The move amounts to a high-profile expression of German anger over alleged CIA operations uncovered by German investigators in recent weeks, as well as continued public outrage over the exposure last year of widespread U.S. surveillance programs whose targets included Chancellor Angela Merkel.
A spokesman for the German government, Steffen Seibert, confirmed the expulsion of the CIA station chief in a statement that made clear Berlin regards U.S. espionage efforts as a breach of trust.
“The representative of the U.S. intelligence services at the Embassy
of the United States of America has been requested to leave Germany,”
Seibert said. Continued cooperation would require “mutual trust and
openness,” Seibert added. “The Federal Government continues to be ready
for this and expects the same from its closest partners.”
The decision means that the United States will be forced to withdraw
an officer who oversees U.S. spying programs in Germany and serves as
the main point of contact with German intelligence services, exchanging
information on subjects ranging from terrorist plots to Iranian nuclear
In ordering the CIA station chief to leave, Germany resorted to a
form of retaliation that is occasionally employed by espionage
adversaries such as the United States and Russia, but rarely by such a
“I can’t recall ever getting to the point where a friendly service actually ejected somebody,” said John A. Rizzo