The US embassy in Berlin evoked mistrust in their “German counterparts” in a cable sent to the Secretary of State Department in Washington DC. The cable, sent early 2010, reads,
“…our German counterparts consistently raise concerns about U.S. data protection measures and policy. Furthermore, the German views often distort and misrepresent U.S. policy…current Federal Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP) – who has considerable influence – is particularly outspoken and does not appear to have (or perhaps want) an informed view of USG data privacy practices. It is critical that we aggressively and vocally counter these misrepresentations of U.S. policy” (see 4 at WikiLeaks Cable Viewer).
You might imagine how uncomfortable this could make the US Embassy’s relationship with its German counterparts. The information was classified by Robert A. Pollard, Minister-Counselor for Economic Affairs.
Pollard is a Principal U.S. Embassy Official in Germany. You can find him listed at Travel Document Systems, Germany (click here). TDS Germany plays up the mutually friendly relationship between Germany and the US.
Time magazine had this to say about U.S.-German relations in the light of WikiLeaks: “Just when it looked like U.S.-German relations were on the mend after the fallout over the Iraq war-when then Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s vocal opposition to the U.S. invasion in 2003 put Germany on a collision course with the Bush Administration-the leaking of classified cables from the U.S. embassies has threatened to cause a new diplomatic row” (read German-U.S. Ties Will Survive WikiLeaks, but Trust Is Gone).
In the same cable sent from the US embassy in Berlin to Washington D.C., is the following:
“Germany has become a difficult partner with regards to security-related information sharing initiatives following the September 27 national elections, which brought the FDP into the governing coalition. The FDP [the Free Democratic Party] sees themselves as defenders of citizens’ privacy rights and these views have led the FDP to oppose many of Germany’s post-9/11 counterterrorism legislative proposals” (3).
Also in the cable: “The exaggerated data privacy views of the current minority governing partner, the Free Democratic Party (FDP), have contributed to a domestic discussion that distorts U.S. policy and is negatively-influencing the European debate” (2).
As I sift through the WikiLeaks Cable Viewer, I will continue to post my favorite embarrassing and revealing finds.