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Will Merkel Request the Extradition of CIA Agents?

Spiegel:
Officials in Washington have since realized that the German investigation is more than just a symbolic act. This week in Berlin, a group of senior officials from the interior, foreign and justice ministries will meet to discuss the sensitive issue of how the German government should handle the Munich petition for "arrest for the purposes of extradition." There is general agreement within the government in Berlin that the request should be promptly delivered to the Bush administration, which would be tantamount to an official request for the arrest of the men being sought. (...)
At a recent lunch in the German Embassy in Washington, Michael Hayden, the new CIA director, complained about the "bottomless criticism" from Europe that the US government faces for abducting suspicious Islamists. One US diplomat calls Germany's approach the "German double standard."
On the one hand, he says, the Germans seek to benefit from information gleaned by the CIA. On the other, they are careful to keep their hands clean. According to US diplomats, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has made it clear to her German counterpart, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, that the investigations of the agents present a serious problem.
Apparently, the German prosecutors discovered the real names of the CIA pilots involved in the "renditions":
The US agents were not as smart as the police had assumed -- or perhaps criminally negligent. Thanks to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), all it took was a simple computer search for the investigators in Old Europe, without any official assistance from the US Department of Justice, to determine the real names of "Captain James Fairing," "Eric Fain" and "Kirk James Bird."
UNRELATED: "Verboten: Germany Bans Tom Cruise" reports ABC News:
Germany has barred the makers of a movie about a plot to kill Adolf Hitler from filming at German military sites because its star Tom Cruise is a Scientologist, the Defence Ministry said on Monday.

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Don S on :

It used to be 'enjoy the meat - scorn the butcher'. The modern updated version is 'enjoy the meat - jail the butcher'! Lovely. Another unnecessary strain on NATO - brought to us by our 'friends' in Germany. Thanks.

Don S on :

On the movie issue. The German authorities are denying a proposed movie starring Tom Cruise the right to film at German military sites - because Cruise is a Scientologist! Presumably another star (confessing a more acceptable creed) would be welcome, no? Like a Satanist. I dislike L Ron Hubbard and all his kind - but it seems to me that this is outright religious persecution.

... on :

Well, Scientology is in no way a religion. Rather, they use the term 'religion' as a smokescreen to deter any criticism. It's really disgusting to hear them compare themselves to real religions which were really persecuted like the Jews in Nazi Germany. If you want some reliable information on them, look here: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,972865,00.html?internalid=ACA As for the fact that Tom Cruise didn't get the permission to film in the german ministry: Would it have been possible for him to film in the Pentagon? Or the Capitol? I don't think so...

David on :

I don't consider Scientology a religion at all. Rather, it is a dangerous cult and should be inhibited from actively recruiting members. Still, it is silly to deny Tom Cruise access to public buildings in Germany.

Don S on :

"I don't consider Scientology a religion at all. Rather, it is a dangerous cult and should be inhibited from actively recruiting members." A quote from the Emperor Diocletian circa AD 304, David? ;)

David on :

I'm not advocating throwing them to the lions, but let's not grant them tax-exempt status (which they now enjoy in the US).

Don S on :

Pardon me, everyone. Of course Scientology did not exist in AD 304. What the Emperor Diocletian was treferring to was a cult which was sweeping the Roman Empire at the time and being very rough with older, established religions such as Mithraism, Cybele, etc. The name of this pernicious cult? Christianity (aka Roman Catholicism).

Zyme on :

I guess everyone knew what you were referring to ;)

Don S on :

David, the US is notoriously lax in such matters. Separation of church and state I believe. It's not the business of any level of government to tell the citizenry what a religion is - or is not. I am merely pointing out that now-respected religions have begun as persecuted cults throughout history. Off the top of my head I can list a bunch of them: Roman Catholicism aka Christianity, Buddhism (in various times and places), Anabaptists (Amish, Mennonites, Huttites), The Church of Latter Day Saints, Jehovahs Witnesses, Christian Science, Methodism and other flavors of Dissenter, Calvinists, Protestants, etc. One man's religion is another man's cult - though usually it's the State which does the real damage. Ask the Hugenots, the Anabaptists, and the Mormons if you don't believe me. I'm not sure why the Germans are off on Scientology specifically. Even assuming they have somewhat valid reasons for that predjusdice, in this case they are discriminating against Tom Cruise specifically for his religion - no other apparent reason. I would have thought Germany would be sensitive to the implications of this kind of thing, but to sharpen my point I will advance a word for everyone's consideration: Scientologyfrei?

Zyme on :

How goes that saying - "you only fear what you donīt know" ? Thatīs why I like the fact that they are under close surveillance by our inner secret services - letīs get to know them ;)

Volker on :

Here a website on why Germany dislikes Scientology: http://home.snafu.de/tilman/krasel/germany/ There is more to it than money, Scientology is anti-democratic and wants to control humans and societies. Scientologyfrei? What?

Don S on :

Interesting link, Volker. I gather that one charge against Scientology is that it has attempted to 'take over' the economy of several countries including Germany. Sounds like something else I've heard of. Let's see. The freemasons, the illuminati, the Communist Party USA, God knows what else. My comment might be 'rotsa ruck, bozos!'. Or more respectfully - easier said than done. MUCH easier said than done! Germans usually laugh at the wilder manifestations of such thinking in the US - such as the Anti-Communist movement. Fair enough, although the communists did manage to take over two of the largest nations on earth so there was some real-world basis to pin the vaporings of the anti-communists upon in this case. Nevertheless the CP-USA (with a maximum membership of about 70,000 at its highest point I believe). A limited threat - as many Europeans and Yanks have pointed out over the years. Let's now consider Scientology. It may well be a conspiracy, but whare are it's successes? It has attempted to take over states. Is there a documented success as yet? Russia? China? Andorra? San Marino? Grand Fenwick? Ruritania? Well - it's taken over Tom Cruise, but apparently not Nichole Kidman or even Paris Hilton. Not a very impressive record, is it? ;) Not even as serious a threat as the CP-USA was! Yet Germany (and Germans it would seem) are agog about the threat of Tom Cruise to the social order - enough so that it is considered vital to persecute him personally for his religion! That is a step too far in my view. Cruise is not an international conspiracy - he's an aging movie actor. Or is this a way of indicating German disapproval for 'Top Gun'? ;)

Don S on :

"Scientologyfrei? What?" Wasn't there another term referring to adherents of another (somewhat larger) religion oft used perhaps 60 or 70 years ago, Volker? To give you another hint suppose I intend to publish a book. The title? "Protocols of the Elders of Scientology"

Pat Patterson on :

Some would claim, without merit I believe, that the offered description of Scientology as, "...anti-democratic and wants to control humans and societies," would apply equally to the Roman Catholics and the Communist Party. I didn't include the Lutherans, my denomination, because we don't really believe in anything anymore. Though we do still use the Crusader Cross on our flag.

David on :

"I didn't include the Lutherans, my denomination, because we don't really believe in anything anymore" Not even Grace?

Fuchur on :

[i]Condoleezza Rice has made it clear ... that the investigations of the agents present a serious problem.[/i] Huh? "A serious problem" is that the CIA seems to believe they can just run around and kidnap German citizens as they please. What does the good woman expect Germany to do? Kidnapping is a crime, and it will (must!) be persecuted by law. The article mentions that there is a Paragraph 153c that apparently gives Chancellor Merkel the possibility to prevent a prosecution by "official decree" if it is in the "prevailing public interest" (I guess I learned something new here). But it's preposterous to claim that this would be the case here. Quite to the contrary: It is very much in our interest that justice be done in this case. Hopefully this has the effect that in the future these punks think twice before laying hands on a German citizen. Overall, I simply can't believe how incredibly unprofessional and imbecile the CIA has acted in this case. I mean, what happened with the good old way of settling these things? Pay the guy a handsome sum of money in order to keep him quiet. Now there's hell to pay. It's ridiculous that Condi now blames Merkel for this - she's certainly not the one responsible for this mess.

Kevin Sampson on :

And speaking of unprofessional imbeciles: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,490782,00.html Reminds me of Rose Mary Woods and her tape recorder.

Martin on :

Tom Cruise wanted to film a mission Impossible III scene in the Reichstag dome, i.e. on top of the German parliament, but the German government refused. Not dignified enough. The same reasoning with the new movie. Tom Cruise is nuts. Remember the Oprah scene? Therefore he shall not film silly movies on government territory. It took Christo nearly three decades to get permission to wrap the Reichstag. He got permission in 1995 and it was great! Really art! A great festival for everybody German authorities are conservative, i.e. they don't like to be messed around by some artists. Thus, a definitive NO to Cruise, while Christo just had to be persistent. In other words: Nobody is discriminating Tom Cruise because he is a member of a crazy sect.

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