Thank God for Smart Diplomacy otherwise Germany might be rebuilding its Luftwaffe. Europeans are furious states the German newspaper Der Spiegel.
"We need more precise information," said European Parliament President Martin Schulz. "But if it is true, it is a huge scandal. That would mean a huge burden for relations between the EU and the US. We now demand comprehensive information."Reaction to the revelation that the NSA has been spying on the European Union has evoked outrage, shock, sadness and a sense of betrayal. The same country that once enthralled now sickens Europeans. From Germany to Luxembourg, from Belgium to Britain the Europeans are united in their outrage. According to Der Spiegel, Secret NSA documents show that authorities systematically monitored and saved a large share of Internet and telephone connection data. Internal NSA statistics show that around 500 million communications connections in Germany are monitored monthly by the agency. The NSA also classifies Germany as a "target" for spying.
In Germany the Federal Prosecutors' Office is debating on whether or not to launch a criminal investigation against the NSA. Britain and Germany are reported to be planning a video conference in the British Embassy in Berlin. The German government will be represented by senior officials from the Interior Ministry, the Justice Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the BND.
A sample of quotes from European leaders:
"If these reports are true, then it is abhorrent," said Luxembourgian Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn. "It would seem that the secret services have gotten out of control. The US should monitor their own secret services rather than their allies."From German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger;
"The US justifies everything as being part of the fight against terrorism. But the EU and its diplomats are not terrorists. We need a guarantee from the very highest level that it stops immediately."
"If media reports are correct, then it is reminiscent of methods used by enemies during the Cold War," she said in a statement emailed to the media. "It defies belief that our friends in the US see the Europeans as their enemies. There has to finally be an immediate and comprehensive explanation from the US as to whether media reports about completely unacceptable surveillance measures of the US in the EU are true or not. Comprehensive spying on Europeans by Americans cannot be allowed."Welcome to the crowd Ms Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger. Obama sees the Tea Party as enemies too.
From Elmar Brok, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in European Parliament;
"The spying has reached dimensions that I didn't think were possible for a democratic country. Such behavior among allies is intolerable." The US, he added, once the land of the free, "is suffering from a security syndrome,"From Jan Philipp Albrecht, a Green Party representative in European Parliament;
"This is meltdown of the constitutional state. The NSA engaged in nothing less than "espionage against democratic countries and their institutions,"Finally from European Parliament Daniel Cohn-Bendit;
"A simple note of protest is not enough anymore. The EU must immediately suspend negotiations with the US over a free trade agreement, First, we need a deal on data protection so that something like this never happens again. Only then can we resume (free-trade) negotiations."The community organizer seems to have a full blown diplomatic crisis on his hands. Not to worry. He never lets a crisis go to waste.