The German government’s request that the Obama Administration order its CIA station chief in Germany back to the United States is unprecedented and has caused a big surprise among those in the U.S. who believe that spying on the Germans is nothing to complain about. A visibly angered Mike Rogers, head of the House Intelligence Oversight Committee, took to the news wires last night, calling the German action a “case of rage fit” and “inappropriate for a mature person,” and “something we might have expected from Russia or Iran.”
The German action stays short of a formal expulsion of the CIA station chief, though, and no deadline has been set for his pullout from Berlin. The Obama camp of U.S. politics, angered by the resistance in Germany to Obama’s arrogant conduct, however seems determined to continue acting like the proverbial elephant in the trans-Atlantic porcelain shop. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, appearing on German TV yesterday, called the U.S. conduct “so incredibly stupid that it makes one start to weep.”
German Justice Minister Heiko Maas meanwhile called for a freeze in negotiations on the TTIP, saying that having such a trans-Atlantic agreement requires confidence in the fair conduct of all signatories as trade partners, which he does not see forthcoming in the U.S. conduct in the espionage affairs. The majority of the German population would not support a TTIP agreement under present political conditions, Maas warned.