Saturday, August 16, 2014

Who spied first?

Today, most will be too young to know the famous Abbott and Costello routine about baseball and “who” is on first, but most will understand that it is no longer clear which of the NATO allies spied on each other first.
It appears, according to the German media, that Berlin spied on the U.S. before the NSA spied on them. A month ago Der Spiegel was reporting on how concerned Germany was about the U.S. intelligence loop lassoing them. “Officials in Berlin were long in denial that their closest allies were spying on Germany. Now, ministries are undertaking measures to improve security and counterintelligence. They're anticipating frosty relations with the US for some time to come,” Der Spiegel said last month.
On Saturday, the same German publication was reporting that its government had been spying on Hillary Clinton and John Kerry for the past two years. Washington resisted the impulse to say “I told you so.” There was no comment in fact. Germany said it was an accident. Of course, Russia spied on everyone first. President Vladimir Putin appears to be constantly trying to demonstrate his KGB skills, but seems more like Constantin the Frog, the doppelganger for Kermit, in the latest Muppets movie. Constantin is only no. 2 in the movie, second to “the lemur.” Germany kicked the CIA station chief out of the country July 18. At the time word from Washington was that Germany was still full of Russian spies. How much of a threat is Putin? The sanctions so disdained by the media, in the West and East, are grinding the Kremlin down. Agence France Presse reported Russia's largest oil company had asked Putin for a loan of $42 billion because of the sanctions. So far, Moscow balking at buying American chickens and other food from the West had only resulted in lower chicken prices in U.S. stores. Stocks fell a bit in Europe but were up across the pond.

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