Skip to main content

How the secret service and the far-right AfD control German politics

by Peter Schwarz

On August 17, the Socialist Equality Party (SGP) published a statement protesting against it being placed under surveillance by the German secret service (the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, or BfV).

The “Constitutional Protection Report 2017” published at the end of July, classifies any socialist critique of capitalism and its social consequences as “left-wing extremist” and “anti-constitutional.” The SGP is listed as a “left-wing extremist party,” subject to state monitoring, despite the fact that the BfV makes no accusation that the SGP violates the law or is engaged in violent activity. In fact, the report explicitly confirms that the SGP pursues its goals by legal means—via “participation in elections” and “lectures.”

At the same time, the secret service report says nothing about the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) and its fascist connections. The Nazi-apologist Björn Höcke, the new-right ideologue Götz Kubitschek, the racist Pegida movement and the far-right publications Junge Freiheit and Compact do not feature in the report, which only refers to the AfD as the victim of alleged “left-wing extremists.”

Meanwhile, many new details have emerged confirming that the BfV and its president, Hans-Georg Maaßen, collaborate closely with the AfD. According to the German Interior Ministry, Maaßen has held around 200 discussions with politicians from all of the parties represented in the German parliament, including the AfD, since he took office six years ago. Almost all of the talks were confidential and took place on Maaßen’s initiative.

In July, Franziska Schreiber, a former member of the AfD, reported in her book Inside AfD that Maaßen had held discussions with Frauke Petry, when she was the leader of the AfD. Maaßen met Petry twice in 2015, before the AfD had entered the Bundestag. According to Schreiber, Maaßen gave her advice on how to prevent the AfD from being monitored by the BfV—a claim which Maaßen denies.

Schreiber has since confirmed under oath that Petry had repeatedly told her “that the AfD is lucky to have someone like Hans-Georg Maaßen as head of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, someone who is favourably inclined towards the party and consequently does not wish it to be monitored.

Petry's successor as leader of the AfD, Alexander Gauland, has also confirmed that he met with Maaßen. Allegedly the meeting was to address a “suspicion” that there was a “Russian agent” in the AfD parliamentary group. Gauland later reported that Maaßen had assured him, “there's nothing to it.

Even the Süddeutsche Zeitung now admits that there are “suspicions that Maaßen might be close to the far-right AfD.” In the spring of 2018, it was “revealed that several state offices for constitutional protection wanted to observe the AfD because of its contacts with openly anti-constitutional elements.” But, as he had done previously, Maaßen spoke out against surveillance of the AfD.

The current head of the AfD, Gauland, is full of praise for Maaßen. The Süddeutsche Zeitung quotes Gauland saying: “I look upon Mr. Maaßen as an objective top state official.

Last week, the taz newspaper reported on another meeting with a leading AfD official. Maaßen visited the AfD deputy Stephan Brandner in June of this year for a one-hour conversation in the latter’s parliamentary office. Brandner is chairman of the Legal Affairs Committee of the Bundestag. He owes his post to Bundestag vice-president Thomas Oppermann (SPD), who had proposed him for the position in a secret election.

Brandner told the taz that he spoke with Maaßen about the work of the Legal Affairs Committee and the current BfV report. He would not give details of the meeting because both men had agreed on confidentiality. The BfV also refrained from any comment on the meeting. “The BfV never comments on confidential discussions in the sphere of parliament,” said a spokeswoman.

The meetings between Maaßen and senior AfD members make clear that the decision to target the SGP is part of a conspiracy in the state apparatus based directly on extreme right-wing forces. The BfV is under the remit of interior minister Horst Seehofer (CSU), who also wrote the foreword to its 2017 report.

In his foreword, Seehofer argues for the construction of a police and intelligence state, which delegates “effective powers to the national and regional constitutional protection authorities.” Germany could “not allow different spheres of security [to create] blind spots.

Germany’s ruling grand coalition (Christian Democratic Union, Christian Social Union, and Social Democratic Party) has adopted in full the politics of the AfD, especially in regard to refugees. The AfD gained just 12.6 percent of the vote in the last parliamentary election and is despised by broad layers of the population. Nevertheless, it largely dominates German political life, which has increasingly assumed the character of a conspiracy by all the Bundestag parties.

Maaßen not only held confidential talks with the AfD, he also confers with all the so-called opposition parties. As reported in the latest issue of Die Zeit, Maaßen “meets regularly with leading members of the Left Party and Greens such as Gregor Gysi, Sahra Wagenknecht and Katrin Göring-Eckardt. Sometimes these conversations take place privately in restaurants, often paid for by the BfV, or on occasion, Maaßen invites parliamentarians to his headquarters in Cologne.

As an institution, the BfV stands for the far-right continuity of the German elites. At the time of its founding in the 1950s, the agency employed many former Gestapo members. In recent years, its roots in the tradition of National Socialism have emerged ever more openly.

Maaßen took over the leadership of the BfV in the summer of 2012 when the agency was in deep crisis. Three-quarters of a year earlier, the neo-fascist terrorist cell National Socialist Underground had been exposed, and it emerged that the BfV had many undercover operatives active around the group. The BfV then proceeded to shred files en mass, and Maaßen’s predecessor, Heinz Fromm, had to resign.

Now Maaßen has turned the BfV into a political tool that lines up closely with the far-right AfD, while spying on the SGP.

The consequences are known. Die Zeit writes: “the decision to conduct the surveillance of a party” is “of necessity a political decision—with political consequences.” It continues: “Not just because the BfV then may monitor members, its elected officials and state associations, listening to telephone conversations in special cases, recording chats and observing suspects. But above all because the observation stigmatises a party.

In its statement, the SGP warned that the action of the BfV is directed against “anyone who is fighting against social inequality, militarism and oppression and who advocates a socialist perspective.” The ruling class is responding to the increasing radicalization of the working class and youth “by returning to the authoritarian policies of the 1930s, cracking down on socialists and adopting the policies of the far right. This crisis is stripping off the ‘democratic’ facade of German capitalism to reveal the original brown paint.

It is high time to confront this far-right conspiracy in the state apparatus and defeat the offensive of the BfV and the grand coalition. The SGP appeals to all those seeking to oppose militarism and war, social inequality and the moves towards a police state. Distribute our statement against the BfV, contact us and actively join the fight for a socialist alternative.

Source, links:


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

It's definite: Elizabeth Warren is the female Obama, can't be trusted

globinfo freexchange

One year from the 2020 US presidential election, things start to become clearer day by day. In the US political scene, we can now recognize the authentic progressives from the fakes, and certainly, from the establishment neoliberal centrists. 
In the presidential-candidates level we can now identify only Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard as the ones who are willing to fight the establishment and try to implement progressive, anti-imperialist policies. After her latest position, concerning the military coup in Bolivia against the democratically elected Evo Morales, Elizabeth Warren could be considered a pseudo-progressive, equal to a female Barack Obama. Therefore, progressives definitely can't trust her.
Warren tweeted:
The Bolivian people deserve free and fair elections, as soon as possible. Bolivia's interim leadership must limit itself to preparing for an early, legitimate election. Bolivia's security forces must protect demonstrators, not commit …

It's now or never: the first step for a Sanders/Corbyn synchronization in power must be done on 12 December in UK

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the global working class
by system failure
Two years ago, we wondered whether a US government under Bernie Sanders, together with a UK government under Jeremy Corbyn, could mark a decisive victory against neoliberalism. Whether it could mark the beginning of the end of the Reagan/Thatcher awful legacy.

It seems that the time has come for the first step towards this prospect.

The oncoming UK general election on Thursday 12 December 2019, will be the most critical for decades, especially for the global working class. The outcome will determine to a significant degree, whether the capitalist West will change course away from the destructive neoliberalism, towards a form of Democratic Socialism. A new model that will resurrect the social state, while at the same time, will seriously deal with the great environmental challenges, defying big interests and rejecting the for-profit-wars model.



As we already pointed out, the whole Brexit issue is pri…

Latest WikiLeaks revelation and its treatment by the mainstream press explicitly demonstrate why the imperialists are determined to eliminate Julian Assange

globinfo freexchange
On November, 23, WikiLeaks published an e-mail, sent by a member of an OPCW fact-finding mission to Syria to his superiors, in which he expresses his gravest concern over intentional bias introduced to a redacted version of the report he co-authored.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons sent a team of experts to investigate allegations that a chemical attack took place in the Syrian city of Douma on the 7th of April 2018. The author of the e-mail was a member of that team and claims the redacted preliminary version of the report, misrepresents the facts he and his colleagues discovered on the ground. The e-mail is dated 22nd of June. It is addressed to Robert Fairweather, Chief of Cabinet, and forwarded to his deputy Aamir Shouket and members of the fact-finding mission to Douma.  


In short, the OPCW whistleblower actually claims that the report has been somehow altered. And it was done in a way to fit the scenario, according to which, the Assa…

Mainstream media pro-Johnson propaganda gets into full swing

by Craig Murray
We are now under election broadcasting rules.

Ian Austin left the Labour Party nine months ago. He was then appointed by the Tories as Prime Ministerial Trade Envoy to Israel. As of yesterday, he is neither a MP nor a candidate for election. He is a minor politician who achieved only the most junior ministerial rank, PUSS, and for only seven months. He is best known for heckling Jeremy Corbyn while Jeremy Corbyn was delivering the official Labour response to the Chilcot Report on the illegal invasion of Iraq, shouting “Sit down and shut up” and “You stupid disgrace” at Corbyn for criticising the war.
We are now under election broadcasting rules. How and why was Ian Austin invited onto the BBC Radio 4 Today programme today? He left the Labour Party six months ago, and has been a huge critic of Corbyn. It is hardly a surprise that the Tory’s Trade Envoy to Israel advises people to vote Tory. So who initiated Ian Austin’s appearance on the BBC Today programme, and why? It…

LIVE: Bolivians resist military coup in La Paz

Fears for an assassination attempt against Evo Morales

BREAKING
Independent journalist, Ben Norton, tweeted that he has been informed about a possible assassination attempt against the Bolivian president Evo Morales. According to Norton:
          Sources are telling me they are afraid that Bolivia's elected President Evo Morales might be killed tonight in the right-wing coup.

Sources are telling me they are afraid that Bolivia's elected President Evo Morales might be killed tonight in the right-wing coup.

This is a full-fronted imperialist attack on democracy. It is a blatant attempt to recolonize Latin America and overthrow all efforts at progress. — Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) November 10, 2019
Updates

EU giving cover to the military coup that just took place in Bolivia. Neither the EU nor the US support democracy. The people of Bolivia already expressed their “democratic will” by re-electing Evo Morales. A right wing US-backed coup stole that from them, this is disgusting https://t.co/qamCSvYmz9— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek)…

Οργανισμός Αμερικανικών Κρατών: Στην υπηρεσία της Ουάσινγκτον

του Ανδρέα Κοσιάρη
Ο Οργανισμός Αμερικανικών Κρατών, που εξέδωσε την έκθεση για την εκλογική αναμέτρηση στη Βολιβία, η οποία «δικαιολόγησε» το πραξικόπημα εναντίον του Έβο Μοράλες, είναι στη θεωρία ένας ουδέτερος οργανισμός κρατών. Στην πραγματικότητα όμως έχει μακρά ιστορία υποστήριξης των επεμβάσεων των ΗΠΑ στη Λατινική Αμερική, και σήμερα χρηματοδοτείται κατά πλειοψηφία από τα ταμεία του αμερικανικού κράτους. 
Παρά την ίδρυσή του το 1948 με σκοπό την «προώθηση της ειρήνης και τη διευθέτηση διαφωνιών μεταξύ των κρατών-μελών», ήταν μάλλον από την αρχή όργανο της αντικομμουνιστικής εξωτερικής πολιτικής των ΗΠΑ.

Ο ΟΑΚ υπήρξε σιωπηλός ή και στήριξε όλες ανεξαιρέτως τις αμερικανικές επεμβάσεις στη Λατινική Αμερική, είτε αυτές λάμβαναν τη μορφή εισβολής, όπως στην Κούβα το 1961, είτε τη μορφή στήριξης σε πραξικοπήματα και δικτατορικά καθεστώτα, όπως στη Χιλή το 1973 (και στην Αργεντινή, τη Βολιβία, τη Γουατεμάλα, τη Νικαράγουα, την Αϊτή, τον Παναμά, τη Βραζιλία, την Παραγουάη και τον Ισημ…

Nos oponemos al golpe

Declaración de Noam Chomsky y Vijay Prashad
En Bolivia se está gestando un golpe de Estado contra el gobierno electo liderado por Evo Morales. Sectores de la policía han dicho abiertamente que están dispuestos a permitir que grupos de milicias fascistas ataquen el palacio presidencial en La Paz. La situación es muy grave.

Evo Morales ha invitado a los cuatro principales partidos a sentarse y conversar sobre el camino a seguir para la democracia boliviana. Ha pedido el establecimiento de un diálogo para evitar el regreso de los días de las dictaduras militares y los gobiernos oligárquicos. Morales ha hecho un llamado a las Naciones Unidas, a la Organización de los Estados Americanos (OEA), al Vaticano y a otros más para que contribuyan a encontrar el camino para alejarse del golpe.

El golpe es promovido por la oligarquía boliviana que está enojada por la cuarta elección que sus partidos pierden frente el Movimiento al Socialismo. La oligarquía cuenta con el total apoyo del gobierno de los…

Here's why Bernie could end up being better than even FDR

globinfo freexchange

In his speeches, Bernie Sanders frequently refers to the 32nd president of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), and his New Deal program that helped millions of Americans after the 1929 Wall Street crash. Sanders and other progressives are proposing a similar program adjusted to the modern environmental challenges. The Green New Deal has now become a popular vision, especially among young Americans. Around it, the progressives are aiming to build a whole new model beyond destructive neoliberalism and even obsolete capitalism.

Many would argue that this is quite an extremely optimistic view. That Sanders is just an old-school moderate Social-Democrat who will only manage to revive some typical social policies of the past, and that's it. He will never manage to seriously challenge the current power structure, which, indeed, has grown enormously, controlling nearly every aspect of the political and economic life.

Yet Sanders already managed to achieve …

Bolivian UN ambassador: “racist elite” engineered coup to restore neoliberalism in Bolivia

Democracy Now!
Thousands marched across Bolivia Monday to demand the resignation of Jeanine Áñez, the right-wing senator who declared herself president of Bolivia last week after longtime socialist President Evo Morales resigned under pressure from the military. 
The coup d’état has thrown Bolivia into crisis, with violence across the country leaving at least 23 dead. On Friday, the military gunned down nine pro-Morales protesters outside Cochabamba, where indigenous people took to the streets again on Monday. Thousands more marched to the presidential palace in La Paz. 
The wave of protests are condemning the spike in anti-indigenous violence under interim President Áñez and demanding the return of Evo Morales. Áñez has a history of using racist, anti-indigenous language, and last week she issued a decree protecting the military from prosecution for violent acts and said that Morales would face prosecution if he returned to Bolivia. 
Morales is Bolivia’s first indigenous president, a…