German Foreign minister Fischer lectured Colin Powell and Condi Rice during his visit this week in Washington on how to humanely treat prisoners.
The German media were shocked - shocked! - by the "torture" of Iraqi prisoners.
All hell broke lose when the pictures of naked Iraqis in the Abu Ghraib prison were published. Almost by default the German media took the moral high ground, blaming the US army, George W. Bush, the US government, and "Amerika" for the "betrayal of our values".
Well, it turns out, "our values" were betrayed in Germany too. Let's see what Amnesty International had to say about the treatment of asylum applicants in Germany:
In Focus Once Again
Accusations of police brutality and the disproportionate use of force in Germany.
The present report documents ongoing accusations of police brutality and disproportionate use of force in Germany. For the past few years Amnesty International has regularly reported complaints of brutality and disproportionate use of force by police officers.
Most who file complaints report that police officers kicked or punched them, or kneeled on them with the
intent to cause pain. Some report that their arms were pulled painfully behind their backs or that they were spun by their handcuffed wrists. ... A few of the victims of police assaults came away with severe
injuries, some of which required medical attention.
One man died in the hospital from injuries caused by repeated beatings and kickings sustained while he was in police custody.
The present report documents further incidents in which unarmed people were shot to death by the police under questionable circumstances. (...)
Now, this is what happened in response to the AI report that was published in January 2004:
- Chancellor Schroeder issued an apology "in the name of Germany",
- Interior Minister Otto Schily resigned,
- A hearing was carried out by the German Bundestag to determine the responsibility for the outrageous deeds,
- Several officials were fired still in January 2004.
The media fumed over the ai accusations:
"The political damage for the Germany is so immense ... even Chancellor Schroeder can't slip away from personal responsibility ... now Germany which was supposed to stand for freedom and democracy, symbolizes the worst things humans are capable of, brutality, humiliation and inhumanity.
Chancellor Schroeder has reacted with shock at the images of torture in German prisons, but the question remains whether it's the torture itself that disturbs the Chancellor or the images of the torture?
Of course, it's all not true. I invented it: the Chancellor's apology, the resignation of Interior Minister Schily, the Bundestag hearing, the firing of officials, the media statements.
I did not invent the ai report, though.
And I must say, Interior Minister Otto Schily was deeply moved. Not by the ai accusations, mind you, but by the fate of the Iraqi prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison:
Interior Minister Otto Schily, who was currently visiting the United States, said that the abuse was a serious violation of what the United States claims to represent, such as democracy and rights to freedom. He urged the US government to punish those who abused the Iraqi prisoners.
Hmm..., since no one seems to be eager to apologize for Germany - I'll do it.
World, please except my deepest apologies for the hypocrisy that has befallen Germany.
(Translation bei Erik)