OH REALLY? Germany is, presumably, one of our most loyal allies. But there are some in Germany who clearly don't see it that way. This story, from Spiegel International, is disturbing:
Angela Merkel's government has come under pressure following the deaths of German Islamists in Waziristan through American drone strikes. Berlin has responded by restricting the type of information that German intelligence agencies may pass on to their US counterparts...
...The deadly air strike on Oct. 4, 2010 marked a turning point in the cooperation between German and American intelligence agencies. Bünyamin E. was the first German citizen to be killed in an American drone attack. His fate has both legal and political consequences and has placed the German government under pressure. While American President Barack Obama, who ordered the massive use of air power in the first place, is being celebrated in Washington following the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, different standards are being applied in Germany.
The discussion centers on the question of what types of information German intelligence officials should be allowed to pass on to their American partners, and whether this information could lead to the deaths of German citizens.
Apparently, Germany sees German Islamists in Pakistan as pretty much the same as other German citizens.
"There are many indications that the German government is contributing to these attacks," suspects Green Party politician Hans-Christian Ströbele, who is a member of parliament. "This would make it partially responsible for such killings." And Wolfgang Grenz, the deputy general secretary of Amnesty International Germany, is demanding that the German government "comment on the possible role of the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV, Germany's domestic intelligence agency) in preparing the intelligence used for American drone attacks in Pakistan."
As an initial consequence, then-Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), had his staff prepare a report examining the legality and constitutionality of the practice of passing on information. The minister said privately that he was surprised that there was not more public discussion of the sensitive issue.
COMMENT: This is complete craziness. It reflects the self-righteous streak in German politics, which exists to help the country live down its past. The left in Germany is particularly hypocritical, and has a soft spot for enemies of the United States.
Angela Merkel has been a good friend to this country. But there are others in Germany who want to chart a more independent course. Part of that course has been to continue a substantial trade with Iran and to value economic interests in the Mideast above democracy.
Germany may well be slipping into old patterns. It will end up losing.
May 18, 2011