opinion and publicly available information, often including home addresses, about people most of whom are or were government officers or employees


  1. Introduction
    The articles below are
    in chronological order of the most recent events and conditions they describe.
    The oldest are on top and the newest are on the bottom.

  2. JWs (Jehovah's Witnesses), Helene Gotthold

    According to the U.S. state department, the Berlin senate persistently refused to provide PLC (public law corporation) status to JWs. More or less, this meant that JWs couldn't get a nonprofit, religious corporation in Berlin. The refusal was illegal, as far as we know. Eventually, with the help fo a lawyer, the JWs got PLC status.

    As far as we know, JWs in Nazi times opposed the Nazis. The Nazi government persecuted JWs. We don't expertly know the law in the court case. We like the case's outcome: JWs got PLC status.

  3. Some Supposed, Former BVDP Officers


    As far as we know, BVDP were district authorities of the DVP in district cities (not mere towns) in East Germany, the DDR. DVP was the East German police (D=German, V=People, P=Police; police of the German people). There is a 79-page, 8.9 megabyte, Zipped (compressed), PDF file containing a list of some, supposed, former BDVP officers. BVDP.

    By the way, in social conversation, some Germans who visited America in the last several yeas say that authorities in American airports act like VP (the DDR's DVP, police of the former East Germany). This is a criticism.

    There is an article about Ex-Stasi, "Exklusiv: Tausende Ex-Stasi-Spitzel arbeiten im öffentlichen Dienst", by Stefan Tillmann and Monika Dunkel, 9 July 2009, Financial Times Deutschland. The Local summarized that article in English in "Municipal posts rife with 17,000 former Stasi workers", 9 July 2009.

  4. Bad Locks, Bumping, and Magnetism

    The TOOOL website has an interesting video made in Berlin in 2005 which teaches about physical security of buildings; for example, some locks to avoid buying.

  5. Skype Capture Unit: Skype and the Bavarian Trojan in the middle 2008may8

    Wikileaks website links to a PDF file and DANIEL SCHMITT's discussion of that file. The file, also released by the German political party Pirate Party, contains two, scanned documents about supposed activities of the Bavarian police, Ministry of Justice and the Prosecution office in intercepting encrypted data sent via SSL or Skype via the Internet. The first document supposedly deals with splitting cost between Bavarian police and the prosecutors offices. The second document supposedly has the related, 4 September 2007 offer for software by a German company, Digitask. If we understand correctly, the technology works via a local installation of malware on a victim's computer. Digitask's offer gives a high-level explanation of this.

  6. Boycott

    Please boycott Germany to the extent (if any) if it is legal and convenient for you to do so.

  7. Volker Foertsch, BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst)

    German professor Gerhard Schaefer was a federal High Court judge in Germany. His 2006, 170-page report to Germany's PKC (Parliamentary Control Committee) is described by "German secret service spies on journalists, employs Stasi methods", by Martin Kreickenbaum, 19 May 2006, in World Socialist Web Site. The report originally was available to the public with 11 pages missing. Those pages supposedly are at That link may not work in Germany. Those pages supposedly mention journalist Josef Hufelschulte (a seeming victim of the spying, whose code name supposedly was Jerez), the BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst, Germany's secret intelligence agency), BND superintendent Volker Foertsch, and Focus. We are under the impression that Focus is a magazine published by the British Broadcasting Corporation. The report describes illegal, covert action by the BND including much spying on journalists working for the news magazine Der Spiegel after the magazine had reported in 1995 on a plutonium deal set up by the BND.

    As far as we know, the BND acted illegally, then illegally spied on the legal response, which was investigation by journalists.

    The BND's covert action, including spying, seems to have had a few purposes; for example, to find out about Germany, especially German journalism (including legal, German, journalists' response to illegal BND activity); and to create desired publicity (which publicity was desired in part to try to influence German elections).

    We are not expert about post-war Germany. The Schaefer report documents a period in which, despite normal BND policy to treat journalists better than other people, the BND treated journalists no better than ordinary Germans whom the BND was curious about. Therefore, we think that, to learn how the BND (and some other parts of the German government?) treat ordinary Germans whom it is curious about, read the Schaefer report. Schaefer reported a kind of infringement of privacy by the BND (spying on German journalists in violation of both the law and the BND's usual policy of treating journalists better than ordinary Germans). His report does not cover spying by other government agencies, businesses, and individuals.

    By the way, a 16 November 2008 article, "German intelligence scrubs European records after Wikileaks exposure", describes massive deletion at RIPE to scrub references to a BND cover, an unregistered company at a Munich-based P.O. box.

  8. Alois Mannichl of Bavaria

    1. Mannichl

      Passau police chief Alois Mannichl reported that, on 13 December 2008, he was stabbed at his home by a stranger who seemed politically motivated. Mannichl owned the weapon. After the stabbing, the stranger threw the weapon away. It was recovered and inspected. The weapon seems to have lacked, as far as we know, evidence such as DNA, clothing fibers, and fingerprints. There was no witness other than the victim and the stabber. Although the victim was stabbed at his home, police waited days before questioning members of the victim's household. We don't know why there was such a big delay.

      After the stabbing, there was uproar: international publicity, a parade, and talk of outlawing a small, political party which some people thought was related to the politically motivated, stabbing stranger. We guess that that party was unrelated to the stabber or any other aspect of the stabbing.

      In Germany and most other countries which are not predominantly English-speaking, police have files on most adults even in the absence of criminal activity or suspiciousness. As an example of how many people are covered by those files: in Germany and many other countries, citizens do not contact election agencies to register to vote. Election agencies automatically register citizens based on information provided by police. In Germany and many other countries with those comprehensive files, the files include a facial photograph. Mannichl described the stabber well. Police investigated in Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic, all of which have the police file system described above. Police failed to find the stabber.

      Some of prosecutor Helmut Walch's remarks about Mannichl's case are in the 9 January 2009 article, "Fall Mannichl: Staatsanwalt spricht von 'Merkwuerdigkeiten'" ["Mannichl case: public prosecutor speaks of 'strangenesses'"], by Max Hägler at the Web site. Partly as an result of Mannichl's crime report about a stranger who seemed to be politically motivated, a court ordered that two people be arrested. They were arrested. We guess that they're innocent and that their arrest records won't be expunged. We should carefully evaluate reports that a government officer was criminally, violently attacked at his home by a stranger. This Alois Mannichl discussion is based on our understanding of what we read on the Web.

      Some of prosecutor Helmut Walch's remarks about Mannichl's case are in the 15 December 2009 articles "Ein Jahr nach dem Angriff: Staatsanwalt kritisiert Mannichl" (by Rudolf Lambrecht und Klaus Wiendl, Web site) and "Fresh doubts on Mannichl stabbing case"" ( Web site). Stabbing victim Mannichl is no longer Passau's police chief.

  9. Medical Care
    1. Nordham, Niedersachsen, medical care
      1. "Mortician discovers live patient pronounced dead by mistake", 21 May 2009, 13:21 CET, The Local
      2. "Mortician shoves live grandma in coffin thinking she's dead.", Liv, Thursday, 7:12 am, 21 May 2009, Grensboring
      3. Comment

        The patient felt cold to the physician. We guess that the physician examined the patient in the patient's home.

        The patient died soon after the incident. Would the patient have lived longer had she been correctly diagnosed? Did the physician do a crime (recklessly endanger his patient by the way he diagnosed her), causing the patient to die earlier than she would otherwise have died?

        Each human will die. If Aaron killed Bob, this does not mean that Bob would have lived eternally but for Aaron's act. If Aaron killed Bob, this means that, because of Aaron's act, Bob died earlier than he otherwise have died. That's why we are curious if, had the old woman been correctly diagnosed (for example, discovered to be alive), she would have gotten appropriate medical treatment much earlier and therefore lived longer. We are curious if the doctor killed the old woman (by causing her to die earlier than she otherwise would have died) by incorrectly concluding that she was dead. If the doctor did kill, the killing would have been reckless, not intentional, we think. We do not know if anyone discussed with the old woman's family whether the doctor killed her (in other words: shortened her life by delaying appropriate medical treatment, by wrongly concluding that she was dead). There are two, separate questions: could a doctor have cured the patient, did a doctor kill the patient. It is possible to kill a patient one is unable to cure. If one discusses with the family whether one could have cured the patient, this is not the same as discussing whether one killed (in other words, shortened the life of) the patient.

    2. Medical care of a patient of the University of Tuebingen clinic and the Boeblingen-Sindelfingen hospital

      "Hospital pays damages for removing woman's healthy breast", 23 November 2009, The Local

      What percent of German, medical laboratories' diagnoses are wrong? Is it negligent to make major medical decisions (for example, a decision to remove an entire breast) based solely on one laboratory's diagnosis? We ask if the practice (if relying solely on one laboratory's diagnosis) is negligent, not if it is common.

    3. Concealed Cancer


      We indirectly heard about the following, supposed events. An intelligent, educated man went to a physician who worked in the Evangelical (what Americans would call Lutheran) hospital in the Zentrum neighborhood in Oldenburg, Niedersachsen. The physician has sort of an unusual name and is described by some patients as chief physician, which indicates that he supervises a unit of the hospital (not the entire hospital or even most of it). The physician diagnosed incurable cancer but (criminally?) concealed the condition from his patient. The physician told the patient's wife but asked her to conceal the condition from her husband. The wife cooperated with the physician. Because of the cancer, the patient deteriorated. Eventually, when concealment was no longer possible, the physician told the patient about the incurable cancer. The patient literally stopped talking to his wife. Although the spouses lived under the same roof, he literally did not talk to her. For example, she cooked and served his meals but he did not talk to her.

      He moved into what seems to be a hospice, and died there. The physician's supposed conduct may be how he was taught to treat patients dying of cancer, and it may be customary for German physicians to treat such patients that way. In some countries (not necessarily Germany), the physician's supposed conduct violates criminal law, civil law, and professional ethics. We guess that the doctor still practices medicine in the Oldenburg area, not disclosing to his patients his concealment of important information.

      In some countries (not necessarily Germany), a physician has a duty to tell a prospective patient everything a reasonable, prospective patient would want to know before deciding to consent to treatment. The required disclosure sometimes may include, for example, information about the physician, not merely about the medication or other treatment narrowly defined. For example, the physician has a duty to disclose a practice of secretly conspiring with a patient's spouse to conceal vital information from the physician's intelligent, educated patient. By the way, the patient may have been more intelligent and educated than the concealing, conspiring physician. In any event, even if what happened to the man was merely one incident (so far): reasonable, prospective patients would want to know about that incident before deciding whether to consent to treatment by that physician. Every patient of that physician should be told, according to the law in some places (not necessarily Germany).

      One reason for licensing physicians and hospitals is to protect the public from physicians like the one described above. We don't know if insurance companies pay his bills although he tricked at least one of their insureds.

      As far as we know, many physicians in the Oldenburg area improperly disclose information to patients' spouses.

  10. Theodor Reppe, Wikileaks, lawyer Udo Vetter.
    1. "Police raid domain owner Theodor Reppe's home over 'censorship lists'"; Chloe Lake, Technology Editor;; 25 March 2009.
    2. "Wikileaks: Theodor Reppe interview (English version)"; interviewer Annika Kremer, 15.04.2009, gulli news.
  11. Fringe Benefit

    "Railroad, Schwarzfahrer in Uniform" (approximate translation: Black Rider in Uniform), 26 June 2009, Web site. Black riding is illegally riding without paying. As well as we understand the article, local police officers in uniform illegally ride first class on trains without paying, defying conductors, so a train company complained to a state government. A description in English of Stern's article is "Police under fire for taking first class train seats", 28 Jun 2009, Web site.

    We are under the impression, which may be wrong, that some German passenger trains have a plainclothes police officer on board to, among other things, deal with riders whom railroad staff discover did not pay to ride. We guess that no such officers were on the problem trains.

  12. Enclave Trivia

    Germany has a small enclave in Switzerland: a part of Germany entirely surrounded by Switzerland. On school days, a school bus comes from Germany through Switzerland, picks up secondary school students in the enclave, delivers them to school in Germany, then later takes them through Switzerland back to their German enclave. German enclave phone numbers can be reached through both a German area code and a Swiss area code. We don't know if there are phone numbers elsewhere in the world which can be reached through more than one country's area code. We hope so because it seems convenient to the caller not to have to dial a country's country code. The call is slightly easier to dial if there is no country code.

    Switzerland has a tiny enclave in Germany.

  13. Saabstraße

    According to "Berliner ersteigert Straße in Brandenburg" (26. August 2009, by Axel Lier, Berliner Morgenpost Web site), Wassim Saab was the high bidder at an auction of a Brandenburg street (Brest district of Haversee) which he bought for only one thousand Euros. Before the auction, the city government refused to buy the street for one Euro. He now owns the street including, for example, street lamps and water conduits. We don't know his business plan for his street. He should be able to sell his street, which occupies 5200 square meters, for hundreds of thousands of Euros. Ordinarily (but not necessarily throughout Germany) when those conducting a public auction have a lawful intent, someone tries to attract as many bidders as he can to get as high an auction sale price as possible. We are impressed that there seem to have been only two bidders and that he high bid was only one thousand Euros. No one bidding for himself had been born in Germany, as far as we know. The sale seems to have been conducted indoors. Sometimes (not necessarily in Germany), government-conducted auctions are held outside in a highly public place; for example, on the steps in front of the main entrance of a courthouse, or on a sidewalk near an entrance to a government building. We guess that the buyer could have bought the street for less than one thousand Euros. We guess that he could have bought for 1.01 Euros (one Euro and one cent) or two Euros.

    Residents of the street are concerned.

    This street might be a tourist attraction while the new owner owns it. We don't know if it would be trespassing for tourists to walk or drive on his street. Perhaps someone would pay to name his street Coca Cola Street or Exxon Street. If his street were named South Exa Court, it would appear on street maps as "S EXA CT". On the north side of Hollywood Boulevard in the Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles City, there is a sidewalk near a movie theater. The sidewalk is made of poured concrete (not like German sidewalks, which typically are paved with brick or similar objects). The footprints and shoe prints of famous entertainers are in the concrete. Tourists come to look at or stand in the prints of stars.

  14. Hot Guns

    1. Pistols to Afghanistan

      According to an 11 Oct 2009 article at Web site entitled, "German army guns sold on Afghan black market":

      "Hundreds of pistols from German army stocks have turned up for sale on the black market in Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to a Sunday report by North German Broadcasting (NDR)."
      In our opinion: this report, which we guess is true, illustrates one of the reasons why Afghanistan's quisling government cannot win despite extensive support from NATO and the UN.
    2. Discussion of the Report

      Supposedly, the German government had sent the pistols to the Afghan military, which then had sent the guns to military and police units.

      ANP (Afghanistan National Police) officers are extensively described on the Web (for example, in "Meet Afghanistan's model police force: inexperience, drugs and double agents", by Jon Boone and Peter Beaumont, 4 November 2009). According to those, extensive, Web descriptions, many ANP officers are corrupt, extort, use illegal drugs (for example, hashish), help the Taliban, have received little training, cannot read, and are inept at police work. Experts have called ANP a cesspool. One should be wary of training Afghan police. As an example of corruption, it supposedly is easy to obtain the release of prisoners of the ANP. One merely pays a bribe. It has been guessed that thirty percent of ANP officers illegally use drugs. The percentage varies by locality. It has been guessed that, in Helmand province, sixty percent of the police illegally use drugs. It is wrong for police to illegally use drugs. How do Afghani police get illegal drugs to use? Do they buy drugs from dealers? Do Afghani drug dealers give free drugs to police?

      Money is extorted from civilians (for example, at ANP checkpoints).

      In light of what we have read about Afghan police, it is unacceptably dangerous to the Afghan people to give pistols to Afghan police. In the Mexican city of Tijuana in January 2007, the national government took guns away from the local police because the police were unacceptably corrupt, especially in drug crimes. The police officers' union got the officers slingshots and ball bearings so that the officers could defend themselves, we read. The Afghan police should be disarmed, too. It is irresponsible to give them guns.

      According to "Disagreements reign over how to end Afghan mission by 2011" (Sunday, 17 January 2010,, the German police union said that it was no longer certain the German police training mission in Afghanistan was helping. "We are training fighters for the Taliban," said Rainer Wendt, head of the union. "We are worried that many of the Afghan police candidates do not take up police duty after their training, but go direct to the Taliban. They pay twice as much."

      Germany sent the pistols to the Afghan military. ANA (Afghan National Army) has widespread inefficiency, corruption, illiteracy, theft, lack of discipline, ghost soldiers (nonexistent soldiers whose pay is stolen by military insiders), desertion, and lack of aggression in combat (for example, failure to fire weapons at the enemy when fired at by the enemy).

      The proportion of police officers who use pistols is much higher than the proportion of soldiers who use pistols. Because of extensive theft, sending pistols to the Afghan military or police is largely wasteful. For reasons briefly stated above, Afghan people need to be protected from the ANP.

      We guess that helping the ANP (especially when the help includes providing weapons) may be illegal, perhaps even criminal if the helper knows about the extensive crime done by the ANP.

      As far as we know, Islam prohibits Muslims from using intoxicants (for example, heroin and alcohol). Heroin is made from poppies. Most of the world's heroin comes from Afghan poppies. As far as we know, the heroin-poppy industry is Afghanistan's biggest industry. This industry violates Afghanistan's governmental law (the law of the U.N.-backed government) as well as Islam. The industry survives because of extensive corruption in the police, the military, and elsewhere in the government.

      Our remarks above are narrowly about Afghanistan, and are chiefly based on many, credible reports on the Web.

    3. Speaking of Afghanistan

      In our opinion, there is more than one, independent reason why the U.N. and NATO lost and will not win in Afghanistan.

      1. One of those reasons is that U.S. ground forces (Army and Marine Corps) are much too small. When the Warsaw Pact invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968, the invasion force was at least 175,000 soldiers, perhaps as high as 500,000. Czechoslovakia had less area and fewer people than Afghanistan. America is unwilling to send enough soldiers and Marines to Afghanistan.
      2. Another reason is that the Taliban has been paid, perhaps sometimes indirectly by America, not to attack, according to "Rule of the Gun: Convoy Guards in Afghanistan Face an Investigation", by Dexter Filkins, 6 June 2010, New York Times. For example, "Western officials believe that Afghan officials have paid bribes to the Taliban before -- for instance, so that they will refrain from attacking the transmission towers that make up the country's cellphone network.". In Afghanistan, private security businesses guard American military bases and convoys of privately owned trucks which carry military supplies. The American government, pursuant to the Host Nation Trucking program, pays Afghani trucking businesses to deliver military supplies. Those businesses pay Afghani security businesses for armed escorts to protect against Taliban attacks en route. "Afghan and NATO officials say that anecdotal evidence suggests that in order to keep their trucks moving - and to keep up their business - some companies may sometimes pay Taliban fighters not to attack, to sometimes mount attacks on competitors, or, as is suspected in the case in Maidan Shahr, to attack NATO forces." "'We're funding both sides of the war,' a NATO official in Kabul said." According to Dexter Filkins's 21 June 2010 article cited below, "Several trucking company supervisors told investigators that they believed the gunmen they hired to escort their convoys bribed the Taliban not to attack."

        Privte, Afghani, Truck Convoy Security

        Privte, Afghani, Truck Convoy Security

      3. A third reason is extortion by the security businesses which, unless they are paid money, attack civilian convoys carrying American, military cargo. According to an article in the New York Times Web site (Asia Pacific, "U.S. Said to Fund Afghan Warlords to Protect Convoys", by Dexter Filkins, 21 June 2010), "The report [Warlord, Inc.; Report of the Majority Staff; Rep. John F. Tierney, Chair; Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs; Committee on Oversight and Government Reform; U.S. House of Representatives; June 2010] detailed episodes when trucking companies that refused to pay warlords to escort their trucks were attacked by the same men. A trucking company executive who refused to pay Mr. Ruhullah [owner of a security business] told investigators that his trucks were attacked by Mr. Ruhullah's fighters." This may be what Nick Carter referred to: "It would be my expectation that people [who own Afghani security businesses] might create their own demand," said Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, the commander of NATO forces in southern Afghanistan. Incidentally, "Many of the private security companies ... appear to be under the influence of Ahmed Wali Karzai, a brother of President Karzai and the chairman of the Kandahar Provincial Council. Though nominally an American ally, Ahmed Wali Karzai has surfaced in numerous intelligence and law enforcement reports connecting him to Afghanistan's booming opium trade.".
      4. Another reason is that "Iran pays Taliban to kill US troops", described in an article with that title by Miles Amoore, in Kabul. A Sunday [London] Times investigation revealed that Iranian companies in Kabul use their offices covertly to finance Taliban militants in provinces near Kabul.
      5. A possible reason is problems at Kabul Bank, described in "Troubles at Afghan Bank Jolt Financial System" (by Dexter Filkins, 31 August 2010, New York Times, Asia Pacific section).
      6. Incidentally, as an illustration of Afghanistan's pervasive, high-level crime: when Afghanistan's vice president Ahmed Zia Massoud visited the UAE (United Arab Emirates) last year (2009), local authorities working with the DEA (U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration) discovered that he was carrying $52 million in cash. He was allowed to keep the cash without revealing the money's origin or destination.
  15. High court orders retrial in asylum-seeker death, 7 Jan 10,

    The case of an asylum seeker from Sierra Leone who burned to death in a Dessau jail cell must be retried, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) ruled on the fifth anniversary of his death. On January 7, 2005, 23-year-old Oury Jalloh burned to death while his hands and feet were shackled to a bed.

  16. Kunduz Carnage


    1. Introduction

      As the result of an order by KSK Task Force 47 colonel Georg Klein, there was a NATO massacre of Afghan people at two, fuel tanker trucks at the Kunduz River about seven kilometers southwest of Kunduz City at about 2:00 a.m. Afghani time on 4 September 2009. By GMT (an internationally used time system) and CET (German time), the massacre was on 3 September 2009.

      According to the ICRS's "15-10-2009 Operational update":

      An air strike on fuel tankers in Kunduz on 4 September caused a large number of civilian casualties. The ICRC immediately sent a medical team to support Kunduz provincial hospital. Other delegates spoke to families who were mourning their dead in nearby villages.

      The ICRC donated medical supplies to Istiqlal Hospital for the treatment of burn injuries caused by the Kunduz air strike of 4 September.

    2. Discussion

      What events occurred and what is the best interpretation of those events? Regarding what events occurred, the only, detailed account we read is "Coverup of the German army's role in the Kunduz massacre continues", by Ulrich Rippert, 7 December 2009. According to "KSK special forces involved in Kunduz strike" (10 December 2909, Web site) and "Luftangriff von Kundus: Rot-Kreuz-Bericht belastet Guttenberg" (9 December 2009, Web site), the International Red Cross (ICRC) supposedly deems the Kunduz bombardment contrary to international law. In a report not available to the public, the NATO Inspector-General's staff supposedly wrote, more or less, that, in light of Klein's beliefs at the time he gave the order, the attack was appropriate. (According to the "Coverup" article cited above: Klein's pertinent beliefs were wrong and are not the correct criterion.) We think that KTG (German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg) initially said that the air attack was militarily appropriate but he later backtracked on that statement. There are other reports; for example, by Klein and by military police. provides an approximately 4Mb PDF file of German-language, military documents which can be downloaded from a Web page entitled, "Close Air Support Kunduz: Untersuchungsbericht, Meldungen, Auswertungsgespraeche, September 2009".

      This is not a subject we expertly know. There may be mistakes in our discussion. We think that Klein's order was to immediately drop six bombs on a pair of stolen, fuel tanker trucks (with no permission to pilot Dude to buzz civilians nearby so that they would flee before the bombing). One of the trucks was trapped in sand, unable to move. The Taliban was giving away fuel in the trucks, which is a reason why many civilians were near the trucks. Supposedly, NATO knew what was going on. NATO on the ground supposedly was watching the stolen trucks on TV as the result of airborne TV observation. Also, a confidential informant called his control about seven times that night to report what was happening with the trucks (for example, the location of the trucks and that fuel in them was being given to villagers). Pilot Dude obeyed Klein's order except that he dropped only two bombs, not six. Dude obediently did not buzz the civilians near the trucks before dropping the bombs, with the result that many civilians died or were injured.

      We think, possibly wrongly, that Klein's order required, to be legal under the governing rules of engagement:

      1. Prior engagement

        There must have been been a related, military engagement with the enemy prior to the bombing. According to the "Coverup" article cited above, there hadn't been a prior engagement.

      2. Imminent attack

        There must have been a belief that the fuel trucks imminently would be used in an attack on Klein's unit or on other German forces. The direction in which the trucks had been driven before they stopped, that one of the trucks was stuck (far from German forces) in sand and the other truck stayed with the stuck one, and that the fuel in the trucks was being given away, combine to suggest that use of the trucks for imminent attack was unlikely (although we do not know if Klein knew all this). Klein's order was illegal if his purpose merely was to deprive the robbers of the two trucks they had stolen, or to prevent use of the trucks in an eventual attack.

      Under German law, Germany is not at war in Afghanistan.

    3. Post-Massacre Accusations of Deceit: Wolfgang Schneiderhan and civilian ministry official Peter Wichert

      Much later, KTG fired Chief of Staff because (according to KTG) they concealed reports about the Kunduz massacre, an accusation the two men supposedly deny, according to "Doubts emerge about army chief's sackings", 12 Dec 2009, Web site. Why would KTG's subordinates conceal massacre reports from him? Why would he lie that they did?

    4. ISAF Report on German Deception

      The UN authorized the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) to conduct military action in Afghanistan. Pursuant to the Bonn Agreement, NATO manages the ISAF.

      According to "Report says Bundeswehr lied during Kunduz strike"(23 December 2009, the, the Frankfurter Rundschau reported that the German military deliberately misled the American fighter pilots at Kunduz. Citing a confidential investigation report by the ISAF, the paper reported that Bundeswehr Colonel Georg Klein's communications officer falsely claimed the German troops had "enemy contact" 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 center that was instructing the two F-15 fighters that carried out the attack, saying troops were in "immediate danger" in order "to make it possible for the mission to go ahead," the ISAF report said, according to the Frankfurter Rundschau (according to No such enemy contact had taken place. Under 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 kilometers away in the Kunduz Bundeswehr field camp. If the report is correct, then the Germans breached the regulations, according to

      We don't know if the supposed lying was illegal or criminal. If a crime causes a death , is the actor guilty of a homicide crime? Should Red Baron (or Klein, who supervised him) be criminally prosecuted for a homicide crime in a court martial or a civilian court? Recall that Red Baron refused the pilot's request to buzz the trucks. (Der Spiegel says that (Der Spiegel says that it was Klein who refused.) Klein (or Red Baron, whom Klein supervised) may, we think, have breached ISAF protocol on air strikes for two reasons: he knew that no attack was imminent, and the request for buzzing the trucks was refused. The ISAF report, or the Rundschau's article about that report, is far more accurate than our account.

      According to our understanding of news about that ISAF report: a German army officer illegally (perhaps criminally) lied to a pilot that an attack was imminent, and illegally refused to give the pilot permission to buzz the target before bombing. The result, which was foreseeable, was that many, innocent civilians were burned alive and others were injured. How did that differ from murder? Later, according to the German defense minister, two, high-ranking defense ministry officers (one uniformed, one civilian) lied to conceal the matter from him. If news reports we read are correct, this may be a war crime or crime against humanity.

    5. Kunduz Governor's Evaluation of the Bundeswehr

      According to "Kunduz governor calls Bundeswehr 'ineffective'" (15 January 2010, the, the governor of the northern Afghan province of Kunduz has called the German military's service there "ineffective" and said he would welcome more help from US troops. Mohammad Omar said that additional US forces would help ease the worsening security situation in the region. The German parliament doesn't want German soldiers to be killed when fighting insurgents" he said, adding that the improvements to the region were due only to US and Afghan operations, and the Bundeswehr should leave the job to more effective countries. If we correctly understand Omar, two of his points are:

      1. The security situation in the region is worsening. Therefore, ineffective Germans should be replaced by Americans.
      2. There have been improvements in the region. They are the result of American and Afghan operations alone.

      We don't know why the Bundeswehhr has a field camp in Northern Afghanistan, which happens to be a relatively safe part of the country.

      Governor Omar defended the Bundeswehr's role in the controversial, 4 September 2009 air strike at the Kunduz River.

    6. Warning

      We are not expert in the massacre or in the military rules of engagement governing Klein's order to bomb the trucks. Our discussion, which relies largely on what we read on the Web, may have mistakes.

  17. Speculating Against Sovereign Governments


    According to "Schaeuble to ban naked short selling" (7 Mar 10, 13:39 CET,, an English translation of Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble's German remarks includes, "Gamblers should not be allowed to speculate against states.".

    We guess that such speculation is profitable because, if it were not, there would be little need to outlaw it. The speaker didn't say if gamblers should be allowed to speculate for states. Gamblers are allowed to speculate for states (for example, by buying bonds issued by states). The speaker didn't say if investors should be allowed to invest against states.

    States are created to serve their countries. With rare exceptions, people are not created to serve states. Some countries have states which operate ineptly or unpatriotically, operate for the personal benefit of their controlling office-holders, conceal their debts (from the European Community's administration in Brussels, investors, and the state's own people), aggravate European financial crisis, suppress civil liberties, or even murder. It is not wrong to profit from a state's bankruptcy or from expectation of that bankruptcy.

    Consider two states at war against each other. The loser will default on all debts. It is not obvious which state will win. A loan to either state is speculation against the other. It is not wrong to lend to one of the states.

    At present (March 2010), some countries are trying to impose sanctions to prevent Iran's state from getting atomic bombs. Suppose speculation in negotiable securities (for example, speculative use of naked short selling and credit default swaps) could be used to financially weaken Iran's state, to thwart Iran atomic bomb project. That speculation wouldn't necessarily be wrong.

    It is not necessarily wrong to speculate against a state. It can be wrong to help a state.

  18. "First step towards more integrated eurozone", by Quentin Peel, [London] Financial Times, 7 March 7 2010
  19. Clerical pedophilia

    1. Introduction

      There is much publicity which seems to have these and related themes:

      1. Catholic priests in Germany had sexual intercourse with Catholic boys
      2. German leaders of the church (for example, Joseph Ratzinger before he became pope):
        1. Protected those priests (misprision of felony?) or at least did not do enough against them
        2. Did not do enough to help the boy-victims
    2. Publicity

      Example of the extensive publicity are:

      1. "Pope helped priest accused of child abuse", 13 Mar 10, 11:50 CET, This article reports about, among other things, a statement by the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising which placed full responsibility (for the decision to allow a certain priest to resume his duties) on Cardinal Ratzinger's deputy, the Rev. Gerhard Gruber. The New York Times reported this statement somewhat differently on 25 March 2010.
      2. "Vatican Declined to Defrock U.S. Priest Who Abused Boys", Laurie Goodstein, 24 March 2010, Europe section, NY Times
      3. "Abuse Scandal's Ripples Spread Across Europe"; Katrin Bennhold, Nicholas Kulish And Rachel Donadio; 24 March 2010; Europe section; NY Times.
      4. "Pope Was Told Pedophile Priest Would Get Transfer"; Nicholas Kulish and Katrin Bennhold; 25 March 2010; Europe section; NY Times. This article reports about, among other things, a statement by the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising which placed full responsibility (for the decision to allow a certain priest, Peter H., to resume his duties) on Cardinal Ratzinger's deputy, the Reverend Gerhard Gruber.
      5. "Peter H..."; updated 16 March 2010; Times Topics; New York Times newspaper. The brief article and list of links concern the German priest who the Catholic church allowed to continue working with children for over thirty years although a German court had convicted him of molesting boys (by having had sexual intercourse with them).
      6. "20 Trier diocese priests accused of sex abuse"; 29 March 2010, 18:25 CET.
      7. "Bishop Mixa can't remember his accusers"; 3 Apr 2010, 16:06 CET.

        If we correctly understand the article, he denies the accusations and does not remember the accusers. These anti-Mixa accusations resemble somewhat a Berlin senate accusation that JWs punish their children too harshly, which was a cause of the senate's illegal denial of PLC status to the JW church, according to a U.S. state department report on religious freedom in Germany. "Bischof Walter Mixa laesst Vorwuerfe dementieren"; retrieved 4 Apr 2010, Welt Online.

      8. "Pope Put Off Punishing Abusive Priest", Europe section, New York Times, by Laurie Goodstein and Michael Luo, 9 April 2010.

        We write this paragraph from memory. This paragraph may have mistakes. The article concerns father Stephen Kiesle. He tied up two boys, then had sexual intercourse with them. Later, he and his bishop thought that he shouldn't remain a priest. Only the pope can authorize defrocking. A request was sent. Four years later, there was a response (from Ratzinger of the Vatican's Congregation of the Faith, we think) to the request. The response was that the matter needed study. Two years later, defrocking was authorized. After he was defrocked, he had sex with a girl.

      9. "[Gerhard Gruber, a German, Roman Catholic] Priest says he was bullied [in March 2010] into taking fall for Pope [Benedict XVI] in [pedophilic sex] abuse scandal", 18 April 2010,
      10. "Bishop Mixa resigns",, 22 Apr 2010 07:58 CET.

        According to the article, embattled Bishop Walter Mixa offered his resignation Wednesday (April 21st) in a letter to Pope Benedict, bowing to pressure over accusations related to brutality and money.

      11. Study uncovers 205 cases of Jesuit [sexual] abuse, 27 May 2010, Web site.

        If the Catholic church got essentially the same treatment imposed on small religions in Germany, we don't know why consumer watchdog organizations and government agencies wouldn't warn pupils and parents about Catholic priests.

      12. Secret Mixa file details alcohol and sexual abuse, 21 Jun 2010,

        Secret church documents, which Mixa has not been allowed to see, contain serious allegations against former Augsburg bishop Walter Mixa, media reports said on Monday. The Catholic Church file (which describes him as heavily drinking, sexually assaulting young priests, and beating children at a Catholic orphanage) was seen by Pope Benedict XVI before he accepted Mixa's resignation in early May 2010, daily newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported. The new, public allegations follow Mixa's demands last week that the Vatican review his case. He has also returned to the bishop's quarters in Augsburg in defiance and accused Bavarian Archbishop Reinhard Marx, as well as the country's top Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, of not behaving a "brotherly" manner and pressuring him to resign.

      13. "Amid Church Abuse Scandal, an Office That Failed to Act", by Laurie Goodstein and David M. Halbfinger, 1 July 2010

        According to this long article, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger led the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which had been given authority over sexual abuse cases in 1922. Under his leadership, the Congregation failed in its response to to sexual abuse by priests and brothers. The article discusses the failure. For example, one of the reasons for the failure is that Ratzinger tried to reduce the large number of priests who then were resigning.

      14. "Munich Church hid abuse allegations for decades",, 4 December 2010

        Marion Westphal's report on abuse by Roman Catholic clergy in Pope Benedict's former Archbishopric of Munich shows that at least 159 specific priests were suspected of sexual or physical abuse while the actual, total number is thought to be considerably higher.

      15. "Six-year sentence for paedophile priest",, 26 January 2012

        The 46-year-old, Roman Catholic priest from Salzgitter, Lower Saxony, was found guilty of sex with three boys aged between 9 and 15. He was spared a longer sentence because he admitted to 250 of the 280 suspected cases. Of the reported incidents, 214 were classified by the court as serious sexual abuse, while the remaining 36 were classified simply as sexual abuse.

    3. Discussion

      The Berlin senate persistently refused to provide PLC (public law corporation) status to JWs. More or less, this meant that JWs couldn't get a nonprofit, religious corporation in Berlin. The refusal was illegal, as far as we know. Eventually, with the help of a lawyer, the JWs got PLC status. One, supposed reason for JW's senate problem was that too many JW parents physically punish their children too harshly. As far as we know, the Berlin senate has never had any objection to the Catholic church getting PLC status. This suggests that, to the Berlin senate, a loving parent excessively harshly, physically punishing his child is worse than a lustful priest having sexual intercourse with a boy entrusted to him.

      Other German jurisdictions (not just Berlin) have created PLC problems for the JW church (by refusing to grant PLC status) but not for the Catholic church. German jurisdictions have picked on ordinary Scientologists (sometimes illegally, as far as we know), not just leaders of the church or the church itself; but not the Catholic church. Perhaps Germany has a too-big-to-fail principle for religion. Perhaps the Catholic church is too big to be denied PLC status or to receive the various, other disadvantages which German jurisdictions impose on some, tiny churches.

      For brevity, we will oversimplify. Aaron does a felony. Bob finds out but does not tell the police. That's misprision of felony. Aaron tells a felony. Bob finds out. Aaron asks Bob not to tell anyone. That's obstruction of justice. Aaron does a felony. Bob tells someone (Aaron or Carl, for example) that Aaron did right. That's ratification. Misprision of felony, and obstruction of justice, are crimes. If someone ratifies, he is as guilty of the crime he ratified as if he had done it himself. He is vicariously liable for the underlying crime. In the Catholic church, there sometimes was de facto ratification (of priests' sex crimes against boys) to protect the reputation and careers of the criminal priests. Joseph Ratzinger, before he was pope, ordered priests' sex crimes kept secret (which order supposedly is required by canon law in this kind of canon investigation and trial). There is a question of whether high officers of the Catholic church, and the religious corporations of which they were high-ranking officer (the archdiocese of Munich?), are guilty of crimes. If Bob ratifies a crime, the statute of limitations (against him) starts running when he ratified, not when the underlying crime was done. German law incorporates by reference the substantive criminal law of other countries to the extent that the law forbids sex crimes against children. Thus, a German prosecutor can prosecute, in a German court, a German for a sex crime against a child even if the crime was entirely done outside of Germany. This would be useful against a Catholic church corporation or priest when the underlying crime was done in America, for example. Our remarks on this subject (which rely on limited knowledge by us, incidentally) are academic. No German jurisdiction will do to the Catholic church what has been done often to the JW and Scientology churches and to Scientologists.

      PLC status is necessary to have a nonprofit corporation, which is valuable if a religious group wants to own a church building or other real estate, have paid employees, operate a nonprofit business related to the church (for example, a children's summer camp or a publishing house), or have bank accounts.

      We did not personally observe the incidents and phenomena we mention below in this paragraph.

      1. Hare Krisna are not allowed to have PLC status.
      2. The government operates employment agencies (similar, we think, to those operated in America by government agencies which administer unemployment insurance). A file is created for each job-seeker. For an example, if an ordinary Scientologist tries to get work through those agencies, the agencies create a file for him. However, his file includes an "S", which we think means Scientologist or sect. (In Germany as far as we know, the government designates Scientology a sect, and sects get treated worse than other religions.) This religious marking is not done to members of big religions (for example, to Catholics).
      3. In Germany, court cases often are referred to special masters who are not lawyers or judges. A special master is an expert in the subject matter of the dispute. The special master decides the part of the case within his expertise. For example, if a court case's central issue were the value of some real estate, a special master (expert in appraising the value of real estate) would decide that issue. Lawyers would talk to and submit papers tot he special master. Expert witnesses and other witnesses would testify to the special master. The special master would inform the court of his decision. The German court system uses special masters far more than do many other court systems. A special master gets paid for his work. Court have lists of people available to work as special masters in various specialties. A German court supposedly removed all Scientologists from its list of real estate special masters solely because they were Scientologists.
      4. In Germany, a person may contribute to a religion when paying his income tax. When a taxpayer submits his annual tax return, he may voluntarily pay extra to a religion. The government passes the money on to the religion, minus a fee for the collection service. This helps religions raise money. We think that only religions with PLC status qualify for this program. A separate requirement is that the religion should not be tiny in Germany. Tiny religions don't qualify for the program. For the reasons set forth above, it is hard for religions to grow if denied PLC status.
    4. Conclusion

      In theory, there are at least two ways to interpret these, supposed incidents and phenomena. The two interpretations are compatible with each other. One interpretation is that, to the German government, what the Catholic church has done (have clergy, including the highest ladership of the church, persistently conceal and deny sexual intercourse done by priests to boys) is not as bad as what the Hare Krisna, JW, and Scientology churches do. Therefore, the three, small religions (but not the Catholic church) should be discriminated against. The other interpretation is that the German government picks on some, small religions.

      We are not the least bit hostile to the Catholic church or its priests. We merely are struck by (as we discuss above) seemingly different policies toward big and small religions.

  20. Berlin police department Verfassungsschutz spied on Germany's national parliament

    "MP's staffer spied for intelligence agency", 23 Mar 10,

    We don't know if the spying violated German law.

  21. "Georgien BND-Agent verursachte todlichen Unfall", Spiegel Online, 03 July 2010

    While driving after a party in Georgia (Causacian Georgia), German BND spy Andreas D. accidentally killed a female street-cleaner, then drove away in hit-and-run manner but was nevertheless caught. We congratulate Georgia for catching a hit-and-run killer and discovering a spy. The BND spy in Georgia had a German-sounding name. By the way, he should not be confused with Andreas J., a BND spy formerly in Kosovo. It's interesting that the BND had a spy in Georgia. It is common for governments to retaliate. If there were retaliation, Georgia would have a spy kill an innocent German in a German street.

    It is common to sentence spies to death. A rationale is that the spy may know too much. He must be killed to prevent him from endangering the victim country by telling his employer what he discovered. Sometimes, a spy is kept alive to be traded for a spy from the victim country. We guess that Georgia does not have spies in Germany and therefore had no need to keep Andreas alive to trade him for a Georgian spy captured by Germany. We hope that Georgian security is not impaired by failure to put Andreas to death.

    Apart from the spying, Andreas is an HRK (hit-and-run killer). We guess that you, our reader, have not read the scholarly literature on sentencing of people convicted of crimes. Therefore, solely as a matter of fairness, ignoring such issues as the amount of deterrence of third parties, what punishment seems fair for Georgia to impose on an HRK when the underlying accident occurred in the course of a crime (driving under the influence, being in Georgia to spy)? We don't know if a motive for his fleeing the scence was to conceal his spying. That might affect the punishment. The sentence might be affected by whether Andreas fled partly to conceal his being a spy. If Andreas has or applies for a driver license, the licensing agency should know about his HRK. Germany, seemingly not Georgia, will punish Andreas. This makes us wonder if Andreas was a diplomat and therefore immune from Georgia's criminal justice system. In any event, Germany suffers from a conflict of interest in deciding how much to punish itself and its agent. We didn't observe Andreas's interesting case on German radio or television. We don't know why.

    An article, "Boehse Onkelz singer jailed for hit-and-run accident on drugs" (4 October 2010,, briefly describes a German court case arising out of a non-fatal, hit-and-run accident.

  22. Deutsche Bank tipped off over tax raid, 4 July 2010

    Deutsche Bank reportedly received advanced warning of a raid on its offices during an investigation into tax evasion. A number of the bank's employees are currently being scrutinized. According to a report in Saturday's (3 July 2010) edition of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, the employees, all of whom face major tax evasion charges, were recorded talking about a raid that took place on 28 April 2010, a day before it happened. The justice ministry of the state of Hesse confirmed that it had opened an investigation into a possible "breach of official secrets protocol".

    The article did not say whether the bank, as distinguished from its employees, faces tax evasion charges.

    Below on this page, there is a summary of two statements (an FT article and a U.S. prosecutor's press release) about a Deutsche Bank admission of criminal wrongdoing related to fraudulent tax shelters in America.

  23. "Unknown assailant: Insufficient investigation into alleged ill-treatment by police in Germany" (PDF file, index number EUR 23/002/2010, 7 July 2010)

    We don't know if the death of Oury Jalloh in Dessau in 2005 is an example of what Amnesty International calls an unknown assailant. "Protesters", 9 January 2012,

  24. "Deutsche Bahn sacks employees in foreign bribery scandal", 8 Jul 2010,

    German's rail road DB (Deutsche Bahn, which we think is owned by one or more German governments) has begun firing "... leading employees in middle management ..." at the subsidiary DB International after an international corruption scandal, DB said on Thursday, 8 July 2010. The DB International workers are suspected of bribing foreign decision makers in Algeria, Rwanda, Greece, and elsewhere to get contracts. The bribery is believed to date back to 2005, and DB informed the Frankfurt prosecutor's office last year about its suspicions, which arose during internal review. Deutsche Bahn also hired KPMG to investigate the subsidiary.

    The article does not say that DB is returning profits from the contracts obtained by bribery. As far as we can tell, DB will keep the profits but fire the employees whose bribes got the contracts.

    In 2009, there was a scandal because DB supposedly spied on 173,000 of its own employees in 2002 and 2003. CEO Hartmut Mehdorn resigned because of that scandal (and now is a consultant to the Slovenian government, incidentally). Also, all DB employees may have been spied on in 2005, according to documents Reuters said that it has.

    According to a Deutsche Welle article, " "Transportation, 26.06.2010, EU confronts Deutsche Bahn on competition", the European Commission, the EU's executive body, is taking the German government to court, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, over supposed non-compliance with the bloc's competition rules in the rail market. The commission says the rail network operator DB Netz is not independent enough of state-owned Deutsche Bahn's passenger and freight services. The EC started the case over contractual violations two years ago. A report in the Financial Times Deutschland quoted the spokesman for Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas as saying on Thursday that "since then, Germany has made no progress whatsoever". competition.

  25. "Defendant incriminates Deutsche Telekom boss in illegal search", 3 Sep 2010,

    The DT (Deutsche Telekom) spying trial took a dramatic turn on its opening day Friday when the main accused, Klaus Trzeschan, made a partial admission and incriminated the company's then boss Kai-Uwe Ricke, then chief executive officer.

  26. "Hamburg street festival ends in rioting - again", 5 Sep 2010,

    Yet another street festival in central Hamburg ended violently on Saturday evening, 4 September 2010. According to the article, Saturday's violence was between civilians and police.

  27. Stench
    1. "Aachen stinks", 1 November 2010,

      Stench plagues the western German city of Aachen but neither city officials nor scientists have been able to learn the foul odor's source. The musty smell has been so strong at times that it sticks to clothing and nauseate residents, weekly newspaper Die Zeit reported in its latest edition.

    2. "Stink of manure blowin' in the wind for Erfurt", 9 August 2011,

      Erfurt, capital of the eastern German state of Thuringia, has been in a cloud of stinking manure this week.

    3. Sisters

      Maybe Aachen, Erfurt, and California's Bakersfield should be sister cities. Because agricultural fertilizer causes the stink, perhaps winter is the best time to visit Erfurt and Bakersfield.

  28. "Sinkhole swallows car", 1 November 2010,

    A large sinkhole opened up at about three in the morning in the middle of a residential area in Schmalkalden, Thuringia, sucking a nearby car and part of a garage into its depths and forcing authorities to evacuate residents, police said on Monday. According to "Sinkhole filled, but residents not allowed to return" (8 November 2010,, the sinkhole was about 40 by 15 meters, and is believed to have been about 20 meters deep. Germany has had other sinkholes in the last, few years.

  29. "Hamburg bank made customer psych profiles", 4 November 2010,

    Public broadcaster NDR reported that Haspa, the regional branch of Sparkasse, used conversations between customers and bank advisors to create "neuro-marketing" to sell them tailored financial products. Haspa's internal documents show 1.4 million Hamburger Sparkasse customers (such as "conservationist", "hedonist", and an "epicure"). The epicure "requires a more pleasant atmosphere" but "can be lightly pressured" by financial salespeople. The "adventurer" is "motivated by risk, conquest and struggle". Sparkasse employees were instructed that "arguments with adventurers should be strongly emotional, to trigger their sense of impulsive decision making". It is interesting to us that Haspa seems, according to our understanding of this article, to have encouraged some of its customers to make financial decisions impulsively.

  30. "French police deployed at anti-nuclear protests", 13 November 2010,

    According to that article: politicians have criticised a French policing operation in Germany as illegal, and Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) police and politicians were not informed by their federal colleagues of that French police work in Germany, according to Saturday's Berliner Zeitung.

  31. "Minister dismisses Nazi extradition", 27 November 2010,

    The state of Bavaria (Germany's Mississippi) will not deport Audi employee Klaas Carel Faber to the Netherlands to serve the remainder of his life sentence for having murdered Jews in the Netherlands. He escaped from a Dutch prison, fled to Germany, and openly lives in Bavaria.

    There seem to be a few reasons for the refusal to deport him. For example, although deporting German citizens assists foreign countries to prosecute and punish Germans for Nazi-era murder, Germany as a rule does not extradite its own citizens.

  32. "Merkel's leadership derided by US diplomats", 29 November 2010,

    U.S. diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks to German news magazine Der Spiegel over the weekend include frank US assessments of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who, according to the magazine, is described as a weak leader who views international diplomacy above all from the perspective of how she can profit from it domestically. Merkel's vice-chancellor and foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, is described in the cables as incompetent, vain and critical of America, Der Spiegel wrote.

    New York Times and

  33. Deutsche Bank agrees to US justice deferred-prosecution deal, 22 December 2010, Kara Scannell and Francesco Guerrera, Financial Times. U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York's press release on the Deutsche Bank agreement is entitled (entirely in underlined, upper case text in the press release), "Deutsche Bank to pay more than $550 million to resolve federal tax shelter fraud investigation" and is dated 21 December 2010. The comments below are based on our understanding of the Financial Times article and the press release.

    The bank agreed to have an independent monitor approved by the government, Bart Schwartz, review the bank's compliance and ethics. The agreement is the latest resolution in a long-running investigation that prosecutors once billed as the largest tax shelter fraud case in US history.

    Two of the case's transactions (Foreign Leveraged Investment Program and Offshore Portfolio Investment Strategy) involved lending funds to a Cayman Islands entity which then purchased Deutsche Bank's stock. Other transactions were designed to generate a capital loss so that customers could reduce their tax bills.

    Deutsche Bank AG made an NPA (non-prosecution agreement) by which the bank agreed to pay $553,633,153 to the United States, and also admitted criminal wrongdoing in connection with its participation in financial transactions which furthered fraudulent tax shelters that generated billions of dollars in U.S. tax losses. As part of the NPA, Deutsche Bank provided a detailed Statement of Facts setting forth its wrongful conduct. In addition, the NPA bans Deutsche Bank's involvement with any pre-packaged tax products, which were the type of tax shelters previously offered by Deutsche Bank, as set forth in the Statement of Facts.

    Above on this page, there is a summary of a July 2010, article about Deutsche Bank having been tipped off in advance about an April 2010 tax raid.

  34. "European court rules preventive detention of sex offenders unjust", 13 Jan 2011,

    Today (14 January 2011), some people are prisoners in German despite having served their entire sentence, to prevent those prisoners from doing post-release crimes. The European Court of Human Rights outlawed this practice in a case involving four prisoners. The preventive detention law had been retroactively applied to those prisoners although they had been convicted before the law's enactment. The European court also ordered payment of money (damages) to every prisoner who had requested it (namely, three of the four). The award of damages is also reported in "Court awards [British pounds] 105,000 to German sex offenders" (14 January 2011, Telegraph). The European court held that the German courts responsible for the execution of the sentences would not have had jurisdiction to extend the duration of the detention.

  35. "2 U.S. airmen killed in Frankfurt airport shooting", by David Mchugh and Juergen Baetz of AP, 2 March 2011, Seattle Times.
    "Facebook Jihad: The Radical Islamist Roots of the Frankfurt Attack", by Matthias Bartsch, Matthias Gebauer, and Yassin Musharbash, 3 March 2011, Spiegel.

    Two U.S. airmen were killed and two others were wounded at Frankfurt Airport while en route to a U.S. Air Force base on Wednesday. A devout, Muslim, German man employed at the airport shot at close range. He said that he did it alone.

  36. "Police doctor acquitted over forced vomiting death", 14 June 2011

    A Bremen police doctor originally from Kazakhstan, Igor V., was acquitted in Germany for the second time for the 2004 force-feeding a small-time drug dealer with liters of water and an emetic to make him throw up, after which he died. Igor V. had hardly any practical experience, the judges said. The practice was stopped in Germany after a 2006 ruling from the European Court of Human Rights thatsuch a procedure violated the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman and degrading treatment. Does Igor have a legal duty to disclose this matter to prospective patients? Would a reasonable patient want to know about this before deciding whether to consent to treatment by Igor?

  37. "Eleven cars set on fire in Berlin", 16 August 2011

    Eleven cars were set on fire in Berlin on Monday night, 15 August 2011. Cars are often set on fire in Berlin. According to "Another car arsonist arrested in Berlin" (7 September 2011), "Over 540 road vehicles have been burnt out in the city since the start of ..." 2011.

    According to "Berlin police arrest serial arson suspect" (23 October 2011), police say more than 625 vehicles were damaged in arson attacks in Berlin this year (2011), with more than 270 of those cases considered to be politically motivated.

  38. "Police officers riled by new ID requirement", Moises Mendoza, 18 August 2011

    Berlin police must now wear personal identification numbers on their uniforms, but many German officers say the identification number puts their lives at risk. Berlin last month became the only German state to require uniformed officers to wear personal identification numbers. Names are not worn, just identification numbers.

  39. "HSH Nordbank had German journalists investigated", 11 September 2011

    HSH Nordbank, which is 83.3 percent owned by the states of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, asked private detective business Prevent to investigate German journalists, according to a report by law firm WilmerHale, which report was seen by newsweekly Der Spiegel. If we correctly understand the article in The Local: according to WilmerHale, HSH made the request in January 2009 through former HSH chairman Dirk Jens Nonnenmacher and HSH chief counsel Wolfgang Goessmann. WilmerHale supposedly found that Prevent had monitored editorial offices of German newspapers and investigated the German press scene. We don't know if it is a crime to monitor the offices of German newspapers.

  40. "Jerks (open letter, September 8, 2011)", Ambassador Philip Murphy, U.S. Embassy in Berlin

    "A group of U.S. Embassy staff and friends attended the Hertha game [at the Berlin Olympic stadium] on August 26th [2011]. They had a great time during the game, and were pleased to cheer on the home team. One of them was African-American. After the game, as they were walking away from the stadium, two men came at them and accosted our African American colleague. One jostled him and the other doused him with beer and directed a deeply offensive racial insult at him. The Embassy group tried to calm the situation, but it became clear that these individuals, along with an approaching group of their friends, were bent on violence. The police arrived quickly and confronted the thugs, and the Americans left the area. No one was left bleeding or bruised, but things might easily have ended differently."

    For related reports, read:

    1. "Jewish leader: Jews are being attacked 'daily' in Berlin" (European Jewish Press, 30 November 2006). This article's safety lesson is that girls living in Berlin should not wear Jewish jewelry.
    2. "Germany: Rabbi scared to wear kippah" (Reuters article in Jewish World, 16 January 2007). This article's safety lesson is that yarmulkah-wearers in Germany should cover their yarmulkah.
    3. Arrest of Suspected Co-Founder of National Socialist Underground (Associated Press article in Washington Post, 14 November 2011).

    Incidentally, Berlin is the German capital of car burning by criminals (as mentioned above on this page), and has recently become the capital of railway arson (which may be politically motivated sabotage). At least nine separate anti-railroad attacks, involving a dozen or so incendiary devices, have been recorded since Monday, 10 October 2011. Read "Germany probes Berlin railway 'sabotage' after arson attacks" (Expatica, 12 October 2011) for information about the arson investigation.

  41. War crimes witness found dead in Germany, 29 September 2011

    EULEX (EU LEX, EU rule of law) mission in Kosovo said Wednesday, 28 September 2011, that Agim Zogaj, an important witness known as witness X in the Klecka war crimes case against Fatmir Limaj (one of the most prominent commanders of the ethnic Albanian guerrillas of the Kosovo Liberation Army) wa found dead in a park in Germany. The corpse was found days after defendant Fatmir Limaj was placed on house arrest.

  42. Justice minister praises Chaos Computer Club, 16 October 2011

    CCC cracked the government's Trojan spy program last weekend. The Berlin-based group said that the spyware appeared to be of shoddy quality and pointed out that it had many illegal capabilities. German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, speaking to Focus weekly newsmagazine on Sunday (16 October 2011), praised hackers in CCC for bringing to light the scope and capabilities of spyware used by the state to catch criminals.

  43. Former Deutsche Bank CEO settles fraud case, 19 December 2011

    In Germany, criminal defendants do not plead; for example, they do not plead guilty or not guilty. Thus, there are no plea bargains. However, it is common for defendants to pay money to avoid conviction. For example, former Deutsche Bank CEO Rolf Breuer has agreed to pay 350,000 euros to settle criminal charges of attempted fraud in connection with a statement Breuer made during a Munich court appearance in 2003 in which he told the court, supposedly deceitfully according to a prosecutor, that he (Breur) didn't have any inside information about Leo Kirch's creditworthiness before a controversial 2002 television interview. The prosecutor contends that Breuer had had inside information.

    We don't know why the government didn't prosecute Deutsche Bank for a crime done by and through its CEO, in addition to prosecuting the CEO.

    We don't know why Breur is no longer the CEO od DB.

    Another example of paying money to avoid conviction is that of former defense minister Guttenberg, who paid 20,000 euros to a charity, as suggested by prosecutors, in exchange for them dropping plagiarism charges against him, according to "Guttenberg says he's ready for comeback", 8 January 2012, the

  44. Police server cracked after top cop's row with daughter, 9 January 2012,

    A cracker infiltrated Germany's federal, police, computer system using Trojan programs and a system of routes via Russia last summer. The crack resulted in the Patras server being closed down, causing federal police to halt tracking suspects and their vehicles. Der Spiegel magazine reported on Sunday (8 January 2012) that the Frankfurt officer concerned had put a Trojan program on his daughter's computer to monitor her activities on the Internet. A friend of the daughter from the cracker scene discovered her father's spyware, then cracked into the father's computer to get back at him. There the cracker found work emails which enabled the cracker to get into the federal police computer system, the magazine said.

  45. Sheep Ewe
    Jon R. Nickles, Photographer
    Bestiality brothels, 3 February 2012,

    Frankfurter Rundschau daily newspaper published that Hesse state animal protection officer Madeleine Martin said that animal sex abuse is rising in Germany, with bestiality brothels being set up across the country. There is no mention of whether the brothels cause sex tourism to Germany. See Frankfurter Rundschau's article, "Zoophilie: Verbot von Sex mit Tieren gefordert".

  46. Doctors manipulate Leipzig organ donor list, 2 Jan 13,

    The director of a Leipzig transplantation center and two head doctors were immediately suspended. We think that their employment was suspended, not their medical licenses. The article is silent about whether the transplantation center was punished, or if patients were informed of this transplant list manipulation. Patients should be informed if they were moved lower on the list as the result of the manipulation.

    Consider a patient getting dialysis or other treatment because he cannot get a transplant. His transplant is delayed two years because he is moved lower on the transplant list because of the transplantation center's misconduct. The center and its physicians should reimburse the patient for the two years of dialysis or other treatment as well as all other problems resulting from the delay. There may be many such delay victims, all of whom should be notified of the names of the center and the physicians.

    Perhaps German health insurance policies exclude illegal treatment from coverage. Consider a transplant recipient whose surgery is two years early because his transplant center's staff made a false statement. The surgery is illegal. It would not have occurred then had the law been obeyed. Perhaps the correct insurance response is to wait two years, until the surgery should have been done.

    There is a question of whether an intentional lawbreaker must harm all of his victims, even those whom he had intended to help. Consider a patient who gets a transplant two years early because of the falshood of the transplant center's staff. The tranplant somehow kills him. For example, perhaps the surgery kills him, or a rejection-suppressing drug causes an infection which kills him. In any event, the transplant kills him. His widow is notified of the transplant misconduct. She discovers that, if the law had been obeyed, her husband would not yet have had the surgery and therefore would still be alive. The illegal falsehood killed her husband. According to this theory, the center and its misbehaving staff should reimburse the surviving widow. This analysis is based on guesses about German law which may be wrong.

    Incidentally, we didn't read the original, German article on which the thelocal article is based. Falsejoods were written about patients who wanted to get organs. We guess that the organ recipient list, not the organ donor list, was manipulated.

  47. Doctors' group admits widespread corruption, 13 Jan 13,

    Over half of the investigations concerned doctors accused of accepting bribes from pharmaceutical manufacturer Ratiopharm (owned by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.) in exchange for prescribing Ratiopharm drugs to patients, something that German Medical Association's Frank Ulrich Montgomery said was "clearly prohibited".

    The article is silent about whether patients were informed ever by anyone about their having received prescriptions rom Ratiopharm-paid physicians.

    We guess that the prescriptions are illegal because, among other reasons, they lack informed consent. The patients were not informed that the prescriber was being paid by the manufacturer. Perhaps health insurance does not cover illegal prescriptions and therefore insurers should refuse to pay for them. If the insurers refused to pay, and explained why, the patients would benefit by discovering that their physicians had corruptly prescribed. All the patients should know.

    The Medical Association punished 163 Ratiopharm-Teva doctors. We do not know their names. We do not know if Ratiopharm-Teva has been punished. As far as we know, Ratiopharm-Teva drugs are widely sold in Germany.

    Everything above here is before February 2013.


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