Obama like the Stasi, says Merkel

Merkel compared NSA to Stasi in heated encounter with Obama according to The Guardian. “German chancellor furious after revelations US intelligence agency listened in on her personal mobile phone” reads the subheading. Allegiances on the left are shifting but on these issues there really ought to be a unity ticket.

In an angry exchange with Barack Obama, Angela Merkel has compared the snooping practices of the US with those of the Stasi, the ubiquitous and all-powerful secret police of the communist dictatorship in East Germany, where she grew up.

The German chancellor also told the US president that America’s National Security Agency cannot be trusted because of the volume of material it had allowed to leak to the whistleblower Edward Snowden, according to the New York Times.

Livid after learning from Der Spiegel magazine that the Americans were listening in to her personal mobile phone, Merkel confronted Obama with the accusation: ‘This is like the Stasi.’

The newspaper also reported that Merkel was particularly angry that, based on the disclosures, ‘the NSA clearly couldn’t be trusted with private information, because they let Snowden clean them out.’

The only question is why was she the first to say it? In the US such talk is muted and then some. And if you haven’t seen The Lives of Others, it is the best political movie of the past decade.

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34 Responses to Obama like the Stasi, says Merkel

  1. C.L.

    The comparison is ludicrous … because the Stasi was nowhere near as out-of-control as the NSA.

  2. Token

    The Stasi did not have the power to kill by drone, & was known to actually protect the lives of the DDR’s ambassadors & staff.

  3. Robert Crew

    the Stasi was nowhere near as out-of-control as the NSA

    Exactly. Reason.com pointed out that the Stasi had their infamous 48,000 filing cabinets of information, but the NSA’s files on US citizens, if printed out, would fill 42 trillion filing cabinets, so on that metric the NSA is 875 million times worse than the Stasi.

    I also imagine that, unlike the NSA, the Stasi actually managed to prevent some of what they considered terrorists.

    It’s a pity their RICO Act can’t be used against rogue, criminal agencies of the Federal Government!

  4. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    This is fabulous news – the magic negro would consider it, in his own words (about deliberately letting four brave Americans get killed in Bhengazi) “not optimal.” National leaders get very wounded when other national leaders speak so directly about their distaste for them, and let it be publicly known.

    He’s copping a good bit of that not optimal stuff at the moment, with record low popularity and such and it’s pretty to watch.

    “Merkel confronted Obama with the accusation: “This is like the Stasi.”"

    The gutless wonder would have shat his pants – instinctively, involuntarily shat his pants because he’s not a very brave little fellow and he wouldn’t have had any idea what to say back.

    This public enfeebling of the leader of the free world is fabulous news.

  5. Tardell G

    Obama wouldn’t even know what the Stasi was.

  6. HK_Brother

    Firstly, drone strikes are not the function of the NSA. That used to be the CIA’s job, but its now the USAF. (It used to be both CIA and USAF having their own fleets of drones…Until the CIA got out of hand and killed too many wedding ceremonies in Afghan/Pakistan border.)

    Secondly, the NSA’s role is surveillance. It doesn’t strike anything. They just have massive computer servers with tons of storage space. Phone recordings, intercepted electronic transmissions, etc.

    Thirdly, the problem is that these a-holes are completely unaccountable to the American people. Let alone pissed off American allies like Germany.

    Forthly, you have to wonder what kind of dirt the NSA has over politicians such that the political leadership pretty much ignores and excuse what has been done.

  7. Talleyrand

    Many have seen this via Mark Steyn’s column on the 3 PM’s at dinner in South Africa last week.
    Sums up the utterly vapid and dangerous cult around the Kenyan born apostate interloper.

    Obama amongst the truly great Presidents…

  8. Considering her past connections with the GDR and the Stasi, it was probably a compliment. Merkel’s rise to power is remarkably similar to Gillard, but if anything, Gillard is a poor man’s Merkel. Articles like this abound on the Internet, and have a tad more plausibility than daughter-of-Hitler conspiracies.

  9. jupes

    ‘the NSA clearly couldn’t be trusted with private information, because they let Snowden clean them out.’

    Exactly.

    And they failed to detect those who hide in plain sight like Major Hasan and the Boston Bombers.

  10. jupes

    The Stasi did not have the power to kill by drone

    I have no problem with the US killing its enemies by drone. Assassination is great way to deal with enemies and there should be a lot more of it.

  11. Oh, and another take on Merkel’s faux outrage. Shades of Yudhoyono with the faux outrage, but this reveals other reasons why Germany doesn’t like being snooped upon.

  12. Andrew

    Has anyone examined the role of Tony Abbott666 in this?

  13. Cato the Elder

    I have no problem with the US killing its enemies by drone. Assassination is great way to deal with enemies and there should be a lot more of it.

    Nothing says STFU quite as emphatically as a Hellfire through the roof.

  14. The Stasi did not have the power to kill by drone

    And the NSA don’t use anti-matter weapons. What’s your point? That the Stasi is less evil because they didn’t use weapons that were yet to be invented?

    Yes, I know, the NSA are more dangerous because they have more dangerous weapons, but i’d rather be anti-Obama in the USA than anti-communist in the former East Germany.

  15. Myrddin Seren

    Beer Whisperer:

    Considering her past connections with the GDR and the Stasi,

    I’d hazard to suggest that based on her past experience, Chancellor Merkel is telling the Lightbringer that his administration is fucking incompetent, and that they’d let a z-grade clerk clean out her private info.

    Which would never have happened in the Good Old Days back in the DDR.

    All of which is plainly true – and the Obama administration is a goat rodeo.

  16. Token

    I have no problem with the US killing its enemies by drone. Assassination is great way to deal with enemies and there should be a lot more of it.

    Obama does, he had legislation ready to go the limit the Republicans in case he lost the election.

    Obama: Drone killing is terrible…when Mitt Romney does it

    Facing the possibility that President Obama might not win a second term, his administration accelerated work in the weeks before the election to develop explicit rules for the targeted killing of terrorists by unmanned drones, so that a new president would inherit clear standards and procedures, according to two administration officials.

  17. Token

    My link to the thread is how the Sun King sees the powers of state as his exclusive privilege.

  18. Token

    And they failed to detect those who hide in plain sight like Major Hasan and the Boston Bombers.

    Remember how the FBI was focused on homegrown terrorism & had turned their focus on the groups the IRS were directed by the Sun King’s admin to target, so they totally ignored the Islamists?

  19. Petros

    Sophie Scholl was a great film for those interested in state control during World War Two Germany.

  20. Rabz

    And they failed to detect those who hide in plain sight like Major Hasan and the Boston Bombers.

    Ah yes, the Boston Bombers – hysterically predicted in the immediate aftermath to inevitably be “Tea Party members”.

    Oh, wait …

  21. Token

    … hysterically predicted in the immediate aftermath to inevitably be “Tea Party members”.

    Don’t forget the training exercise where the predicted the exact scenario by made sure everyone was looking for Tea Party types.

  22. C.L.

    Has anyone examined the role of Tony Abbott666 in this?

    Yeah, it does raise the question.

  23. He would have to spy on one of the few leaders of the Free World who actually has personal recollection of what a totalitarian dictatorship is like to live under, wouldn’t he? Fucking dingbat.

  24. Combine_Dave

    Oh, and another take on Merkel’s faux outrage. Shades of Yudhoyono with the faux outrage, but this reveals other reasons why Germany doesn’t like being snooped upon

    Because the Sun King doesn’t want Merkel to take over zee world… seems a bit far fetched. Germany is pretty much hamstrung bailing out other EU nation’s debt, chances of threatening the USA = 0。

  25. Oh come on

    There’s no need to resort to hyperbole to criticise the NSA. Sure, modern technology allows the NSA to collect much more data on its targets than the Stasi was ever able to. However, in terms of the malevolent influence the Stasi had over the life of the average East German – as opposed to the invisible presence of the NSA in the lives of Americans and non-Americans alike – it’s clear that the Stasi was a far more nasty organisation than the NSA.

    Let’s not trivialise the suffering of the victims of Stasi activities by comparing this to what the NSA’s been getting up to in recent times.

  26. Cold-Hands

    And just because the NSA is collecting reams of data, all the evidence suggests that they are not effectively processing what they’re collecting. Either they’re focusing on the wrong sorts of targets (Tea Partiers rather than Jihadi), or they’re being inundated with sheer volume. The first option means that effective oversight of the organisation is mandatory- and not just by the White House.

  27. one old bruce

    You missed the main point, which is this:
    ‘the NSA clearly couldn’t be trusted with private information, because they let Snowden clean them out.’

    It is all a matter of culture. The US is a culture of atoms, each one another grandstanding Luther with yet another list of ‘theses’. They build vast centralised bureaucracies with almost nothing left to unite them after a couple of generations – no dominant culture. Houses of cards. The inevitable collapse will be terrible.

  28. David

    Angela Merkel heads off in her car for a weeks shopping in Paris and is stopped at the border by the French Customs Officer who recognises her but decides to put her through her paces anyway.
    Customs Officer, “Name?”
    AM. “Angela Merkel”
    Customs Officer, “Nationality?”
    AM, “German”
    Customs Officer, “Occupation?”
    AM, “No, just a weeks shopping”.
    :-)

  29. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk :)

  30. Because the Sun King doesn’t want Merkel to take over zee world… seems a bit far fetched.

    .

    Yeah, a bit conspiracist, but its not as though it lacks evidence. Germany is clearly dominating Europe, and the bailouts are a price to pay for such dominance, although bailouts are being replaced by bail-ins. German relations with the middle-east is well documented, although the 9/11 terrorists studying in Germany has no evidence of actual collusion.

  31. Mitchell Porter

    I’m interested in this thread because it’s one of those areas where the distribution of views on Catallaxy is not clear to me. In my opinion, it’s reasonable to assume that Australian intelligence has the Australian population under surveillance to the same degree as the NSA surveils the American population. We are part of the same Five Eyes alliance, GCHQ in Britain seems to have similar unaccountable information-awareness powers, so why wouldn’t we assume that a similar technical and legal culture exists in the Australian intelligence community as well.

  32. Tel

    Which would never have happened in the Good Old Days back in the DDR.

    Yeah, you would have needed to save up a whole month’s toilet paper rations to bribe the spooks in the DDR.

  33. Combine_Dave

    German relations with the middle-east is well documented, although the 9/11 terrorists studying in Germany has no evidence of actual collusion.

    Germany’s Leftwing party’s (SPD) support for the crazed Palestinian terrorists?

    To be fair to Germany they’ve had plenty of trouble of their own from local would be Osamo Bin Ladens due to their ‘special’ relationship with Turkey.

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