- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Kerry seeks to calm German anger at NSA reports
Question of the Day
BERLIN (AP) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that relations with Germany have gone through a “rough patch” recently because of revelations about NSA spying, but insisted that the two countries can put the episode behind them.
Among the reports to come out of documents leaked by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden last year were allegations that the National Security Agency for years targeted the cellphone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“It’s no secret,” said Kerry after meeting with Steinmeier. “We’ve been through a rough period in the last months. But I’m pleased to be here to direct our focus toward the future and to strengthen the trust and confidence that has always characterized this relationship.”
Appearing before reporters shortly afterward alongside Merkel, Kerry described the discord between Berlin and Washington as “bumps in the road” that could be resolved. But he gave no indication that the U.S. would sign a “no spy” accord that Germany wants, much less apologize for its past actions.
Echoing the Obama administration’s previous line, Kerry said the threat of terrorism requires new intelligence gathering methods, and that these help protect U.S. allies, too.
Merkel said she was optimistic a solution would be found.
While the German government has tried to prevent the issue from boiling over, opposition politicians and media commentators have urged Merkel to take a tougher line against Washington.
A poll released Friday by the German television station ZDF indicates that many Germans believe relations with the United States have worsened dramatically since the Snowden leaks.
Fifty-seven percent of Germans believe relations are good, down from 92 percent in October 2012, according to a random telephone survey of 1,208 German voters conducted Jan. 28-30. The same poll found that only 5 percent of Germans believe President Barack Obama’s pledge to stop eavesdropping on foreign leaders.
The poll’s margin of error was about plus or minus 3 percentage points.
On Thursday, two people closely involved in the release of Snowden’s documents to the media said they felt safer living in Berlin because of the strong reaction in Germany against the NSA’s alleged spying operations.
American filmmaker Laura Poitras - one of the few people to receive all of Snowden’s files - told an audience at the annual transmediale art and media festival that she was regularly subjected to intimidating checks when crossing U.S. borders, even before Snowden first contacted her.
Berlin, by contrast, “has felt like a safe place to work,” she said.
Jacob Appelbaum, a cyber-security expert who has also drawn on the Snowden files to illustrate some of the ways in which the NSA’s allegedly can tap into computers, said he, too, has been subjected to searches when crossing borders that he believes were due to his work.
TWT Video Picks
By Isaac Orr
New carbon-dioxide rules would put America in the dark
- House GOP resurrects border bill, predicts successful Friday vote
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- Pentagon wants extra $19M to equip, train Ukrainian troops
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors