Revelation at the heart of US-German spying saga
"The unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable.” This was Oscar Wilde on fox hunting. Spying is hunting, of sorts. But in the latest installment of the saga of US spying on the Germans, it is beginning to look more like the irresponsible in pursuit of the incompetent.
First, the prey. A low-level registry clerk at the Bavarian headquarters of the BND, the German federal intelligence service, offers his services to the Americans by mail. He sells them more than 200 documents over several years for a five-figure sum. His handlers are especially interested in the parliamentary committee investigating the US National Security Agency’s efforts to spy on Germany; according to Der Spiegel, a news magazine, they tell him to send everything he can find on the committee.
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Constanze Stelzenmueller is a Berlin-based senior transatlantic fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.