Bush ordered NSA to spy on Germany’s Schroeder over Iraq War Opposition

(By Juan Cole)

The Guardian reports that the George W. Bush administration put German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s personal telephone under surveillance in 2002. Schroeder was opposed to the Bush-Cheney aggressive war on Iraq.

This surveillance allowed the Bush administration to know where it stood with Germany and NATO. The surveillance continued, on the personal phone of Angela Merkel. There is a rumor that Obama was surprised to find out about the snooping on her personal phone. If true, it tells you how out of control the NSA is. The spying on friendly leaders is proof positive that the spying wasn’t primarily for counter-terrorism.

US spied on German Chancellor Schröder for Iraq War opposition

Informed Comment reported on August 8,2002:

“US Isolation on Iraq: There were several international and national developments with regard to the coming US attack on Iraq on Wednesday. On Wednesday, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder warned in Bild that “any military attack on Iraq could destroy the international coalition against terrorism.” He said, “This fight (against terrorism) is not yet won and that is why I am warning against an attack on Iraq,” adding “It will not be well understood as a means of defence and could destroy the international alliance against terrorism.” Bild likewise reported that the Christian Democrat candidate in the upcoming elections, Edmund Stoiber, *also* said, “New commitments abroad by the Bundeswehr [German military] are not on the agenda.”

AFP reported that the European Union diplomats insisted that all diplomatic means to resolving the conflict with Iraq be exhausted before a military solution was adopted.

So this was probably the speech that caused President George W. Bush to place Schroeder under personal surveillance, using the National Security Agency. Not allowed to oppose Bush’s illegal aggressive war on Iraq.

5 Responses

  1. Bush was angered when Schröder had made sure that his coalition of Social Democrats and the Green Party were not available for another adventure (the upcoming war with Iraq). His Minister of Justice, Herta Däubler-Gmelin, had allegedly compared Bush’s propaganda methods with those of Adolf Hitler. She had denied that claim.

    link to news.bbc.co.uk

    Schröder had later been called a “political prostitute” by late Tom Lantos. So, German-U.S. American relationships had been troubled before. Whether Angela Merkel’s, Gerd Schröder’s or Joschka Fischer’s mobile phones had been tapped is rather irrelevant given the mass surveillance of 80 million Germans. Merkel represents all Germans, who do not want to be mass surveilled. She should show some backbone as Schröder did.

  2. On August 17, 1975, Frank Church, stated on Meet the Press, re the NSA:

    “………I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.”

    On the record of the Church Committee, he noted that, unlike the CIA, most Americnas did not even know the NSA exists.

    In a recent interview, attorney Abdeen Jabara, a U.S. citizen, stated when he sued the FBI for ilegal surveillance in 1972, he did not even know the NSA existed let alone that they had placed him under surveillance along with other federal agencies. He stated that least three foreign governments received products of that surveillance. That surveillance included confidential attorney-client communications that a federal court held Jabara’s clients had stading to sue for privacy violations. Jabara today has stated that the Snowden revelations do not surprise him given what was disclosed during his federal case pressed by the ACLU until it settled in the 1980s after exhaustive attempts by the Justice Dept. failed to dismiss that lawsuit.

    This recent Guardian article confirms that the “tyranny” that Senator Church referred to was broader than just America but extended to American allies overseas.

    Senator Church’s warning went unheeded and he was maligned from many sources as an intermeddler who was damaging U.S. national security interests. The American national media in the 1970s and 80s largely ignored the Jabara litigation that provided revelations on how U.S. citizens were under intensely invasive NSA surveillance.

  3. Wow that is cool, at least three foreign governments recieved products of that surveillance. I wish that I could have been so lucky. A fource multiplier to the fourth power.

  4. It makes me wonder how the US was spying on Canada since Canada also did not support the US invasion of Iraq? With friends like the US who needs enemies!

    • Canada has its own NSA counterpart which conducts massive surveillance on its own citizenry.

      New disclosures also indicate that the Canadian government cooperated with the NSA in surveillance of foreign targets.

      Canadian intelligence services are widely unknown and unheralded but historically have been involved in sophisticated international operations. It was Canadian agents that acquired information regarding Israel’s intent to build a nuclear weapons progran and in 1964 discovered Israel’s purchase of bulk quantities of enriched uranium from Argentina – the story of this was not publicly revealed until 2013.

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