February 22, 2011 By

German Newspaper Says US Kept Tabs on Leader

4_2A leading German newspaper reported on Tuesday that the American intelligence services monitored former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder beginning in 2002 and perhaps earlier. The newspaper, Suddeutsche Zeitung, said that the information came from documents from well-informed United States sources, both in the government and in intelligence circles. One of the sources, who were not identified, said that the monitoring began because “we had reason to assume that he was not contributing to the success of the alliance.”

Schröder, who was the Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005, openly opposed the Bush administration’s developing plans to go to war in Iraq. The report said that Schröder appeared “at the latest in 2002” as No. 388 on the list of targets for monitoring. The newspaper quoted Schröder as reacting to the report in a short statement; “Back then, I would not have come to the idea of being monitored by the American intelligence services; now it no longer surprises me.”

The news stirred outrage in Germany, one of America’s closest allies. Edward Snowden’s revelations about U.S mass surveillance programs, also known as the “N.S.A affair” in Germany, were leaked by Der Spiegel, a German weekly magazine. It caused widespread uproar earlier. According to the documents released, the N.S.A had access to huge amounts of data from the Germans and other non-American countries.  Another furor exploded on October last year, when Der Spiegel reported the tapping of the phone lines of the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Dorothea Merkel. She has been the Chancellor of Germany since 2005 and the leader of the Christian Democratic Union since 2000.

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