Archive | Germany

Brexit – Is Germany Dictating to Britain the After-Brexit Rules? – A Prelude to the French Elections

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“German government officials have  proposed giving Britain access to the European Union’s single market in return for a fee, …

The 35-page report on the potential costs of Brexit to Germany said Britain’s departure from the EU risked “serious economic and stability relevant consequences; effects in particular on the real economy.” The ministry officials calculated Berlin would have to pay an additional 4.5 billion euros ($5 billion) a year into EU coffers as a result of Britain’s departure from the bloc. To mitigate the cost, they floated the idea of charging Britain for access to the single market. 

“Such a future financial contribution should be used to alleviate the financial consequences of Brexit (reduction in EU spending or increase in payments for other member states),” Focus quoted the officials as saying. … (Reuters, May 6, 2017)

It’s hilarious! – Germany offering Britain post-BREXIT access to the European market for an annual “fee”! And this, from the looks of it, just so that Germany does not have to pay some US$ 5 billion more into the wasteful kitty of the overloaded, over-paid and incompetent bureaucracy of the EU apparatus in Brussels.

We can only hope BREXIT will be followed by many others, like, for example, FREXIT, France leaving the European Non-Union. It would be the end of the EU which would be a blessing for Europe. Eighty percent of the French want a referendum on France leaving the European Union. It will never happen if Macron becomes President.

How many French, or Europeans for that matter, know that Macron made his rapid political ascent by starting his career with the Rothschild banksters and then was catapulted by Hollande and PM Valls into the position of French Minister of Finance, basically to deregulate everything of the economy that had not yet been deregulated, as well as pushing through a PM decree, the infamous anti-union French Labor law. He is a neoliberal globalist, defending a new-fascist economy. That is not what the media portray, and surely not what the people want.

Today, May 7, as many disenchanted French voters say, there is the choice between the Pest and Cholera, voting for Macron or for Le Pen. But there is indeed another choice – Abstention; showing the powers that be their disgust with ongoing lie-propaganda and resulting politics.

Who do you think has financed the massive propaganda that brought Macron to prominence from an almost unknown past? – The banksters, worldwide, and their interest groups, of course. Globalization must not die. The world hasn’t been sucked entirely dry yet. If France were to exit the system, like the Brits decided almost a year ago, the globalization empire might crumble – with neo-fascism at peril.

Hence, the massive pro-Macron propaganda for tomorrow’s elections, led by Brussels and Washington and the related Big Finance and Industrial interests and lobbyists. – They don’t want a collapse of the EU – the elite on either side benefits greatly from the current system, as usual, at the detriment of the populations.

But back to Britain: The UK does NOT need the EU. In fact, London has already had preliminary talks with China for bilateral agreements. If they materialize, they will most likely encompass more than just China, namely the entire Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which comprises also Russia, most of Central Asia, Pakistan, Iran with India as an aspiring candidate.

If such agreements were to materialize, Britain’s market would be linked to more than half of the world’s population and about a third of the globe’s economic output. There would be no need for the decaying European Union and her faltering western allies. Let’s be clear: The future is in the East. The West is passé.

May we just hope that the Brits will not fall for Germany’s ‘generous’ offer of access to the EU market.

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All of this is not to say that a European Union per se would be bad. However, NOT and I repeat NOT under the current premises, under the current set-up. This construct has to be dismantled, the faster the better. It was not even a European idea in the first place, but a CIA initiative just after WWII – and Washington’s objective even before WWII, to create a Continent of Vassals, united in a “Union of European States”, but without a Constitution, therefore without common political goals (a “non-union”), and with one currency, the Euro, that was created according to the same fraudulent principles as the dollar and fully dependent on the dollar, so the new puppet union could be easily economically manipulated and controlled.

It is fraudulent, because money is made by private banks, from thin air, without any backing, therefore ideal for manufacturing crisis after crisis for the benefit of the banksters and the rich.

That’s precisely what has happened. And we, in Europe, are about to wake up. The Brits with BREXIT were first. We can just hope it’s not too late.

A new European Union should be born in Europe, by Europeans and for Europeans – and WITHOUT interference from outside, especially not form Washington. A new Europe should be free to choose her alliances from the east and west without restrictions and without fear of sanctions, for not behaving according to a self-imposed foreign Master’s dictate.

This article was in part based on an interview of the author with Press TV

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Neo-Nazi Network in German Army Exposed

The arrest of a German army officer suspected of plotting the assassination of leftist politicians and high-ranking state officials has exposed the operations of neo-Nazi forces at the highest levels of the German military (Bundeswehr).

The information that has emerged thus far indicates that the suspected officer-terrorist was part of a broader network of fascists within the Bundeswehr, and that his activities were known to his superiors and covered up by them.

Most astonishing is the official reaction to these alarming revelations. They have prompted an outpouring of anger in the German media and from the establishment parties directed not at the existence of this network and evidence of its toleration by high-level state forces, but at mild criticisms of the military by Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen.

Given the historic crimes of German imperialism in the 20th century and the current revival of militarism in Germany, it is remarkable how little attention has been paid to these developments in the American and international press.

Lieutenant Franco A., 28, was arrested last week after coming to the attention of Austrian police when he sought to retrieve a weapon hidden at the airport in Vienna. It quickly emerged that the officer had been leading a double life. In addition to his activities in the Bundeswehr, Franco A, who does not speak a word of Arabic, had registered as a Syrian refugee and been recognized as such.

He apparently intended to carry out a terror attack under a false flag. A police search of his home uncovered a list of possible targets, which included, together with leftist politicians and activists, Justice Minister Heiko Maas and former German President Joachim Gauck.

Franco A. did not operate alone. The police have recovered shells and handguns from a 24-year-old accomplice, who was also arrested. The Defence Ministry has informed the parliamentary defence committee that the arrested officer may be part of an ultra-right network within the Bundeswehr.

The reaction of the military leadership suggests that this network is far more extensive and reaches much higher than has thus far been revealed. Defence Minister von der Leyen cancelled a planned trip to the US and invited 100 high-ranking military officers to Berlin on Thursday “to discuss the implications and consequences of the accumulated cases in the Bundeswehr.”

It is now clear that, for some time, Franco A.’s superiors were aware of his fascistic views and shielded him. As far back as 2014, his graduate thesis at the French military university Saint-Cyr was rejected on the grounds that it was not a scholarly work, but rather “a radical nationalist, racist appeal,” calling for “existing conditions to be adapted to the alleged natural law of racial purity.” The responsible French general advised Franco A.’s German superiors to sack him, but the latter concluded that he was not a racist. They hushed up the case and promoted his military career.

The neo-Nazi views of the first lieutenant were an open secret in the French town of Illkirch, where he served in a Franco-German unit. Investigators from the Bundeswehr have found “indications of right-wing and racist ideas” in his room. In addition to a swastika carved on an assault rifle, they discovered pictures glorifying Hitler’s army, the Wehrmacht.

Racist and authoritarian views and the glorification of violence are not only widespread in the Bundeswehr, they are actively encouraged by its leaders. The military intelligence service is currently investigating 275 extreme right-wing suspects. These investigations are exercises in damage control. Charges were dropped against one soldier who placed a photo of a machine gun on the Internet with the caption:

“The fastest German asylum procedure: rejects up to 1,400 requests per minute.”

The tradition of Hitler’s Wehrmacht continues to be officially cultivated in the Bundeswehr. Many barracks bear the names of military officers who were implicated in the Nazis’ genocidal racial and war policies.

The universities of the Bundeswehr in Munich and Hamburg have repeatedly generated headlines by promoting right-wing extremism. In Munich, there was a controversy in 2011 surrounding the student magazine Campus when three of its editors expressed their support for the Conservative Revolutionary movement, one of the leading ideological forbears of the Nazis.

In Hamburg, the book Armee im Aufbruch (Army on the Move) was published in 2014 with contributions from sixteen officers who studied at the Bundeswehr University there and had combat experience in Afghanistan. The book is full of language typical of Nazi literature glorifying war.

The officers consider themselves to be an elite, opposed to a “hedonistic and individualistic” society focused on “self-gratification, consumption, pacifism and egoism,” a society that has no appreciation for the “striving for honour through great sacrifice,” for a “patriotic attitude to the people (Volk) and Fatherland” and for “courage, loyalty and honour.”

There was no protest against the book within the German political establishment. The right-wing, dictatorial standpoint it expressed is shared across the political spectrum.

When Defence Minister von der Leyen, a member of the ruling Christian Democratic Union, responded to the exposure of the Franco A. case by warning that

“the German army has an attitude problem and it apparently has weak leadership at different levels,” she provoked a storm of protest.

She may well lose her post, not because terror attacks on the former president and current ministers and members of parliament were planned from within the ranks of the Bundeswehr, but because she spoke out too sharply against it!

The Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Greens and the Left Party are protesting the loudest against von der Leyen. SPD Chairman Martin Schulz accused the defence minister of lacking a sense of responsibility. SPD defence expert Rainer Arnold called on her to apologise to her troops. Former Deputy Juso (SPD Young Socialists) Chairman Lars Klingbeil accused von der Leyen of “stabbing hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the back.”

The Green Party defence expert Tobias Lindner declared,

“It is not the Bundeswehr’s fault if it is increasingly attractive to right-wing extremists.”

His colleague from the Left Party, Alexander Neu, proclaimed his opposition to placing all soldiers under general suspicion due to the case of Franco A.

These developments reveal the enormity of the swing to the right by the entire German ruling class and the advanced state of its campaign to again make Germany the hegemon of Europe and a world military as well as economic power. The deepening crisis of world capitalism and rising economic and geo-political tensions are tearing Europe apart and fracturing the Atlantic alliance, increasingly pitting Germany against the United States.

Under these conditions, German imperialism must seek to sanitize its criminal past and rewrite its history to rehabilitate fascism, as it transforms the Bundeswehr into a lethal force of professional killers, capable of waging war all over the world.

Claims that the German ruling class learned its lesson from the Holocaust and the crimes of the Nazis, and that the military had purged itself, are exposed as myths.

In a commentary on Tuesday, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung co-editor Berthold Kohler derided the “fantasy image” of the Bundeswehr “as a kind of missionary military that spreads the gospel of the German constitution so that the German spirit shall heal the world.” He wrote:

“Whoever sends soldiers into crises and wars must prepare themselves and the soldiers for the harshness and cruelty that awaits them.” Because the Bundeswehr has to teach its recruits “to fight and kill … it must be able to go to the limits of what is permissible in terms of hardship in training its fighting units.”

The spread of militarism into all spheres of society is an international phenomenon. In the US, Donald Trump, the most right-wing president in American history, has appointed generals to all the main security-related ministries, as American imperialism spearheads the drive to World War III. In France, heavily armed soldiers routinely patrol the streets since the imposition of a state of emergency a year and a half ago.

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59% of Germans disapprove of US strike on Syrian airbase – poll

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Image result for TRUMP strike on Syrian CARTOON

RT

Almost 60 percent of the people in Germany say the US strike on a Syrian airbase earlier in the week was the wrong thing to do, according to a poll commissioned by Bild am Sonntag newspaper.

The poll, ordered by the media outlet and conducted by Emnid-TNS company, asked respondents about Washington’s decision to launch Tomahawk missiles at the Syrian airfield.

The survey revealed that 26 percent approved, and 59 percent disapproved of the attack on the military site.

The majority of the respondents, 80 percent, also think that no more strikes should be made on Syrian territory. Only nine percent would welcome further US attacks on the country.

The US said the bombardment was in response to a suspected chemical gas attack in Idlib, which Washington claims Syrian President Bashar Assad and his government were responsible for.

A total of 59 Tomahawk missiles launched from American warships hit Shayrat airfield, where it is alleged that Syrian planes with chemical weapons took off.

The Bild am Sonntag survey also found that 40 percent of Germans fear that the strike can provoke military conflict between Russia and the US, while 53 percent do not believe it is a possible outcome.

Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has voiced concerns over the escalation of tensions between Moscow and Washington, Bild reports, citing the minister.

Gabriel also called for international experts to help conduct an investigation into the alleged chemical weapons assault.

“It is important that the UN and experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) gain immediate access and can carry out their investigation without hindrance,” – he told Bild newspaper in the interview.

Russia has also advocated sending professionals to investigate, saying that it is “the only way to receive and present to the whole international community any objective evidence on the alleged presence of poisonous substances.”

The German foreign minister said that the alleged chemical attack was a “barbaric act” and that it was plausible that the Syrian president was behind it, though he did not provide any evidence to support the allegations.

Damascus has denied all allegations, saying that the Syrian military hit a warehouse where terrorists could have produced and stored chemical materials.

Moscow also pointed out that Syria has eliminated its stockpiles of chemical weapons, which was confirmed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

 

READ MORE:

America’s Syria strike ‘on verge of military clash’ with Russia – PM Medvedev

Experts should be sent to Syrian airbase attacked by US to carry out chemical probe – Russian MoD

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Germany approves bill curbing online hate crime, fake news

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Germany’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a new bill that punishes social networking sites if they fail to swiftly remove illegal content such as hate speech or defamatory fake news.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet agreed on rules that would impose fines of up to 50 million euros ($53.4 million) on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.

German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said that the companies offering such online platforms are responsible for removing hateful content. He said the new bill would not restrict the freedom of expression, but intervene only when criminal hatred or intentionally false news are posted.

Germany poses a particular problem for U.S.-owned social networking sites accustomed to American standards of free speech. Due to its Nazi past, Germany bans public Holocaust denial and any overt promotion of racism. The issue has come to the fore amid the recent influx of migrants to Germany, which has sparked a backlash among some Germans including a rise in online vitriol.

Social media

Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Social networks need to ensure that obviously criminal content — as defined by German law — will be deleted within 24 hours and other illegal content after seven days.

“Just like on the streets, there is also no room for criminal incitement on social networks,” Maas said.

“The internet affects the culture of debate and the atmosphere in our society. Verbal radicalization is often a preliminary stage to physical violence,” he added.

The minister pointed out that social networks don’t delete enough punishable content, citing research that he said showed Twitter deletes just 1 percent of illegal content flagged by users, while Facebook deletes 39 percent.

Maas also said that measures to combat hate speech and so-called fake news will ultimately have to be taken at the European level to be effective.

The bill still needs parliamentary approval.

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Germany hits back at Trump over NATO after icy meeting

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Germany has hit back at US President Donald Trump’s claims that Berlin owed “vast sums of money” to Nato, following a less than cordial meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House.

The comments from German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen came as Trump’s spokesman denied that the US leader had refused to shake hands with Merkel, arguably the most powerful woman in world.

The stark differences between Trump and Merkel on everything from trade to immigration were in full view during their frosty first White House meeting on Friday.

Although the visit began cordially enough, with the pair shaking hands at the White House entrance, Merkel’s suggestion of another handshake in the Oval Office went unheard or ignored by Trump – an awkward moment in what are usually highly scripted occasions.
“I don’t believe he heard the request,” Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer told German weekly Der Spiegel published yesterday.

But Germany’s top-selling Bild newspaper said that was “improbable”, saying that throughout the meeting, Trump did not once look Merkel in the eye.

The difficult encounter came as a new row erupted over environment at a G20 meeting of finance ministers in Germany, when Trump’s administration defied the international community by refusing to renew a pledge on climate change.

The ministers were forced on Saturday to leave out an entire section related to the Paris accord on combating climate change after US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that green issues were “not in my track”.

“Donald Trump is trying to ruin Merkel’s G20 summit” being hosted by Germany in July, Die Welt newspaper charged.

Trump had lashed out at the media in a Saturday morning tweet over its view of the Merkel meeting.

“Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS,” he said, “I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.”

But he then added: “Germany owes vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defence it provides to Germany!”

Germany’s defence minister Von der Leyen, a close Merkel ally, rebuffed his comments yesterday.

“There is no account where debts are registered with Nato,” she said in a statement, adding that Nato spending should not be the only criteria used to measure Germany’s military efforts.

Merkel said Berlin was committed to increasing its military spending to 2% of GDP, a 10-year- target that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) member states formally agreed to in 2014.

Trump had made European defence spending an issue during his election campaign, saying that the US – which spends just over 3% of its GDP (gross domestic product) on defence – carries too much of the financial burden for supporting Nato.

Germany, whose war-time past has led it traditionally to be reticent on military matters, currently spends 1.2% of GDP on defence.
Von der Leyen said yesterday that Germany’s increased military spending would not go only to Nato but would also be used for participating in UN and European peacekeeping missions and to contribute to the fight against the Islamic State (IS) extremists.

“To try to link the 2% (of (GDP) that we are aiming by the middle of the decade is erroneous,” she said.

Trump critics pointed out that Nato members don’t pay the United States for security, but contribute by spending on their own militaries.
“Sorry, Mr President, that’s not how Nato works,” tweeted Ivo Daalder, a former US ambassador to Nato. “This is not a financial transaction, where Nato countries pay the US to defend them. It is part of our treaty commitment.”

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German newspaper backtracks after listing Naziyahu as a ‘crazy world leader’

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Image result for Netanyahu IN NAZI UNIFORM CARTOON

Naziyahu

A German newspaper was forced to remove the name of Nazi Leader Naziyahu from a list of the world’s craziest leaders following diplomatic pressure.

Hamburger Morgenpost had included Naziyahu in a list of “The Seven Craziest Leaders in the World” because he promotes settlement policies and because he tried to convince former US

President Barack Obama to attack Iran.

As a result, the Nazi Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a complaint to the German government and the Nazi Jewish embassy in Berlin criticised the newspaper and said in a statement that this is an “anti-Semitic” act.

“The fact that they put an elected prime minister of a democratic Western country… alongside some of the worst dictators in the world, reveals more than anything the newspaper’s level of understanding of what is happening today in the world,” the embassy said in a statement, according to Zionist Ynet News.

The newspaper was then forced to remove Naziyahu from the list and apologised for including him.

“It was wrong to make @netanyahu part of this list. We apologise,” the newspaper announced.

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Karl Marx’s German Birthplace to Accept Chinese Statue

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  • A monument to Karl Marx stands above his remains at the Highgate Cemetary in North London.
    A monument to Karl Marx stands above his remains at the Highgate Cemetary in North London. | Photo: Reuters.
A statue of the founding father of communism reading a book will mark his birthplace.

The German city of Trier has decided to accept a towering statue of Karl Marx from China marking next year’s 200th birthday of the founding father of communism.

The city council voted in favor late on Monday with 42 members in favor and seven against.

“The decision, however, does not stipulate the size of the sculpture or where it will be placed,” said the city council in a statement.

Chinese artist Wu Weishan has suggested the statue should be 4.9 meters tall atop a 1.4 meter high pedestal at the Porta Nigra, the city’s most famous landmark and one of the biggest and best-preserved Roman gates north of the Alps.

A model of the statue was put on display there for two days at the start of March. The council said it would talk to the artist and the Chinese consulate in Frankfurt to decide who will pay the roughly 70,000 euros needed for the pedestal.

Despite debate over the statue, which would feature Marx with head held high and holding a book in one hand, supporters call it a welcome acknowledgement of the city as the philosopher’s birthplace.

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German Intel Clears Russia on Interference

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Exclusive: Mainstream U.S. media only wants stories of Russian perfidy, so when German intelligence cleared Moscow of suspected subversion of German democracy, the silence was deafening, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

After a multi-month, politically charged investigation, German intelligence agencies could find no good evidence of Moscow-directed cyber-attacks or a disinformation campaign aimed at subverting the democratic process in Germany. Undaunted, Chancellor Angela Merkel has commissioned a new investigation.

President Barack Obama talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G7 Summit at Schloss Elmau in Bavaria, Germany, June 8, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Last year, Berlin’s two main intelligence agencies, the BND and BfV (counterparts of the CIA and FBI) launched a joint investigation to substantiate allegations that Russia was meddling in German political affairs and attempting to shape the outcome of Germany’s elections next September.

Like the vast majority of Americans malnourished on “mainstream media,” most Germans have been led to believe that, by hacking and “propaganda,” the Kremlin interfered in the recent U.S. election and helped Donald Trump become president.

German intelligence agencies rarely bite the hand that feeds them and realize that the most bountiful part of the trough is at the CIA station in Berlin with ultimate guidance coming from CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. But this time, in an unusual departure from past practice, analysts at the BND and BfV decided to act like responsible adults.

Whereas former CIA Director John Brennan prevailed on his analysts to resort to anemic, evidence-light reasoning “assessing” that Russia tried to tip the U.S. election to Donald Trump, Berlin’s intelligence agencies found the evidence lacking and have now completed their investigation.

Better still, the conclusions have been reported in a mainstream German newspaper, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, apparently because a patriotic insider thought the German people should also know.

Lemmings No Longer?

If BND President Bruno Kahl thought that his own analysts could be depended upon to follow their American counterparts lemming-like and find evidence – Curveball-style – to support the U.S. allegations, he now has had a rude awakening.

CIA Director John Brennan at a White House meeting during his time as President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism adviser.

When the joint investigation was under way with his analysts doing their best to come up with reliable evidence of Russian perfidy, Kahl had behaved like his BND predecessors, parroting the charges made by his CIA counterpart, that the Russians were fomenting uncertainty and instability in Germany and elsewhere in Europe.

In a rare interview with the mainstream newspaper, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, on Nov. 28, 2016, Kahl went out on what he probably thought was a safe limb, denouncing subversive “interference” by the Russians (“as they did in the U.S.”). He was just a few months into his job and may have been naïve enough to consider what John Brennan said as gospel truth. (If he really is that gullible, Kahl is in the wrong profession.)

In the interview, Kahl played the puppet-doll Charlie McCarthy with Brennan in the role of Charlie’s ventriloquist Edgar Bergen. Kahl told the Sueddeutsche that he agreed with the U.S. intelligence “assessment” that the Kremlin was behind the cyber attacks aimed at influencing the U.S. election.

He added: “We know that cyber attacks are taking place and that they have no purpose other than to produce political instability. … Not only that. The perpetrators are interested in delegitimizing the democratic process itself. … I have the impression that the outcome of the American election has evoked no sadness in Russia so far. …

“Europe is [now] the focus of these disruption experiments, and Germany especially. … The pressure on the public discourse and on democracy is unacceptable.” Sound familiar?

Still, one might excuse the novice BND president for assuming his analysts would remember which side their bread is buttered on and follow past precedent in coming up with conclusions known to be desired by their masters in Berlin and the CIA.

So it must have come as an unwelcome surprise to Kahl when he found out that, this time, BND analysts would stand on principle and refuse to be as malleable as their Washington counterparts. His analysts could find no proof that the Kremlin was working hard to undermine the democratic process in Germany, and said so.

Worse still from the U.S. point of view, the two German intelligence agencies resisted the usual pressure from some senior leaders in Berlin (perhaps including Kahl himself) to jam whatever innocuous information they could find into the anti-Russian mosaic that Washington was constructing, a kind of Cubist version of distorted reality.

And So, a Do-Over

So, what do powerful officials do when the bureaucracy comes up with “incorrect” conclusions? They send the analysts and investigators back to work until they come up with “correct” answers. This turned out to be no exception. Absent evidence of hacking directed by the Kremlin, the Germans now have opted for an approach by which information can be fudged more easily.

CIA seal in lobby of the spy agency’s headquarters. (U.S. government photo)

According to the Sueddeutsche, “Chancellor Merkel’s office has now ordered a new inquiry. Notably, a ‘psychological operations group’ jointly run by the BND and BfV will specifically look at Russian news agencies’ coverage in Germany.” We can expect that any articles that don’t portray Vladimir Putin in a devil’s costume will be judged “Russian propaganda.”

For guidance, Merkel may well give the new “investigators” a copy of the evidence-free CIA/FBI/NSA “Assessment: Russia’s Influence Campaign Targeting the 2016 US Presidential Election.” Released on Jan. 6, the report was an eyesore and embarrassment to serious intelligence professionals. The lame “evidence” presented, together with all the “assessing” indulged in by U.S. analysts, was unable to fill five pages; filler was needed – preferably filler that could be made to look like analysis.

And so, seven more pages were tacked onto the CIA/FBI/NSA Assessment, even though the information presented in them had nothing to do with the cause celebre of Russian hacking. No problem: The additional seven pages bore the ominous title: “Annex A: Russia – Kremlin’s TV Seeks To Influence Politics, Fuel Discontent in US.”

The extra pages, in turn, were then used to support the following indictment: “Russia’s state-run propaganda machine contributed to the influence campaign by serving as a platform for Kremlin messaging to Russian and international audiences.”

Did an Insider Leak?

It is not clear how the German daily Sueddeutsche acquired the conclusions of the joint investigation or even whether it has the full 50-page copy of the final report. The newspaper did make it clear, though, that it now realizes it was played by Kahl with his unsupported accusations last November.

Russian President Vladimir Putin answering questions from Russian citizens at his annual Q&A event on April 14, 2016. (Russian government photo)

From what the newspaper was told, the analysts seemed willing to give the boss what he had already declared to be his desired conclusion, but the evidence simply wasn’t there. The article quotes one security expert saying, “We would have been happy to give Russia a yellow card,” a soccer metaphor referring to improper conduct. A cabinet source lamented, “We found no smoking gun.”

Initially, the BND and BfV planned to release excerpts of their still classified inquiry, the Sueddeutsche reported, but it’s now not clear when, if ever, the full report will be released.

The day after the Sueddeutsche story appeared, some other media outlets reported on it – briefly. Newsweek and Politico gave the scoop all of three sentences each. Not fitting with the preferred “Russia-is-guilty-of-everything” narrative, it then died a quick death. I have been unable to find the story mentioned at all in major U.S. “mainstream media” outlets.

If Americans became aware of the story, it was probably via RT – the bête noire of the abovementioned CIA/FBI/NSA report condemning Russian “propaganda.” Can it become any clearer why RT America and RT International are despised by the U.S. government and the “mainstream media?” Many Americans are slowly realizing they cannot count on American network and cable TV for accurate news and are tuning in to RT at least for the other side of these important stories.

It was from a early morning call from RT International that I first learned of the Feb. 7 Sueddeutsche Zeitung report on Germany’s failed hunt for evidence of Russian electoral interference.

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Germans Outraged as US Plays Nazi-Era Version of Anthem

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  • The German national flag is seen in front of dark clouds at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, May 30, 2016.
    The German national flag is seen in front of dark clouds at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, May 30, 2016. | Photo: Reuters.
The error has become an embarrassing gaffe for the United States Tennis Association, which has apologized to the German team.

German tennis has responded with outrage after the United States Tennis Association made the embarrassing error of playing the Nazi-era version of Germany’s national anthem during a Federation Cup tie in Hawaii.

The version played included the first stanza, beginning “Deutschland, Deutschland uber alles,” which was used as Nazi propaganda. It was dropped after World War Two.

“I thought it was the epitome of ignorance, and I’ve never felt more disrespected in my whole life, let alone in Fed Cup,” Germany’s Andrea Petkovic was reported as saying, adding that she considered walking off court before the singles match against Alison Riske.

German team coach Barbara Ritter said the mistake was “an absolute scandal, a disrespectful incident and inexcusable.”

The USTA tweeted its apologies, saying “The USTA extends a sincere apology to the German Fed Cup team & fans 4 the outdated National Anthem. This mistake will not occur again.”

“We hope so,” the Deutscher Tennis Bund responded on Twitter.

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Gladio Again: Germany Could Have But Didn’t Stop Berlin Attacker. Why?

2000px-Flag_map_of_Germany.svg

According to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW), German security and intelligence agencies were particularly familiar with the Berlin attacker, Anis Amri, long before he plowed a large truck into a Christmas market, killing 12 and injuring many more.

In an article titled, All the cracks that Berlin suspect Amri slipped through,” a now familiar litany of excuses are peddled before audiences in a bid to explain why the suspect wasn’t stopped, weeks, months, even years before he carried out his attack, as soon as it became apparent he was both violent and a danger to society.

DW’s article admits:

The suspect first caught authorities’ attention in November 2015, when he unwittingly told an informant for the investigative police unit (BKA) in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia that he wanted to “do something in Germany,” according to a document obtained by the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung. He also claimed that he could get an AK-47 for an attack.

The article claims that from that point onward, Amri was “watched” by German agencies. DW also admits:

Further, he was apparently aggressively seeking an opportunity to undertake an attack in Germany. Information pointing to his dangerous potential became so overwhelming that authorities designated him a threat last February. 

DW then reports:

All information was then handed over to the Berlin public prosecutor’s office. The suspect was observed from March on. He raised no suspicion in the months that followed, and authorities stopped surveilling him in September.

In December, Amri would carry out his deadly attack, just as attackers in France and Belgium did after being surveilled – in some cases  for years – before being allowed to drop off security and intelligence agencies’ radars just ahead of their respective, deadly attacks.

Germany’s weak excuses for not apprehending a man who openly admitted he sought to acquire weapons and take human lives echo similarly convenient excuses provided by the French government following a string of fatal attacks across its territory.

Paris has claimed a lack of resources to process the large number of potential terrorists returning from battlefields France itself has helped send arms, fighters, and other forms of material support to on behalf of terrorist organizations and their allies.

Germany’s excuses might seem plausible if not for the fact that virtually every terror attack that has unfolded  not only in Germany, but across all of Europe follows a similar pattern where suspects are surveilled, questioned, entrapped, even arrested and released multiple times, before ultimately carrying out spectacular, politically convenient attacks across Europe.

Another “Gladio” 

Such purposeful negligence matches another chapter in Europe’s more recent history – that during the Cold War in which NATO security and intelligence agencies maintained a myriad of pan-European terrorist organizations of every imaginable variety, used to assassinate political opponents, carry out deadly and spectacular terror attacks, and otherwise use violence, fear, and intimidation to manipulate both public perception and political outcomes during elections in respective states.

Called “Operation Gladio,” it would be described by the New York Times in a 1990 article titled, EVOLUTION IN EUROPE; Italy Discloses Its Web Of Cold War Guerrillas,” as:

In Europe’s new order, they are the spies who never quite came in from the cold, foot soldiers in an underground guerrilla network with one stated mission: To fight an enemy that most Europeans believe no longer exists. Theirs is a tale of secret arms caches and exotic code names, of military stratagems and political intrigues. At best, their tale is no more than a curious footnote to the cold war. The question is if, at worst, it could be the key to unsolved terrorism dating back two decades.

The New York Times would also reveal:

The focus of the inquiry is a clandestine operation code-named Gladio, created decades ago to arm and train resistance fighters in case the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies invaded. All this week, there have been disclosures of similar organizations in virtually all Western European countries, including those that do not belong to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. 

The New York Times would also describe how Gladio was used to manipulate public perception, use the specter of fear regarding communism after staged terror attacks to coerce populations to vote in governments of Washington’s liking, and essentially frame opposition groups for violence the US and NATO were carrying out with their own terror cells.

The real question is – are there similar networks being created and perpetuated by Western intelligence agencies today, to fill both the ranks of foreign mercenary armies everywhere from Libya and Yemen, to Syria and the borders of Iran – as well as manipulate and impose fear upon the populations of Western states at home?

Spectacular terrorist attacks like those in Paris, Brussels, and Berlin have certainly proven themselves potent events for swaying public opinion regarding political support of particular parties and candidates, as well as fomenting support for wars abroad against “Muslim” nations. There is also the inescapable fact that the very terrorists the West poses as fighting at home are armed, funded, and backed either directly by the West abroad, or through the West’s closest allies in the Middle East – namely Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

While it is tempting for people to fall into the false debate crafted in this newly forming “Cold War,” the lessons of history should teach us that not all is what it appears to be. And when absolutely every terror attack is carried out by suspects deeply intimate with Western security and intelligence agencies, both at home and in Western-sponsored wars abroad, tempting “clashes of civilization” narratives should be replaced with the prospect of Gladio’s inglorious return to Western political calculus.

Additionally, the next time agencies are told to “stop watching” a suspect, perhaps it would be in their best interest to watch them twice as closely, as well as those telling them to “stop watching.”

Posted in GermanyComments Off on Gladio Again: Germany Could Have But Didn’t Stop Berlin Attacker. Why?

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