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Surprise, Surprise! BND Spying on U.S. Governmental Agencies, Individuals and NGO’s

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COMMENT: In our long, ongo­ing For The Record series on The Adven­tures of Eddie the Friend­ly Spook (Snow­den), we have not­ed a num­ber of points, includ­ing the fact that all major intel­li­gence ser­vices spy on the polit­i­cal offi­cials, gov­ern­men­tal agen­cies and intel­li­gence ser­vices of oth­er nations, includ­ing osten­si­ble allies.

The revolt­ing cat­er­waul­ing com­ing from Ger­many over the NSA’s mon­i­tor­ing of Merkel’s cell phone should be weighed against the back­ground of the fol­low­ing sto­ry. Note that, accord­ing to the ven­er­a­ble Der Spiegel, the BND has been doing exact­ly what NSA has been doing and doing it to the U.S. as well as oth­er coun­tries.

” . . . Der Spiegel, anoth­er respect­ed Ger­many week­ly, how­ev­er, report­ed a sim­i­lar sto­ry over the week­end, writ­ing that the Ger­man coun­ter­part to the CIA, the Bun­desnachrich­t­en­di­enst (BND), was spy­ing on offi­cials in the Unit­ed States, Britain, France, Switzer­land, Greece, and oth­er Euro­pean coun­tries.

Accord­ing to Der Spiegel, the list extend­ed to NGOs, includ­ing the Red Cross and the Inter­na­tion­al Crim­i­nal Court. The infor­ma­tion was obtained “from sources.” . . .”

“They’re shocked, shocked!”

We, how­ev­er aren’t.

If YOU are “shocked, shocked,” con­sid­er this: If you are using T‑mobile, or it sub­sidiary com­pa­ny Metro PCS, you are com­mu­ni­cat­ing on tech­nol­o­gy owned by the Ger­man gov­ern­ment, which owns a con­trol­ling inter­est in Deutsche Telekom, par­ent of the phone firms. Undoubt­ed­ly, the BND is mon­i­tor­ing your com­mu­ni­ca­tions, and you should under­stand that for­eign­ers have NO PRIVACY RIGHTS WHATSOEVER under Ger­man law.

Oh, yes, lest we for­get, the BND is, of course, the suc­ces­sor to the Rein­hard Gehlen Nazi spy out­fit, and their are dis­turb­ing indi­ca­tions that the agency has retained much of its Nazi char­ac­ter. (See the sec­ond arti­cle below.)


Is Ger­many Spy­ing on the FBI?” by Mad­dy Crow­ell; The Chris­t­ian Sci­ence Mon­i­tor; 11/11/2015.

Pres­i­dent Oba­ma and Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel have exchanged some pret­ty awk­ward phone calls in recent years.

In 2013, Edward Snowden’s released doc­u­ments revealed that the N.S.A. had been lis­ten­ing in on Ms. Merkel’s per­son­al cell phone con­ver­sa­tions for a lit­tle over a decade. And last sum­mer, before the wound between Ger­many and the US was ful­ly healed, Ms. Merkel’s gov­ern­ment expelled the C.I.A. sta­tion chief from Ger­many after find­ing evi­dence that Amer­i­can spies were recruit­ing Ger­man offi­cials.

“We want this coop­er­a­tion based on part­ner­ship,” Merkel told the pub­lic broad­cast­er ZDF in an inter­view. “But we have dif­fer­ent ideas, and part of this is that we don’t spy on each oth­er.”

Merkel’s stance has repeat­ed­ly been that espi­onage against a close ally is unac­cept­able.

But a recent leak has turned the tables: A Ger­man intel­li­gence agency is being accused of spy­ing on the FBI, along with a series of oth­er US firms, a UN health agency, and the Inter­na­tion­al Crim­i­nal Court, accord­ing to a report released by the respect­ed Ger­man pub­lic radio sta­tion RBB-Infora­dio.

Facts sur­round­ing the release are unclear. The radio sta­tion pro­vid­ed no source for its report. Der Spiegel, anoth­er respect­ed Ger­many week­ly, how­ev­er, report­ed a sim­i­lar sto­ry over the week­end, writ­ing that the Ger­man coun­ter­part to the CIA, the Bun­desnachrich­t­en­di­enst (BND), was spy­ing on offi­cials in the Unit­ed States, Britain, France, Switzer­land, Greece, and oth­er Euro­pean coun­tries.

Accord­ing to Der Spiegel, the list extend­ed to NGOs, includ­ing the Red Cross and the Inter­na­tion­al Crim­i­nal Court. The infor­ma­tion was obtained “from sources.”

“The facts behind these var­i­ous press reports will be com­pre­hen­sive­ly inves­ti­gat­ed and of course the chan­cellery is involved in this inves­ti­ga­tion,” Chris­tiane Wirtz, a Ger­man gov­ern­ment spokes­woman, told reporters in Berlin.

Ear­li­er this year, the BND came under fire after the news was revealed that it had assist­ed the NSA in spy­ing on cer­tain Euro­pean insti­tu­tions by mon­i­tor­ing email and tele­phone traf­fic.

Ger­many and the Unit­ed States have been long­time allies in the years fol­low­ing the Cold War. The nations drew clos­er togeth­er after the Sep­tem­ber 11 attacks in a strength­ened effort to counter glob­al ter­ror­ism. Ger­many pro­vid­ed troops in Afghanistan. Dur­ing the Iraq war, the BND helped the NSA cre­ate a spy­ing sta­tion in Bavaria – on the con­di­tion that Ger­man spies would oper­ate it. But the past few years have felt the strain from intel­li­gence ser­vices fol­low­ing the NSA leaks.

Merkel has yet to con­firm whether the facts of the recent BND leak are cor­rect. But if it’s con­firmed, she and Oba­ma might be hav­ing yet anoth­er phone call – and soon.

“Obscur­ing the Past: Intel­li­gence Agency Destroyed Files on For­mer SS Mem­bers” by Klaus Wiegrefe; Der Spiegel; 11/30/2013.

His­to­ri­ans con­duct­ing an inter­nal study of ties between employ­ees of the Ger­man for­eign intel­li­gence agency and the Third Reich have made a shock­ing dis­cov­ery. In 2007, the BND destroyed per­son­nel files of employ­ees who had once been mem­bers of the SS and the Gestapo. . . .

. . . . Now, only one week before Uhrlau’s retire­ment, the com­mis­sion has uncov­ered what is a true his­tor­i­cal scan­dal. The researchers have found that the BND destroyed the per­son­nel files of around 250 BND offi­cials in 2007. The agency has con­firmed that this hap­pened.

The com­mis­sion claims that the destroyed doc­u­ments include papers on peo­ple who were “in sig­nif­i­cant intel­li­gence posi­tions in the SS, the SD (the intel­li­gence agency of the SS and the Nazi Par­ty) or the Gestapo.” They added that some of the indi­vid­u­als had even been inves­ti­gated after 1945 for pos­si­ble war crimes. His­to­rian Klaus-Diet­mar Henke, spokesman for the com­mis­sion, told SPIEGEL ONLINE he was “some­what stunned” by the occur­rence.

Did Agency Employ­ees Seek to Sab­o­tage Inves­ti­ga­tion? . . .

. . . . It is no secret that some peo­ple with­in the BND are unhap­py about Uhrlau’s project. Some employ­ees are fun­da­men­tally opposed to the agency shed­ding light on its own past. Oth­ers are wor­ried about the rep­u­ta­tions of their own fam­i­lies — for many years, the BND delib­er­ately recruit­ed new staff from among the rel­a­tives of exist­ing BND employ­ees. . . .


3 comments for “Surprise, Surprise! BND Spying on U.S. Governmental Agencies, Individuals and NGO’s”

  1. Here is the orig­i­nal Der Speiegel arti­cle “Gov­ern­ments and NGOs: Ger­many Spied on Friends and Vat­i­can”


    Posted by German Reporting | November 28, 2015, 2:15 pm
  2. The new Ger­man Riot Police’s hel­mets have been styled to retain a Nazi char­ac­ter to them. See the pho­tos in this arti­cle:


    Posted by TBD | November 28, 2015, 2:56 pm
  3. Germany’s domes­tic intel­li­gence chief, Hans-Georg Maassen, says: ‘What we’re see­ing is the street mobil­i­sa­tion of Right-wing extrem­ists, but also of some Left-wing extrem­ists who oppose those anti-immi­gra­tion groups.’

    Below are excepts from an arti­cle show­ing how Ger­many’s lib­er­al Syr­i­an Immi­gra­tion pol­i­cy is bring­ing out a strong Nation­al­ist anti-immi­grant reatc­tion that the police do not believe they can coun­ter­act.

    Fron­tex, the Euro­pean bor­der agency, and West­ern intel­li­gence ser­vices have sound­ed a sec­ond alarm. They warn that Islam­ic State jihadists are exploit­ing the refugee influx to slip into Europe.

    Demog­ra­phers at the Bavar­i­an Asso­ci­a­tion of Munic­i­pal­i­ties say Ger­many faces a pop­u­la­tion time bomb. As migrants bring in wives and chil­dren, they warn that the num­ber of Mus­lims could rise from 5.8 mil­lion to 20 mil­lion by 2020, threat­en­ing the cul­ture of this once fierce­ly Chris­t­ian nation.

    A respect­ed TV sta­tion, N24, has report­ed that many new arrivals have already van­ished under the radar since enter­ing the coun­try. On three occa­sions in Sep­tem­ber, groups of young male migrants, thought to be non-Syr­i­ans try­ing to escape the atten­tion of immi­gra­tion or secu­ri­ty ser­vices, have pulled the emer­gency brakes to stop trains tak­ing them to camps for reg­is­tra­tion, then jumped out and van­ished. Mean­while, Ger­man police say they are inves­ti­gat­ing 60 cas­es in which Islam­ic extrem­ists, some pos­ing as char­i­ty work­ers, have infil­trat­ed migrant camps to recruit migrants to jihad.

    It is bit­ter­ly iron­ic that post­war Ger­many, still bat­tling with nation­al guilt over the Nazi slaugh­ter of six mil­lion Jews in the Holo­caust, is import­ing so many peo­ple who are avowed­ly anti-Semit­ic.

    ‘We are import­ing Islam­ic extrem­ism, Arab anti-Semi­tism, nation­al and eth­nic con­flicts of oth­er peo­ples, as well as a dif­fer­ent under­stand­ing of soci­ety and law.’

    Those views were echoed by Josef Schus­ter, pres­i­dent of the Cen­tral Coun­cil of Ger­man Jews, this week. In a care­ful state­ment, he said: ‘Many flee from Islam­ic State ter­ror to live in peace and free­dom. At the same time they come from cul­tures in which a hatred of Jews and intol­er­ance is a fixed ele­ment. Don’t only think of Jews, think of the equal­i­ty of woman and man or deal­ings with homo­sex­u­als.’

    Mean­while, Jur­gen Mannke, direc­tor of the Teach­ers’ Asso­ci­a­tion of Sax­ony-Anhalt, in cen­tral Ger­many, has said girls must be warned against con­sort­ing with Mus­lim migrants. He wrote in a mag­a­zine: ‘It is our human duty to help peo­ple who are fac­ing exis­ten­tial dis­tress due to war and polit­i­cal per­se­cu­tion. ‘But it is extreme­ly dif­fi­cult to dis­tin­guish who comes to our coun­try for pure­ly eco­nom­ic or even crim­i­nal motives. From our eth­i­cal and moral per­spec­tive, women are not treat­ed equal­ly or with dig­ni­ty in Mus­lim coun­tries. Already, we hear . . . about sex­u­al harass­ment on pub­lic trans­port and in super­mar­kets.


    Posted by TBD | November 28, 2015, 2:59 pm

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