8 hours ago
Friday, January 13, 2006
Is it just me or does Bush have the hots for die Kanzlerin? Not that he's to blame. I, too, saw Angela Merkel this afternoon at the rededication of the German Marshall Fund's offices in DC. She stood some eight feet away from me and, in all honesty, seemed downright charming. And picture to my left notwithstanding, Frau Merkel has a winning smile and eyes that almost twinkle. And her English, spoken with that accent, reminded me of something out of Cabaret. Yes, I am in love.
But one issue that seemed to be shunted aside was a recent story in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, which reported that in April 2003, German intelligence agents were actually on the ground in Iraq despite former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's protestations against the war. These agents apparently called in coordinates for the U.S. bombardment of sites believed to shelter Saddam Hussein. Remember all those times we thought we knocked him out but didn't? It seems these agents of the BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst) were involved.
This, of course, has some Germans up in arms and demanding an investigation. Part of their outrage stems from having been an unwitting part of the war effort, the other part comes from the fact that these tip-offs led to civilian deaths. But as one former member of the U.S. intel community tells me, the BND agents were worthless and may even have "doubled." (I'm doubtful that last part will ever be proven.)
Nevertheless I asked a German newspaper correspondent if he was proud to be part of this Coalition of the Secretly Willing. He replied, "I would've but we missed."