Why is everyone so exercised by this? After 9/11 when the US administration was caught with their pants down by former allies and family members of what were once business partners of the Bush family, all bets were off when it came to who was spied on.
Angela Merkel was the perfect person to make a scene on what was a very open secret that the US government alongside the vast military industrial complex was collecting information on everyone with the slightest potential of being an enemy, and, Germany has been historical an enemy in two big massive confrontation which involved vast swathes of the globe.
Angela Merkel also comes from an abolished country once called ‘The German Democratic Republic’ which was a communist regime and technically she could have been a very deep mole belonging to Russia. Willy Brandt the former leader of Federal Republic of Germany had a East German spy as an advisor and had to resign.
The reason why Angela Merkel could make a scene was that she had just won a massive mandate for another term as chancellor so she is at the top of her game and de facto the ‘first amongst equals’ in the European Union having to bail out all the EU countries that are in financial destitution. President Obama just had a bruising fight with right wing radicals who wanted to shut the US government down except for the parts it felt was ‘useful’ and default on the US national debt because they hate the idea of good health care and Obama. Hollande of France is a newby and is having problems over his tax policy and David Cameron’s party want to leave the EU.
Angela Merkel will never be this powerful again and she has 3 or 4 years in which she can implement her policies and only have to worry about Putin. Angela Merkel grand vision is not really known but it will be to the benefit of Germany and the US has to be kept in check.
So the hoopla about the NSA is a nice situation to undermine US foreign policy and promote German policy. If anyone believe that Germany is not spying on her ‘friends’ is really deluded. All governments monitor their ‘friends’. It is something all nations, power, empires whatever have done for 1,000’s of years. Espionage is a business and Germany are into business, just like any state would be and do…and why not?