Germany expels CIA boss

This video from 9 July 2014 is called Germany arrests second CIA spy.

From Deutsche Welle in Germany:

NSA Scandal

Germany asks top US spy in Berlin to leave country amid undercover agent investigation


The German government has advised that it will expel the top US spy in Germany. The move comes in response to the discovery that two US agents were working under cover in Germany’s secret intelligence agency.

The head of the German parliamentary board overseeing the secret services, Clemens Binninger, announced on Thursday that the head of the CIA‘s Germany station would be asked to leave the country.

The decision to expel the US Embassy’s CIA representative is designed to demonstrate Germany’s anger at the discovery of two US spies in Germany’s foreign intelligence service, the BND.

The first operative, who was working under cover in the German intelligence service, was arrested a week ago. He admitted to passing over 200 documents to the CIA – the United States’ foreign intelligence agency – for 25,000 euros ($34,000). The double agent worked for the BND for two years.

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that police raided properties in the Berlin area on “initial suspicion of activity for an intelligence agency.”

Raids revealed encryption programs and document hoard

According to Der Spiegel magazine, the suspect worked in the Areas of Operation and Foreign Relations division at the BND agency’s headquarters near Munich. He had security clearance and broad access to information.

Der Spiegel says when investigators raided his apartment they found a software configuration on his computer that automatically opened an encryption program in response to a user search for the weather in New York. The man was also found to be in possession of a USB stick containing 218 classified BND documents, three of which clearly related to the NSA investigative committee.

The spy was discovered when he recently sent emails in which he tried to sell secrets to Russia.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday told the United States that trust was crucial between the two allies.

“More trust can mean more security,” Merkel said.

“From my point of view, spying on allies… is a waste of energy,” she said.

She said priorities should include dealing with challenges in Syria and fighting terrorists and that confidence between allies should be strengthened.

crh/msh (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)

See also here.

GERMANY’S conservative government took the rare step yesterday of showing its open dissatisfaction with Washington by kicking out the top US intelligence official in Berlin: here.

A second person is suspected of spying on Germany for the US, according to German media reports. Authorities view the case, which involves the German Defense Ministry, as “more serious” than last week’s arrest: here.

Germany to spy on US for first time since 1945 after ‘double agent’ scandal: here.

The exposure of a second US spy in Germany within five days has unleashed a major scandal. For a while, the topic even succeeded in drawing media attention away from the World Cup. The reactions in Germany include threats of counterespionage against the United States to an official demand that the head of the US intelligence agencies in Berlin leave the country: here.

Obama and the CIA—who runs Washington? Here.

First world war in a German novel

This German video is called Edlef Köppen · Heeresbericht [German title of Köppen's novel, called Higher Command in English].

By Clara Weiss in Germany:

Edlef Köppen’s Higher Command: An important novel on the First World War

8 July 2014

In recent years, Edlef Köppen’s novel about the First World War, Higher Command, has again become available in a number of formats in German. It has appeared as a hardback and paperback book, as an audio book, and as an e-book. The novel is also available free of charge in German from the Project Gutenberg web site. The book appeared in English in 1931 and has not been republished since then.

In view of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, Higher Command is very relevant reading.

The novel focuses on a 21-year-old student, Adolf Reisiger, who, like many others caught up in a surge of patriotism and enthusiasm for war, volunteers for military service in the summer of 1914. The novel describes his experiences: first on the Western Front in France and then on the Eastern Front for a few months, until he lives through the final defeat of the German army in the summer of 1918. By then, he has risen to the rank of officer, but all his initial enthusiasm for the war has evaporated.

Reisiger experiences the first gas attacks in France. At first, the soldiers regard them as just another of the military’s technical innovations. The first reports of gas attacks are dryly received as “a lot of fuss about nothing”, but the devastating consequences soon become apparent.

The novel’s senior-ranking German doctor, who shows the soldiers how to put on gas masks, assures them, “Of course, we adhere to the rules of international law, which have frequently enough been outraged by those swine over there, but we are making it as hot a hell for them as we can.” [Edlef Köppen, Higher Command (New York: J. Cape & H. Smith, 1931), p. 129]

A few pages later, Köppen languidly cites newspaper reports about a German gas attack on the French army: “The gas cloud swept over a sector of the front chiefly occupied by the French-Colonial Division between Bixschoote and Langemark, and spread terror and confusion in their ranks. 15,000 cases of asphyxiation occurred, of which 5,000 terminated fatally.” [p. 133]

Accounts of the mass slaughter during the war are conveyed in a simple and sober language. It is precisely this transparent narrative style that imbues the scenes of barbarity with such shocking force.

The description of one of the Allies’ cavalry attacks, for example, is as masterful as it is unsettling: “Machine-gun fire sprayed amidst the plunging horses, whose shattered stumps dragged along the ground. Shrapnels bursting in the air, then shells exploding on the ground, sheets of sulphurous flame, columns of brown smoke, jets of bleeding intestines as thick as a man’s arm, limbs and trunks of man and beast hurled skywards; such was the sight they witnessed all along the whole cavalry-front from Loos to the coal-dump.” [p. 198]

Reisiger and his comrades are increasingly unable to see any sense in the mass slaughter. By 1917, at the latest, the soldiers are war-weary to the point of exhaustion. In these months, Reisiger is transferred to the Eastern Front. Shortly before this, he has been promoted to an officer rank, although he has published pacifist poems in the left-socialist newspaper, The Action, in 1916. Now, on the Eastern Front, he witnesses the mass desertion of the Russian soldiers. The Soviet government, which came to power under the leadership of the Bolsheviks in October, brings the war to an end a few months later.

But even after the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, whose harsh conditions were forced upon the Soviet government, the German government continues the war. Reisiger is again commissioned to the Western Front, where the German High Command hopes to deliver the Allies a crushing blow. As an officer he is involved in the preparation of the offensive in the summer of 1918, which ends in a devastating defeat for the Germans. The relative strength of the Allies, now reinforced by American troops, has grown to 7 million combatants, compared to 2.5 million on the German side.

After the German army is virtually overrun by the Allies, Reisiger deserts. He tells his superiors that the war was the greatest of all crimes and that he no longer wants to be part of it. On account of this, he is put into an asylum.

What makes Higher Command exceptional is that contemporary documents are woven into the narrative throughout the whole novel: excerpts from German newspaper articles, dedicated to maintaining the tide of war propaganda; statements from generals and Kaiser Wilhelm II; encyclopaedia entries; censorship ordinances; the call for peace, made by the Soviet government to the peoples of the world after the victorious October Revolution of 1917.

The battles, in which Reisiger participates, are not only reported from the narrator’s perspective; their horror and significance is enhanced by the inclusion of pertinent newspaper articles and quotations from historical works that were written later.

This technique enables the author to reveal not only the striking contrast between the propaganda and the brutal reality of a war that destroyed the lives of millions of people. The reader also gains a rarely communicated insight into the contemporary political and cultural climate.

This almost documentary character of the novel largely succeeds in making comprehensible the tremendous shock to the consciousness and world view of millions of soldiers and civilians during the war. Many soldiers as well as civilians believed the propaganda at the beginning of the war. But the brutal reality of front-line warfare, mass poverty, hunger and the despair of families left behind obliterated these illusions in the prevailing order.

The author, Edlef Köppen, was born in 1893 and, like Reisiger, fought in the war for four years. During the 1920s, he worked as a radio editor and published poems. He wrote his strongly autobiographical novel in the late twenties. It appeared in 1930, two years after Erich Maria Remarque’s famous All Quiet on the Western Front.

The onset of the global economic crisis in 1928 once again made the First World War a hotly debated topic in the Weimar Republic. In 1930, the book market began to be flooded with right-wing patriotic war novels, partly in response to Remarque’s anti-war book, of which hundreds of thousands of copies were sold in the first few years.

These circumstances, as well as the overwhelming popularity of Remarque’s novel, pushed Higher Command into the background. Nevertheless, the reviews were overwhelmingly positive. The German writer Ernst Toller wrote: “Köppen’s book must find hundreds of thousands of readers, in Germany and in all other countries.”

Although the work then appeared in English in 1931, it has never become as well known as other anti-war novels either in Germany or abroad.

The Nazis burned the book in 1933. Köppen was able to publish some works in Berlin newspapers under a pseudonym, but he soon withdrew—as did many oppositional intellectuals—into the film industry. He started to work with the TOBIS film producer, but came into serious conflict with the Nazis when the film producer was subordinated to Goebbels’s Propaganda Ministry.

Köppen refused to join the Nazi party and work on anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi films in the party’s programme. In February 1939, a few months before the beginning of World War II, he died from the lingering effects of a war injury at the age of only 46. His novel was largely forgotten. It didn’t appear again in German until the 1970s.

Although Higher Command is artistically different in every respect from All Quiet on the Western Front, it in no way falls short of the literary quality of Remarque’s famous novel. Under conditions in which the imperialist powers are again preparing for a world conflagration and the media are again beating the drums of war, Higher Command deserves a wide readership.

Germany summons United States ambassador about NSA spying

This video is called Germany Arrests Double Agent Allegedly Spying For The US.

From Deutsche Welle in Germany:

Berlin demands US ambassador explains snooping on German parliament

Berlin has called on the US ambassador to explain allegations that Washington spied on a parliamentary committee investigating NSA surveillance in Germany. A double agent reportedly sold the US sensitive documents.

On Friday, the German Foreign Ministry called on US Ambassador John Emerson to cooperate with the investigation into allegations that a double agent had spied on the Bundestag for Washington.

Germany’s top prosecutor, Harald Range, confirmed that a 31-year-old intelligence agent had been detained on Wednesday on suspicion of espionage.

The suspect was a midlevel agent with the foreign intelligence agency, known by its German initialism, BND. He had been active as a double for two years, according to the daily Bild newspaper, citing security sources.

Bild reported that the agent sold 218 sensitive documents to an unspecified US intelligence agency for 25,000 euros ($33,000). At least three of the documents were from the parliamentary committee investigating the National Security Agency’s surveillance operations in Germany. He reportedly obtained his orders directly from the the US embassy.

“Spying for foreign intelligence agencies is not something that we take lightly,” German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

The public broadcasters WDR and NDR, as well as the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, reported that the agent was detained under suspicion for allegedly having contacts with Russia. But during questioning, he admitted that he had delivered information to the US.

Chancellor Angela Merkel was informed of the affair on Thursday. She spoke with US President Barack Obama that evening, but it’s unclear whether or not the German double agent was a subject of their conversation.

‘Unheard of attack’

The center-left Social Democrats (SPD) have requested a special meeting of the parliamentary committee that oversees Germany’s intelligence agencies. They called on the government to explain how it plans to secure the BND from security breaches.

The SPD is the junior member of Merkel’s coalition government.

“It would be an unheard of attack on the freedom of parliament and our democratic institutions in general,” said Thomas Oppermann, the SPD’s parliamentary chief. “The US now has an obligation to clarify what happened.”

Last year, Der Spiegel newsmagazine reported that the NSA had tapped Merkel’s cell phone and conducted widespread surveillance of German citizens. The reporting was based on revelations by the NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden.

In May, the German parliament established a committee to investigate the extent of NSA operations in Germany. The country’s security agencies have long been concerned that foreign intelligence agencies would try to spy on the committee.

Committe chairman Patrick Sensburg told Reuters news agency that all members communicate with each other using secure cell phones and have safes in their offices to store sensitive documents.

slk/mkg (dpa, Reuters)

Angela Merkel says allegations of US spying on Germany are ‘serious’. The German chancellor says if the allegations prove true it would breach expected levels of cooperation between partners: here.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday for the first time touched on reports that a German intelligence employee spied for the US, declaring that if proven true they would mark a “clear contradiction” of mutual trust: here.

Angela Merkel’s not gonna be happy about this: the CIA is briefing Congress about their involvement in German intelligence gathering.

The unmasking of a spy who passed on internal documents of the German foreign intelligence service (BND) to the CIA for money has led to unusually sharp attacks by German politicians on the United States: here.

In recent days, readers of the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung have rubbed their eyes in disbelief. On the opinion pages, repeated anti-American commentaries on the current CIA spying scandal have appeared under the byline of Stefan Kornelius, the paper’s chief foreign policy correspondent: here.

Germany is considering solely using typewriters for classified documents after recent spying breaches.

German secret agent spied for the USA

This video is called ’1984 is now!’: Germans protest Berlin’s role in NSA spying on Snowden Day.

From Associated Press:

Report: German intel worker allegedly spied for U.S.

Frank Jordans, Associated Press

11:42 a.m. EDT July 4, 2014

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said Friday that she had been informed of the arrest of a German man who, according to media reports, is an intelligence service employee accused of spying for the United States.

Federal prosecutors said a 31-year-old German man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of spying for foreign intelligence services. They did not identify the suspect or the intelligence services.

“The chancellor was also informed of this case yesterday,” Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin.

He declined to comment on reports by Der Spiegel magazine and the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung that the man worked for Germany’s foreign intelligence service, known by its German acronym BND.

The newspapers, which didn’t identify their sources, said the man was suspected of passing on information about a German parliamentary committee investigating the activities of U.S. and other intelligence agencies in Germany.

Seibert said committee members had also been informed of the arrest.

“I will have to leave the conclusions to you,” he said.

Reports that the National Security Agency spied on German citizens, including on Merkel’s cellphone, have caused friction between Berlin and Washington since they were first published last year, based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Martina Renner, a member of the opposition Left Party on the parliamentary panel, said the case indicated that anyone who examined Snowden‘s revelations in detail was subject to scrutiny by U.S. intelligence agencies.

Her panel heard testimony on Thursday from two former NSA employees, Thomas Drake and William Binney.

“If the media reports (about the case) are confirmed then there can’t just be a legal response, there also has to be a political response,” she said.

In his testimony, Drake claimed cooperation between the NSA and BND greatly increased after the 9/11 terror attacks in the United States. He described the BND as an “appendage” of the NSA.

Seibert said Merkel discussed “foreign policy matters” in a telephone conversation with President Barack Obama late Thursday. He said the conversation focused on Ukraine but wouldn’t say whether the arrest was discussed.

The U.S. National Security Council declined to comment. The BND didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.

Hitler’s ‘most beautiful Aryan baby’ was Jewish

This video is called Jewish Survivor Hessy Taft on being the “Aryan poster child.”

By Scott Kaufman in the USA:

Winner of Nazi 1935 ‘most beautiful Aryan baby’ contest revealed to be Jewish

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 9:40 EDT

The winner of a contest in Nazi Germany to find the most beautiful Aryan baby was recently revealed to have been Jewish, the Telegraph reported today.

Last weekend, Hessy Taft presented the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Israel with copies of the Nazi family magazine Sonne ins Hause that featured an image of her as an infant on the cover.

The image was allegedly selected by Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels himself, after it had been submitted by a well-known Berlin photographer, Hans Ballin.

Taft said that her parents, Jacob and Pauline Levinsons, had ordered the portrait in 1935, as anti-Semitic tensions in the city rose. Her father had been an opera singer, but had to work as a traveling salesman after the Nazis came to power.

Her mother was terrified when she discovered her daughter’s face on the cover of the Nazi family magazine. When she approached Ballin, the photographer told her that he knew the family was Jewish, and that he had submitted the photograph because of that fact.

“I wanted to make the Nazis ridiculous,” the photographer told Taft’s mother.

The photograph appeared not only on the cover of Sonne ins Hause, but on postcards used throughout the Third Reich as well. The Nazis never discovered the true identity of their poster child, but they did arrest Taft’s father in 1938.

With the help of a friend, he was released shortly thereafter, then embarked on a path out of Nazi Germany that eventually landed the family in the United States in 1949.

When she presented the portrait to Yad Vashem, Taft acknowledged that “I feel a little revenge — something like satisfaction.”

Pro-peace views illegal in Germany?

This video is about a Japanese government politician, Taro Aso, who said Japan should follow Nazi Germany’s example to revive militarism.

By Christoph Dreier in Germany:

German politicians, media seek to criminalize opponents of war

30 June 2014

In recent months, President Joachim Gauck has been calling quite openly for a more robust German military presence in the world. This attempted revival of German militarism has been decisively rejected by a majority of the population. Politicians, the media and the public prosecution department are now organizing a campaign against opponents of war and preparing to launch criminal proceedings against them.

In line with this, the Facebook posting of a hitherto largely unknown Left Party politician has recently come under attack. Last Monday, 28-year-old Brandenburg state parliament deputy Norbert Müller referred to criticism of Gauck’s war policies made by a number of church pastors, and wrote on his Facebook page: “Some remain true [to their faith]. Others become federal presidents and obnoxious warmongers.”

The posting was seized upon by numerous media outlets and condemned for “defaming the president”. Such a denigration is a criminal offence in Germany, which—under Section 90 of the Criminal Code and on authorization of the federal president—can be punished with imprisonment for a term of between three months and five years. A spokesman for the Potsdam public prosecutor told Spiegel Online that the authorities were reviewing the case. On Wednesday, Gauck then sent word that he had not authorised the prosecutor to initiate proceedings.

On the same day, deputies of the Christian Democratic Union [CDU], Christian Social Union [CSU] and Social Democratic Party [SPD] tabled the Facebook posting as a topic for general debate in the Bundestag [federal parliament]. They also called on Left Party faction leader Gregor Gysi to state his position on the matter.

The faction leader of the SPD, Thomas Oppermann, called Müller’s remark an “incredibly abusive piece of criticism” and accused Gysi of being personally responsible. His “incredible blunder” arose from his “demagogic twisting of the president’s words”, according to Oppermann, and he concluded by associating the Left Party with the National Socialists. The SPD was taking Müller’s criticism seriously, “because that was the strategy the Nazis used against President Ebert in the Weimar Republic”, Oppermann said.

Gysi responded by distancing himself from Müller. Müller had “expressed himself incorrectly”, he said, and Gauck was not an “obnoxious warmonger”. “No party can be responsible for what every one of its members ever says,” Gysi declared. Left Party leader Bernd Riexinger also distanced himself from Müller, declaring that the current debate on war missions had to “be conducted completely objectively and with due respect for the dignity of the [president’s] office.”

The threats against Müller are instead being used to intimidate and criminalize all genuine opponents of war. It is an irrefutable fact that the president has for months been systematically promoting more vigorous international commitment on the part of Germany, explicitly including the use of military power.

Having calculated the probable media response, Gauck had expressed a similar view on the Day of German Unity in 2013 and at the Munich Security Conference at the beginning of the year. He declared in Munich that Germany was regarded internationally as a “shirker”, and it therefore had to be prepared to take more risks. Both speeches had been carefully prepared and coordinated with the federal government.

In the last 15 years, Germany has been involved in the wars against Serbia and Afghanistan, and it also provided the US with logistical support in the war against Iraq. The federal government co-sponsored the coup d’état in Ukraine, which was crucially supported by the brutality of the Svoboda and Right Sector fascists. Both the Serbian and Iraq wars were pursued without the legitimacy of the United Nations and were therefore in breach of international law, according to current legal norms. One would therefore have to ask whether Gauck, who is advocating more robust military engagement, is himself breaking the law.

The idea of exploiting the legal clause proscribing “defamation of the federal president”, in order to persecute opponents of war, continues established traditions in Germany.

The law of lèse majesté (insulting majesty) was used during the Wilhelmine Empire to intimidate opponents of rearmament. Between 1896 and 1907 alone, the Vorwärts social democratic newspaper documented 907 convictions under this law. A prominent example was the socialist and anti-war activist, Rosa Luxemburg, who was imprisoned in 1904 for accusing the emperor of incompetence.

After 1908, the clause on lèse majesté faded into the background. However, similar clauses relating to personal convictions were used to incarcerate pacifists and anti-war protesters. Shortly before the outbreak of World War I, Luxemburg was again imprisoned. This time she was charged with “incitement to disobey laws and ordinances of the authorities”. She had called for the exercise of conscientious objection.

With the revolution of 1918, the legislation limiting rights to contentious personal views was initially abolished. However, when Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau was assassinated by the far right in June 1922, the SPD, Independent Social Democratic Party [USPD], Catholic Centre Party and German People’s Party [DVP] passed the Law for the Defence of the Republic, which made denigration of the Republic, and its president, a punishable offence.

But this law was not applied against the extreme right. Instead, it was used as a political weapon against the Communist Party [KPD] and other left-wing groups. In 1924, two-thirds of convictions relating to the Law for the Defence of the Republic were handed out to Communists; in 1925 and 1926, all such convictions were. In 1925 alone, as many as 269 Communists were sentenced under this act.

When social contradictions intensified and rearmament was stepped up, the sentences meted out by the political justice system became even more savage. One well-known victim was the pacifist Carl von Ossietzky, who in 1931 was sentenced to 18 months in prison because he had written an article exposing the illegal rearmament of the Reichswehr [armed forces of the Weimar Republic]. Not long after his release, which came shortly before Hitler came to power, the Nazis threw Ossietzky into a concentration camp. He died as a result of the abuse he suffered there.

After the war, Section 90 of the Criminal Code, which makes “defamation of the federal president” a punishable offence, was adopted as one of the superseding clauses of the Law for the Defence of the Republic. Presidents Theodor Heuss and Heinrich Lübke used it primarily to combat critics who tried to expose their role in the Third Reich. In the last 20 years, the clause has hardly ever been used.

Whenever German imperialism returns to preparation for war, legislation limiting the right to personal political views also makes a return. The fact that the prosecution of opponents of war is being openly discussed in parliament and the media is a serious warning for the population.

‘Gestapo back in Germany’

This video says about itself:

Gestapo, Hitler’s Secret Police

3 November 2013

The Geheime Staatspolizei (German for Secret State Police, abbreviated “Gestapo”) was the secret police of Nazi Germany, and its main tool of oppression and destruction, which persecuted Germans, opponents of the regime, and Jews. It later played a central role in helping carry out the Nazi’s “Final Solution.”

The Gestapo was formally organized after the Nazis seized power in 1933. Hermann Göring, the Prussian minister of the interior, detached the espionage and political units of the Prussian police and proceeded to staff them with thousands of Nazis. On April 26, 1933, Göring became the commander of this new force that was given power to shadow, arrest, interrogate, and intern any “enemies” of the state. At the same time that Goring was organzing the Gestapo, Heinrich Himmler was directing the SS (Schutzstaffel, German for “Protective Echelon“), Hitler’s elite paramilitary corps. In April 1936, he was given command of the Gestapo as well, integrating all of Germany’s police units under Himmler.

By Ulrich Rippert in Germany:

The return of the state secret police in Germany

27 June 2014

Last week’s edition of Der Spiegel published over 50 NSA documents that had been handed to the media by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden last year. These top secret documents make clear the extent of the close collaboration between the US intelligence agency and the German foreign intelligence service (BND) and domestic intelligence agency (BfV).

They contradict the claims by leading officials in the security apparatus and the interior ministry that they were surprised and shocked over the extent of the NSA’s activities in Germany. The Spiegel documents reveal that the BND and BfV, as well as ministerial representatives, were well informed about the capabilities and activities of the NSA.

Germany’s intelligence agencies apparently even pressed for closer cooperation with the NSA. The BND and BfV used the NSA’s spying activities on German territory to vastly expand their own operations and create a security apparatus that forms a state within the state and is free from any democratic control.

Der Spiegel wrote, “The documents paint a picture of an omnipotent American agency, which has developed increasingly close ties to German agencies over the past 13 years and at the same time massively expanded its presence.” In the Federal Republic, there was “a secret NSA surveillance apparatus like in no other country in Europe”, which was concerned “not only with the desire for security, but also the striving for total control.” The NSA reported having a dozen active collection points in Germany in 2007.

In the opinion of Der Spiegel’s editors, the documents suggest that the intelligence gathered in Germany is used for the arrest or killing of alleged terrorists. “Does Germany therefore serve as a bridgehead for America’s deadly operations against suspected terrorists?” the editors ask. “Do the CIA and American military use data collected by the NSA in Germany for their drone operations?” The NSA did not respond to questions from Der Spiegel, but the sole conclusion suggested by the facts is that the answer is “yes”.

The NSA’s activities exposed in the secret reports are illegal under German law. “Is it conceivable that the German government knew nothing about these NSA activities on German territory?” Der Spiegel went on to ask, before answering, “hardly imaginable”. The NSA had not only been active in Germany for decades, but it works in close consultation with the BND, which has its supervisory body in the chancellor’s office.

In a document with the title “NSA’s intelligence relationship with Germany”, from January 17, 2013, the NSA describes the long-term collaboration with the BND, BfV and the federal office for IT Security (BSI). According to the document, the collaboration with the BND began as early as 1962 with “extensive analytical, operational and technical exchanges.”

The document states, “NSA welcomed BND President [Gerhard] Schindler’s eagerness to strengthen and expand bilateral cooperation.” The German agencies had proven their own initiative and self-determination in the task of supporting America’s requirements, to improve their own SIGINT capabilities and to increase the exchange of information.

SIGINT is the abbreviation for signals intelligence, meaning the securing of information through the interception of electronic data, such as the interception of satellite signals or the wiretapping of communication cables.

Die Zeit also reported in detail about the document, writing, “In it there are multi-clause sentences like ‘NSA also has held several multilateral technical meetings with BND/BfV/NSA/CIA to introduce SIGDEV methodology and tradecraft to improve the BfV’s ability to exploit, filter, and process domestic data accesses and potentially develop larger collection access points that could benefit both Germany and the US’.”

The cooperation between US and German intelligence agencies went so far that the BND pressured the German government to loosen data protection in order that it could work more closely with the NSA, at least according to the American intelligence agency. The document states, “The German government modified its interpretation of the G-10 Privacy Law, protecting the communications of German citizens, to afford the BND more flexibility in sharing protected information with foreign partners.”

Under the “key issues” in the document, it states, “In May 2012, NSA turned over full responsibility of the FORNSAT collection mission to the BND, allowing NSA’s representational team to cultivate new cooperative opportunities with Germany.” FORNSAT stands for foreign satellite collection, i.e., surveillance.

In a secret report from 2007, the NSA wrote that the installation and integration of German systems had significantly improved the collection and development of high priority targets. The new or improved capabilities were, according to the document, automatic surveillance systems, meta-data collection, the processing of voiceover IPs, and metadata collections from mobile phone networks. To achieve this, NSA workers had taught their BND colleagues the theory and practice to improve their capabilities in network analysis.

In addition, the document referred to the DISHFIRE databank where the NSA holds data intercepted from SMS messages. The Joint SIGINT Activity (JSA), the NSA and BND’s joint technical intelligence operation, based in Bad Aibling, had opened up new data streams for the NSA’s databank. JSA sends 330,000 pieces of data from SMS messages daily to DISHFIRE.

The NSA’s illegal practices were therefore not only known to Germany’s security agencies. They were also directly involved in these surveillance operations. The BND, BSI, the Military Counter-Intelligence Service (MAD) and BfV exchange countless quantities of data on a daily basis with their US allies. Neither the US nor the German government has any interest in limiting this cooperation in any way. The new German government has done everything it can thus far to prevent the exposure of the NSA affair.

Nonetheless, they were forced to agree to the establishment of the NSA parliamentary investigative committee, and at the beginning of June general state prosecutor Harald Range was compelled to announce an investigation in to the wiretapping of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.

The publication of the NSA documents, which have been in the possession of Der Spiegel for some time, comes in this context. In the media, business circles and sections of the political establishment, demands for more independence from the US and self-determination for the intelligence agencies have emerged.

This is not connected with stronger parliamentary control or a restriction of the surveillance apparatus. On the contrary, the criticism of NSA surveillance is linked with the call for a “strengthening of German defence” (Die Zeit editor Josef Joffe).

This demand is symbolised by the transfer of the BND’s agents to a new centre in central Berlin this summer. In the largest office block in Europe, more than 4,000 agents will be tasked with spying on the world’s population in close collaboration with other intelligence agencies.

The strengthening of the BND and other intelligence agencies is connected with a wide-ranging restructuring of the entire security apparatus. Under the pretext of combating terrorism, the powers of the police and intelligence services have been vastly expanded over the past decade. In 2004, the joint centre for defence against terrorism (GTAZ) was established, which brought representatives of all Germany’s intelligence agencies under one roof.

In a specially erected building in Berlin Treptow, the BfV, BND, the federal criminal agency (BKA), the federal police, the MAD, the customs regulatory agency, the federal prosecutor, the federal office for immigration and refugees, as well as all 16 state surveillance agencies and criminal agencies cooperate closely. All of the authorities involved have access to the BKA’s “anti-terrorism database”.

The separation of police and intelligence services established in the German constitution, a key lesson drawn from the crimes committed during the Nazi dictatorship, has practically been eliminated. The structures of a police state, which views every citizen as a potential enemy of the state and spies on them, are becoming ever more visible.

This is apparent above all on the question of war. The German population has responded with overwhelming hostility to the announcement from President Joachim Gauck, Social Democrat Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, and Defence Minister Ursula Von der Leyen that Germany’s era of military restraint was over and that it would intervene independently and with self-confidence in crisis regions.

The government has not only responded to this opposition with a comprehensive propaganda campaign, but also by strengthening the security apparatus and building up state structures. The return of German militarism thus goes hand in hand with the construction of a police state with powers increasingly reminiscent of those possessed by the Gestapo under the Nazis.