Hardliners like ex-CIA chief Michael Hayden are trying to put Berlin back in place, dissatisfied that the Germans are acting like adults and not like subservient servants of the “five eyes” alliance, says Ray McGovern, a former CIA officer.
This article originally appeared at RT
Speaking at a Washington-based think tank, the New America Foundation, on Tuesday former NSA and CIA director, General Michael Hayden, said that terror attacks such as the Charlie Hebdo shooting are inevitable and similar to Ebola. He confessed that the NSA would never agree to stop spying on Germany whatever the political fallout.
RT: Do you really believe that nothing can be done to avoid terror attacks like Charlie Hebdo, given the West's massive intelligence networks?
Ray McGovern: It does make everything that General Hayden implemented at the NSA worthless. The famous pile, from which you are supposed the extract a little nugget on terrorism, it hasn’t worked.
Hayden has his nose out of joint. He is neocon who is very dissatisfied these days and particularly with the performance of German Chancellor Angela Merkel because she is not acting obediently anymore. She actually sees Germany interests first, and has prevented a worsening of the situation in Ukraine. General Hayden doesn’t like that. He doesn’t like Angela Merkel being an upstart and saying that she’s displeased at having her handy, her little cell phone monitored. Well, “she should know her place.”
So Hayden here is not the most diplomatic person in the world. He is trying to tell Merkel and everyone else who is outside the [Five Eyes intelligence alliance] - the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand - that they are secondary citizens and they will remain so as long as they don’t spring to obedience the way the other four do.
RT: The former NSA director suggested that relations between Germany and the US might not be as rosy as generally believed. Is that true? How do you see relations between Berlin and Washington evolving from here?
RM: The most significant break since WWII has just happened. Angela Merkel came to Washington and she said“selling offensive arms and giving them to the Ukrainians is a bad idea, we oppose it.” And the President [Barack Obama] said: “Oh, we’re still trying to make our decision about that.” She went to Russia and worked out a deal with Putin and Poroshenko saying: “Look, we need a ceasefire,” and so far the good news is that ceasefire is holding.
I think the Germans for the first time in 70 years now are sort of coming out of adolescence into adulthood and are willing to stand up to the US and say: “Look, our interests are not the same as yours. We don’t want a war in Central Europe, and we’re going to prevent it!” That translates into intelligence cooperation, as well. Surely we have a very close relationship with Bundesnachrichtendienst, the German external security service, and that won’t attenuate because everyone has an interest in preventing terrorism. But the Germans are going to be put in place by the likes of people like General Hayden and others who are very dissatisfied with the fact that [the Germans] are acting like adults now, and not like subservient servants like the other four eyes.
RT: A no-spy agreement between Washington and Berlin has been discussed for a long time. Was this all just so much empty talk, a public show?
RM: No, I think Merkel felt political pressure to get on the same level as the so-called ‘five eyes’. It was made very clear to her including by the president of the US: “No. You don’t qualify.” That attempt was stillborn and everyone in Germany knows that. Repercussions are immense because when you compare New Zealand and Australia – with all due respect - to Germany, comparisons are invidious. Germany of course is much more important. They should be not subjected to this gratuitous demeaning.