Man Without Qualities

Monday, November 21, 2005

A Little Something To Remember Gerhard By?

Speaking up for what is said to be the first time, five senior officials from Germany's Federal Intelligence Service, or BND, just said in interviews with the Los Angeles Times that they warned U.S. intelligence authorities that the source, an Iraqi defector code-named Curveball, never claimed to produce germ weapons and never saw anyone else do so ... and lots of other unflattering things.

So why now? Why would the German government authorize its intelligence officers to speak up now - in a manner that can scarcely be expected to help relations between Berlin and Washington?

Could it have something to do with the fact that the person these "five senior officers" currently work for, departing Social Democratic Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, despises George Bush and is just about to leave office and the German government entirely? Could it have something to do with the fact that incoming Chancellor Angela Merkel, the leader of the conservative Christian Democratic Party, is known to be quite a bit more sympathetic to Mr. Bush than is Herr Schröder?

Could anyone have imagined that even Herr Schröder was so small and personally vain as to exploit his country's intelligence service in such a petty and improper fashion?

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