German intelligence mandarin Hans-Georg Maassen of the Verfassungsschutz has told the Bundestag’s NSA committee that it is “highly plausible” that whistleblower Edward Snowden is a Russian spy.
Obviously, it is very hard if at all possible to know if anyone is a Russian spy. There are even speculations about Chancellor Merkel (who is of East-German descent). But speculations are just speculations.
And when it comes to Maassen, he has some pretty strong incentives to smear Snowden — as the whistleblower’s revelations have left German intelligence with egg on its face.
One should consider the fact that Edward Snowden did not choose Russia as his refuge. The reason he is stuck there is that US authorities had revoked his passport, stranding him in Moscow when in transit. And because all relevant western countries (including Germany) have refused him sanctuary / asylum.
If the German government were to let him into the country, Snowden could be in Berlin pretty quickly. But somehow, I presume Mr. Maassen wouldn’t be all too happy about that.
For the rest of us, it would be of great value and importance to have the whistleblower out of Russia and cooperating with western democratic oversight bodies, e.g. the Bundestag’s NSA committee.