Transcript for NSA Fallout Resumes, Snowden Open to Germany Meeting
This is a special. I'm -- -- orbit as ABC news digital special report the Germans are asking questions about US surveillance of Chancellor Angela Merkel phone calls and now it seems. And -- -- -- Snowden he might be the one to give them some answers the German and he presented this letter. Which they say snow wrote and delivered which outlines his willingness to discuss US spy tactics with foreign investigators. So without want to bring in ABC's that Martinez who's standing by at the Pentagon -- thanks for joining us today. So it's -- start out now with Edwards known whom did he meet with in Russia yesterday and what according to the Germans did they discuss in fact. Well as of this -- he's a member of the German parliament and he traveled to Moscow and met with Snowden. Could upset about the situation with Angela Merkel the money Nancy's monitoring of herself alone. He said he was looking for helpful from Snowden -- Snowden committed to providing that help. And said that he would assist the German parliament in any way. In any investigation. Into determining how much the US was actually monitoring -- and articles. Phones now that raises the question how can Snowdon actually do this. Because if he leaves Russia. Where he's under temporary asylum right now he would be subject to arrest by United States if -- leaves the country. It's presumably he would be doing this by some kind of an -- -- Skype phone -- something along those lines. But for now this isn't an offer of assistance from -- -- this letter. I'm saying that he is committed to helping the German parliament in its investigation so essentially what kind of a court cases going on then. While there's not really court case that and it's really more just like what we would expect -- find here in the United States congressional. Hearings for chance. We saw that there is that delegation of European Union parliamentarians who arrived earlier this week. Met with senior US officials of the State Department and with the director national intelligence regarding. The reports the monitoring by the -- -- in Europe. We are expecting German delegation of parliamentarians to arrive soon as well. They Q -- being expecting to -- with senior US level officials. What did they Germans are trying to do -- -- yet their own track is kind of conduct they cut some kind of a parliamentary investigation into precisely. What was going on and what Snowden knew about it because no one on this planet knows more about what the US is doing right now. Then and it's known as we're seeing -- all of these revelations that keep coming out day by day so given the sensitive nature of the information on what kind of questions and are we hearing might be asked -- in this kind of a case or in this kind of an an inquiry I guess. Well I think very first question would be how long had and had the United States in mind during angle of miracles. Cell -- or any of her communications for that matter you'll recall that any initially when the reports came out. The United States issued a statement saying that. This is actually -- the White House. Saying that the United States is currently not a vehicle not monitoring her her calls. That raising of the question wall how long a goal in the past that thing going on. And that based on some who are reporting it turns out that at least for the five years a President Obama has been in office that had been taking place without. His personal knowledge not to say that White House officials didn't know about that because our reporting indicates that they did. I'm but that this particular level of detail did not get to the president himself so those kind of questions like that the duration. What kinds of communications. We're being monitored and remember it's not just -- There -- about 35. American allies. The leaders of thirty Mary allies around the world who was -- state was allegedly monitoring now. And it's got a stressed that -- alleged here because last night. The NSA Director General Keith Alexander told an audience up in Baltimore. And that the heat is referring to the monitoring of Merkel cell phone -- alleged because he says there are no facts on the table. And of which is where the details lie in all of this. That's of course if those questions are able to be asked -- known but you know we're talking a little bit earlier on about the logistics of this I mean how in fact couldn't provide testimony. He has to physically be in -- -- any kind of negotiation back and forth he's asking for asylum men if he -- -- cooperate. It is still very early on the issue asylum is a touchy issue with Russia remember this. Of recent concerns with the United States and now about how -- how America's relationship. With Russia on the diplomatic front might be affected. Back in August when they gave him a temporary asylum it's only for a year. So what happens after that period of asylum runs out -- -- is Russia going to extend it. It's it's of great concern now remembered back and the United States is urging its allies not to -- -- Snowden to travel into their countries. -- they were stressing the point that it might -- in impact and the relationship with the US. Well obviously Germany very tight with the US but now -- this. From monitoring -- and reports of monitoring has -- to such outrage and concern within Germany. Especially on the political circle it and who knows what's possible and on the future but -- we're still very early in this process. I -- making a commitment. Two appear before the German parliament. Talking about the situation that he. Has been involved with over the last couple months he said that you know he's he's speaking the truth and speaking the truth he's not a crime. And for because of that he says he's been involved in them -- -- would -- has received systemic and sustained criticism. Though he says he's also heartened by some of -- support he's gotten around the world. Because he's -- says that this message that he had that he was very distressed by the monitoring at the United States is conducting. Is also resonated with people -- the world and he says. That to him is heartening. Last week the White House had discussed the fact that there was a phone call made by the president over to the Chancellor Angela Merkel as well mom. But what do we know right now as far as the state of the relationship between Germany and the US -- mean what is the temperature. After that kind of phone call and sort of that they those lower level diplomats. Having exchanges. Well that the reality is that the Nazis in Germany are truly committed allies say they have their differences on certain foreign policy issues for example. They were not in lock step with the -- NATO mission in. Libya there is some concern about the when there is talk of military action against a Syria a couple of months ago that they -- were not on board. But the reality again as I said -- the -- -- and Germany are very close political military and economic allies. This situation right now a big bump in the road it's obviously of concern back at home in Germany. For Merkel and for other politicians. -- but it's it remains to be seen what the long lasting impact of this. Scenario right now is really going to be made it's almost like -- diplomatic game of twister with so many various governments and individuals that are involved in this in in this may in fact have been a sense of betrayal and some in some reasons but. For strategic purposes this alliance really hasn't changed us aware of the Russians come into play -- mean. If in fact he does cooperate with the German authorities then -- his asylum would -- be threatened by cooperate with other governments. Personally I don't think so that he is in Russia he used and we just learned this week that he's actually getting media employed again. I can be taking on a consultant role with a web site there in Russia. And so he's -- Living there working. He's meeting with -- high profile people who are coming to meet him first in the form of the yet. A group of actual whistle blowers from the United States who presented him with an award a couple of weeks ago. Commenting yesterday meeting with the German parliamentarian. So he is maintaining a low profile in Russia but -- the same time. -- -- remaining there not visible in the sense that he's not backing down from. Is that claims that the United States is over. Reached in -- monitoring capabilities. So what Russia does in the future unclear how I doubt that -- Put any. -- -- -- kibosh on him. Testifying about for the Germans yet some technological means whether he'd actually leaves. -- to go do that -- person is highly highly doubtful so it's Germany now what about France what about Spain -- -- stone says that the sixty million calls are monitored in just one month in those countries mean. -- those governments expected then start seeking some more information from him. -- you -- to push back from the -- security agency over the last week with regards to the stories. And mainly because they case -- -- -- and saw them on capitol earlier this week saying that. That level of monitoring had actually been conducted by the intelligence agencies of those countries. And that they were sharing their details where the United States. And furthermore that it -- Those countries were not spying on their monitoring. As citizens phone calls within their country but actually outside their borders. And then what they -- insinuating -- that this had to do with action in Iraq -- NATO actions in Afghanistan. And pretty much similar information what we -- here -- -- that the United States basically pack teams all this information from. All these technological means email phone calls. It. Text everything and it gathers it in and puts -- through these filters and then just hold on to this information in case. -- an investigation pops up where those numbers match in the go into the data files search it out and see you. Who who's been talking them. So that's really what -- has the issue here and the and -- -- we do it and they do it and with the relationship with France and Spain. Those stories seem to have been hyped up earlier when he first came out on the relationship still -- the. They brought in the US ambassadors have talked with the ministers of foreign affairs in each country and -- -- immunity came out and talked about how old this has actually been done. By the -- -- intelligent -- in those countries you kind of saw things dampened down though the French kind of said that. Their -- it sounded impractical to them but I don't know how far they're really gonna take. -- -- you talked about this just a couple of minutes ago but those comments made last night by NSA chief general Alexander. Is seeming to pass up some of the blame for the surveillance tactics on diplomats and fat in their request so what I guess the question is is the internal politics of this kind of state. Later to talk about push back from the in his say I've got to tell you that the Tennessee historically has been one of the tightest hold press operations here. In Washington DC they hardly ever talk. What they're talking what what cut kind of operations are doing. But because of -- documents in the coming out -- week after week they'd been put into this unique position where they have to get to talk about. The intelligence gathering operations is still kind of vaguely but for them this is a huge step well. What do you hear in you what you heard from Alexander last night was that you know we are just doing what policy makers asking us to -- They want us to gather intelligence and guess what you are policy makers include diplomats and so the fact that diplomats may want to know what's going on in their countries that they're operating in. Makes sense -- Push back on the part of his Betty and part of the -- and that security agency. You seen in issuing press releases -- rebuttals Q articles and more importantly you're seeing the director of the net securities C. -- going from the cameras not just on Capitol Hill but even at speaking events this week. Basically saying. You're using the forums and -- to dispute the notion that he is his agency has overstepped its path. And -- -- -- for -- ago because there's so much attention being put on Edwards Snowden his future and that asylum for one year Russia. And now this new job that you were talking about his lawyer -- fact that he will be working at one of Russia's biggest web sites. It is that is that confirm that I mean we knows supposedly what he'll be working on. Well it is and not confirm exactly what he's going to be doing or what capacity but we do know that he will be employed. And -- -- again unclear how long that contract last fourth for what specifically he's going to be doing for them. The let -- as I mentioned earlier he's. Keeping a low profile -- obviously trying to remain hidden from US authorities -- the same time doing things. That -- in the public guy. -- -- Very early on indicated. That he wanted to be known for what he's has done and as a whistle blower. Remember he is very rare that a whistle blower actually steps front forward. And and admits hey I did this and that's what he did just shortly after those initial articles appeared in the guardian the Washington Post. When we saw those on camera interviews and -- out in Hong Kong. Where he laid out the rationale for -- he did things. And I think that's part of it he wants to be seen as an advocate. And is. And continues to be want to seen as a whistle blower so we do this it won't be the end of one hearing anything more from Eric Snow in. I think he still wants you. Be seen and. Heard from Iran and not only from a global perspective and now seems to -- -- it trickled on to each individual country almost. RD season Martinez at the Pentagon -- thank you for that we appreciate it. We have a complete report right here on abcnews.com. And on down -- -- New York with this ABC news digital special report.
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