The NSA Also Spied On German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder
New leaks reveal that the NSA not only spied on the current German Chancellor Angela Merkel but also on her predecessor Gerhard Schröder—mainly because of his opposition to the Bush administration’s plans to invade Iraq.
The premise of that war, as is now common knowledge, was deceptive propaganda using fabricated intelligence to prove that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had links to Al-Qaeda.
The infamous climax of this neoconservative beating of war drums was certainly Secretary of State Colin Powell’s presentation in front of the UN claiming that Saddam Hussein had at that moment weapons of mass destruction and links to Al-Qaeda.
Gerhard Schröder used the German population’s opposition to George W. Bush’s war plans in his reelection campaign, some would argue, by exploiting dormant anti-American resentment. And at that point, Bush ordered the NSA to spy on Schröder.
There might be some truth to the notion that catering to anti-American resentment among a segment of Germans was part of Schröder’s campaigning success, especially if one looks at the loud style in which Schröder publicly opposed the Bushies’ war plans. But that is beside the point. In my opinion, Schröder was still right on the facts.
I would like to emphasize that an opposition to a war that cost, as we now know, over a decade later, up to 133,000 civilian lives alone, does not equal hostikity against America as an idea per se. I certainly do not see it that way.
A lust for war should never be the benchmark of alliances among democratic states.
Unfortunately, it is almost never those who drag their countries into wars who face any accountability. In the end, it is not them, who pay with their lives, but the working classes who disproportionately enter the armed forces, and civilians in foreign countries, who likely never had a say in choosing their rulers.
The assumption that the Bush administration and the NSA acted as forces for democracy here seems hard to believe.
“Bush und Schröder: Eine Männerfeindschaft.” (Handelsblatt, 05.02.2014)
“NSA hörte Bundeskanzler Gerhard Schröder ab.” (Stefan Kornelius und Hand Leyendecker, Süddeutsche.de, 04.02.2014)