The German government has ordered the top CIA official in its country to leave as relations between the European power and the United States grow increasingly frost. The country’s government, which is led by Angela Merkel, has been moving against the US intelligence committee in the country after it was revealed that a number of operatives were secretly working in Germany.
The chairman of Germany’s intelligence parliamentary committee, Clemens Binninger, made the order this afternoon. Two German state employees have been accused of spying for the United States The US embassy in Germany, and the government at home, have yet to respond to the growing diplomatic problems between itself and European powerhouse.
German request to vacate
Der Spiegel stressed that today’s move was a request rather than an order to vacate, though that division becomes less and less clear the more it is looked at.The request is probably aimed at the head of the CIA office in the country, to vacate the state. There has been no information on whether the request has been, or will be, complied with by the CIA and the US government.
Mr Binninger told reporters in Berlin that the request was made in response to the “ongoing failure to help resolve the various allegations” of spying by the United States in the country. The parliamentarian added that “The government takes the matter very seriously.”
Germany protests allied spying
Today’s request for the top US intelligence official to leave the country amounts to a protest by Germany in the face of greater confirmation of US efforts to spy on what has become one of its most important allies. Earlier in 2014 it was revealed that the National Security Agency had been using its advanced surveillance technology to listen on the phone calls of not only the country’s population, but also its most powerful leaders.
One of the two arrested by German police in connection with US spying had ties to the military while the second worked for the country’s intelligence services. The United States has a non-espionage pact with several partners, though Germany is not one of them. The nations, which include the United Kingdom and Australia alongside the US, have agreed not to spy on each other. Germany’s membership of NATO does not offer it the same privilege.
This week’s revelation of two state officials that German authorities think have been sending information to the United States government has been reacted to more strongly than the breaches by the NSA. Germany launched an investigation into spying on Chancellor Angel Merkel among others last month, and the country’s government is concentrating on efforts to change the relationship with the United States.
Wolfgang Schäuble, the country’s current finance minister, dismissed the importance of the information that the US could have garnered from its informants. According to the politician “If the situation remains what we know now, the information reaped by this suspected espionage is laughable.”