I saw this yesterday but didn’t get to it. That’s a shame, because it’s really pretty big news if true:
German spies helped target Saddam Hussein for American bombers to launch the Iraq War, according to German media reports timed to appear on the day that Germany’s new Chancellor arrives in Washington.
The timing of the reports in the magazine Der Spiegel, in the newspaper Suddeuutsche Zeitung and on the ARD public TV channel may be a happy coincidence for the newly elected Chancellor Angela Merkel and her first meeting with President George W. Bush.
The reports of close U.S.-German intelligence cooperation in Iraq, even as the then German government was denouncing the war, should help buttress Merkel’s insistence that Germany and the United State[s] remain firm friends, even if they sometimes differ.
Remember back in early 2003 when bush and his administration claimed (sometimes plainly, sometimes with winks and nods) that there were additional members of the coalition besides those publicly disclosed? Murdoc does, and he also remembers a fair amount of snickering over it. At best, some admitted if pressed, the unnamed nations might be Muslim countries worried about Saddam but afraid to side openly with America. This, actually, is what Murdoc thought.
Then-Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said Germany “will not make itself available for any adventures under my leadership”.
But all along, behind the scenes, Germany’s intelligence service Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) was highly active inside Iraq, and their reports were forwarded directly to their American counterparts. This went far beyond the routine sharing of intelligence findings and conclusions that is standard practice among NATO allies. German agents in Baghdad directly cooperated with the U.S. air strikes by helping to pick targets.
The German press reports even suggest that the attempted killing of Saddam Hussein, his sons and immediate aides, in a hastily-arranged Stealth bomber attack on a restaurant complex in Baghdad’s fashionable Mansour suburb, was launched on the basis of a German intelligence agent’s report of Saddam’s whereabouts.
This is astoundingly good news. And it gives me a bit of hope for Old Europe. Just as I’ve said about Canada, we won’t be able to win (however you define “winning”) without them.
UPI link via Donald Sensing, who says only
You don’t say.
As a side note, doesn’t it seem likely that at least some in high positions in the US Congress knew about this? Even as they railed on and on about the unwise choice to “go it alone”?