Less than a month after Germany abandoned its probe into alleged NSA spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel, a new Wikileaks drop suggests snooping on the Chancellory goes back decades.
The leak, published here, draws the inference that prior chancellors were targeted, based on the list of telephone numbers targeted by the NSA.
“The names associated with some of the targets indicate that spying on the Chancellery predates Angela Merkel as it includes staff of former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (in office 1998–2002), and his predecessor Helmut Kohl,” Wikileaks claims. “This mirrors the US approach to its targeting of French officials, which showed interceptions extending back to President Sarkozy and President Chirac.”
The leak group also reckons the list references an older NSA list of targets “extending back to the 1990s”.
The spying on Germany mirrors a long campaign of economic espionage in France which emerged in late June.
In early June, Germany abandoned its investigation into alleged NSA bugging of Chancellor Merkel, because Edward Snowden's leaks wouldn't be good enough for a court to accept as evidence, and there wasn't much chance of any admission by America's spies or the White House.
As Wikileaks notes in the new drop, even a guarantee not to wiretap Merkel doesn't mean her conversations wouldn't be intercepted, since “the Chancellor cannot run the government by talking to herself.”
The new leak also includes NSA reports based on the intercepts, revealing to nobody's surprise that the Chancellor discusses things like the Greek financial crisis, America's cautious diplomatic dance with Iran, and the Federal Reserve's response to the financial meltdown of the late 2000s.