As the election approaches, Chancellor Angela Merkel is working hard to dissipate anger over controversial surveillance by German and US intelligence agencies. But every time Berlin assures voters that all is well, its claims are discredited.
Monday, August 5, was the day that the German government hoped would finally provide some relief in the ongoing surveillance scandal. That morning, a member of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, stationed at the embassy in Washington picked up four German officials at a local hotel. Driving in two dark sedans, they headed for Fort Meade in the state of Maryland, the headquarters of the National Security Agency (NSA), which gathers military intelligence for the US Department of Defense.