Berlin is keeping quiet

BERLIN/WASHINGTON |

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – The German authorities are involved in serious violations of human rights and are aware of systematic torture in the US "war against terror". German-foreign-policy.com found this out from security circles in Washington and Wiesbaden. According to them, the German foreign espionage (Federal Intelligence Service/BND), the federal office responsible for defending the constitution (BfV), which is also operating as a secret service, as well as the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) have first-class information at their disposal from the US secret service office that deals with torture and from the organisation that does their groundwork in third world countries. Last Wednesday, the Washington Post uncovered details of the criminal US system’s psychological and physical destructive measures which deported prisoners are being subjected to. According to the above-mentioned newspaper, suspects are displaced and become victims of terrible ill-treatment in secret prisons ("black sites") which are located in Eastern Europe, among other places. Several sources confirm that the global torture-transport occurs across German territory. Despite German security circles’ knowledge of what is going on and their supposed obligation to intervene, Berlin refuses to put a stop to these serious criminal offences.

The Friday before last, during an enquiry in this editorial, the interior Federal Ministry in Berlin (BMI) explained that it was solely the USA and not the German authorities who were responsible for possible transports of displaced people who were allegedly brought across Frankfurt am Main airport and tortured. The incorrect information uses the so-called extraterritoriality that refers to the part of the airport which belongs to America ("Rhein-Main Air Base") as an argument and refers to NATO agreements. According to these agreements, the USA can supposedly commit any criminal offence on the area of the airport grounds that was left to them. But the USA was actually only granted a right of use which remains bound to underlying legal norms. Intervention should urgently be offered on the "Rhein-Main Air Base" if it becomes known that suspicions of systematic violation of UN charter fundamental rights are justified. The German authorities have been aware of these suspicions for a long time, but they are feigning ignorance of them.

Accessory to crime

This editorial’s security circles confirm that officials from the Federal Intelligence Service (BND) and the federal office responsible for defending the constitution (BfV) informed themselves of US torture methods on several trips abroad. In yet another case, the BKA (Federal Criminal Police Office) was also involved. During the course of this, direct contact was made with the torture victims. These insights led to contradictions within the authorities and were the subject of disciplinary investigations – not against the officials who were involved and who may not have carried out their compulsory registration, but against the official informer. He has reliable information on electric torture and other methods.[1] These reports and other information that is available to the BND are more than enough to point to serious crimes in an international torture system. It has only been clear since the Washington Post’s current revelations that both Frankfurt airport and Ramstein airport are being used as hubs [2]: Both bases aid crime logistics in the East European "black sites". But Berlin is remaining silent and still hoping to escape charges that are close at hand – being an accessory to crimes against humanity.

Notorious

The German security authorities are much more articulate when they give reasons for the continuous expansion of their international operating range. The president of the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) explained in a conference that came to an end on Thursday two weeks ago that it was necessary for "policemen from other countries to be given better support on the spot" [3] – a renewed demonstration on German selflessness in the "international battle against crime". The so-called support is being used to obtain information which the BKA is exchanging with the German secret services and the Federal Armed Forces, so that Berlin is becoming an increasingly bigger news network which is entering foreign states. In the BKA conference, it was announced that the German economy should also contribute to this activity. The BKA president did not surprise anyone when he revealed that preparations are being made for "cooperation" with companies like Daimler-Chrysler, Siemens, Volkswagen and BASF. The security departments of large German companies and state specialist teams have had close relations for decades. The reciprocal exchange of personnel and the deployment of agents in the establishment of German companies abroad is notorious.

Places of crime

The BKA’s demonstrative cosmopolitanism is new, and the former is seeking to expand its jurisdiction. Reportedly, "preventative authorisation" from the new Federal Government is wished for in order to "be able to act on tips from the secret service independently" and be in a better position to fight the terrorist breeding ground. Allegedly, in Frankfurt am Main and in Ramstein, there is every reason to do this. The BKA could also use their knowledge in Poland or Romania, as this information leads to the places of crime where a NATO member’s lack of state torture measures could be exposed. But Berlin remains silent.

[1] Fahndung mit Fallstricken; Süddeutsche Zeitung 16.09.2005
[2] CIA Holds Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons; Washington Post, 01.11.2005
[3] Bundeskriminalamt will mit anderen Behörden und Unternehmen kooperieren; Associated Press 03.11.2005

see also The road to Damascus