Why Should One Trust the BND?

Posted by John Rosenthal

An LA Times report that five officials of the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) judged the source of the BND’s own pre-Iraq War intelligence on Iraqi biological weapons programs to have been unreliable is, of course, making the rounds and feeding the latest bout of "Bush lied!" hysteria. Funny that the story of the five unnamed officials about their source "Curveball" should come out precisely now. One wonders on whose initiative. But, in any case, why should one trust the BND, and in particular in connection with Iraq? Anyone interested in some reasons not to should consider
this Telegraph article from April 2003 – which, needless to say, unlike the "Curveball" story went almost entirely ignored by the rest of the Anglophone media. Note, furthermore, that the Telegraph story is based on documentary evidence the authenticity of which could be checked, whereas the LATimes story is based on nothing more than the say-so of five – at least we are told they are five – anonymous sources working for a foreign intelligence agency.

Does the LATimes really need to be taught that it is not the job of German intelligence to serve American interests and that it can even be its job to work against the latter when German interests are perceived to be inimical to American interests – as evidently they were by the relevant instances of the German state in connection with the Iraq War?

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