German Chancellor Angela Merkel was on her seventh trip to China when she was informed that a double agent had been seized in Munich. The spy, who was an employee of the German foreign intelligence agency the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), was detained last Wednesday after attempting to sell services to Russia. But the real revelation came when, interrogating him, Germany’s counterintelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BFV), discovered that the turncoat had conducted espionage operations for the CIA over the past two years. He has earned approximately $34,000. His most recent assignment: passing along to his handlers any information he could find on the German investigation of the NSA’s surveillance of Merkel.
The latest flapdoodle over intelligence gathering has bestirred a more than usually energetic reaction. Calls to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and to shackle the NSA are erupting all over the political landscape like acne on a teenager’s face.
But let’s not get carried away. The problem is not with what NSA is and was doing. The problems are that it was caught doing it and that Obama is saying that NSA did something wrong, which it didn’t.
What began as another round of leaks from Edward Snowden, telling us that NSA has been listening to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone calls for the past ten years, isn’t over yet.