The circus atmosphere surrounding NSA spying, the rest of the world and Edward Snowden continues. In the latest chapter in this saga, German lawmakers have launched hearings into the spying done by the US, and some German legislators want to bring Snowden to Berlin to testify in person. He, of course, would have to be granted safe passage to appear before the eight-person investigative committee. Such a move would likely enrage the United States. The US has been trying to get Snowden into custody for some time.
This all could be posturing by Germany of course. Spying on leaders of countries is par for the course for all governments these days. Germany should watch out lest its own spying practices might be exposed. It is likely that given the potential for angering Washington, experts believe that Merkel’s government will avoid such a move. But, make no mistake, the spying issue remains alive and well in Germany just as it seems to be subsiding in the rest of Europe and other parts of the world.
Of course the matter will not just disappear. Especially since recent new leaks revealed that UK spy agency GCHQ directly targeted Merkel with its spying tools. It may be that Germany wants political cover. For it is likely that Germany’s own intelligence agencies are probably involved in similar activities themselves. And take the matter of Snowden’s travel. How would that happen when he is holed-up in Moscow? It’s common knowledge that he wants asylum elsewhere. How safe would Snowden feel if he were to go to Berlin? Germany is a staunch ally of the US and as such could pose a danger to his safety. It might get him closer to asylum elsewhere, though. But it is well known that, in order to be granted asylum in another country, he would probably have to be present in that country.
So maybe for all the hoopla this is simply grandstanding by some German legislators who want to appear on top of the situation. Washington has already agreed to stop spying ,though maybe shifting their tactics and targets is more plausible. It is doubtful that Germany will do anything with Snowden and this situation will be defused. That is, until there is more leaked material and more revelations. Stay tuned.