German general fired in Afghan massacre scandal

This video about Kunduz is called NATO Airstrike Kills 90, Including About 40 Civilians.

From Associated Press today:

German military’s inspector general fired

By DAVID RISING – 37 minutes ago

BERLIN — The inspector general of Germany’s military was fired Thursday for failing to properly pass on information to political leaders about a September airstrike in Afghanistan in which civilians were killed, the defense minister said.

Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg told parliament that Gen. Wolfgang Schneiderhan was being relieved immediately of his duties after Germany’s top-selling Bild newspaper published what it said were still captures from confidential videos of the incident.

Bild reported the videos showed it was likely that civilians were killed, and that the videos were in German hands at a time when then-Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung was insisting that there were no civilian victims.

Guttenberg said, however, that Jung had not seen the videos, and that he himself had only been shown them on Wednesday. Jung is now Germany’s labor minister. …

Germany has more than 4,000 troops serving in northern Afghanistan and 36 have been killed so far in the mission.

Bloomberg reports:

Deputy Defense Minister Peter Wichert also asked to be relieved.

The BBC about this:

The independent Afghanistan Rights Monitor group put the number of civilians deaths at 70.

Deutsche Welle on this:

NATO says that up to 142 people, including civilians, died in the attack. …

Schneiderhan’s resignation follows a report in Thursday’s edition of German daily Bild, alleging that former Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung failed to pass on information from a military report and kept secret a video taken in one of the planes involved in the attack.

The newspaper report says that shortly after the attack, Jung was informed that children had been injured.

From the New York Times:

Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg told Parliament that General Wolfgang Schneiderhan, the chief of staff, as well as a senior official in the defense ministry, State Secretary Peter Wichert, had tendered their resignations following German news reports that information on civilian casualties had been withheld from the public and from prosecutors.

Their departures triggered political tremors in Berlin and within the German military, with the opposition Social Democrats calling for an official, parliamentary inquiry because information about civilian casualties had been “systematically withheld.” Other opposition groups — leftists and Greens — demanded the resignation of the defense minister at the time of the attacks, Franz Josef Jung, who is now the labor minister in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.

See also here.

9 thoughts on “German general fired in Afghan massacre scandal

  1. Military chopper missing in action

    Afghanistan: A NATO spokesman has said that a helicopter belonging to a military contractor has disappeared in a remote area of Lograr province.

    Major Steven Coll said that the Supreme Global Service Solutions helicopter had been missing since Tuesday.

    He would not provide any information as to how many people were on board.


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