The “BND Affair”: “Revelations” Unrevealed 2

Posted by John Rosenthal

[For background, see “The BND Affair”: “Revelations” Unrevealed]

The so-called “BND Affair” – that is, the apparently “scandalous” possibility that two German intelligence agents present in Iraq during the Iraq War may have shared actionable intelligence with their American colleagues – is quickly becoming a non-affair in Germany.

According to a statement by committee chair Norbert Röttgen [link in German], secret hearings conducted by the Bundestag’s Parliamentary Control Committee [PKG] had confirmed that BND agents in Iraq had “clear and unambiguous instructions” from the previous “Red-Green” German government “not to provide any support for hostile actions” – i.e. presumably those undertaken by American forces and their allies – and that these instructions were “in fact fully implemented”. A report in Friday’s edition (20 January 2006) of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung [link in German] relates, moreover, a curious remark made by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier – who as the previous government’s coordinator for intelligence services would have been responsible for giving said instructions – to Bundestag members from his Social Democratic Party. According to the FAZ:

The Foreign Minister… urged the representatives that they should not let themselves be talked into believing that there was any contradiction between the [previous government’s] “No” to the Iraq War and the decision to send secret service agents to Baghdad….

Indeed. Which again raises the question I have posed in previous posts: What exactly were they doing there? And, incidentally, Germany presumably did not “send” agents to Baghdad on the occasion of the war. It presumably merely kept its Baghdad agents – with their reportedly excellent relations to the Baathist regime – in place.

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