An investigation by the German parliament is raising questions on whether the Obama administration not only spied on journalists in that country, but interfered in the exercise of the free press under the guise of U.S. national security.
On Thursday, Germany’s intelligence coordinator, Günter Heiss, testified before a parliamentary investigative committee of the German parliament, the Bundestag, focused on the activities of the U.S. National Security Agency’s spying on Germany and the knowledge and/or role of German intelligence, the Bundesnachrichtendienst or BND.
That the NSA was spying on German officials is not new, though it continues to upset free press advocates and those with memories of repressive governments both Communist and Nazi. That the NSA was spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone was first reported by German magazine Der Spiegel in 2013 with information gleaned from the stolen then leaked files of Edward Snowden.
On Thursday, WikiLeaks released more information, presumably from that surveillance, with Merkel said “professed to be at a loss” over the Greek financial crisis, and information suggesting that the NSA was spying on German ministers in addition to Merkel. U.S. ambassador to Germany, John Emerson, was summoned to meet with the Chancellery chief of staff Peter Altmaier to discuss the news . . .
CNN has learned that in early Summer 2011, the CIA station chief in Berlin (also representing the NSA at the U.S. Embassy) met with Heiss, and his assistant, Guido Müller. The CIA station chief urged the two men to take action against Heiss’ deputy, Hans-Josef Vorbeck, whom he said was leaking classified information to journalists. (Read more from “Obama Administration Spied on German Media as Well as Its Government” HERE)