The Rendon Group Snapshot Report – 14 July 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on July 14, 2014

The Rendon Group Snapshot Report

(14JUL14)

 

Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.

 

Germany’s US spying problem

                                                                                                                                                                                                 Source: Spiegel Online International

This week’s snapshot focuses on Germany’s revelations of investigations into two German nationals working in intelligence allegedly spying for the CIA. As a result of the spying row, the CIA’s Chief of Station in Berlin was ordered to leave the country. The situation will cause further strain on the relationship between the countries, which is already suffering from damaged trust after the German Chancellor’s cellphone was revealed to be a National Security Agency (NSA) eavesdropping target in 2013.

 

 

News Summary of events during the week of 07JUL-13JUL:

  • On 07JUL14 White House spokesman Josh Earnest refused to comment on German reports of a German national arrested for alleged spying for the US. (AFP)
  • On 09JUL14 German authorities revealed they were investigating a second spying case, involving a foreign national working for US intelligence. (AP)
  • On 10JUL14 the top CIA intelligence official in Berlin was asked to leave the country as a result of the ongoing spying row. (AP)
  • On 10JUL14 German FM Wolfgang Schaeuble accused the US of “stupidity” in spying on its ally. (AFP)
  • On 11JUL14, unidentified US government officials said the German citizen under investigation was in contact with the US State Department, and not with intelligence agencies. (Reuters)
  • On 11JUL14 the German Chancellor Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said any differences between the two countries would be resolved through “established private channels, not through the media”. (Bloomberg)
  • On 12JUL14, Chancellor Angela Merkel lamented on the breakdown in trust between Germany and the United States; doubtful the U.S. will stop spying on Germany. (AFP)

 

 

Sample of Twitter handles regarding Germany’s US spying problem:

 

@matisaksk – Andrej Matisak, Journalist, deputy head of foreign desk at Pravda

@SpyTalker – Jeff Stein, Newsweek Contributing Editor and SpyTalk columnist

@AnnetteHeuser – Annette Heuser, Executive Director of the Bertelsmann Foundation in Washington DC

@rbsw – Richard Walker, Anchor at Deutsche Welle

@Gorman_Siobhan – Siobhan Gorman, Intelligence correspondent, Wall Street Journal

 

 

Sample of Third Party Validators regarding Germany’s US spying problem:

 

Karen Donfried, President, German Marshall Fund of the United States

“Ever since the NSA disclosures broke last year, the issue of U.S. spying has been an extremely sensitive issue in Germany.” said, president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, which promotes U.S.-European ties.

–       Berlin tells CIA station chief to leave in spy scandal, Reuters, 10JUL14

 

Stefan Heumann, Deputy Program Director of the “European Digital Agenda” , Foundation for a New Responsibility

“Germany has such a dependence on American military and defense capabilities, they wouldn’t do anything to risk any engagement or collaboration.”

–       Despite fury over US spying, Germany’s options limited, Christian Science Monitor, 11JUL14

 

Michael Werz, Senior fellow, Center for American Progress

“This is a wake-up call for the US government – to make it clear how serious things are in Germany. That realization is slowly working its way through Washington.”

–       Expulsion of top spy a ‘wake-up call’ for US, Deutsche Welle, 11JUL14

 

Jackson Janes, President, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at Johns Hopkins University

“I have the feeling that Germany would rather pretend that the issue of intelligence services doesn’t even exist, although every country is interested in gathering information – not just the US, or China, but also Germany.”

–       Waiting for answers that may never come, Deutsche Welle, 10JUL14

 

Constanze Stelzenmüller, Senior Transatlantic Fellow, German Marshall Fund

“Just a year after the first revelations about NSA spying in Germany, resentment still runs high in Berlin; a rare case in which elites are in sync with the public mood. And Washington’s feeble response is not so much a sign of guilt – though it is probably that, too – as of helplessness in the face of a secret state that appears to have outgrown political judgment or control.”

–       Washington’s hawks have usurped the huntsmen, Financial Times, 09JUL14

 

 

Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to Germany’s US spying problem:

 

  1. Schaeuble slams ‘stupidity’ of alleged US spyingMedia: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
    Byline: N/A
    Date: 10 July 2014

    BERLIN, July 10, 2014 (AFP) – German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Thursday accused the United States of “stupidity” over reports of alleged US spying on its European ally.

    Schaeuble’s unusually frank comment came after German authorities said Wednesday they were investigating the second case in less than a week of possible US spy activities in Germany.

    Schaeuble acknowledged that transatlantic intelligence cooperation had foiled terrorist threats, but said this did not mean “the Americans may recruit third-rate people” in Germany as their secret sources.

    “That is just so stupid, and so much stupidity just makes you want to cry,” said Schaeuble, a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to public broadcaster Phoenix.

Continue reading

 

  1. U.S. Spy Scandal in Germany Is Music to Putin’s Ears

Media: Time Magazine
Byline: Simon Shuster
Date: 10 July 2014

The rift in relations between Western allies could not have come at a better time for the Russian President

The American habit of spying on its European allies turned out to be one of the more memorable topics to come up in April when Vladimir Putin held his annual call-in show on Russian television. Toward the end of the four-hour marathon of questions for the Russian President, Putin was asked about the tone of his conversations with European leaders. He gave a wry response.

“It’s hard to talk to people who speak in whispers to each other even when they’re at home, because they’re scared the Americans are eavesdropping,” Putin said, causing a wave of laughter spread across the studio audience. “Listen, I’m being serious,” he deadpanned. “I’m not kidding.”

Continue reading

 

  1. Germany asks top US spy to leave the countryMedia: Associated Press
    Byline: N/A
    Date: 10 July 2014

    BERLIN (AP) — Germany took the dramatic step Thursday of asking the top U.S. intelligence official in Berlin to leave the country, following two reported cases of suspected U.S. spying and the yearlong spat over eavesdropping by the National Security Agency.

    The move reflects growing impatience in Germany at what is perceived as U.S. nonchalance about being caught spying on a close ally.

    “The representative of the U.S. intelligence services at the United States embassy has been asked to leave Germany,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement.

    “The request occurred against the backdrop of the ongoing investigation by federal prosecutors as well as the questions that were posed months ago about the activities of U.S. intelligence agencies in Germany,” he said. “The government takes the matter very seriously.”

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  1. German suspect was in contact with State Department not U.S. spies: officialsMedia: Reuters
    Byline: Mark Hosenball
    Date: 11 July 2014

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A German defense official under investigation for alleged spying was in contact with a U.S. State Department officer rather than American intelligence agencies, raising questions about whether any espionage occurred, U.S. officials familiar with the case told Reuters on Friday.

    The officials, who are knowledgeable about the details of the case, said the U.S. government believes the relationship between the German defense official and his State Department contact was a friendship.

    If that is borne out by the on-going German investigation, it could help cool a crisis in U.S.-German security cooperation that has seen two Germans probed for spying for Washington and Germany’s expulsion of the top U.S. intelligence official in Berlin.

Continue reading

 

  1. Merkel laments breakdown of trust in US spy rowMedia: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
    Byline: N/A
    Date: 12 July 2014

    BERLIN, July 12, 2014 (AFP) – Chancellor Angela Merkel lamented on Saturday the breakdown in trust between Germany and the United States amid a spying row that saw the CIA chief in Berlin expelled from the country.

    “The thing we always have to keep in mind when we are working together is if the person across the table is possibly working for someone else at the same time, that for me isn’t a trusting relationship,” she told German ZDF television in a pre-recorded interview.

    “Here we obviously have different points of view and we need to talk to one another,” Merkel said, adding that she had “naturally hoped for a change” in Washington’s behaviour.

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