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Re: [OS] GERMANY - Report says Bundeswehr lied during Kunduz strike

Released on 2012-08-08 00:00 GMT

Email-ID 1087227
Date 2009-12-23 14:50:27
This is getting bigger and bigger. I don't see this becoming a serious
issue for Merkel. But this is NOT going to help in US-German relations.
Note that this was an ISAF report, which I can only imagine was written by

----- Original Message -----
From: "Marko Papic"
To: "os"
Sent: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 7:49:00 AM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central
Subject: [OS] GERMANY - Report says Bundeswehr lied during Kunduz strike

Report says Bundeswehr lied during Kunduz strike

Published: 23 Dec 09 10:02 CET

The German military deliberately misled the American fighter pilots who
carried out the Kunduz air strikes in which up to 142 Afghans, including
many civilians, were killed, daily Frankfurter Rundschau reported

Citing a confidential investigation report by the International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF), the paper reported that Bundeswehr Colonel Georg
Kleina**s communications officer falsely claimed the German troops had
a**enemy contacta** to justify the September 4 strike.

According to the report, the officer, codenamed "Red Baron 21," was acting
on instructions from Col. Georg Klein, who ordered the deadly air strike.

Red Baron 21 knowingly misled the flight control centre that was
instructing the two F-15 fighters that carried out the attack, saying
troops were in a**immediate dangera** in order a**to make it possible for
the mission to go ahead,a** the ISAF report said, according to the
Frankfurter Rundschau.

But no such enemy contact had taken place. Under the ISAF rules, such an
air strike can only go ahead if troops are under fire or immediately
threatened. But at the time of the attack, the nearest German troops were
nearly eight kilometres away in the Kunduz Bundeswehr field camp. If the
report is correct, then the Germans breached the regulations.

The victims of the air strike on two hijacked petrol tankers included many
civilians, sparking a political maelstrom in Germany. Franz Josef Jung,
who was Defence Minister at the time of the attack, was forced to resign
along with Germanya**s top soldier Wolfgang Schneiderhahn and senior
Defence Ministry bureaucrat Peter Wichert after it emerged the government
had falsely claimed no civilians were killed in the attack.

Now there is increasing pressure on Junga**s successor, Karl-Theodor zu
Guttenberg, along with Chancellor Angela Merkel, to explain the
information debacle that followed the attack. The lower house of the
parliament or Bundestag, will begin an inquiry into the governmenta**s
handling of the affair in January.

The latest revelations will increase the stakes further.

News magazine Der Spiegel recently reported that Col. Klein turned down
the F-15 pilotsa** request to do a a**fly overa** of the two stranded
tankers, giving the people on the ground time to flee.

This fact, along with the alleged false claim that German troops had had
contact with the Taliban, would mean Col. Klein breached ISAF protocols on
air strikes