The Kunduz inquiry committee once again clearly shows why former Defense Minister Jung had to go
Hardly anything puts more prere on the mood at home than the news that there have been innocent victims in a robust peacekeeping operation that is actually a war. Therefore, and probably also in view of the approaching Bundestag elections, the Ministry of Defense, but also the Chancellor’s Office, has obviously tried to keep the unpleasant truth hidden as long as possible.
Picture: S. Duwe
Yesterday’s meeting of the committee of inquiry investigating the September 4 bombing brought little new to the table. September, brought little new in terms of content. But it once again made clear how shaky the assertions of former Defense Minister Jung that the victims of the air attack on the hijacked tankers were exclusively Taliban were from the beginning.
For days, the former Minister of Defense focused on Colonel Klein, who himself ordered the attack, ignoring the fact that Klein was biased in his statements. Finally, Klein had to reckon with being legally prosecuted in the event of any misconduct. Again and again Jung telephoned Klein, loving to repeat the colonel’s version insistently. Klein asserted that he was under the impression that he had hit only Taliban. If there had been civilians among the victims, he explained, then the Taliban had left them behind. But this was not the case. Still on 6. September, Jung had Klein repeatedly tell him that only the "enemies of the reconstruction" had been hit. For Jung, the world seems to be in order.
The fact that there have long been reports which explicitly ame that civilians are probably among the victims is of no interest at this point in time. Although Jung was warned by Schneiderhan on the day of the attack not to make any quick decisions, and reports of dead civilians had already been sent to the Operations Command in Potsdam a few hours after the air strike, none of this mattered to Jung. Even today he speaks of the fact that the "majority of the victims were" were Taliban. Many of the wounded, who were brought to the hospitals after the air raid, were probably not injured in the raid at all, but were probably only foisted on the Germans.
For former defense minister Jung, the world still seems to be in order. Picture: S. Duwe
The SPD’s defense policy spokesman, Rainer Arnold, commented laconically on Jung’s exports: "Then I’d like to say he hasn’t really learned anything in the last few months. But that is the way it is."
It is possible, however, that Jung was not the only one who initially withheld information about civilian casualties. The Chancellor’s Office is also said to have received fairly concrete information about civilian casualties just a few hours after the air strike, according to an e-mail from the Federal Intelligence Service to the Chancellor’s Office that has since come to light. Chancellor Angela Merkel could have intervened much earlier in the information policy of the Ministry of Defense and clarified the situation. She will now have to explain why she did not do so.
After the meeting of the committee of inquiry, it is therefore clear to Rainer Arnold that "at least an attempt was made to soften the subject a bit". Even the representatives of the governing coalition could not avoid admitting mistakes. There had been "one or two delays in the" Joachim Spatz (FDP) admitted that there had been one or two delays in passing on information. "This was unfortunate because the false impression could arise that information had been withheld. Today, Dr. Jung has conclusively shown that this was not the case and that one reacted relatively promptly to the new information", so Spatz further.
But the question of why Jung relied so heavily on Colonel Klein’s subjective assessment is not the only one that remains open. Paul Schafer (Left) speaks of cover-up in connection with Kunduz. "There’s one thing you can’t get around anyway: The fact that certain reports are still not available to us or to the public or have not been made available to us. Whether it is the first NATO investigation team, whether it is the Com-ISAF report, the report of the Afghan investigation commission, all these reports are not available to us. They are kept under wraps, and therefore the public cannot judge certain things. I think that is the opposite of transparency."
The live broadcast of the questioning of the acting Defense Minister zu Guttenberg on April 22nd should also bring more transparency. April. But in spite of the approval zu Guttenberg has signaled for this project, it will not take place. The representatives of CDU. Arnold suspects behind this a tactical game of the government coalition with distributed roles. "The promise of the German Chancellor, the promise of Minister zu Guttenberg, that the clarification should also take place with a rough transparency, this is not kept by this. Rough transparency also means that citizens can form their own opinion", Arnold warned.
Ernst-Reinhard Beck (CDU), on the other hand, has no sympathy for this approach. "Wir haben kein Spektakel Guttenberg abzuziehen, sondern wir haben im Grunde hier einen Untersuchungsauftrag vom Parlament, der sich mit den Vorgangen vom 4. September deals, and we are an investigative committee Kunduz", according to Beck.