The fallout over U.S. government espionage in Germany just got more serious. In a move uncommon among close allies the German government asked the CIA station chief to leave the country today.
As the Washington Post reports, this expulsion happened in the context of NSA surveillance of German citizens, and the uncovering of two CIA spies in Germany:
A day earlier, federal prosecutors in Germany said police had searched the office and apartment of an individual with ties to the country’s military who is suspected of working for U.S. intelligence. Those raids followed the arrest of an employee of Germany’s foreign intelligence services who was accused of selling secrets to the CIA.
Seibert said the request to have the CIA official leave was made “against the backdrop of the ongoing investigations of the Federal Prosecutor General as well as the questions pending for months about the activities of the US intelligence services in Germany, for which the Lower House of Parliament has also established a parliamentary inquiry committee.”
It looks like one of the arrested CIA agents may have been spying on the German parliamentary inquiry into the NSA’s activities – the only legislative inquiry of NSA surveillance anywhere in the world. This is the same inquiry I accompanied Thomas Drake and William Binney to earlier this month and where Tom testified to the fact that the BND, Germany's spy service, is an "appendage" of the NSA.
This is another example of our intelligence agencies run amok with little or no accountability. The White House has said repeatedly that it has no knowledge of these CIA spies in Germany, so who exactly is running the show here?
NSA surveillance and the discovery these spies is straining the U.S.-German relationship and the Germans are rightfully widening their investigation of U.S. espionage. One has to wonder what the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies are so afraid of in Germany that they’re willing to jeopardize a 60 year alliance over.