"it has become uncool to view America as a cool place"
“would prefer to see the Germans remain firmly rooted in the Western alliance and loyal to their American partners. But she has also noticed how much anti-American sentiment the NSA scandal has stirred up among Germans.”
For decades, Germany's position in the West remained unquestioned. Following the NSA spying and other political scandals, many Germans want greater independence from the US. But does that mean getting closer to Moscow?
By Markus Feldenkirchen,
Christiane Hoffmann and René Pfister
10 July 2014
John Emerson never stops smiling. On the evening of Friday, July 4 -- Independence Day -- the United States ambassador shook hands on the red carpet at a reception given by his embassy at Berlin's former Tempelhof Airport, which has since been transformed into a park. Emerson greeted his guests with a diplomat's practiced joviality. He faced an endless line of businesspeople, German government officials and celebrities, and although he could be seen sweating, his smile remained unbroken, as if to convey the message that all was still well in the world.
It's been a common scene at recent encounters between American and German officials. But behind the perfect façade, relations are cracking. Even as workers were decorating Tempelhof Field with pennants and small flags last Friday, a report was making the rounds in the German capital that could very well drag relations between Washington and Berlin to a new low.
During questioning, an employee of Germany's foreign intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), told German authorities he had sold secret documents to the Americans. Given that special encryption technology was found during a raid of his apartment, it seems highly unlikely that selling the classified information was his idea.
This Wednesday, the spying scandal took on a new dimension when investigators with the Federal Criminal Police Office raided the home and offices of a Defense Ministry employee whom officials also suspect may have spied for the Americans.