As the Obama administration tries to soothe tempers with officials, a German publication has the rest of Germany in an uproar with its claim President Barack Obama not only knew the United States was spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, but the surveillance actually increased despite Obama’s protests to the contrary.
The United States has reportedly been bugging Merkel’s phone for over10 years, but the president assured her Saturday that it was done without his knowledge. He added that had he known about it, he would have put a stop to it, Reuters reported Saturday.
But the German publication, Bild am Sonntag, cited an anonymous source Sunday in a report that claimed Obama not only knew about the surveillance, he stepped it up and asked for a “comprehensive dossier” on her.
A Google translation of the Bild am Sonntag article said:
For, according to information from Bild am Sonntag in U.S. intelligence circles of the President 2010 by NSA chief Keith Alexander was personally informed about the covert operation against Merkel.
“Obama has the action did not stop, but continue to operate,” said one of the NSA operation against Merkel intelligence officials to Bild am Sonntag.
And not only that: Later at the White House ordered the NSA a comprehensive dossier on the Chancellor. For Obama, the senior NSA man, Merkel did not trust, wanted to know everything about the German: “Who is this woman exactly”….
After Obama’s initiative reinforced the NSA eavesdropping activities against the Chancellor. They were not confined to the cell phone of the party CDU leader. The Americans cracked according to the information and the new, supposedly bug-proof phone that Merkel received only in the summer. This evidence to show that the eavesdropping attack against Merkel ran up to the recent past.
Bild am Sonntag is described by Wikipedia as “the largest-selling German national Sunday newspaper, with a 2013 circulation of around 1.2 million.” It is a sister publication of the German tabloid, Bild, which Wikipedia said “has been described as ‘notorious for its mix of gossip, inflammatory language, and sensationalism’ and as having a huge influence on German politicians.”
So far, no other publications — American or European — have confirmed Bild’s claims. According to a poll commissioned by the same publication, 76 percent of Germans believe President Obama should apologize to the chancellor, and 60 percent say the eavesdropping discovery has hurt relations between the two countries.
The Twitter universe is taking notice, using the hashtag, “#Handygate,” which in English means “CellPhoneGate,” Here are a few examples:
— Alexander Blum (@boulevard_blum) October 26, 2013
He is systematically destroying our relationships with foreign friends, encouraging and arming terrorists who want to kill us. #Handygate
— Nimjehrama (@Nickarama1) October 27, 2013
— Renee (@rightwingertoo) October 27, 2013
— Third Eye Feline (@icanhasbailout) October 27, 2013
H/T Weasel Zippers