If you asked me what the most myopic thing in the news today is, I'd give the outrage over this as an answer:
US coping with furious allies as NSA spying revelations grow
US should accept limits on spying on allies
Spying on Allies Fits President Obama's Standoffish Profile
The majority of news sources are treating the "revelations" that the US spies on its allies as some sort of bombshell, as though international relations were conducted between preteens who still get shocked when they find out their friends talk about them behind their backs.
And so, in this "Hollywood Tonite" approach to International Relations, we are treated to surprise when it is revealed that Germany is still talking to us and has a delegation of intelligence professionals en route to the US.
They speculate, in their ignorance, that it is to discuss getting the US to knock it the hell off.
That is total bullshit, and I think any reasonable adult who steps outside, gets a breath of fresh air, and forgets the hype, can understand why.
NPR gets it:
4 Things To Know About Spying On Allies
Everyone spies on everyone. It's an accepted and expected aspect of international relations. Society is a bit weird, though, and holds a bit of a double standard. So while Barack Obama and Angela Merkel may have assumed (or even explicitly known) that they were being spied on, there has to be a bit of a public shit-show for the plebes when "embarrassing" revelations are made.
Chancellor Merkel shakes a finger at President Obama, and in a few weeks, everything quiets down and the world moves on.
At least, that would be the case if it wasn't for some very REAL embarrassments that didn't change the situation slightly.
Embarrassments like these assholes:
The US spying on allied countries is no big deal until the very instant the US starts having problems containing its classified information, because information taken by spies tends to be of a classified nature - that is, it's not just American secrets that are at risk.
So this hubbub over American indiscretion is not entirely disingenuous. There IS a big problem with the US spying on our allies. But it has nothing to do with Chancellor Merkel feeling invaded. It has to do with feeling exposed.
My guess is that the German intelligence envoy is not going to spend most of their time discussing how much less spying the US can do on Germany - though in a grand scheme of things it would be advantageous to do so - but rather inspecting US security protocols to ensure that German secrets are adequately protected.
They will also likely take some time to work out what German secrets have already been compromised so that the German government can get a head start on some PR and damage control. The French, and any other allies, would be smart to make similar assurances for themselves. Given the close-knit nature of Europe, they may be piggy-backing on the German mission. It would be more prudent for them to see to their own business, though, and I expect visits from our NATO partners will be coming soon. Once everybody's asses are sufficiently covered, this little debacle will simply fade from public consciousness.