Starting on Friday May 8th, some German news media have been reporting on the release of previously secret emails from the office of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. These emails make clear that when her underlings have said, ever since 2013, that the U.S. has promised to stop tapping the phones and other communications of Germans and even of the German Chancellor herself, no such promise had actually been received from anyone in the U.S. Administration of President Barack Obama. Instead, this claim from the Chancellor’s office was being made simply in order for her to be able to win the 22 September 2013 parliamentary elections. It was contrary to fact. And it still is.
North German TV headlined on 8 May 2015, “No-Spy-Abkommen war nie in Sicht,” or “No Agreement Against Spying Was Even Considered,” and reported that Merkel’s office had received on 19 July 2013 from Obama’s Advisor Karen Donfried an email saying that she could only convey “sad news” to Merkel, despite “the difficult situation of the Chancellor,” and that this sad news was that, “the question of whether German law on German soil is respected” isn’t one that the U.S. can deal with, because, “Here, the focus of course is that we comply with the U.S. law.” The North German TV report said, “United States showed little interest in no-spy agreement.” In other words: Obama was communictiong through his underlings that he would not even consider Chancellor Merkel’s request for Obama’s people to stop spying on any German they wish to spy on — the spying would simply continue, on a routine basis.
Subsequently, in January of 2014, Merkel’s office tried again, and asked on January 7th, whether the Chancellor’s office was understanding things correctly, that the text which the U.S. is willing to offer “does not exclude the possibility that the U.S. Government will spy on Geman citizens without our consent and without our knowledge … correct me if I’m wrong.” The very next day was received: “You’re right — there will be no no-spy agreement, and I think that everybody on our side has clearly expressed this.”
The news-report further says: “Publicly, the Federal Government still gives the impression, a no-spy deal will come. Regarding the status of the negotiations, the Government refers to the confidentiality of the talks.” In other words: this lie continues, and “the talks” are imaginary — that’s just another lie from the Chancellor’s office.
The next day, on Saturday May 9th, Der Spiegel headlined, “Lüge über No-Spy-Abkommen: SPD fordert Erklärung von Kanzleramt,” or “Lie about No-Spy Agreement: SPD calls for Explanation from the Chancellery,” and Spiegel revealed that Merkel’s chief official who was handling this matter had said, just days before the 22 September 2013 parliamentary elections, that, “Clearly, for electoral reasons, an untruth must be told.”
On Sunday, May 10th, the Suddeutsche Zeitung, a normally pro-Merkel magazine, bannered, “No-Spy-Abkommen: SPD wirft Kanzleramt Täuschung vor” or “No-Spy Agreement: SPD raises Chancellery deception,” and reported that the Social Democratic Party, the Green Party, and the Left Party, all intended to raise the issue of this ongoing lie by the nation’s leader, in the coming political campaign season.
Already, Spiegel had run a major news story, on May 4th, “America’s Willing Helper: Intelligence Scandal Puts Merkel in Tight Place,” detailing instances in which the Obama Administration and the George W. Bush Administration before it, had used this snooping in order to obtain commercial advantage for U.S.-based firms against firms that are based in Germany. For example: “By 2010 at the latest, the Chancellery had received indications that the NSA had attempted to spy on European firms, including EADS, the European aerospace and defense company that is partly owned by German shareholders.” Moreover, “It appears that the terms of the agreement [that the U.S. had signed with Germany back in April 2002 not to spy on German companies] were largely forgotten,” or, at any rate, they were ignored by the U.S. Government — and this still is the case.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.