Monday, July 7, 2014

This Spy Business

The weekend gave the news media and political figures time to wrestle with the newest of spy episodes.

What generally came out out via several that this BND guy (German CIA)....accepted 25,000 Euro to produce roughly 200 documents (numbers go up and down on the quantity here).

Questions?  Well....who paid this to the BND guy?  Did they just pull out a manilla envelope and hand it to the guy at some coffee shop in Bonn or ice cream shop in Bingen?  What did the guy do with the money?  Did he declare any for taxes....will he have to pay taxes?  If he's sent off to prison....will he sue the CIA later for his pension?  What does this all say about the pay scale of various German government workers?  Was this BND guy making 20,000 Euro ($27,000 a year) a year after taxes?

Several German political figures said it's time to toss the don't-spy-on-our-friends policy, and start spying on France, the UK, and the US.  Course, what they didn't say is that it'd mean they'd have to go out find probably three-hundred million Euro to start a bold new program, and continue to squeeze the German tax revenue budget even more.

Recruiting Germans to be spies? I can imagine this German HR guy.....going through three-hundred resumes to find five folks who could pretend to be spies and sit around some neighborhood in Arlington....collecting data.  The BND would have to expand out by double it's present not only have agents in various countries.....but to have the smart folks residing in Germany who can analyze and put value on the data collected.  All of this means....more cost....more taxes.....more oversight....more political arguments over who you spy on (would Russia make the list?  Would you put five guys in Switzerland?  Would you put fifteen spies into the Vatican?).

This episode with the BND guy was pretty stupid, and it's hard to imagine the value of what was gained (the documents) versus the change in German attitude.  All of this will bring up the NSA apparatus in Germany....the current relationship with the German version of the NSA and the US's own NSA.....and probably start some spiral into effect over the US military remaining in Germany.  Sooner or later....some magnificent screw-up and bigger spy accusation....will cause the US to remove it's troop structure and leave Germany.  It might be five might be twenty....but it's on some timetable and likely to occur.

What next?  I would guess that some in-depth review of every single BND guy will occur now, and in twelve least ten more will be found to have dealt with Russian, British, French, and US interests.  All of this will come back to suggest that BND guys holding secrets.....are not paid at a sufficient level.....and that a major watchful-eye needs to be mounted to spy on the spies.....daily.
The saying works well here....nothing good of this will come.

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