[Marxism] Germany Authorized Intelligence-Sharing on Iraq, gave US data on Iraq targets
nobbytob at yahoo.de
Sat Jan 14 11:37:01 MST 2006
Germany Authorized Intelligence-Sharing on Iraq (Update1) Jan. 13 (Bloomberg) -- The government of former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, which opposed the war against Iraq, authorized an exchange of intelligence information with the U.S. on installations in the Middle Eastern country, a German government spokesman said today.
Two members of Germany's Federal Intelligence Service, BND, shared information on civilian targets that were to be excluded from U.S. bombing raids, deputy government spokesman Thomas Steg told a regular press conference in Berlin. The installations included hospitals and embassies.
It was the goal of Schroeder's government that ``there should be a continued information exchange'' between the BND agents and their U.S. counterparts, Steg said. ``It would be quixotic to assume that the fight against terrorism or other international dangers and challenges would be possible without an information exchange especially between friendly services.''
Renate Kuenast, a Green party minister in Schroeder's government, called for a Parliamentary commission to investigate the BND's involvement in the Iraq war and other anti-terror operations. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was responsible for the intelligence services under Schroeder.
The Greens, the Free Democrats and the Left Party together have enough seats in Parliament to request an inquiry. The Parliamentary groups of the Greens and the FDP will decide Tuesday whether to call for one.
Steg said he ``can't sense'' that the revelations may undermine the former government's reputation. The ``red line'' for Schroeder's government and that of Chancellor Angela Merkel that replaced it last year was not to contribute any soldiers to help U.S. President George W. Bush in Iraq, he said.
The BND is not guilty of any wrongdoings in Iraq, Germany's parliamentary commission for the supervision of the country's intelligence services found today, Deutsche Presse- Agentur reported. There is no evidence that the BND agents acted ``contrary to their orders and their explicit instructions,'' DPA quoted commission chairman Norbert Roettgen as saying.
In 2002, Schroeder won a second term as chancellor with the smallest margin of victory of any government since World War II after refusing to take part in any military campaign.
The BND agents were present in Baghdad before and during the war and it was their duty to ``collect information and report to the federal government,'' BND spokesman Philip Lechtape said yesterday. He rejected a report by ARD German television saying they helped the U.S. military carry out an air strike on April 7, 2003, that aimed to kill former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
At least 12 people died in the raid on a motorcade of armored Mercedes-Benz cars, which destroyed two blocks in Bagdad, ARD said on its Web site. The U.S. military decorated at least one of the German agents for his accomplishments, ARD reported.
To contact the reporter on this story:
Rainer Buergin in Berlin at rbuergin1 at bloomberg.net
Last Updated: January 13, 2006 11:48 EST
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