Why Germans Enjoy Being the Intelligence Community’s Victim

With the repeated history of repressive surveillance practices ingrained into cultural memory, Germany seems to know this narrative well. Malte Lehming is a frequent contributor and participant at AICGS whose recent essay in Der Tagesspiegel* suggests that there has been a subtle transformation of the “never-do-evil” logic into a “never-allow-evil” strain. Construing Edward Snowden no longer as simply a whistleblower, but as a persecuted revolutionary, this altered logic also casts both the U.S. and German intelligence communities in a negative light. Meanwhile, Putin’s dream of “driving a wedge between the transatlantic partnership” is coming true.

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*A translation of this essay appears in the National Interest on November 5, 2013.

The views expressed are those of the author(s) alone. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies.