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I am not too impressed with Rosenthal's handling of his source.

Tentatively alleged identifications

Mit der könnte es allerdings bald vorbei sein, wenn sich herausstellt, dass die Informationen zu dem Foto stimmen: Der orientalisch gekleidete Herr ist demzufolge Scheich Jamal al Duleimi, ein irakischer Stammesführer, gegen den die Bundesanwaltschaft als Beschuldigten ermittelt. [...] Bei den Jeansträgern soll es sich um zwei Mitarbeiter des BND in Bagdad handeln.
are turned into an affirmed identification:
The Iraqi "host" has been identified as Sheikh Jamal Al-Dulaimi; the other two men as agents of the BND, the German equivalent of the CIA.
Oh, yeah, the confirmation by Osthoff can be found in another Stern article mentioned later, but not in the article cited here. Furthermore he either makes up data or Stern has by now changed the article:
According to the Stern account, the photo of Dulaimi and the two BND agents was taken on Nov. 24: the day before the kidnapping.
No date is given for the image in the Stern article. He further fails to mention, that Jamal al Duleimi was treated as a potential mediator during the kidnapping.
(The driver is likewise considered a suspect by the BKA.)
Never mention, that the allegations were never substantiated and therefore dropped.

Well, Rosenthal has made up his mind that the whole thing was a ruse pulled off by Osthoff and others to get German taxpayers money to pay for terrorist activities. His spin shows as much.

BTW, just what is the connection of the headline and the content? The only facts relevant to the headline: The BND has had at least two agents in Iraq who had contact with Jamal al-Dulaimi and according to the Telegraph article Iraq tried to influence German Politics. Who'd have thunk. Are you really surprised that Western secret services have and seek connections to rogue regimes? We don't have to like it, but are you surprised? The rest and main part of the article is about Osthoff bashing, deserved or not.

This brings to mind the tagline from the movie, "The Recruit": "Nothing is what it seems."

Whoever kicked off the Osthoff affair did it just a few days after Angela Merkel was elected into office on November 22, 2005.

As for the BND, it may be that it invested the $3 mio to keep up the possibility of a German foreign policy independent from the elected government (Gehlen doctrine), but failed because Susanne Osthoff has been a wrecked personality already when the BND became interested in her.

If Osthoff believed her actions could cause a handover of the German Iraq policy to rogue elements in the government apparatus that would explain why she performed so hysterical on television after she had failed.

FranzisM, could you please educate me about this 'Gehlen doctrine'? I can't find anything online. And would you be kind enough to play television gossip and tell us about Osthoff's 'hysterical' television performance?

Thank you.....

The BND was founded in 1945 as a self-sufficient political entity, and only later in a sort of Operation Ajax inserted into the political system of Germany. For its founder Reinhard Gehlen, Germany was not a government with a spy agency but a spy agency with a government. With Erich Miehlke we can at least be sure they took his pictures off the wall.

See Wikipedia: Reinhard Gehlen
See also: Susanne Osthoff (TV transcript linked there)

As for my characterization, in the interview Susanne Osthoff is asked what had happened to her, and replies that these details were not interesting. This disturbed individual is talking to a journalist on camera as to a colleague at the cutting table. I´d say, when you´re stressed enough to miss the difference between being on camera and off camera, entirely stay away from cameras until you slept it over.

On January 10,2006 the day following the Beckmann interview with Osthoff there was an interesting exchange of comments on the tvblogger site. Pay particular attention to comments #17 and the response in comment #24. I am at loss for words that there was as much support for that nut-case as there was among the viewers of the interview. I've lived 29 years in Germany and still have a lot to learn...

"What exactly is the German foreign intelligence service, the BND, doing in Iraq?"

Don't know, but the KSK has been there for several years.

Welcome to club. We've got jackets.

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