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NSA: Merkel Ignores the Nightmare of 'Stasi Squared' (Der Tagesspiegel, Germany)


"German politicians either don't understand, or prefer not to understand, what's at stake. But can this really be true? We are dealing here with the workings of a 'Stasi' squared, a Big Brother such as the world has never known. Hollywood productions are nothing by comparison. A government that spies on, investigates, and listens to billions and billions of people without their knowledge, that bugs all political and other E.U. institutions, in order to know everything - and that cannot really call itself a democracy. That should be obvious, especially in Germany."


By Stephan-Andreas Casdorff



Translated By Stephanie Martin


July 6, 2013


Germany - Der Tagesspiegel - Original Article (German)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel: Her subdued reaction to the scale of the NSA's surveillance of Germany has raised eyebrows.


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Nicaragua and Venezuela offer Snowdon asylum, July 6, 00:02:14RealVideo

According to Der Spiegel, data from half a billion communications connections are stolen every month in Germany. But, with few exceptions, the government is nobly restrained in its criticism. What is Angela Merkel afraid of?


Isn't anyone going to get really angry? And doesn't anyone want to stand up for what we call the civilized achievements of democracy? At least as the justice minister did? Early on, she called the NSA business a “nightmare” and simply added: "If it's true." Well, all of it is true - and much more. The affair is a scandal, and what's more, it will continue to expand. Yet our chancellor limits herself to polite questions?


[Editor's Note: After Der Spiegel published reports of NSA spying on European embassies and bureaucracies, German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said, "If the media reports are accurate, then this recalls the methods used by enemies during the Cold War. ... It is beyond comprehension that our friends in the United States see Europeans as enemies."]


It is high time for a few angry phone calls to Washington - phone calls that the gigantic U.S. intelligence service, comprised of 35,000 employees, it is said - is welcome to record.


For these are the facts: Everything - and sundry - was investigated: China, the E.U. - billions of communications were subjected to surveillance, and Germany is at the front of the line. "Partner, friend," my eye! It's just about interests. However, not German interests. So: When will there be a frank discussion? And who will do something to stop this?


NSA espionage is the 'Stasi squared'


German politicians either don't understand, or prefer not to understand, what's at stake. But can this really be true? We are dealing here with the workings of a “Stasi” squared, a Big Brother such as the world has never known.  Hollywood productions are nothing by comparison. A government that spies on, investigates, and listens to billions and billions of people without their knowledge, that bugs all political and other E.U. institutions, in order to know everything - and that cannot really call itself a democracy. That should be obvious, especially in Germany.


Now don't bother saying that the U.S. only sought to prevent terrorist attacks, and that they prevented terror-related deaths. That's what their president just said after meeting with the chancellor. First of all, as yet, no one has been able to confirm the accuracy of such claims; secondly, the surveillance program has long since grown far beyond that. It proliferates. Indeed, its growth rate is monstrous. And if our Big Brothers were only motivated by suspicion because of the circumstances surrounding 9/11, this still must be regarded as extreme. During the Cold War, the likelihood was that enemies would be treated this way. Of course, the possibilities then were not as gigantic as they are now. So we can in fact call this uncharted territory: The United States of America, land of freedom and of the free, is trapped in a hermetic concept of freedom.

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According to Der Spiegel, data from half a billion communications connections are stolen every month in Germany. This is the nearly incomprehensible scale of what is occurring: It's as if Article 10 of the German Constitution (Grundgesetz), which guarantees confidentiality for postal and phone communications, and makes any exception conditional upon a court order, no longer applies within the scope of our democracy, a democracy originally inspired by U.S. democracy. What do we call someone who coldly and illegally disregards this law? Or: Is this a democracy that can stand up under scrutiny? Take this situation. Cross out the U.S. in every point of criticism and replace it with Russia - imagine what would have been said by now. And rightly so!


Perhaps German politicians are silent because they are afraid of what might come next - from within Germany. Because there are intelligence services here as well, and the likelihood is that at least one, the BND, cooperated with the NSA. But not to be naive: As long as there have been intelligence services, they have worked in secret, on the sidelines. But like this? Adequate controls are lacking, adequate political oversight, for one. The oversight committee in the Bundestag claims to have had no knowledge of all this. Which would be bad, but on the other hand, it would also be better.  Because the reverse would be even more frightening, namely, if this were tolerated by Bundestag members.


Let us pray to God that a few Democrats sound the alarm - Democrats in America. For in Germany, the nightmare has yet to fully sink in. This attack on the sovereign, democratic nations of the E.U. must become a topic of discussion - a big one.

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Posted By Worldmeets.US June 6, 2013, 7:18pm