German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel claimed this week that the U.S. government threatened to stop notifying Germany of terrorist plots if the country gave asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
"They told us they would stop notifying us of plots and other intelligence matters,” Gabriel said, according to The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald who was present for a speech by Gabriel.
Gabriel said he was disappointed that Snowden had to seek asylum in Russia, which caused an unidentified person to shout, "Why don’t you bring him to Germany, then?”
Gabriel claimed that Germany would have to extradite Snowden to the U.S. if the whistleblower had asylum.
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Greenwald asked Gabriel how that would be possible if Snowden had asylum status, which overrides fugitive status per international law.
Greenwald reported that Gabriel said the U.S. would "cut off" Germany from its intelligence sharing. Greenwald added that the U.S. made a similar threat to the U.K. government in 2009.
Germany has a history of kowtowing to the U.S. government's wishes.
In 2014, Germany dropped an investigation into the NSA, which was allegedly tapping German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone, reported RT.com, but instead severed its contract with Verizon, noted The Washington Post.
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Snowden revealed to Der Spiegel in 2013 that the NSA had been working closely with the German government in spying operations, even though German authorities had previously denied the claim many times.
In the documentary about Snowden, "Citizenfour," Oscar-winning filmmaker Laura Poitras revealed that the Rammstein U.S. Air Force Base in Germany is where all of the U.S. drone strikes are launched, noted The Daily Beast.
Sources: The Intercept, The Daily Beast, Der Spiegel, The Washington Post, RT.com / Image Credit: Moritz Kosinsky