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Protecting the German constitution

Posted by Mad Mitch on UTC 2018-11-07 17:17.

Things have come to a pretty pass in Germany when the boss of the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, 'Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution', (~MI5 in Britain) not only thinks the Federal Government itself is a danger to the constitution, but chooses to tell his EU, Swiss and Norwegian counterparts about the problem. And gets a round of applause.

In order to savour this situation to the full, non-Germans need to know that the odd term Verfassungsschutz was a post-war euphemism to avoid the use of all those National Socialist names of 'Geheim-' this and that – those agencies staffed by cheerful men in leather overcoats that did so much to keep Hitler in power. The new, postwar Federal Germany still needed a secret service – but just couldn't call it that. Hence it was christened the 'Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution'.

No one in other European countries gets excited about their spymasters. They are all held to be shady chancers who do their respective government's bidding. Hired or fired – who cares. Britons will no doubt remember the noisome John Scarlett, ex-MI6, who did his master Tony Blair's bidding in creating a case for invading Iraq.

The job of the German equivalent is much the same, but we have some hopes if only from the title of the body –  Protection of the Constitution etc. – that its boss has a slightly cleaner pair of hands than the usual spook.

Hans-Georg Maaßen was that boss until the other day. It appears he had a fastidiously clean pair of hands. So clean, that, after upsetting Chancellor Merkel, for which he was promoted out of his job, then pushed aside after leftwing protest at the promotion, he has now been fired.

He has been fired because he gave a farewell speech to his European counterparts in which he explained why he had been moved from his job – a job that he had held with some distinction for six years – and also warned of the dangerous tendencies taking hold within his own government. The manuscript of the speech was leaked – and that was it for Hans-Georg Maaßen. No more chair swapping. Out!

Here are some sections of his speech. Although the leaked manuscript is in German, Maaßen is thought to have delivered the speech in English – which is what we would expect in such an international gathering. What Maaßen actually said is therefore not known, but it apparently earned the applause of all his colleagues.

We have resequenced the extracts in order to bring them into chronological order for those not familiar with the 'Hetzjagden' affair of last summer. These words are not lightly spoken. We are privileged to overhear them in the form in which they were presented to the collected top spooks of Europe.

On 26 August 2018 a German man was killed in Chemnitz by asylum seekers. On the same day a demonstration took place in Chemnitz against the refugee policies of the Federal Government by normal citizens, but also by rightwing extremists. Some isolated crimes were committed. On the following day and the days thereafter, the killing itself did not occupy media or political interest, but rather rightwing extremist Hetzjagden gegen Ausländer, 'hunt chases of foreigners'. [that is, a hunt such as fox-hunt, in which an animal is pursued, as opposed to sitting in a hide and waiting for it to pass before the hunter's gun barrel.] According to the information of the local police, the prosecution service, the local press, the Prime Minister of the Free State of Saxony and my staff these 'hunt chases' had never taken place. They were completely made up.

Am 26. August 2018 war ein Deutscher von Asylbewerbern in Chemnitz getötet worden. Am gleichen Tage gab es Demonstrationen in Chemnitz gegen die Flüchtlingspolitik der Bundesregierung von normalen Bürgern aber auch von Rechtsextremisten. Dabei kam es vereinzelt zu Straftaten. Am folgenden Tag und an den darauffolgenden Tagen stand nicht das Tötungsdelikt im politischen und medialen Interesse, sondern rechtsextremistische „Hetzjagden gegen Ausländer“. Diese „Hetzjagden“ hatten nach Erkenntnissen der lokalen Polizei, der Staatsanwaltschaft, der Lokalpresse, des Ministerpräsidenten des Landes und meiner Mitarbeiter nicht stattgefunden. Sie waren frei erfunden.

I have already experienced a lot of German media manipulation and Russian disinformation. However, that politicians and media should simply invent 'hunt chases' or at least spread this fake information without any checking represented a new quality of fake reporting in Germany. In the following week I expressed my opinion to the newspaper Bild in only four sentences, in that I made it clear that according to the knowledge of all the relevant security agencies, no such extremist 'hunt chases' had taken place. In the relevant Parliamentary Commissions I made it clear that a war against rightwing extremism does not justify the invention of rightwing crimes. The media as well as green and leftwing politicians, who felt that I had caught them out in their fake news, demanded my dismissal.

Ich habe bereits viel an deutscher Medienmanipulation und russischer Desinformation erlebt. Dass aber Politiker und Medien „Hetzjagden“ frei erfinden oder zumindest ungeprüft diese Falschinformation verbreiten, war für mich eine neue Qualität von Falschberichterstattung in Deutschland. Ich hatte mich in der darauffolgenden Woche gegenüber der „Bild-Zeitung“ in nur vier Sätzen dazu geäußert, indem ich klarstellte, dass es nach Erkenntnissen aller zuständigen Sicherheitsbehörden keine derartigen rechtsextremistischen „Hetzjagden“ gab. Gegenüber den zuständigen Parlamentsausschüssen stellte ich in der folgenden Woche klar, dass ein Kampf gegen Rechtsextremismus es nicht rechtfertigt, rechtsextremistische Straftaten zu erfinden. Die Medien sowie grüne und linke Politiker, die sich durch mich bei ihrer Falschberichterstattung ertappt fühlten, forderten daraufhin meine Entlassung.

In my opinion, this was a welcome opportunity for the leftwing radical forces in the SPD, who did not want a coalition with the CDU/CSU, to provoke a break in the governing coalition. Since I am known in Germany as a critic of idealistic, naive and leftwing policies in respect of foreigners and security, this was an opportunity for my political opponents and for some of the media to force me out of office.

Aus meiner Sicht war dies für linksradikale Kräfte in der SPD, die von vorneherein dagegen waren, eine Koalition mit der CDU/CSU einzugehen, der willkommene Anlass, um einen Bruch dieser Regierungskoalition zu provozieren. Da ich in Deutschland als Kritiker einer idealistischen, naiven und linken Ausländer- und Sicherheitspolitik bekannt bin, war dies für meine politischen Gegner und für einige Medien auch ein Anlass, um mich aus meinem Amt zu drängen.

I had never thought that the fear of me and of the truth would set sections of politics and the media in such panic and hysteria, that four sentences from me were enough to trigger a government crisis in Germany.

Ich hätte nie gedacht, dass die Angst vor mir und vor der Wahrheit Teile der Politik und Medien in solche Panik und Hysterie versetzt, dass vier Sätze von mir ausreichend sind, um eine Regierungskrise in Deutschland auszulösen.

Maaßen's statement is particularly timely because the SPD and its 'leftwing radical forces' are now trying to get the Verfassungsschutz to monitor the doings of the party Alternative für Deutschland, which is commonly smeared by its opponents as an extreme rightwing party.

However, over the short span of its existence the AfD has put strong measures in place to prevent any subversion by extremist thinking. Considered with a calm and empirical mind, AfD and PEGIDA demonstrations and 'walks' have been remarkably peaceful affairs despite the level of anger among the German public to which they give vent.

During this time it has been the leftwing and its troops, the Anti-Fa, who have been the ones bringing violence to European streets – and the spooks of Europe who still have eyes to see must know this themselves.