Just in order to put Germany in its place? Yesterday, Germany’s leading tabloid BamS had reported that, after President Obama had banned in January U.S. eavesdropping on leaders of close U.S. allies, including Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, NSA has right now switched to monitoring up to 320 individuals in Germany including former Minister of Defense and currently chief of the Interior, Thomas de Maizière.
Apparently, that information cannot come from NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden since he is no longer in the possesion of any documents which he had leaked to Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Ewen MacAskill in May last year when having defected to Hong Kong. So who has leaked it? BamS said it stemmed from a high-ranking NSA employee in Germany. “We have had the order not to miss out on any information now that we are no longer able to monitor the chancellor’s communication directly,” he conceded. BamS quoted also a security adviser to Obama, Caitlin Hayden, “The United States has made clear it gathers intelligence in exactly the same way as any other states.”
Given the fact that, after Edward Snowden and the upcoming war on journalists who dare to publish that material, unwelcome whistle-blowing from inside the NSA would be punished in the harshest way, frank confessions of a “high-ranking NSA employee in Germany” must be regarded as friendly leak. As has been encouraged on other occasions by Barack Obama and his administration too, see here.24 February 2014 @ 7:59 am. Last modified February 24, 2014.