... ohmigawd HE is the CALIPH?

        wHO'd a THunK iT!

    3. GBH

      Re: A pretty restrained response ...

      I am German. Besides doing my job in IT and thus reading this brilliant newsletter, following comments from time to time, I usually do not comment myself.

      Being German, I want to give you our perspective: we see the US (as our European neighbors) as friends and allies. Many will call this naive, but in a nutshell, this is it. We tried - and this was discussed publicly in the press, society, friends, everywhere, also non-publicly I am sure - to raise the issue as such - also not only the fact that they spy on us, their friends, but that they are also so stupid and do not change after they have made obviously some mistakes. Only because of that they asked this guy to leave, just to ring some bells, and I think that finally worked. All other comments here are interesting as well, but speculation. But I am still interested to read all your comments from the Register community, always very interesting!

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: A pretty restrained response ...

        GBH, 'friends' will spy on their allies for their own good. Funny as that sounds, even close friends like the UK's MI6/MI5 and the CIA will keep an eye on each other, if only because history has shown that a mole/leaker in one can lead to the loss of secrets from all. Snowden is an example, as was Kim Philby. In the past, it has been rumoured that the CIA did not share some secrets with UK Labour governments that contained ministers thought to be too 'Red' in their outlook, especially after US nuke secrets were leaked to Moscow by British civil servants (and, allegedly by Labour MPs). So, the CIA will carry on spying on the BND and German politicians for exactly the same reason - to look for leaks, moles and criminals, and to work out if certain German politicians should not be trusted with certain secrets. The BND knows this, even Angela Merkel knows it, but she gets a nice boost in the polls when she plays the anti-Yank card, despite the fact being her own people have been using the NSA's tools such as XKeyScore with her knowledge:

        http://www.dw.de/magazine-reveals-german-government-using-nsa-spying-data/a-16964677

        http://rt.com/news/germany-nsa-usa-xkeyscore-378/

  8. DerekCurrie Bronze badge
    Happy

    Bravo Germany!

    As a US citizen I have to ask:

    WTF does #MyStupidGovernment think it's doing? Is the point of these international crimes to destroy its foreign diplomacy? That's certainly the effect.

    Is this all due to the INDUCED paranoia created by the #MyStupidGovernment enabled 9/11 incidents? Is all of #MyStupidGovernment still ignoring what REALLY happened that day? Or is this all simply more charade playing for the benefit of we simpleton US peasants who haven't read the actual/factual 9/11 data yet? Stupider things have happened.

    Cut it out please, #MyStupidGovernment!

    Stupid CIA

    Stupid NSA

    Stupid Courts

    Stupid Congress

    Stupid President

    …on and on…

    (And no, it's not the time or place to play ignorant 'conspiracy theory' games. I won't reply to same or snide/ignorant related comments. Go convince the mirror).

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: DerekCurrie Re: Bravo Germany!

      ".....Is all of #MyStupidGovernment still ignoring what REALLY happened that day? Or is this all simply more charade playing for the benefit of we simpleton US peasants who haven't read the actual/factual 9/11 data yet?....." Oh, go on then, just for a laugh, please do point us to the wingnut conspiracy theorists' website you got all your 'facts' from.

      1. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: DerekCurrie Bravo Germany!

        "please do point us to the wingnut conspiracy theorists' website you got all your 'facts' from"

        It'll just be another load of poorly researched conspiracy nut bollocks. You already know it will.

        What really happened that day? Some utter utter bastards, deluded by whatever bogus beliefs guide such people, murdered the better part of 3000 innocent people, and wrecked a sizeable bit of downtown Manhattan / The Pentagon.

        The conspiracy cretins are determined to rework that into some tinfoil hat nonsense about the government of the USA having inacted it as means by which to invade Iraq. Asshats that large parts of the government may be, they didn't need to manufacture an excuse, Saddam had given them plenty down the years.

        Pretending it was anything other than terrorism is an insult to everyone that died that day, and everyone that dug in the rubble trying to help people.

      2. James Micallef Silver badge

        Re: DerekCurrie Bravo Germany!

        Wow @DerekCurrie, you actually got me to agree with Matt Bryant, that is a first!

        Anyone thinking 9/11 was an internal conspiracy is batshit mental. The CIA, FBI and all agencies all the way up to the White House and Bush Jr simply dropped the ball on that one. What is disgusting is the way that 9/11 was used after the fact to justify abominations like the Patriot Act, Guantanamo and the invasion of Iraq.

  9. sandman

    Normal service

    Most governments spy on their friends and allies - for several reasons. Firstly, you know where your enemies stand, that's why their called enemies. Allies are a different matter, you need to know if they're going to change their policies in a manner inimical to your interests.

    Secondly, information on what your allies are up to (including details of their personal lives) are very useful when it comes to negotiations with them.

    Thirdly, it's easier and the consequences of discovery are generally far milder for your controllers (although their agents, if locals, may not be so lucky). It wouldn't surprise me if the vast majority of "spies" are based in "friendly" countries. As an agency chief you can then justify the numbers employed and your budget - hey, they're all busy, right?

    Then of course there is all the usual spying to do, digging out commercial secrets, military technology, etc. The French and Israelis have form here - both have been caught spying in the US.

    Basically, everybody does it and always have (see Venetian history, they've been credited with starting the ball rolling). The dumb thing is getting caught.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Re: Normal service

      Wasn't it Napoleon who said something about it being better/easier to make war on ones allies - I suppose because they don't expect it?

  10. JaitcH
    WTF?

    Just German face-saving theatrics

    If GERMANY really meant business it would stop the NSA building it's huge new 'Data Storage Facility' (US materials only by security cleared US citizens only) and to tell the NSA to remove some of their radomes.

    Until they do that, mutterings from Germany are meaningless.

    1. Stratman

      Re: Just German face-saving theatrics

      Let 'em build it first, then chuck 'em out.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If nothing is learned, history is always repeated.

    I thought that spies were shot ? Must have traded them for a free™ MacDonalds franchise.

  12. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Happy

    Re: AC

    "I thought that spies were shot ?....." Well, that is the embarrassing bit that Merkel is keen to skate over. The first spy was a supposedly vetted German that went to the CIA asking for money for secrets, not someone the CIA recruited. To make it even funnier, he was caught when he tried to start a similar relationship with the Russians. But the REALLY funny bit, given how the Germans are shrieking about privacy, is he was caught when they intercepted and read his emails to the Russians! What is truly amusing is one of the means with which the Germans may have caught him was through their BND's access to the NSA's XKeyScore tool (http://www.dailydot.com/news/germany-nsa-surveillance-spying-xkeyscore/). LOL!

    The second spy's background is even more ironic in that he was not only more senior and more thoroughly screened than the first, he also hasn't actually been arrested and charged. Again, possibly because doing so risks secrets about German spying on their own citizens being aired in a German court, which is the last thing Merkel wants. After all, she specialised in Agit Prop when she was part of the East German Communist system, so she knows it's hard to shriek accusations at people when your own hands are dirty (http://www.dw.de/uproar-over-new-details-on-german-nsa-ties/a-16999179).

  13. Cipher

    Why do I get the feeling that...

    ...despite the histrionics, that this is more a negotiation on ground rules than anything likely to seriously impact the NSA's activities? Germany is still miffed about not being included in the special club.

    Citizens of all countries will continue to have their digital AND analog data scooped up, sorted and used whenever the ends of the state require it.

    I applaud Merkel in this, but at its core it is more Security Theatre than anything else...

  14. Palf
    FAIL

    If the Germans were serious, they'd toss out the American military bases. I know the people don't want them.

  15. Anonymous IV
    Thumb Up

    Sour Krauts

    +1 to the sub-ed!

  16. Mips

    Sour Krauts?

    No racial stereotype comments please. We are British.

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