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article imageU.S. busted for spying on Germany again

By Justin King     Jul 6, 2014 in World
Berlin - German counterintelligence officers arrested a man that was initially suspected of handing over documents to Russian intelligence. Upon questioning, the man admitted he was spying but stated that he had handed the documents over to American intelligence.
The 31-year-old German national, whose name is being withheld, reportedly handed over 218 secret documents to American intelligence. The content of those documents has not been released, but it was disclosed that the stolen information was not related to the German inquiry of the last US spying incident. The spy was paid about $50,000 for his services and the document drops were made in neighboring Austria.
Snowden’s revelations about the NSA’s spying on German government officials caused serious damage to US-German diplomatic relations. The US was able to deflect some of the accusations by claiming that the German nationals were caught in dragnet surveillance that wasn’t specifically targeting German officials.
The intelligence operation the Germans foiled this time was a human intelligence (HUMINT) operation. HUMINT operations are not indiscriminate in nature, so the damage to US-German relations is likely to be more significant. The US cannot claim it somehow accidentally approached, recruited, turned, and paid a German Intelligence employee to hand over documents.
The fact that German intelligence initially believed the documents were going to be handed over to Russian spies should not be dismissed. This information was obtained independently of the admission of the caught spy. It is common practice for intelligence officers to pose as representatives of another country’s intelligence service in a technique known as a “false flag” approach. It is entirely possible that the German betrayed his or her country to Russia, while believing he was working for the United States.
On the other hand, the United States has recently adopted a policy of “total information awareness.” That policy includes running intelligence operations against its own citizens, its allies, and its adversaries. so it is entirely possible that the United States was once again spying on the Germans.
As with most events that occur in the murky world of espionage, it is unlikely that the public will ever know the truth behind the incident.
More about Spying, Germany, Spying scandal, False flag, Intelligence
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