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CIA spied on allied BND

The Local · 24 Oct 2011, 12:29

Published: 24 Oct 2011 12:29 GMT+02:00

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US intelligence agencies collected highly personal information on their allies, according to a report in weekly magazine Focus on Monday.

Staff at the Central Intelligence Agency were expected to keep tabs on communist East German spies during the Cold War, but US documents show they were doing the same to their supposed friends at West Germany's Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND).

Office politics within the BND as well as details of personal factors such as alcoholism and infidelity were carefully noted, as well as health information such as which agents had suffered heart attacks, the magazine reported.

One file entry even records the wooden leg of an aristocratic West German agent.

Even after the fall of communism in 1989, the spying continued into the 1990s, with those BND agents with a Nazi past in particular attracting attention. Two former SS members were drafted into a sabotage unit of NATO, according to the papers.

The files also suggest the tapping of some telephone calls with the Federal Office for Protection of the Constitution (Verfassungsschutz), Germany’s domestic intelligence and security authority.

Conversations with other security services in Paris and London were also tapped, Focus reported.

The BND did not seem surprised by the idea of being spied upon by the CIA, with a former BND counterintelligence expert telling the magazine that he and his colleagues had often thought such operations were being undertaken.

Story continues below…

When asked whether he thought the CIA was still spying on the BND, he replied using a suitably spooky phrase, saying, “The cat does not let the mouse free.”

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:48 October 24, 2011 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Hardly surprising. The US is usually a fair-weather friend.
18:27 October 24, 2011 by carlm
Der Grenadier aus Aachen,

You and your fellow krauts ought to thank God that the US wasn't a fair weather friend from 1945 through 1990.

A likely reason the CIA spied on West Germany is because we know Germans can never be trusted.

19:40 October 24, 2011 by Whipmanager
Herr Grenadier: You are an idiot. Trust me when I tell you that all services do it to everyone. It was especially important during the 50's through the 90's since even one of the top BND executives was a Stasi Spy. THe relationship the West and East German Intelligence services dictated that you had to watch them. If you know anything about the operations run in Germany by both sides, and the Russians, Bulgarians, and any other service, including the Polish, youwould know that the French and West German Intelligence services had tons of double agents. Of Course, looking at the Walkkers and other US citizens, teh US was not exempt from having spies with-in either.
19:59 October 24, 2011 by storymann
Not surprising? every intel agency keeps an eye on the Germans. We have all been duped by them at least once and you know what they say ,Once bit twice shy",

lets call a spade a spade.
20:15 October 24, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
Why are you calling Grenadier an idiot? It's just an opinion. Calm down - we are all on this forum because we like Germany and want to know the news. Is this how you treat your kids too?
21:27 October 24, 2011 by Bigfoot76
I normally would not criticize someone about grammatical errors and spelling mistakes since this site is used by people who often do not use English as a primary language. In this case I will make an exception. How can you say "you are an idiot" and then type the way you do? This is what you would call hypocritical. You are accusing someone of being an idiot while displaying your own short comings. All your errors aside, it is generally polite to not insult people.
21:46 October 24, 2011 by missyE
Let us not pussyfoot someone old enough to come onto the forum and spew out thoughtless opinions. There are some people who read his comments factually - and they must be informed correctly.

After I read Grenadier's comment I also thought - 'that is a pretty stupid comment coming from a nation that spent the most of the 20th century in war (World wars, cold war...who knows what war could be next). Given the good the Americans have done for this nation - 'intelligence' was necessary.
22:09 October 24, 2011 by Whipmanager
Herr Bigfoot: You are right, the word I meant to use was Ignorant, not Idiot, so I apologize for its use. Now, as for the spelling mistakes, I -for some unknown Reason probably a mental sickness-just HEYHEYHEY, I mispell And, The Some and For (adn, seom or some, fro and teh), I beg forgiveness fr those that have to translate my own mother tongue for me.

I agree we all care about Germany. I agree that most of the time, Name calling is not helpful or mature, but, sometimes it is called for. I have been called worse in these pages and I am ok with it. If someone feels they should call me something I am ok with it.

The facts are still the facts. Every industrialized nation spies on everyone-else. Hell, the Israelis were caught spying on us (Pollack) and we have often been seen spying on other close friends. DO you think there are no russian spies left in teh Polish, German, French, British and Canadian and American Intelligence services? How do you catch them? You listen to transmissions, seek common patterns, common drop points, you see what information is going from one place to another and cross check and correlate it to see if you can figure patterns, discern good info (not noise) and then code bust, all so you can see what your friends and enemies are saying.

The real pros do not take it too personal most of the time. It is a matter of the part that goes with the territory. The sad thing is when a newspaper takes common knowledge, and tries to inflame its customers with truth, so that they can drive a wedge between two great friends-Germany and the US. You then have to look deeper, and see how many journalists are actually doing favors for money or other favors to be used as Disinformation units for hostile government agencies. The news outlets are more biased towards socialists and communists. So, this article wasn't for good of German volk, it was to cause a stir.
22:13 October 24, 2011 by phil25
Why do people think the US has so many bases around Europe, like Menwith Hill in the UK, if not to spy on its ´friends´.

Lets be clear: the US Intelligence services (bit of a misnomer I know!) just like their military have one purpose over all others, and that is to protect and extend US interests around the globe. That means knowing what everyone else is doing at all times, whether friend or foe.

The sooner we close all US bases in Europe the better.
01:44 October 25, 2011 by Illogicbuster
Yes, and for good reason. The BND was HEAVILY infiltrated by East German security services...
01:51 October 25, 2011 by internationalwatch
Feet-licking pussy cats is the right picture for these lame buggers asking for politeness by covering their own rudeness & racist attitudes.

I wouldn't be surprised if there was another holocaust of Turks coming in this doomed racist country with deep Nazi influence. This is why talent of Germans with immigrant background is even ignored and they are systematically kept out from coming on front line cuz of their names, color or religion but of course it's all done systematically.

A country with Nazi influence & active Stasis working in administrations does need to be kept an eye on!

I hate to be rude but what kinda $2 garage sale f**k*d up name is Der Grenadier aus Aachen??

No matter how much you long for acceptance and friendliness on international stage you will be recognized as you are!
09:14 October 25, 2011 by ChrisRea
What a surprise! USA was and is spying Germany? Really? Actually is there any country which is not spied by the USA?

As it was already said, countries with significant military power do not refrain from spying any country. It's foolish to talk about friendship in international politics - it is all about own interest. To claim that a country's actions are for the good of humanity is delusional. Germany cannot expect not to be spied by the US just because USA entered WWII only from self-serving reasons.

Alliances are made to serve the interests of the allies. When the interests or the situations change, the alliances/allies change as well.
11:27 October 25, 2011 by Celeon
No surprise , spying is an activity targeted at furthering ones own interests. Not just political but also economically.

Corporate espionage for instance will ALWAYS be going on and in hard economic times such acts are even supported by intelligence services. The BNDs last corportate espionage report mentioned chinese ,russian but also american companies as the largest sources of cooperate spying on the german industry.

If the economic field is big and important enough, you can count on that intelligence services will provide support to their national companies.

Serving the country also means helping the country in all imaginable ways. This includes the economy.

For instance : A tiny piece of information overheard by someone with loose connections to the CIA at some conference, and then transfered to the right people by a simple phonecall .... and Boeing suddenly makes a better offer than Airbus and grabs a juicy contract worth billions of dollars. Something that will further the u.s economy, secure workplaces.... ;-)

Technically, thats not even a real crime. For as long as you're not caught that is. Your friend or ally just has bad luck. Such things happen ;-)

Does anyone here think Germany does not try to gain advantages for german companies over american , french or british ones just like over russian and chineses ones if the possibilty arises? ... just by chance of course ...? ;-D
13:40 October 25, 2011 by shahislam
Events of both the tomorrow and yesterday are now only in thoughts. Nothing else but positive dreams and thoughts can change tomorrow's world to be better. And we need to use our humanly virtue of forgiveness-which lies idle in the conscience of each life born as a human-being.

I was born in Bangladesh and now here I may only hope and pray that our support will help Obama's futuristic deep visions get reborn for one or two more decades only (e.g. Current Vice president takes the leader-ship in 2017) and the bordering countries, such as: India-Bangladesh; Iran-Iraq; Canada-USA and gradually other pieces of lands (separations were initiated and are now in the minds of public emotion manipulator: leader-ships only) become one piece of land; a modern and better form of new world under virtual one unbiased UN-power financed by the public from all corners of the world with minimum living standard for each hard working human being.

Attached below an excerpt from my postings in International News Papers re: Declaring Amnesty and how it could have positive impact on peaceful natural or cosmic transitions of brutal powers and generate push and solutions from our wise human end.

Obama just needs a little more time and support!

Attachment:...................We became late in announcing amnesty for this bad guy, to facilitate peaceful surrendering of too many bad heads in the Eastern powers and now have no voice on catching the brutal killers of terrorist leaders.

Every human on earth knows that God is great! It is the terroristic tone that is disturbing when some belief-blinds scream out Allahu akber, alaluiah etc..

It's not the old world anymore where terrorists would become national heroes. The killed bodies of terrorists doesn't have to be buried on a secret place.

Would you please try to include arts of humanitarian works and initiatives too in education and academy awards etc; without which science is meaningless in our human existence?

There is not much to further discover above 350 km above this planet without global public participation!

Religious tones are dangerous for humanity and must remain confined inside home in practice but not in a country's political level.

--Expressed with friendly feelings and without prejudice!
16:10 October 25, 2011 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
I'm not really sure why my comment is causing such an uproar.

I'll address a couple of things said; I won't address the insults.

As for being glad that the US was a fair-weather friend from 45 to 90; you're right - I am. But I am under no illusion that the US did it because of a love for the German people; it was in America's own self-interest to have a moderately strong Germany, since the principle enemy was the Soviet Union.

Now, I do also realize that all the industrialized nations spy on each other, but let's consider something here. Germany has been a US ally now for 66 years, and has definitely been key in their defense strategy for 45 of those years, providing the bulk of ground troops (and without a doubt, in case of war, also receiving the bulk of punishment) against the Soviet Union. The exactitude of those statements might be arguable by some, but the basic notion is true, no matter which way you look at it. So, what then, is the fruit of this?

Well, for starters, it's droplets of gratitude like US war plans considering Germany an "acceptable" casualty by designating German soil as fair game for nuclear and biological weapons if the Soviets reached the Rhine. It's a continuing "special relationship" between US and UK intelligence services. It's a constant "maybe next term" in regards to a permanent seat on the UN security council for Germany. It's a massive scolding, when, after having agreed to a blood brotherhood on so much larger scales, we decide that Libya isn't really worth out time.

I could go on, but what's the point? There is massive anti-German prejudice due to the crimes of our forefathers in most western nations - not just the US. I'm not complaining, I'm just stating facts, and I realize I can't change them. If you don't want to see if that way, you won't see it that way.

So yes, I still think the US is a fair-weather friend. Stone me, why don't you.
18:56 October 25, 2011 by iche
NEVER- trust a yankee!

19:15 October 25, 2011 by Whipmanager
Herr Grenedier: I once again apologize for calling you an idiot. Your posting #15 is very well put, very well grounded adn I must say I think You do have a greater understanding of the situation. Germany was the acceptable loss. THey were the thrust of our plan, I was part of the acceptable losses though, as tens of thousands of Americans were, when the Balloon went up. Even Ramstein was only 10 minutes by Jet from the DMZ, and we always practiced dying and letting our pilots go and bomb and run, every exercise.

I see that Germany became the sacrificiall pawn, and that was the way it was. MOney went to Berlin, Bonn, and everywhere in Germany from the Allies and teh US to build it up again, like that phoenix- rising up from the ashes. Yes we saw you as a means to an end, buffering the Russians. We built bases, put hundreds of thousands to work for us, providing homes, money, jobs and retirements for 70 years now.

It was all in the special interest of the US, but the whore that sold to us also benefitted. I use that word, for the German people could have resisted, but it was in tehir interest too, to be the potential burned body of evidence, so that they could rebuild. Sort of taking advantage of a bad situation. The US has whored itself out also, many times, do not be embarrassed, it is all about the money, the power, the politics.

BUt never think that the US didn't have Germany in its heart. We loved and protected her like a jealous father. How much more could we show this than by putting soem of the most important military generals and equipment in the heart of Germany, just minutes from destruction along side our German friends, wives, kids, in laws, families. We would have been sacrificed right along with you.

Politicians cant feel the connection, but the Germans and the AMericans, the people, they know, feel it, and hold it to be sacred. Lives have merged adn so have our families.

I wont say I am sorry for what has happened, since I too, have a son, and inlaws, and an ex wife that I would not hvae had were it not for the egoistic policies of the Great American Government.
21:49 October 25, 2011 by Illogicbuster
Der Grenadier aus Aachen, you REALLY don't understand how most Americans felt about West Germans. We saw them as family who WE would sacrifice our sons lives to protect also.

So, educate yourself a little better...
22:22 October 25, 2011 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
I don't doubt personal intentions or feelings. I don't want it to appear that way. However, on a national scale, it's a very different issue.

None of the slights that I mentioned are corrected, and it's not as if we're the only nation that has been in this position opposite the US. I don't mean to throw salt in any wounds, but ... Republic of South Vietnam? Abandoned when it got too expensive - oh, and let's not forget the assassinations sponsored there, either. You turned it from a democracy into a dictatorship. Iran? That was a democracy - a stable one - until the CIA decided that the Shah could be useful. Iraq? You couldn't sell them weapons fast enough as long as they were shooting at the Iranians. Panama? Noriega was 100% OK with you guys up until the second he stopped taking orders from the US. America, consistently, is only an ally to most nations as long as it serves it's own self-interest.

I'm not saying it's surprising, or necessarily even wrong, but I wouldn't ever count on American support for anything just for the sake of a long-established relationship. It's obviously not worth the paper it's printed on.

All that being said, many good friends of mine are Americans, and I have no doubt that the more dynamic of them would, say, help me defend Berlin in a massive invasion. No question. Individually, you make great friends. But your country? Not so much.
08:51 October 26, 2011 by jt327gir
I believe that what gives Germany a special place in American hearts is that so many of us are of German ancestry. My maternal grandfather's parents arrived in America in 1889. My grandfather always said he was an American first (as he was born here in 1902), but he was also very proud of his German heritage. I too am proud to have some "Germanness" in me.

I think many of the comments made here are correct - that the U.S. (as well as every other nation on earth) acts in accordance with its interests first. Rebuilding postwar Germany was in our interest because we needed a buffer against the Soviets. But let's also not forget that the average American in the late-1940s wanted to help Germans because they saw a genuine need because children were going hungry and were cold in the winter, and people were barely getting by. Americans donated tons of food and other supplies to Germany during that time. That's one of the finest qualities of the American people - we see a need, we want to help. When earthquakes and tsunamis happen around the globe, we're there with help. Hell, we even offered to help Iran after one of its major quakes - Iran, a country that only wishes to harm us.

All that being said, our government does act in accordance with our interests only, but that's their job, and the job of any national government, to defend the nation and look out for its best interests.
18:48 October 26, 2011 by Whipmanager
The amount of truth written in these posts by far outstrips anything I have seen in these pages fro soem time.

America, the Government, did not help afghanistan when the Ruskies were there, we abandoned them, The south Vietnamese, ditto, NOriega, Sure, Saddam, you bet, we are even forsaking our greatest friends, the Jews/Israel, all for politic's sake.

America the people: We are truly one of the most giving on earth. Charity is above all else one of our greatest strengths. BUt I am sure others do the same on a smaller scale. I hardly think that Somalia could give on a scale since they are broke, broken, and not organized to be able to do it.

I think we see all of this as one of governments (Inherently evil?) and the people (inherently optimistic, with a smattering of racism, stupidity, ignorance, cruelty, but above all, kind, helpful, loving, nurturing, (this sounds so gay), hopeful, and many other great strengths).

These postst here should be kept for posteritity's sake. Everyone came together, saw, and I think there is actually a concensus here from a very diverse group of opinions, backgrounds, education and political associations.

Thank you for showing why society deserves to be around a few more centuries, to try to finally get it right.
12:33 October 27, 2011 by storymann
Der Grenadier aus Aachen Friendship is almost always based on mutual needs and a bit of trust.

In your opinion during those years who would you consider Germany's best friend?

and .. What kind of friend has Germany been to the USA? Loyal,truthful, fair weather or other? I am a little curious no offense intended.
16:18 October 28, 2011 by Gauleiter Brad
Contracts are based on mutual mistrust. Covenants are based on mutual trust or admiration.

Which best describes the CIA and West German intell collaboration?

The USA had been badly humiliated by Burgess, Philby and McLean in the UK. And as we all know, the Stasi and KGB were quite adept at infiltrating agents into all aspects of West Germany.

This was one of the bad aspects of the Cold War: spying on your friends.

There was a woman convicted of spying for Cuba in 2002. She got a harsh sentence. A woman who was found guilty of spying for the Red Chinese got only a few months. Who did the greater damage to the USA?? The Cuban spy's activity lead to the death of a US Special Forces soldier in El Salvador. But the Red Chinese gained a lot of commercially beneficial info.
17:00 October 28, 2011 by scoobydube
People CALM DOWN and STOP calling each other names. WE
18:00 October 28, 2011 by Kennneth Ingle
Nothing very new about this! States do not have friends, at the very most partners. It is also unlikely that you will be able to trust a partner, if you cannot trust yourself. It has been known for years, that the CIA have been listening to international telephone calls which originate from Europe.

What is more surprising, is the fact that the German government does not allow its own police force to use similar methods - for example in internet - although nearly every intelligence service and some commercial firms from abroad, are looking through our computers at this very moment.
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