bugged Schroeder when he was German chancellor: paper
Send a link to a friend
[February 05, 2014]
BERLIN (Reuters) — The U.S. National
Security Agency (NSA) bugged the phone of former German Chancellor
Gerhard Schroeder from at least 2002, a German newspaper reported on
Wednesday, compounding the most serious row between between the allies
in a decade.
The reason for the snooping was Social Democrat (SPD) Schroeder's
opposition to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq under then President
George W. Bush, the Sueddeutsche daily said, citing U.S. government
sources and NSA insiders.
"We had reason to believe that (Schroeder) was not contributing to
the success of the alliance," the newspaper quoted one person with
direct knowledge of the monitoring as saying.
Reports last year about mass surveillance in Germany, in particular
of Merkel's mobile phone, shocked Germans and caused Berlin to push,
so far in vain, for a 'no-spy' deal with Washington.
Since then, it has been widely suspected in Germany that the NSA had
bugged governments preceding Merkel's but this is the first concrete
report that offers evidence and it stems from information from
former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Schroeder, who headed a coalition with the Greens between 1998 and
2005, said he was no longer surprised.
"At that time I would not have entertained the idea of being
monitored; now I am no longer surprised," Schroeder told the
[to top of second column]
Germans are especially sensitive about snooping due to their
experiences in the Nazi era and in Communist East Germany during the
Cold War when the Stasi secret police built up a massive network of
Merkel said last week that Berlin and Washington were still "far
apart" in their views on the NSA's surveillance of Germany but that
they remained close allies.
(Reporting by Madeline Chambers; editing by Stephen Brown)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.