BERLIN—Germany said it believed U.S. intelligence may be spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cellphone, an intrusion that it said would constitute a “grave breach of trust” between the longtime allies.Merkel Phones Obama
Ms. Merkel called President Barack Obama on Wednesday and made clear that such surveillance among allies would be “fully unacceptable,” her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said in a statement released late Wednesday evening in Berlin.
Mr. Seibert said Ms. Merkel expected U.S. agencies to explain their overall surveillance practices against Germany, “questions that the German government asked months ago.”
The Spiegel Online reports Berlin Complains: Did US Tap Chancellor Merkel's Mobile Phone?
German Chancellor Angela Merkel phoned United States President Barack Obama on Wednesday to discuss suspicions that she may have been targeted by US intelligence agencies for years, SPIEGEL has learned.Thank Whistleblower Snowden
The chancellor asked for a thorough explanation of serious indications that US intelligence agencies had declared her private mobile phone to be a target in their operations.
She "unequivocally disapproves" of such methods and finds them "totally unacceptable," her spokesman Steffen Seibert said. "This would be a grave breach of trust," he added. "Such practices must immediately be put to a stop."
The unusually strong reaction from the Chancellery was prompted by SPIEGEL research. After the information was examined by the country's foreign intelligence agency, the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), and the Federal Office for Information Security, Berlin seems to have found their suspicions plausible enough to confront the US government.
During her conversation with Obama, Merkel expressed her expectation that "US authorities would provide an explanation about the possible extent of such surveillance practices, and thus answer questions that the German government already posed months ago," Seibert said.
"As a close ally of the United States of America, the German government expects a clear contractual agreement on the activities of the agencies and their cooperation," he added.
In response to the allegations, a spokeswoman for the US National Security Council told SPIEGEL: "The President assured the Chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of Chancellor Merkel."
The spokeswoman did not wish to specify whether this statement applied to the past.
We should all thank whistleblower Edward Snowden for many of the spying revelations now coming to light. I think he is a hero.
Unfortunately, as I noted in Hypocrites and Bullies Speak on "The Importance of Trust" president Obama and numerous bullies don't see it that way.
Hypocrites and BulliesQuestion of Trust
- Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff
- Rep. Mike Rogers, Head of the House Intelligence Committee,
- Sen. Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
I would like to point out to all three gentlemen one important fact: Edward Snowden did not undermine trust.
There was no trust to undermine. All Snowden did was prove the obvious.
If there was any trust the US would not have been bugging the offices of the EU and Germany. If there was any trust, France would not be spying on us.
Bullies, Bribes, and Foreign Aid
Please note the bullying by US imperialists. Rep. Mike Rogers (R) proposes “to send a very clear message that we won’t put up with this kind of behavior.”
Excuse Me! What about unconscionable spying by the US on its alleged allies?
Countries should send a very clear message to the US that they will not put up with our severely misguided imperialism. And they probably would except they fear the US might cut off aid.
If you are looking for a reason very few countries have offered Snowden asylum (see Venezuela, Nicaragua offer asylum to Snowden; Double Standards and Hypocrite Allies), you now have an answer.
Thus, we can all thank Rogers for explaining that US foreign aid is really nothing but bribery so the imperialists, war-mongers, and hypocrites can continue their ways with impunity, totally clueless they are the ones directly responsible for the undermined trust.
Why Should Any Country Trust the US? They shouldn't, and the US is to blame, not Snowden. Is this about to matter? Let's hope so.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock