Saturday, January 14, 2006

High points of SZ article

The Cliff's Notes, so to speak. We shouldn't assume that this one article provides a complete picture.

  • The information for the SZ article and the ARD program segment came from a high-ranking German security official, and from at least one Pentagon source.
  • Two BND staffers stayed in Baghdad and provided the U.S. military with information.
  • The cooperation was explicitly approved by Ernst Uhrlau (coordinator of intelligence services in the Chancellor's office) and August Hanning (president of the BND).
  • Unnamed sources in security circles said ["Aus Sicherheitskreisen hieß es ..."] it was a political decision of the SPD/Green government.
  • The German security official said that it wasn't a decision by a department head.
  • The BND mission was to inform the Americans of targets that shouldn't be bombed.
  • U.S. sources paint a different picture: the BND provided direct support in the acquisition of targets.
  • At American request, a BND staffer personally inspected a target area in Mansur where Saddam Hussein was said to be in a motorcade. Two buildings were then bombed, and twelve people died.
  • BND staffer awarded American decoration along with the pilot of the Mansur mission.