Edward Snowden Is Suddenly Popular with German Politicians

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We're not quite in "enemy of your enemy is my friend" territory, but in the wake of revelations that the NSA was monitoring German chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone, Germany would suddenly like to hear more from Edward Snowden.

According to the Associated Press, Germany's Interior Minister, Hans-Peter Friedrich, would like to find a way for Snowden to address the country's lawmakers. At least one concurs.

Thomas Oppermann, a lawmaker who heads a parliamentary panel that oversees German intelligence, said on Twitter that if there's an opportunity to hear Snowden as a witness without endangering him and without "completely ruining" German-U.S. relations, it should be taken.

The idea was prompted after a German politician travelled to Moscow, meeting with Snowden and returning with a letter written by the NSA leaker. Italian journalist Laura Lucchini tweeted an image of the letter.

It reads, in part:

I am heartened by the response to my act of political expression, in both the United States and beyond. Citizens around the world as well as high officials — including in the United States — have judged the revelation of an unaccountable system of pervasive surveillance to be a pulibc service.

It concludes: "I look forward to speaking with you in your country when the situation is resolved" — the situation being Snowden's uncertain legal status. He's been granted temporary asylum in Russia (where he has, among other things, been taking in the sights). Germany was not one of the countries to divert the Bolivian president's plane earlier this year at the request of the United States, but the country has a close relationship — and extradition treaty — with the United States. During the period in which he was holed up at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, Snowden sought asylum in Germany. It was denied.

Despite the overtures of friendship, it's still highly unlikely that Merkel would approve of an appearance by Snowden. The relationship between Germany and the United States has deteriorated, but not that much. Yet, anyway. In a meeting between U.S. and German officials in Washington, Der Spiegel reports, the Americans didn't deny there was more to come.

"They seemed almost helpless, as if they'd become obsessed," says Jan Philipp Albrecht, a Green Party MEP and one of the participants in the meeting. "The US government representatives honestly looked like they didn't know what to do. And they left no room for doubt that more spying revelations are to be expected."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.