Opps. The German government acknowledged that is spied on US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but says it was an accident.

hillary clinton

German intelligence spied on Hillary Clinton on various occations

According to a report in the German news publication Süddeutsche Zeitung, German intelligence apparently spied on Hillary Clinton while she was in office and during various trips on a government plane, where over the air phone calls, even when encrypted, can be intercepted and transcribed.

The disclosure stems from a mole in the German Bundesnachrichtendienst, or BDN, their foreign spy agency, that provided intelligence to the CIA.  The double agent, code name “Markus R.,” resulted in Germany asking the US Central Intelligence Agency’s Berlin station chief to leave the country.

According to details revealed by Markus R., the German government was keeping tabs on high ranking US government officials in a fashion not too dissimilar from US spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a charge German officials are disputing.

German officials spying of Hillary Clinton was purely an accident

According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung report, German officials insist that targeted and systematic spying of Hillary Clinton was purely an accident. Reports, however, indicate that this “mistake” and the intelligence from the covert recordings nonetheless were a feature of German intelligence scrutiny. The recordings themselves were never deleted and were said to have made the rounds among government elite and intelligence services insiders.

German intelligence was reported to have recorded many calls and intercepted various communications from US politicians and government officials. “Apparently, repeated calls have been recorded by American politicians and other friendly countries and submitted in accordance with an instruction of each BND president in the past,” the report noted.

It is not known how sensitive the intelligence gathered about Clinton is nor the extent to which other US officials were spied upon.

Angela Merkel’s phone tapped

Reports say that, before the Edward Snowden leaks and it was known that Merkel’s phone was being spied upon by the US, Merkel discovered the existence of such covert intelligence on the US and ordered the tapes to be destroyed.

This didn’t happen.

A member of the government’s inner circle was reported to say the decision not to destroy the recording was “idiocy.”

Turnabout is fair play, evidently.

 

For her part, Clinton has previously denounced NSA spying on Merkel. “But clearly, we have to do a much better job in working together between Germany and the United States to sort out what the appropriate lines of cooperation are on intelligence and security,” Clinton was quoted as saying in the German publication der Spiegel. “I think the cooperation is necessary for our security, but we don’t want to undermine it by raising doubts again and again.”