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OT - the news ticker on www.welt.de probably has a mis-translation of the US Secret Service (which protects the President, et al.). Literally translated "Geheimdienst".

"Die Welt" says the "Geheimdienst" (which I interpret as 'intelligence service') is guarding a duck's nest and nine eggs the duck laid.

I realize the US intelligence services have been under some pressure lately, but I highly doubt they are busying themselves with a duck:

US-Geheimdienst schützt brütende Ente am Weißen Haus

Washington (dpa) - Der US-Geheimdienst schützt nicht nur Präsident George W. Bush, sondern jetzt auch eine brütende Ente neben dem Weißen Haus. Die Stockente hat ihr Nest ausgerechnet vor dem Haupteingang des benachbarten Finanzministeriums in Washington gebaut, wo sie neun Eier ausbrütet. Das Tier hat durch die tägliche Berichterstattung auf allen US-Fernsehkanälen nationale Bekanntheit erreicht. Der Geheimdienst hat inzwischen ein Metallgitter um das Nest gebaut, um die Ente und deren Eier vor Neugierigen zu schützen.

"According to Google News Germany, the German media did not take notice of the ceremony. I guess Kujat has to criticize NATO and the U.S. government to get media attention in Germany."

To put things in perspective, try
http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&q=kujat+merit

Perhaps no one on the whole world thinks that the event has any news value at all.

Note from David: Hmm... what's your point, konrad? German media are excused for not reporting on the award if U.S. media don't report on it either? The event is definitely more important for Kujat's home country than for Myers' or for any other country in "the whole world".

David: My point is: even if the event were "definitely more important for Kujat's home country than for Myers' etc.", it may still not be interesting enough to report at all. Fortunately, having a former NATO general emphasize the importance of transatlantic relations has not become something exceptional yet (even Schroeder and Fischer do that). So why criticise the German media for not reporting?

OT - Schroeder and Putin are breaking bread in Hannover this evening.

I'm "sure" that Gerd is expressing his concerns about Putin's actions in Chechnya and squashing what is left of freedom of the press in Russia.

Isn't it interesting that right now during the 60th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War, the US decides to highlight the present Germany rather than the past? If there was ever a more sure sign of friendship and an acknowledgement that today's Germany is not to be confused with the one of 1945, this is it. A classy move. Too bad the German media have decided to ignore this nice gesture.

i don't get it. the US has in general viewed Germany with greater positivity than the reverse. thus it is normal for the US to award a German general for a job well done, especially with NATO, which we still believe in. But i get the sense that NATO popularity in Germany is on the decline.

lemmy: let me hasten to clarify about our Geheimdienst. The U.S. Secret Service is part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, our finance ministry. It's not really an intelligence agency, although it almost certainly performs some intelligence functions in pursuit of its actual missions. In addition to detecting and arresting counterfeiters, it has the mission of protecting the President and Vice President of the U.S. and their families, as well as presidential candidates and former presidents. It's uniformed division is charged with protecting, I believe, the White House. And, of course, it protects the Treasury department buildings themselves.

The duck's nest is located within an area around the main Treasury Department headquarters and is being protected by the uniformed U.S. Secret Service to protect that facility.

Consul, let's not forget (unfortunately) the Capitol Bldg. They do that also.

@ Mike

"let's not forget (unfortunately) the Capitol Bldg"

Are you sure? I thought the Capitol police fell under the Speaker of the House.

The reason being: Congress is constitutionally independent from the Executive branch.

Why do the German media cover up stories like this one but will print several pages of anything showing tensions between USA and the BRD? It is amazing to observe.

Mike & George: The Capitol is guarded by the Capital Police, who come under the authority of the sergeants-at-arms of the Senate and House of Representatives. I have several acquaintances on this force.
Cheers!

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