News / USA

    Germany Open to Talks With US Intelligence Leaker

    German Greens lawmaker Hans-Christian Stroebele holds letter from fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, Berlin, Nov. 1, 2013.
    German Greens lawmaker Hans-Christian Stroebele holds letter from fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, Berlin, Nov. 1, 2013.
    VOA News
    Germany says it would like to talk to U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden about what he knows about the vast American spying programs, including the alleged monitoring of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone.
     
    Berlin's top security official, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, said Friday Germany would welcome any information the U.S. fugitive, now living in asylum in Russia, could provide it, although it was unclear how that might occur.
     
    His remarks came after German lawmaker Hans-Christian Stroebele met with Snowden in Moscow Thursday. Stroebele said the former national security contractor, who leaked a massive cache of classified documents, handed him a letter addressed to the German government. In the letter, Snowden attacked the U.S. for pursuing him for what he described as "political speech."
     
    Key German and U.S. officials talked in Washington this week about the American surveillance. Friedrich said any information Snowden has could prove valuable to the Germans.
     
    "I don't know what he [Stroebele] has discussed with him, but if the message is that Mr. Snowden wants to give us information and tell us something, then we gladly take that on, because any clarification and every information we can get is valuable."
     
    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday the American surveillance activities went "too far" in some cases, and has promised that will not happen again.
     
    Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate intelligence committee approved legislation to tighten controls on what intelligence agencies can do with communications records. It would impose a five-year limit on how long those records can be retained.
     
    The controversy has also made its way to Asia. Indonesia summoned the Australian ambassador in Jakarta following reports indicating that Australia has allowed covert U.S. surveillance programs to operate in its embassies in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, China and East Timor.
     
    Greg Moriarty, Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, spoke with reporters shortly after the meeting, saying only that "from my perspective, it was a good meeting and now I have to go and report directly to my government."
     
    Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa expressed deep concern over the allegations.
     
    "We have sought clarification, we have sought explanation, both from Australia side as well as the United States government on the reported facilities at their embassies in Jakarta," he said.
     
    Media reports said also that the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta was used for spying on its president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and other Indonesian leaders. They indicate the U.S. embassy houses wiretapping equipment that has been used to monitor other Indonesian leaders. The documents describe the facilities as carefully concealed within embassy compounds.
     
    Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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    Comments
         
    by: nathan from: australia
    November 03, 2013 3:54 AM
    İt has long alarmed me that, besides paranoia, what passes for conventional wisdom in the states also contains a deal of fatalism and cynicism. İs it really so inevitable that your allies would treat you like an enemy??? That is what America has done and doing to nations with longer democratic histories than their own in order maintain a de facto imperialistic hegemony. İts not good enough to just claim national interest to justify a breach on another country's sovereignty.

    by: Ian from: USA
    November 02, 2013 3:11 PM
    oh please !
    You would be born yesterday to believe none of the countries in this big world commit spying on another .
    This is as old as human in the cave start to spying on the cave next door .
    Don't tell me the Germany, Russia, China, Israel... (the list of countries involve in spying would run out the supply from the paper mill) do not spying on other countries (including spying on the US) at this moment

    by: chinnappan2010 from: India
    November 02, 2013 7:46 AM
    It is a good move by the German Govt. rather a respect to Snowden. Other allies of the US have to follow the Germans ... to know the truth.

    by: charlie from: California
    November 01, 2013 1:03 PM
    They want to go to the horse's mouth to find out what else he knows that they've been kept in the dark about by the Five Eyes, the, US, UK and three dominions, Canada, Australia and N.Z.. Thanks to Snowden they and the rest of the world know the US has two tiers of alliances, the Five Eyes, who share info and don't spy on each other, and the rest, NATO, Japan, South Korea, Israel etc. Of course they want to question him. Wouldn't you if you were in a allied capital just now, not one of the Five Eye capitals, of course.

    by: skiimaan from: usa
    November 01, 2013 12:34 PM
    Spying on friends, allies?
    The shame of a nation was written in its name: United Spies of America.

    by: Bill from: Ecuador
    November 01, 2013 12:19 PM
    If I was Snowden I would tell Germany If they want info and benifit from what he has done . They need to let the world Know if he was to show up in Germany he would be protected from the insane US DOJ and would be a free Man. Otherwise I would tell them they cannot use him then discard him just because they don't want to upset th e US

    by: XonEarth from: USA
    November 01, 2013 12:14 PM
    Snowden is not a "leaker," he is a whistleblower and a celebrated hero to the people of the world for exposing the NSA crimes. It is done to bill U.S. taxpayers trillions in trumped up contracts. And it is not even remotely associated with "terrorism."

    by: KyleCS from: China Spring, TX
    November 01, 2013 12:10 PM
    Some see this traiter as some sort of hero. What this clown is now doing is giving information for money. For all who think this guy is virtuous, his mouth will kill Americans and they are accomplices to traiterous murder. <><
    In Response

    by: gheng from: philippines
    November 03, 2013 1:07 AM
    either way patriot or traitor to some extent, there's a good or bad outcome in reviling the secrecy of the NSA that goes beyond the limit. some of the rules were violated in this case. all the country involve in the said issue should talk and make an agreement to what is good and what penalty in violating the rules and not let the issue reach wars against each other....do it in a peaceful way
    In Response

    by: Ramnarayan from: Florida, USA
    November 02, 2013 4:42 AM
    Snowden's name will go in the history book as a person who opened the world's eyes on the excesses of the intelligence agencies. If Germany wants to use his knowledge, let them first appoint him as Some official at EU. Otherwise, he should tell them to go take a hike.
    KyleCS@---- you are entitled to your opinion, many in the US do not agree. Snowden could have made lot of of money if that was his objective. You don't know what you are talking about.
    In Response

    by: Phillip Moss
    November 01, 2013 1:04 PM
    "...(he) is giving information for money..."?? Would you care to back that baseless assertion up with some kind of evidence? You have not a clue what you are talking about. Snowden is not about money. You and people like you are the paranoid accomplices to the slow destruction and undermining of the noble values and moral high ground the United States of America once had. The endangerment of American lives? That is an easy mantra for the unthinking cowards among you. How about the endangerment of the American democracy and Constitution? Have you ever considered the implications of that or what you would do to protect that? Edward Snowden did.
    In Response

    by: Cheri Fox from: Dallas, TX
    November 01, 2013 12:42 PM
    @KyleCS Uh... no ... Snowden is not a traitor, he is a patriot.

    The fact is that wholesale invasive spying on all Americans ... that includes you Kyle ... is totally unacceptable. It is far more harmful to us short- and long-term than can comprehend.

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