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Thread: German government gives no answers for spy chief's exit

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  1. #1

    Default German government gives no answers for spy chief's exit

    Not sure what is going on here so I am putting it here until there is more information.
    German government gives no answers for spy chief's exit

    BERLIN | By Noah Barkin , Thorsten Severin and Sabine Siebold



    Gerhard Schindler gestures during a visit of the Reuters office in Berlin, March 5, 2014.
    Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch/File Photo



    Angela Merkel's government refused on Wednesday to explain the sudden removal of Germany's spy chief, a surprise move which catapulted the BND intelligence service back into the headlines after a series of scandals that embarrassed the chancellor.
    The exit of Gerhard Schindler comes at a time when Germany, like other European countries, is trying to cope with a surging threat from Islamic State militants who launched large-scale attacks in Paris and Brussels in recent months.
    Schindler, 63, has led the BND since 2012 and had been expected to continue for another two years overseeing an overhaul in the agency and its move into a gleaming new headquarters in central Berlin.
    His position had been seen as safe after he weathered intense pressure a year ago, when it was revealed that the BND had helped the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) spy on European allies.
    Those revelations sparked public outrage in a country suspicious of surveillance because of the excesses of Nazi and Communist secret police in its past. A parliamentary investigation was launched along with a legislative push to reform the BND. Schindler accepted that BND field offices needed to be reined in and welcomed the reform drive, arguing that the agency's mission should be spelled out more clearly.
    But news leaked out late on Tuesday that he was to be relieved of his duties from July 1 and replaced by Bruno Kahl, a little known official in the finance ministry who is a close ally of influential Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.
    Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert repeatedly rebuffed questions about why Schindler was being replaced.
    "I have nothing to say about the reasons behind this decision," Seibert told a news conference.
    Even senior lawmakers in the ruling parties complained that they were caught off guard by the news.
    In a news release on Wednesday morning, Merkel's chief of staff Peter Altmaier thanked Schindler for his work and stressed that the BND faced "major challenges" in the coming years, including adapting its mission to new security threats and overhauling its technology and personnel.
    His underlying message seemed to be that the government preferred someone at the top of the agency who could see these changes through from start to finish. Kahl is 10 years younger than Schindler.
    But senior officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, also suggested that Schindler, who was known for speaking openly and frankly, lacked the political sensitivity that Merkel and her top ministers value.
    One said Merkel was keen to keep the issue of BND reform, which plays to the strengths of rival parties on the left, out of the 2017 election campaign and preferred to have someone at the top of the agency who could be counted on to cooperate.
    "There are more questions than answers at the moment about this change," Burkard Lischka, a lawmaker and spokesman on domestic security issues for the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), who rule in coalition with Merkel's conservatives.
    Stephan Mayer, who holds the same post for the conservatives in the Bundestag lower house, said: "I simply can't understand this decision". He described Schindler as a "very good BND president".
    POLITICAL CONSIDERATIONS
    Some lawmakers speculated that health issues might have been behind his exit. Schindler missed several weeks recently with tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. One pointed to recent revelations that Schindler's sister is married to a spokesman for the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.
    But most of the dozen or so officials Reuters spoke to dismissed these as irrelevant factors, pointing instead to political considerations and an accumulation of BND problems, starting with the NSA revelations last year.
    In early December, the BND incurred the wrath of the government by publishing a brief report in which it accused Saudi Arabia of a shift to "impulsive" policies under young Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
    A year before, a BND employee was arrested for passing on secrets to the CIA and the Russians.
    Guido Steinberg, an expert at the German Institute for Security and International Studies in Berlin, said that at the root of the problem was a "naive" view among German politicians about the role of a spy agency.
    "At a time when developments in the Middle East can have a big impact domestically, Germany cannot afford a weak BND. But I don't expect this to change," he said.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ge...rldNews&rpc=69
    "I think it would be a good idea." Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization.

    The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.
    Karl Marx.

    "Well, he would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies, 1963, replied Ms Rice Davies when the prosecuting counsel pointed out that Lord Astor denied an affair or having even met her.

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    "But news leaked out late on Tuesday that he was to be relieved of his duties from July 1 and replaced by Bruno Kahl, a little known official in the finance ministry who is a close ally of influential Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble."

    An unusual choice. This is probably the key: " (...) a close ally of influential Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble."

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralf Anders View Post
    "But news leaked out late on Tuesday that he was to be relieved of his duties from July 1 and replaced by Bruno Kahl, a little known official in the finance ministry who is a close ally of influential Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble."

    An unusual choice. This is probably the key: " (...) a close ally of influential Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble."
    So Ralf, you're thinking that Merkel's days are numbered and Schaeuble is manoeuvring to take over?
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Guyatt View Post
    So Ralf, you're thinking that Merkel's days are numbered and Schaeuble is manoeuvring to take over?
    Possibly. Or he just wants to tighten his grip on the German deep state.

    Honestly, I don't know. I never liked Schaeuble much but until now did not connect him to national security matters.


    As an aside: Can it be that the DPF has overlooked the most important deep political event in Germany since Willy Brandt got ousted? The NSU?

    I don't have the time to expand on this. Here is some information from 2011:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...ervice-scandal

    In the meantime, a number of witnesses and informants have died under, you guessed it, suspicious circumstances.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralf Anders View Post

    I don't have the time to expand on this. Here is some information from 2011:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...ervice-scandal

    In the meantime, a number of witnesses and informants have died under, you guessed it, suspicious circumstances.
    Wiki has another tip of the iceberg:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation...st_Underground

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    The most relevant literature regarding what happened since September 11, 2001 is George Orwell's "1984".

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