How many more countries will this current U.S. administration piss off?
As Zerohedge so eloquently puts it:
Congratulations America: after severing ties with Russia, crushing cordial relations with China, alienating France (which is now openly calling for an end to the petrodollar), the Obama administration – following not one, not two, but three spying scandals in just the past year – has managed to sour relations with Germany to a point where one wonders just who is a remaining US ally in Europe these days.
Here is a breakdown of the U.S. – Germany spying spat:
June 2013 – Snowden Strikes
Classified documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor, disclose for the first time the scale of American surveillance of German citizens. The NSA is reported to be collecting records of around half a billion telephone calls, emails and text messages every month and subjecting Germany to the same level of electronic spying as countries like China, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
The disclosures anger German citizens, many of whom, including Angel Merkel, lived under the surveillance of the Stasi before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Another slap in the face to Germany, when documents show America’s ‘Anglo-Saxon’ allies (Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia) have a “no-spy” agreement with the U.S.
October 2013 – Tapping Merkel’s Mobile
The row over US surveillance reaches a new intensity after it emerges the NSA had been monitoring Angela Merkel’s own mobile phone. German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls US President Barack Obama, prompting the White House to hastily promise that she is no longer being monitored.
Days later it emerges that the NSA has set up intensive surveillance equipment on the roof of the US embassy in Berlin’s Pariser Platz, a square by the Brandenburg Gate.
May 2014 – Blame it on Snowden
Obama and Merkel appear at a joint press conference at the White House, where both leaders admit they have been unable to smooth over the U.S. spy
addiction problem but are working to rebuild bridges and play ‘nice’. Obama laments…”It has pained me to see the degree to which the Snowden disclosures have created strains in the relationship.”
26 June 2014 – Verizon is out
The German government cancels a contract with U.S. telecom firm Verizon Communications Inc. as part of an overhaul of its internal communications, prompted by revelations last year of U.S. government spying.
4 July 2014 – Everyone has a price
Berlin police arrest a US spy said to be working for the German intelligence agency. The U.S. operative is suspected of handing over classified intelligence to the US in return for cold hard cash.
9 July 2014 – Enough is enough
Say it ain’t so…a second case of spying hits Germany, this time at the Ministry of Defense. Authorities search the home and office of a German defence ministry official suspected of spying on behalf of the US.
Germany finally takes action and responds by expelling the CIA’s station chief in Berlin. This is a historic first and a a major public rebuke.
Pissed off and obviously frustrated, Merkel states that spying between allies was “a waste of time”.
11 July 2014 – From bad to worse
Just when you thought things could not get any worse…Germany is following China’s lead by cutting off U.S. corporations from big procurement contracts (Cisco and IBM Asian already paid a heavy price in China).
The German Interior Ministry is said to be reviewing rules for awarding government contracts to U.S. companies for computer, communications equipment and services.
The Ministry will most likely issue new purchasing guidelines to replace a ‘no-spy-order’. Details are being worked out and may require suppliers of components of bidder’s goods or services to guarantee they don’t hand over confidential data. Forrester Research says that IBM, CSCO, MSFT may be affected by any tightening of procurement procedures.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.