Executive Intelligence Review
Subscribe to EIW This article appears in the August 1, 2014 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Satrapy or Sovereign Partner in
German-American Relationship?

by Helga Zepp-LaRouche

[PDF version of this article]

July 25—The relationship between Germany and the United States, and beyond that, the trans-Atlantic relationship generally, has been rattled for quite some time, although there are entirely different perceptions on the two sides of the Atlantic about what the magnitude of the tremors might be.

While in Germany, since the exposure of the NSA scandal by Edward Snowden, a delayed, but deepening, erosion of the foundations of the German-American relationship has begun, Washington lacks any sensors for detecting the reaction of the German population to the total surveillance policy. In the final analysis, the establishment in Washington and on Wall Street—people like Zbigniew Brzezinski—view Germany as an American protectorate, and are certain that due to the cooperation of the NSA with the BND and the Verfassungsschutz [the German equivalents of the CIA and FBI, respectively], the Berlin government is so much involved and compromised in surveillance that no serious consequences are to be feared.

It was not until the expulsion of the CIA station chief by the German government in mid-July that a few alarm bells began to go off in Washington. The agitated director of the Washington Bertelsmann Foundation, Annette Heuser, in a hastily convened conference call of the Atlantic Council, declared that German-American relations were shaken to the core, and that the discovery of just one more spy could drive the final nail into the coffin. Fifty-seven percent of Germans want greater independence from the U.S., and the EU's smaller states are expressing their outrage about how the U.S. might deal with them, if this is how the relatively strong Germany is being treated. Therefore, not only the German-American, but the entire trans-Atlantic relationship is in free-fall, she said. Even if now, more than a year after the Snowden revelations, Germany were offered the same relationship as the U.S. has with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom (the so-called "Five Eyes" intelligence-sharing agreement), the horse is already out of the barn; after ignoring German concerns for so long and, for example, refusing a "No-Spy Agreement," such deals would now be considered only as window dressing, and would simply aggravate the damage.

Jeffrey Gedmin, former president of the Aspen Institute in Berlin, writing in the Washington Post July 15, made an 11th-hour effort to limit the damage,. He explained why the Germans are so sensitive on this topic, because after all, monitoring of the population was central to the Nazi terror, and following that, there were, in communist East Germany, up to 2 million "unofficial employees" spying for the Stasi secret service, in a population of 17 million.

Beyond Ordinary Espionage

The reality is that the total electronic surveillance by the NSA and GCHQ (its British equivalent) is something that the Gestapo and Stasi could only have dreamed of. As terrible as the Gestapo and the Stasi were, we are confronted now with total mind-control in the present and future, the annihilation of all human freedom. Just compare, from today's perspective, the rather ridiculous cameras that were hidden in bird feeders in East Germany, now on display in the Stasi museum in Berlin, with the vast surveillance capabilities used today by the NSA and GCHQ. "Thoughts Are Free" is the name of the song that many people in the German Resistance against the Nazis adopted; Sophie Scholl of the White Rose played it on her flute outside the walls of the Ulm Prison where her father was imprisoned. Now, with the neo-Gestapo, even thoughts are no longer free.

Publicists like the recently deceased Frank Schirrmacher have commented on the methods and far-reaching consequences of the "radical total surveillance of the world" (Sascha Lobo). The digitization of our lives has led to profound changes in behavior, and relegated many in the younger generation to being mere appendices of the Internet (thereby impoverishing their intellectual abilities); but the total spying not only aims at monitoring the present, but also the future, based on the theory of Norbert Wiener that one can extrapolate future behavior from past behavior. Everything the individual will do in the future—what stocks he will buy, his creditworthiness, his health prognosis, his likely vacation destinations, his fashion tastes, his tendency to skirt certain laws, the duration of his marriage or partnership, his drinking and eating habits, his voting preferences, even his most secret fantasies: All this should be predictable by algorithms and the combination of website visitation, electronic communications, GPS data, insurance cards, etc. A "glass man," transparent in both the present and the future.

In retrospect, it turns out that the horrific visions of George Orwell were actually a program for the future; the 1984 model of surveillance has long since been superseded by the NSA and GCHQ, as in Orwell's Animal Farm: Some animals are indeed more equal than others. and 85 people on this earth own about as much as half of mankind.

Alarmed by the expulsion of the CIA station chief in Germany, the White House dispatched Chief of Staff Denis R. McDonough and terrorism consultant Lisa Monaco to Berlin to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel's Chief of Staff, Peter Altmeier, and Günter Heiss, the coordinator of the German intelligence services. They agreed to set up a "structured dialogue," in which a framework for future cooperation will be discussed. Thus, the long-term but secret cooperation between the intelligence services has thus been placed on a stronger legal and political basis, rejoiced columnist David Ignatius in the Washington Post. In addition, the BND is to be equipped to be able to monitor the activities of friendly intelligence services, the so-called 360-degree view. Only on German territory, of course.

An unnamed representative of the Obama Administration was quoted in the Washington Post: "It's important to reclaim the public narrative in Germany about how important this relationship is to the Americans, the Germans and the Europeans." "Narrative" is a favorite word in Washington, and doesn't mean principles and the truth, but rather the representation of an issue that can be best sold to the public, to the advantage of those in power.

What Worries Wall Street

More than all the hoopla about the expulsion of an easily replaceable CIA station chief, what really shocked London and Washington was the growing opposition to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which formally exploded in response to revelations about espionage and CIA agents in the Federal Ministry of Defense and BND. The successful conclusion of the TTIP is, in the eyes of Wall Street and the City of London, more important even than NATO, since it would enable them to cement imperial control and remove any vestiges of national sovereignty. What is meant by "reclaim the public narrative" is in fact the consolidation of the dictatorship of the trans-Atlantic financial oligarchy, the Empire.

But this trans-Atlantic relationship has been shaken to its foundation for a much more existential reason. More and more people understand that the Empire, which has launched a full-scale attack on the privacy of all citizens, is also the driving force behind the eastward expansion of NATO and the EU. They understand that the escalation of sanctions against Russia is also an attack on German interests (and Italian, French, etc.)—if not more so. And more and more people also understand that after Tony Blair's lies about the Iraq War in 2003, and the lies from David Cameron and Barack Obama regarding the alleged chemical weapons of the Syrian government, it is now the same kind of lies that are being told about the alleged Russian responsibility for the downing of the Malaysian aircraft over Ukraine.

The consequence of all this is that the vast majority of Germans have no desire to be drawn by the Empire into a confrontation with Russia, which would mean the third, and this time thermonuclear, world war, and the annihilation of mankind.

The German-American relationship must not be one where Germany knuckles under again as a protectorate of the Empire, but rather one where Germany as a sovereign state, on the basis of its high culture, its Classical and scientific tradition, develops a real friendship with the America of the American Revolution and the Constitution. To find a way back to the real America is the task which will decide America's future and the future of the world.

Translated from German by Daniel Platt