US Airman Turned Stasi Spy

Author & Director:
Juergen Ast

Commissioning Editor:
Martin Huebner | Dr. Katja Wildermuth

52' | World Sales: NEW DOCS


Daniel Ast | Juergen Ast

astfilm productions | ARTE | MDR // ARD | ARTE

Spring 1991, in the streets in the heart of Berlin, a man is apprehended by an armed US special commando unit, and taken away. The man is a citizen of the Federal Republic of Germany, the name in his passport is Jens Karney. A spectacular operation with an incredible prehistory. Seven years earlier, the same man is called Jeffrey Carney. He is serving in the US Air Force, and working as a NSA Specialist. Stationed in West-Berlin, he is intercepting secret communication from the East. Starting in 1983, the young airman commits treason by supplying top secret documents to the state security service of the German Democratic Republic, the GDR. His codename is "Kid". In a very short period of time, "Kid" is to become one of the most important spies ever for the East. US specialists later estimate the financial damage alone to over 15 Billion US-Dollars.

With the fall of the Wall, the intelligence service carrier of the defector abruptly and dramatically ends. The traitor will be betrayed. Officers of the Ministry of State Security sell insider information to the US intelligence services, and the Americans deploy a commando unit to Berlin. The spectacular end of the operation on April 22nd 1991 is the perfect script for any Hollywood movie. Around 9:00 am, the showdown takes place in Berlin-Friedrichshain. Special agents of the US intelligence sevice of the Air Force kidnap "Kid". Soon after arriving in the USA, "Kid" will be sentenced to 38 years in prison.

Kind of a delicate operation, recalls special agent Thomas Mc Broom in the interview. He is the agent that overpowered Carney in the center of Berlin. "Jeffrey was a German citizen. It could have caused a political explosion, Americans kidnap a German citizen!" … "But the German politicians looked the other way.", summons it up the CIA insider Ben Fischer.

The documentary reconstructs the story of Jeffrey Carney, involving the protagonists from East and West. In the center of the historic excursion stands Jeffrey Carney, alias Jens Karney, alias "Kid". The "betrayed traitor" openly speaks in front of the camera about his life, the escape, the kidnapping, the sentence, fears, illusions, and lies.