German official sabotage of nazi terrorism investigation

This video is called Neo Nazi Killers of Germany (SHOCKING Crime Documentary).

By Sven Heymann in Germany:

Germany: Official report speaks of “deliberate sabotage” by secret service in NSU case

10 September 2014

In mid-July, the Thuringia state parliamentary committee of inquiry into the series of murders by the far-right National Socialist Underground (NSU) presented its final report. It raises serious allegations against the state security authorities.

So far, the actions of the secret services and judicial authorities in relation to the NSU have been mostly described as errors, incompetence, official sloppiness, failures, breakdowns, unfortunate circumstances, accidental shredding, and so on.

The detailed report goes much further. For the first time, it openly says that the behaviour of the authorities involved in the NSU investigation in Thuringia gives grounds for “suspecting deliberate sabotage”. The police, secret service and judiciary had provided so little cooperation in the investigation of the NSU that one can no longer speak of unfortunate circumstances or breakdowns, committee chair Dorothea Marx (Social Democratic Party, SPD) said in Erfurt.

In the opinion of the committee, the series of murders by the neo-Nazi terrorist cell could have been prevented if the investigating authorities had not previously displayed such serious misconduct, Marx said. The alleged perpetrators come from Thuringia; therefore the Thuringia authorities bear “a special responsibility and a special guilt.”

The committee began its work in February 2012, after the NSU was broken up in November 2011. In just 70 sessions, more than 100 witnesses were heard. Its final report comprises more than 1,800 pages and is available online.

The report is of particular importance in many respects. The alleged right-wing terrorists Uwe Böhnhardt, Uwe Mundlos and Beate Zschäpe came from Jena, the second largest city in Thuringia. All three joined the far-right scene there in the 1990s.

Above all, it is clear that in Thuringia, more than in almost any other state, government agencies played a central role in building up this milieu. The undercover operative Tino Brandt received about 200,000 Deutsche Marks from the secret service, which he mainly invested in the construction of the neo-Nazi scene, he said. And Böhnhardt and Mundlos died in the Thuringia city of Eisenach on November 4, 2011, in a motor home, supposedly by committing suicide.

On that day, it came to light that, supposedly undetected over 13 years, the NSU committed 10 murders, at least two bomb attacks and 14 bank robberies. It is also known that at least two-dozen secret service undercover agents were placed in the immediate environs of the NSU.

Through financing these undercover operatives, large sums of money flowed into the far-right scene. Immediately after these close connections between far-right terrorists and the secret service became known, the destruction of thousands of intelligence files began. Police and intelligence officials who were called to testify before inquiry committees and in the Munich NSU trial were either not granted permission to give evidence, refused to testify, or could not remember anything.

The Thuringia committee of inquiry brought together facts exposing overwhelming evidence against the investigating authorities.

In relation to the NSU trio, who went to ground in 1998, the report says: “Seen all together, the history of all those involved in conducting, or not conducting, the manhunt between 1998-2003, is a disaster”. Even if one puts the best case, one must assume the responsible parties displayed “sheer indifference to finding the three fugitives in comparison to other tasks”. It then states: “The accumulation of false or untaken decisions, and the non-observance of simple standards, also lead to the suspicion of deliberate sabotage and deliberate thwarting of the search for the fugitives” (all quotations on p. 1,582 of the report).

The Thuringia State Office for the Protection of the Constitution (TLFV, as the state branch of the secret service is called) had prevented the trio from being found: “By withholding important information…the TLFV has at least indirectly protected the fugitives,” the report finds (p. 1,584).

In several cases, undercover agents had been protected by the secret service against actions by the police or the public prosecutor. In the case of Tino Brandt, “at least one attempt to influence an…investigation…by the TLFV was proven”, as far as the committee was concerned. Furthermore, the committee “came to the conclusion that Tino Brandt was warned—by whomever—about the investigation into him, benefiting from the perverting of the course of justice that resulted (p. 1,580).

It was also established that “the majority of the other undercover operatives and subjects” were “offenders, who committed crimes, in part during their deployment” (ibid).

As became clear, the Thuringia secret service could operate undisturbed and uncontrolled, especially in the 1990s. “With regard to the administrative and technical supervision” of the secret service by the Thuringia Ministry of the Interior, it must “be stated that at least until the year 2000 this did not exist” (p. 1,585).

However, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Thuringia State Office for Criminal Investigation (LKA) also face serious allegations. Their actions had led to “the case only [being] worked on sporadically”.

The LKA had left the search for the NSU trio to the Criminal Investigation Unit and the secret service. Moreover, the “State Security Division, in violation of its duty, had not brought together the results and findings and made all the necessary evaluations.” In the search for the fugitives, the public prosecutor “had also exercised only rudimentary governance and was only involved in individual actions” (p. 1,585).

One of the most controversial elements of the report was almost completely buried in the already extremely sparse media coverage: The report places a question mark over the alleged suicides of Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt in their motor home in Eisenach on November 4, 2011.

The previous official version of events goes something like this: after a bank robbery in the morning, the two had holed up in a rented motor home, on the run from the police. After this was discovered by two police officers at about noon, Mundlos and Böhnhardt had fired shots, set the vehicle on fire from the inside, and then shot themselves. Contrary to their previous ruthlessness, and despite an extensive arsenal of weapons in the vehicle, both made no attempt to escape the situation.

As an essential proof for this version, it has always been stated that soot was found in the lungs of Mundlos during the autopsy, which he had inhaled after setting the motor home on fire; in Böhnhardt’s mouth, however, no soot was found, since he was already dead.

As the Thuringia committee of inquiry has established, this was based solely on the assertion of a police officer from the crime scene, who claims to have received this information by telephone from the pathologist—and it does not correspond with the facts, according to the investigation report. The committee received the autopsy report, which notes that neither Böhnhardt nor Mundlos had inhaled soot before they died.

That posed “the classic question of whether the fire had been started after the deaths of the two, by a third party, who would thus also come into consideration as a perpetrator for the killings”, the report declares (p. 1,574).

Having reviewed the scenario at the crime scene in detail, the report concludes that the involvement of a third party, who could have silently slipped away unnoticed by the police officers, can by no means be ruled out.

Who this unknown third party is, an individual who may have shot the two right-wing terrorists, and his relationship to them or to the secret service, is one of the countless questions about the NSU that are still completely unanswered.

The committee of inquiry in the Thuringia state parliament has clearly shown how deeply government agencies are involved in the development of far-right and right-wing terrorist organisations. Ten years ago, when the attempt to ban the neo-Nazi German National Party (NPD) failed, the judges declared that legal proceedings could not continue because the secret service had flooded the executive level of the NPD so massively with undercover agents that in the court’s view this was an “affair of state”.

In a similar way, the report of the Thuringia NSU Committee shows that secret service authorities, police and other parts of the security apparatus function as a state within a state, aloof from any democratic control and legal remedy.

British artists and World War I, exhibition

This video from Berlin, Germany is about Käthe Kollwitz, artist and World War I opponent.

By Tom Pearse in England:

World War I remembered through British art

Truth and Memory at the Imperial War Museum, London, until March 2015

6 September 2014

A major retrospective at the Imperial War Museum (IWM) London features the work of British artists sent to capture the reality of the First World War.

Compelling works reveal how artists helped commemorate “the war to end all wars.” They also highlight the dilemma facing official war artists. While many of the artists started the war at least generally supportive of its aims, they confronted something rather different at the front. Their portrayal of the horrors they witnessed does not always sit uncomfortably with official requirements.

The works are divided between two galleries, Truth—artists who created on the front line; and Memory—artists who painted their works on returning to Britain.

Truth is the more sobering. Visitors are confronted first with two paintings illustrating official British sentiment at the start of the war. William Barnes Wollen’s large Death of the Prussian Guard (1914) presents the first battle of Ypres as a moral triumph over Prussian militarism. Walter Sickert’s Integrity of Belgium, painted late in 1914, endorses support for “gallant little Belgium” in its noble and glamorous depiction of physical warfare.

Both paintings support the justification of British involvement in the war in defence of Belgium and in opposition to German militarism. This propaganda promoted British imperialism at the cost of millions of lives.

The rest of the gallery portrays a very different conflict. Two rooms feature works by Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson and Paul Nash, both appointed official war artists in 1917 for the Department of Information.

Nevinson had been associated with the Italian Futurists before the war, collaborating with the movement’s founder Filippo Tommaso Marinetti on a 1914 English Futurist Manifesto: Vital English Art. Marinetti had promised to “glorify war—the world’s only hygiene—militarism, patriotism, [and] the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers.”

Initially, therefore, Nevinson was interested in glorifying the war as a triumph of technical achievement. His style changed after the horrors of the front. The “essence of the new war,” he said, “was overwhelmingly extremely alien, and utterly un-heroic.”

He is best known for La Mitrailleuse [The Machine Gun] (1915), “an example,” in the words of the London Evening News, “of what civilized man did to civilized man in the first quarter of the 20th century.” It does not really stand up to this praise: it shows less of the realities of war than it does a Futurist glorification.

Memory contains a room devoted to the Vorticists, whose manifesto bore some similarities to Futurism, with its call for a “strong, virile and anti-sentimental” art. In Percy Wyndham Lewis’s A Battery Shelled (1919) the soldiers are insect-like stick figures. Lewis likened the First World War to an absurd nightmare, removed from everyday reality. The IWM distanced itself from his work, loaning it out long term to the Tate Gallery.

Percy Wyndham Lewis, A Battery Shelled, 1919

Nevinson’s French Troops Resting and The Doctor (both 1916) show a sympathetic realism. Of the image of a dead child in A Taube (1915), completed in Dunkirk after an air raid, Nevinson said: “there the small body lay before me, a symbol of all that there was to come.”

Nevinson’s depictions of death, like the portrayals of destruction by Paul Nash that hang alongside them, are apocalyptic. Paths of Glory (1917) was banned from public display, as it depicts two putrefying British soldiers lying face down in “no man’s land.”

C.R.W. Nevinson, Paths of Glory, 1917

Another similar picture did not attract the censor. The Irish-born William Orpen’s Dead Germans in a Trench (1918) also shows soldiers putrefying in their trenches. The Times said Orpen “paints the corpse with serene skill, just like he might paint a bunch of flowers.” The censor allowed this painting because, unlike Nevinson’s, it showed enemy corpses.

Orpen was criticized in the press, but achieved popular acclaim for his sympathetic response to what the IWM call “the madness of war.” Works like The Mad Woman of Douai (1918) and Blown Up—Mad (1917) portray its harrowing effects. He depicts trench warfare in grim detail but seems, in the words of his contemporary John Rothenstein, to have “found it difficult … to come to terms with the broader implications of the war.” This is a wider problem here.

Orpen had been associated with the Celtic Revival, seeking artistic expression for an Irish national identity alongside the literary Celtic Twilight movement. Orpen, who went to the front as an official war artist, remained a loyal figure within the British Empire despite his anguish at what he saw of the war. He was knighted by the British crown after the war.

What Orpen saw at the front affected him deeply. Most of his images, some of the most powerful here, come from the Somme. In August 1917 Orpen came across a vast cemetery where British troops had buried their own dead but left the Germans to rot. Like Dead Germans in a Trench, Orpen’s Thiepval (1917) leaves us with a dismal image of mud-baked white and the remains of a British and German soldier, their bones entangled in death.

Such sympathy was often based on personal experience. In “Over the Top”, 1st Artists’ Rifles at Marcoing, 30th December 1917 (1918), John Nash (Paul’s brother) recalls a disastrous action that resulted in the death and wounding of nearly his whole company.

Many of the artists emerge as deeply conflicted. Orpen, for example, despised the post-war vainglory of those military figures who commissioned him for portraits. Despite this, and his own depictions of imperialism’s effects, he was knighted for his war work in June 1918.

Another Irish official war artist represented in the Memory gallery, John Lavery, was also knighted for his work. He painted a portrait of Michael Collins after the pro-Anglo-Irish Treaty Sinn Fein leader’s assassination. Orpen and Lavery both gave the IWM substantial art collections after the war.

Lavery’s Lady Henry’s Crèche, Woolwich (1919) is one of several pieces showing women’s auxiliary work for the war, including Anna Airy’s Shop for Machining 15-inch Shells (1918). Airy, one of the first official women war artists, was employed by the IWM when it was first established. The Museum could refuse any work she produced, without payment.

Anna Airy, Shop for Machining 15-inch Shells: Singer Manufacturing Company, Clydebank, Glasgow, 1918

Memory also marks the memorialisation of the dead. George Clausen’s Youth Mourning (1916), inspired by the death of his daughter’s fiancé the year before, stands as an elegy for a lost generation; a powerful image of grief and sacrifice. Clausen was appointed an official war artist in 1917, but could not travel to the front because of his age.

George Clausen, Youth Mourning, 1916

The most striking work here is the final painting in the Truth gallery, Gassed: In Arduis Fidelis (Faithful in Adversity) by Gilbert Rogers (1918). In stark contrast to Wollen’s work opening the gallery, Rogers hauntingly depicts a dead medical officer lying alone in the mud surrounded by puddles of water. The officer’s gas mask is turned towards the observer, a disturbing image that stays with you.

Gassed: In Arduis Fidelis (Faithful in Adversity) by Gilbert Rogers

The exhibition is significant. The paintings do not just document the conflict. They raise questions about it.

The IWM was first proposed in 1917 as a “national war museum” to document the experiences of World War I. Its remit was extended in 1939 to cover the next world war. During the Korean War coverage was extended to “all conflicts in which British or Commonwealth forces had been involved since 1914.” Since then it has also expanded to run the Royal Air Force museum, the museum on World War Two warship HMS Belfast, and the War Rooms of Winston Churchill. While the IWM can be blunt about certain realities of conflict, it is also an official repository, pushed towards “approved” versions of history.

Like other cultural repositories in Britain, even the flagship museum of the government’s Great War centenary has not been immune to budget cuts. The IWM’s government grant has been reduced significantly, and it relies on private funding more than ever.

It also has to satisfy its 22 trustees, who are appointed variously by the monarch, the prime minister, the foreign secretary, the secretary of state for defence, and the high commissioners of the seven Commonwealth governments. The board currently includes leading military figures like former secret intelligence head Sir John Scarlett, as well as the billionaire Conservative donor Lord Ashcroft. This is a highly political body.

In October 2012 Prime Minister David Cameron opened the centenary campaign at the IWM announcing £50 million of funding, including an upgrade to the museum.

The portrayal in Truth and Memory stops short of analysing the wider implications of what the IWM calls the “epoch-defining events of the First World War.” Its focus, rather, is a sense of ordinary people working together in a difficult but necessary situation without commenting on the reasons. Overall its memorial to British sacrifice fits perfectly with David Cameron’s notions of “Britishness.”

IWM publicity underscores this: “At the turn of the last century, art in Britain held a position and status in society quite different from today and was often regarded as having a social function. In particular, images of warfare imparted notions of identity, culture and morality, enshrining these as the ‘truth’.”

The exhibition’s strengths lie in what it shows of the realities behind such notions. Artists in the current epoch confront the necessity to go further.

The exhibition, which is free of charge, runs until March 8, 2015.

Don’t escalate Ukraine war, United States intelligence veterans say

This video about the Iraq war and the USA says about itself:

WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception

8 March 2013

Directed by MediaChannel Editor-in-Chief, Danny Schechter

This documentary is about the media itself, viewed as a weapon system: Weapons of Mass Deception. Those weapons drove a media war, a war that many now believe perverted freedom of the press in order to manipulate public support for a real war.

Rather than challenging official assertions, most media outlets, used patriotism as a promotional tool, pandered to unjustified fears and nationalist sentiment, extolled the brilliance of military technology, and uncritically trumpeted the Bush administration’s “product.”

From remembering the Maine to the Gulf of Tonkin and now ten years after smoking guns and mushroom clouds, what have we learned?

From Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity in the USA:

Don’t get fooled again on Ukraine

Wednesday 3rd September 2014

In an open letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, veteran US intelligence professionals urge her not to be swayed by dodgy evidence into backing conflict with Russia

We are long-time veterans of US intelligence.

We take the unusual step of writing this open letter to you to ensure that you have an opportunity to be briefed on our views prior to the Nato summit on September 4-5.

You need to know, for example, that accusations of a major Russian “invasion” of Ukraine appear not to be supported by reliable intelligence. Rather, the “intelligence” seems to be of the same dubious, politically “fixed” kind used 12 years ago to “justify” the US-led attack on Iraq.

We saw no credible evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq then — we see no credible evidence of a Russian invasion now.

Twelve years ago, former chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, mindful of the flimsiness of the evidence on Iraqi WMD, refused to join in the attack on Iraq.

In our view, you should be appropriately suspicious of charges made by the US State Department and Nato officials alleging a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

President Barack Obama tried earlier this week to cool the rhetoric of his own senior diplomats and the corporate media, when he publicly described recent activity in the Ukraine, as “a continuation of what’s been taking place for months now … it’s not really a shift.”

Obama, however, has only tenuous control over the policymakers in his administration — who, sadly, lack much sense of history, know little of war and substitute anti-Russian invective for a policy.

One year ago, hawkish State Department officials and their friends in the media very nearly got Mr Obama to launch a major attack on Syria based, once again, on “intelligence” that was dubious at best.

Largely because of the growing prominence of, and apparent reliance on, intelligence we believe to be spurious, we think the possibility of hostilities escalating beyond the borders of Ukraine has increased significantly over the past several days.

More important, we believe that this likelihood can be avoided, depending on the degree of judicious skepticism you and other European leaders bring to the Nato summit.

Hopefully, your advisers have reminded you of Nato secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s chequered record for credibility. It appears to us that Rasmussen’s speeches continue to be drafted by Washington.

This was abundantly clear on the day before the US-led invasion of Iraq when, as Danish prime minister, he told his Parliament: “Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. This is not something we just believe. We know.”

Photos can be worth a thousand words — they can also deceive. We have considerable experience collecting, analysing and reporting on all kinds of satellite and other imagery, as well as other kinds of intelligence.

Suffice it to say that the images released by Nato on August 28 provide a very flimsy basis on which to charge Russia with invading Ukraine.

Sadly, they bear a strong resemblance to the images shown by Colin Powell at the UN on February 5 2003 that, likewise, proved nothing.

That same day, we warned President Bush that our former colleague analysts were “increasingly distressed at the politicisation of intelligence” and told him flatly: “Powell’s presentation does not come close” to justifying war.

We urged Bush to “widen the discussion … beyond the circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”

Consider Iraq today. Worse than catastrophic.

Although President Vladimir Putin has until now shown considerable reserve on the conflict in the Ukraine, it behooves us to remember that Russia, too, can “shock and awe.”

In our view, if there is the slightest chance of that kind of thing eventually happening to Europe because of Ukraine, sober-minded leaders need to think this through very carefully.

If the photos that Nato and the US have released represent the best available “proof” of an invasion from Russia, our suspicions increase that a major effort is under way to fortify arguments for the Nato summit to approve actions that Russia is sure to regard as provocative.

Caveat emptor is an expression with which you are no doubt familiar. Suffice it to add that one should be very cautious regarding what Rasmussen, or even Secretary of State John Kerry, are peddling.

We trust that your advisers have kept you informed regarding the crisis in Ukraine from the beginning of 2014, and how the possibility that Ukraine would become a member of Nato is anathema to the Kremlin.

According to a February 1 2008 cable (published by WikiLeaks) from the US embassy in Moscow to secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, US ambassador William Burns was called in by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who explained Russia’s strong opposition to Nato membership for Ukraine.

Lavrov warned pointedly of “fears that the issue could potentially split the country in two, leading to violence or even, some claim, civil war, which would force Russia to decide whether to intervene.”

Burns gave his cable the unusual title “Nyet Means Nyet: Russia’s Nato Enlargement Red Lines,” and sent it off to Washington with immediate precedence. Two months later, at their summit in Bucharest, Nato leaders issued a formal declaration that “Georgia and Ukraine will be in Nato.”

Just last week, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk used his Facebook page to claim that, with the approval of parliament that he has requested, the path to Nato membership is open.

Yatsenyuk, of course, was Washington’s favourite pick to become prime minister after the February 22 coup d’etat in Kiev.

“Yats is the guy,” said Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland a few weeks before the coup, in an intercepted telephone conversation with US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. You may recall that this is the same conversation in which Nuland said: “f*ck the EU.”

The conventional wisdom promoted by Kiev just a few weeks ago was that Ukrainian forces had the upper hand in fighting the anti-coup federalists in south-eastern Ukraine, in what was largely portrayed as a mop-up operation.

But that picture of the offensive originated almost solely from official government sources in Kiev.

There were very few reports coming from the ground in south-eastern Ukraine.

There was one, however, quoting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, that raised doubt about the reliability of the government’s portrayal.

According to the “press service of the President of Ukraine” on August 18, Poroshenko called for a “regrouping of Ukrainian military units involved in the operation of power in the east of the country,” adding, “we need to consider a new military operation in the new circumstances.”

At about this time, sources on the ground began to report a string of successful attacks by the anti-coup federalists against government forces.

According to these sources, it was the government army that was starting to take heavy casualties and lose ground, largely because of ineptitude and poor leadership.

Ten days later, as they became encircled and/or retreated, a ready-made excuse for this was to be found in the “Russian invasion.”

That is precisely when the fuzzy photos were released by Nato and reporters like the New York Times’ Michael Gordon were set loose to spread the word that “the Russians are coming.” (Michael Gordon was one of the most egregious propagandists promoting the war on Iraq).

The anti-coup federalists in southeastern Ukraine enjoy considerable local support, partly as a result of government artillery strikes on major population centres.

And we believe that Russian support probably has been pouring across the border and includes, significantly, excellent battlefield intelligence.

But it is far from clear that this support includes tanks and artillery at this point — mostly because the federalists have been better led and surprisingly successful in pinning down government forces.

At the same time, we have little doubt that, if and when the federalists need them, the Russian tanks will come. This is precisely why the situation demands a concerted effort for a ceasefire, which you know Kiev has so far been delaying.

What is to be done at this point?

In our view, Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk need to be told flat-out that membership of Nato is not on the cards — and that Nato has no intention of waging a proxy war with Russia — and especially not in support of the rag-tag army of Ukraine.

Other members of Nato need to be told the same thing.

This memorandum from the steering group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity first appeared on

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — The office of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Wednesday that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin are in agreement on a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine, but the statement was ambiguous and a top rebel figure said no cease-fire was possible without Ukraine withdrawing its forces: here.

UKRAINE RETRACTS ‘CEASE-FIRE’ LANGUAGE “The office of President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine said Wednesday that he and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had a similar understanding about what was needed to achieve a cease-fire in southeastern Ukraine, but it retracted a statement it had made earlier in the day that said the two men had agreed to a ‘lasting cease-fire.’ The initial statement, posted on the presidential website, went too far in describing the results of a telephone call between the two leaders as having reached a cease-fire, said a spokesman, noting that a revised version would be posted shortly.” The news, which comes just as President Obama is landing in the Baltics, is doing wonders for the markets despite an undercurrent of uncertainty. [NYT]

German President Gauck threatens Russia with war: here.