Tapping Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone would seem like an outrageous breach of trust—except that there have been so many other, deadlier and lesser-known, breaches of trust wrought by the U.S. in Germany in recent years.
Where to begin? There’s the worldwide secret drone war—a massive break with international law. Then there’s the large and growing shadow army of private spies. And, finally, the asylum seekers, whose knowledge is unwittingly used to drop bombs in their home countries.
The worst part? Germany doesn’t even seem to mind.
Since both U.S. and German agencies have answered questions with the same unconvincing reassurances (that their only knowledge of any problem comes from the morning newspaper), a team from Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR, the German public radio and television broadcaster) and Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ, Germany’s leading broadsheet newspaper) has spent the past few months investigating these topics, trying to shine some light on Germany’s dark secrets.