‘Diplomatic Earthquake’ As Germany Halts Spy Cooperation With U.S.

from intelnews.org: The German government has instructed its intelligence agencies to limit
their cooperation with their American counterparts “to the bare
essentials” until further notice, according to media reports
. The move
follows news that Berlin requested on Thursday the immediate removal
from Germany of the United States Central Intelligence Agency chief of
station —essentially the top American official in the country.
request came after two German citizens, one working for the BND,
Germany’s main external intelligence organization, and one working for
the country’s Federal Ministry of Defense, were allegedly found to have been secretly spying for the US. German media reported
on Thursday that the temporary halt in Berlin’s intelligence
collaboration with Washington applies across the spectrum, with the
exception of areas directly affecting tactical security concerns for
Germany, such as the protection of its troops in Afghanistan, or
defending against immediate terrorist threats. Sources in the German
capital claimed that the removal of the CIA station chief was
technically a “recommendation for his departure”, and did not constitute
an official diplomatic expulsion. However, German observers described
the incident as a “diplomatic earthquake”, which would have been
unthinkable as a policy option for the German government, barring
actions against “pariah states like North Korea or Iran”. 

This is not
the first time an American intelligence officer has been asked to leave
Germany. Berlin expelled another CIA officer in the 1990s, after it
emerged that the American intelligence Agency had tried to recruit a
German official at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs. However,
unlike the current imbroglio, the previous spy affair was handled
discretely and with almost no media fanfare, as is customary among
allies. The decision to recommend the CIA station chief’s removal was
reportedly made at a senior governmental level, following a “fruitless”
telephone exchange between CIA Director John Brennan and Klaus-Dieter
Fritsche, the coordinator between the German Chancellery and the BND. According to German newsmagazine Der Spiegel,
Brennan offered Fritsche no apology and had “nothing to contribute
other than clichés about transatlantic ties”, as well as his expressed
irritation about the way the media were handling the incident. Berlin is also irritated
by the fact that US President Barack Obama did not raise the issue
during a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on
July 3, even though the CIA’s BND recruit had been arrested the day
before. German government sources believe the President either had not
been notified by the CIA of the agent’s arrest, or was too embarrassed
to mention it. Meanwhile, Washington has so far remained silent
on the matter. National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden
told reporters on Thursday: “we’re certainly not going to discuss who
knew what and when in regards to the allegations”.

One response to “‘Diplomatic Earthquake’ As Germany Halts Spy Cooperation With U.S.”

  1. Anonymous Avatar

    Spying is done to circumvent "cooperation".

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