Merkel: US needs to rebuild trust
posted at 7:01 pm on November 18, 2013 by Bruce McQuain
If it wasn’t bad enough that this administration has lost the trust of its citizens in the wake of the NSA spying scandal, it has also lost the trust of many of its allies as well. Germany is one of them:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday the relationship between Germany and the United States as well as the future of a trans-Atlantic free trade agreement have been “put to the test” by allegations of massive spying by the U.S. National Security Agency — including tapping her own phone.
“The allegations are grave. They have to be investigated and — even more important — for the future, new trust has to be rebuilt,” Merkel told Parliament at the beginning of a debate on U.S. spying in Germany.
So how will the most transparent administration in the history of the US handle this? Opaquely, of course. Don’t expect any sort of an apology anytime soon. Why? Well, despite being mad, Europe still knows on which side their bread is buttered and the Obama administration knows it too:
However, Merkel tempered her criticism by declaring that Germany’s alliance with Washington “remains a fundamental guarantor for our freedom and our security.”
That can also be “translated” into “this administration will be gone in 3 years and we don’t want to pay for our own defense” … or words to that effect.
But they’re still going to voice their displeasure publicly at a US administration they consider to be weak:
The need to maintain close ties with Washington while at the same time responding to public outrage over American spying has proven challenging for Merkel, who had sought to play down the allegations when they first surfaced last spring.
That changed, however, with media reports last month that Merkel’s own cellphone had been tapped by NSA operatives. The reports unleashed a firestorm of criticism in Germany, threatening one of America’s closest political relationships in Europe.
In the wake of those reports, the German government sent delegations to Washington to press for a no-spying pact with the Americans.
Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told Parliament that the U.S. had not been as forthcoming during those talks as the Germans had hoped.
“The Americans need to come clean,” Friedrich said. “They cannot become entangled in contradictions…The silence means there are all sorts of conspiracy theories.”
Thus far all of this has been met with mostly silence from the US. And the Germans are demanding answers, as are other European allies that were spied upon. But hey, they’re allies and this administration has a bit of a history of blowing off our allies’ concerns.
Why should this be any different?