Germany to ‘spy on US and UK intelligence gathering’ for the first time in 45 years

Germany has ordered surveillance of British and American intelligence gathering on its soil to begin for the first time since 1945, according to reports.
Under the decision, US and British intelligence operations in Germany will be subject to the same counter-espionage measures as those of Russia, China and Iran.

“We need to send a strong signal,” a source close to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government told Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. The unprecedented move is a direct response to a series of spy scandals that have rocked British and American relations with Germany in the past year.

Mrs Merkel’s government has given the go-ahead to surveillance plans that first emerged after two suspected double agents were found allegedly spying for the Americans inside the German security establishment a few weeks ago. Continue reading

‘Worst crisis in US-German relations since WW II’

Klaus Scharioth, Berlin’s former ambassador to the US, tells DW why Germany’s expulsion of the top CIA official was right and why the current crisis is the biggest challenge yet for transatlantic ties.

Klaus Scharioth served as Germany’s ambassador to Washington from 2006 to 2011. He is currently dean of the Mercator College for International Affairs in Germany and professor of practice at Tuft University’s Fletcher School in the US.

DW: Berlin’s decision to publicly ask the head of the CIA in Germany leave the country is unprecedented in German-American relations and has triggered a major debate. Was the move justified or overblown?

I think it was a measured response. I believe there had to be a response because what happened is really an espionage overreach which you don’t have among friends. And therefore I believe the response was measured. Continue reading

Angela Merkel ‘does not want to complete full term as German chancellor’

You have not anchored Germany to a unified Europe…You have anchored Europe to a newly unified and dominant Germany! In the end my friends, you will find it will not work.

- Margaret Thatcher

With America on the way out and committing national suicide… say hello to The Fourth Reich and the world’s next superpower.

 

Chancellor Angela Merkel is considering quitting ahead of the 2017 elections and is interested in UN Secretary-General or President of the European Council roles, Spiegel reports

Angela Merkel does not want to complete her full term as German chancellor and is planning to resign before elections due in 2017, according to reports.

The German leader is aiming to become the first chancellor to leave of her own accord since 1949, and is interested in a new role as United Nations Secretary-General, or President of the European Council, Spiegel magazine reported.

Continue reading

Germany weighs how to hit back in US spying row

Berlin (AFP) – Germany debated retaliatory measures against the United States on Tuesday after the discovery of an alleged double agent stoked still smouldering public anger over the NSA scandal.

The case of a German intelligence operative suspected of spying for Washington drew a fierce response from Berlin, where indignation against one of its closest allies has run high since reports last year that the US National Security Agency (NSA) tapped Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.

Merkel fumed over the latest allegations on a visit to China, saying on Monday that if they proved to be true it “would be for me a clear contradiction as to what I consider to be trusting cooperation between agencies and partners.” Continue reading

Particularly Close to Germany

Do you still question who runs Europe? Guess who’s back.

BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) – With Jean-Claude Juncker, Germany will have a politician as President of the EU Commission, who has always been a close ally. Juncker says that “since his earliest youth,” he has “always felt particularly close” to Germany, an affinity that “grew even stronger” in later years. The former prime minister of Luxemburg is seen as former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s protégé and as the “mediator” in Germany’s interests, wherein he had also won France over to accept Germany’s standpoint on an economic and monetary union. The transition from the Barroso cabinet to that of Juncker will be coordinated by the German national, Martin Selmayr, who had previously been employed as cabinet director of the EU Commissioner for Justice, Viviane Reding, (Luxemburg) and was considered to “actually be the Commissioner of Justice.” He is also considered to become cabinet director of Juncker’s office as President of the Commission. Germans are at decisive posts on the Council of Ministers as well as in the European Parliament, for example as parliamentary group whips, and the German national, Martin Schulz is being considered for the next presidency of the parliament. An influential German journal commented the concentration of Germans at the leadership level of the EU’s bureaucracy with “The EU speaks German.” Continue reading

Putin Says U.S Blackmailed France Over Warship With BNP Fine

President Vladimir Putin accused the U.S. of seeking to blackmail France into scrapping a contract to sell Mistral warships to Russia by offering to cut a record $8.97 billion fine against BNP Paribas SA. (BNP)

“We know about the pressure which our U.S. partners are applying on France not to supply the Mistrals to Russia,” Putin told Russian diplomats in Moscow today. “And we even know they hinted that if the French don’t deliver the Mistrals, they would quietly get rid of the sanctions against the bank, or at least minimize them,” he said without naming BNP Paribas.

“What is that if not blackmail?” Putin said. Continue reading

UK edges closer to EU exit as David Cameron is crushed in bid to block Jean-Claude Juncker’s leadership

Britain took another step towards the EU exit door as David Cameron warned that Jean-Claude Juncker’s appointment to the top job in Brussels would make it harder to persuade the public to remain in the 28-nation bloc.

Mr Cameron’s stark warning came after he suffered a humiliating defeat in his lonely battle to stop the veteran federalist becoming president of the European Commission. At a Brussels summit, EU leaders voted 26-2 to nominate Mr Juncker after Mr Cameron demanded an unprecedented formal vote on a post traditionally settled by consensus. Hungary’s Viktor Orban was the only leader to back the Prime Minister.

Asked if the crushing setback had taken the UK closer to an EU exit, Mr Cameron told a press conference: “The job has got harder of keeping Britain in a reformed Europe. The stakes are higher. Do I think it is an impossible job? No.” Continue reading

EU states let NSA tap data cables, Danish media say

BRUSSELS – Classified files leaked to Danish media suggest some EU states are allowing US spies to install surveillance equipment on cables in order to intercept the emails, private phone calls, and Internet chats of their citizens.

Large amounts of data are said to be swept up via a programme codenamed “RAMPART-A”, according to documents disclosed by former US agent Edward Snowden and made public on Wednesday (18 June) by Dagbladet Information and The Intercept.

At least 15 member states have some sort of partnership with the NSA, according to former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald. Continue reading

EU is ‘sleepwalking into a crisis’ warns senior diplomat who believes appointment of arch-federalist as president will hasten Britain’s exit

The appointment of an arch-federalist as the European Commission president risks creating a ‘dramatic’ backlash that will hasten Britain’s exit from the EU, one of the country’s most senior diplomats has warned.

A leaked document said Ivan Rogers, the UK’s permanent representative to the EU, believes the ‘die is cast’ in favour of Jean-Claude Juncker, the former prime minister of Luxembourg.

His proposed elevation to Europe’s top job has been fiercely opposed by David Cameron, who says Britain rejects the founding EU principle of ‘ever closer union’, which Mr Juncker supports. Continue reading

Germany backs France on Russia warship contract

BRUSSELS – Germany has defended France’s plan to deliver a warship to Russia in October despite US criticism of the move.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday (4 June) in Brussels that interruption of delivery might only come if the EU adopts “stage three” sanctions – economic sanctions – against Russia.

But she said the EU is not launching stage three because Russia did not stop Ukraine’s 25 May presidential elections from going ahead. Continue reading

German spies want $400M to play catch-up with the NSA

Your new post-America superpower:

Süddeutsche Zeitung, NDR and WDR have turned up secret documents belonging to the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s counterpart to the NSA. It seems the BND is jealous of the digital espionage capabilities of the NSA and the U.K.’s GCHQ, and wants to up its game.

The documents warn that, if the BND doesn’t get the €300 million ($409 million) it needs to run expanded surveillance activities until 2020, Germany will fall behind even Italy and Spain in the spook stakes. They also suggest the spies hope to get their funding in the coming weeks. Continue reading

Global Policy Orientation

By now it should be clear where Europe, or Germany rather, stands in regards to its dealings with Russia and what side it will likely take should it have to decisively choose between it and the West.

BERLIN/MOSCOW (Own report) – In the debate over a possible expansion of EU sanctions against Russia, the German chancellor is suggesting a possible continuation of cooperation with Moscow. “In the intermediate and long term,” Merkel explained, “the close partnership with Russia should be continued.” She sees “no necessity” in a policy of “isolating” Russia, patterned on the cold war’s “containment” policy. Merkel was reacting to the persisting anxiety in leading German business circles, that sanctions against Russia could seriously dampen their expansion opportunities. This is not only an anxiety shared by gas companies, but also by top corporations in other branches with significant commercial and production sites in Russia. On the eve of the Russian president’s visit to China, observers are warning that if the EU and the USA impose boycott measures, Moscow could forge also stronger ties to Beijing, thereby tangibly strengthening China. Hard-core transatlantic circles are up in arms over the prospect that cooperation with Moscow could be continued – pleading for the creation of a global front of NATO countries and their allies against Russia and China. Continue reading

JR Nyquist explains why the NSA was monitoring Merkel

One of the more important videos to come out this year explaining the NSA and Merkel, Russia’s imperialistic ambitions of resurrecting the Soviet Union and how Edward Snowden has purposely enabled Russia to do so by helping the Russians know America’s every move — before every move is made.

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Washington and Moscow pulling strings to hold Ukraine combatants back from brink of civil war

The US and Russia, while trading the blame for pushing Ukraine to the brink of civil war, are nonetheless tugging at the leashes of the two players in the field, each jockeying for advantage in the quadrilateral meeting of senior US, Russian, European, Ukrainian and UN officials scheduled to take place in Geneva Thursday, April 17, debkafile’s military and intelligence sources report.

Expectations of fruitful results from the meeting are low. But the fact that all the parties are talking offers Ukraine its last hope of escaping a bloody civil war. To this end, too, late-night phone calls are being exchanged among Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin as well as Chancellor Angela Merkel. Continue reading

Official Government Vocative

BERLIN/KIEV (Own report) – A prominent German jurist has sharply criticized the German government’s anti-Russian declarations concerning the Crimea Crisis. As Reinhard Merkel, a law professor at the University of Hamburg, explains, the allegation of Russia having “annexed” the Crimea or having made a “land grab” must be unambiguously refuted. These allegations are not only false, from the standpoint of international law; they are also extremely dangerous, because annexation usually engenders war as a response. Merkel explicitly advocates being very skeptical of “official government vocatives insisted on from Berlin to Washington” concerning the Crimea Crisis. Simultaneously, the situation in Ukraine has further escalated. The government that illegally seized power has begun a “lustration” (“purge”), with the objective of removing all supporters of the party of the overthrown President Yanukovych from public office. This is said to affect “thousands.” At the same time, Ukrainian oligarchs, against whose methods of reign the earlier Maidan demonstrations had been protesting, are being given new posts. The ex-boxer Vitaly Klitschko’s, “Made in Germany,” UDAR party has chosen a billionaire as its presidential candidate, rather than its hopeless leader. Fascist forces are positioning themselves to move against the increasingly marginalized pro-Russian segments of the population. The Berlin-supported Maidan opposition had effectively used the fascists’ potential for violence to overthrow Yanukovych. Continue reading