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Sun Dec 1, 2013, 07:30 AM Dec 2013

US delegation offers 'nice gesture' on NSA fallout



Two US politicians visited Berlin on Monday in an attempt to repair the damage caused by Snowden's revelations on the extent of NSA surveillance. But there was little in the way of cooperation with the German parliament.

US delegation offers 'nice gesture' on NSA fallout

They were in Berlin, it soon became clear, as diplomats rather than parliamentarians. The US delegation that visited the German capital on Monday (25.11.2013) consisted of two Democratic members of the US Congress - Senator Christopher Murphy of Connecticut and Congressman Gregory Meeks of New York - here to show that they "understand the depth of the hurt that has been done," as Murphy put it.

But that was not all. "We hope, between actions of the Congress and bilateral actions between the Obama administration and the new government here, that we can set a new path forward," Murphy offered in the midst of a string of meetings with German politicians from Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle to Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich and several counterparts in the Bundestag too.

Then, at a panel discussion that rounded off the day's meetings, Murphy banged a familiar drum - the importance of German-US ties. "A crisis should not represent an opportunity, but that is the reality," he said, while Meeks underlined how fondly President Barack Obama remembered his triumphant trip to Berlin as senator in 2008.

Murphy and Meeks' main intention appeared to be to defend the line taken by the US government - though German concerns were valid, mass surveillance and data collection was being carried out by "good people" at the National Security Agency ("They are not doing surveillance for surveillance's sake," he insisted) and that they were "true believers" in the transatlantic relationship. This last point was proved by what they called a "reinvestment" in that alliance through the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the United States - an agreement that was thrown into crisis by the revelations unveiled by Edward Snowden.
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US delegation offers 'nice gesture' on NSA fallout (Original Post) unhappycamper Dec 2013 OP
Translation - Accept Our Bribes And Be Quiet cantbeserious Dec 2013 #1
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