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Luxembourg Prime Minister Resigns: Luxembourg Gladio Veteran Involved in Bugging Scandal

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT: For decades, we’ve spo­ken of the “Strat­egy of Tension”–the pro­gram of ter­ror­ism designed to dis­credit and crim­i­nal­ize oppo­si­tion polit­i­cal forces and jus­tify the impo­si­tion of anti-democratic statutes.

Even­tu­ally, the Ital­ian “Strat­egy of Ten­sion”Gladio– was revealed as part of a NATO pro­gram called “Stay  Behind,” through which secu­rity ser­vices used fas­cist cadres to imple­ment the ter­ror. (The cadres were osten­si­bly designed to fos­ter guerilla-style resis­tance in case of a suc­cess­ful Soviet inva­sion or com­mu­nist takeover in those countries.)

In FTR #44, we ana­lyzed Stay Behind/Gladio’s ori­gins with Nazi/BND spy chief Rein­hard Gehlen and the ODESSA post­war SS network.

Luxembourg’s prime min­is­ter Jean-Claude Juncker was forced to resign this past week, due to a scan­dal in which Marco Mille, that country’s intel­li­gence chief, secretly recorded a con­ver­sa­tion with Juncker about Stay Behind/Gladio. Impli­cat­ing the Grand Ducal fam­ily of Lux­em­bourg in the scan­dal, Mille was him­self a par­tic­i­pant in Gladio/Stay Behind.

We note sev­eral things in con­nec­tion with this scandal:

  • Luxembourg’s bank­ing sec­tor is very large with regard to its over­all econ­omy, a source of con­cern and irri­ta­tion to Ger­many and France.
  • Luxembourg’s for­eign min­is­ter crit­i­cized Germany’s han­dling of the euro­zone cri­sis as imple­ment­ing “hege­mony” over Europe.
  • After resign­ing as the head of Luxembourg’s intel­li­gence ser­vice, Marco Mille became chief of secu­rity for Siemens, one of Germany’s core cor­po­ra­tions and an entity inex­tri­ca­bly linked with the BND and the Under­ground Reich.
  • Might Mille’s sub­terfuge and sub­se­quent employ­ment by Siemens be related to Luxembourg’s large finan­cial sec­tor and future attempts at rein­ing it in, or emp­ty­ing its cof­fers, a la Cyprus?

“Good­bye Mr. Euro? Jean-Claude Juncker May Be Back Soon” by Hans-Jürgen Schlamp; Der Spiegel; 7/11/2013.

EXCERPT: Jean-Claude Juncker, prime min­is­ter of Lux­em­bourg and Europe’s longest-serving leader, stepped down on Wednes­day over his impli­ca­tion in a spy­ing scan­dal. But both his friends and his adver­saries believe a come­back is likely. . . .

. . . .In the 1980s, Lux­em­bourg spies were involved in a puz­zling series of bomb­ings, the cir­cum­stances of which remain unclear today. Together with mil­i­tary and intel­li­gence agents from mul­ti­ple Euro­pean coun­tries, they were part of Oper­a­tion Gladio, a clan­des­tine ille­gal para­mil­i­tary orga­ni­za­tion. They worked as a par­al­lel police force within the coun­try that did what they liked and spied on whomever they wanted, when­ever they wanted. Even the prime min­is­ter, their con­sti­tu­tion­ally defined boss, could not rein them in.

Accord­ing to the par­lia­men­tary report, intel­li­gence chief Marco Mille reported to Juncker in Jan­u­ary 2007 wear­ing a spe­cial high-tech wrist­watch. It recorded the entire talk. The mat­ter was extremely tricky because the con­ver­sa­tion alluded to the pos­si­ble involve­ment of the Grand Ducal fam­ily. But Juncker didn’t bring it to their atten­tion until the end of 2008. Even then he didn’t take dras­tic mea­sures. Mille remained in office until 2010, when he became head of secu­rity for Siemens. . . .

Lux­em­bourg Min­is­ter Says Ger­many Seeks Euro Zone “Hege­mony” by Andreas Rinke; Reuters; 3/26/2013.

EXCERPT: Luxembourg’s for­eign min­is­ter accused Ger­many on Tues­day of “striv­ing for hege­mony” in the euro zone by telling Cyprus what busi­ness model it should pursue.

Like Cyprus, Lux­em­bourg has a large finan­cial sec­tor, whose com­par­a­tively light-touch tax and reg­u­la­tory regime has long irked its much big­ger neigh­bours Ger­many and France.

Ger­many, the Euro­pean Union’s biggest and most pow­er­ful econ­omy, had insisted that wealthy depos­i­tors in Cyprus’s banks con­tribute to the island’s bailout and said the cri­sis has killed a “busi­ness model” based on low taxes and attract­ing large for­eign deposits.

“Ger­many does not have the right to decide on the busi­ness model for other coun­tries in the EU,” For­eign Min­is­ter Jean Assel­born told Reuters. “It must not be the case that under the cover of finan­cially tech­ni­cal issues other coun­tries are choked.”

“It can­not be that Ger­many, France and Britain say ‘we need finan­cial cen­tres in these three big coun­tries and oth­ers must stop’.”

That was against the inter­nal mar­ket and Euro­pean sol­i­dar­ity, and “striv­ing for hege­mony which is wrong and un-European,” he said. . . .

But crit­i­cism from core north­ern states such as Lux­em­bourg — a founder mem­ber of the EU and euro zone — is less common.

Assel­born said it was cru­cial that smaller EU states in par­tic­u­lar were allowed to develop cer­tain eco­nomic niches.

Ger­many should also keep in mind it was a prime ben­e­fi­ciary of the euro zone cri­sis because its bor­row­ing costs have plunged as ner­vous investors seek safe havens, Assel­born added. . . .

Discussion

2 comments for “Luxembourg Prime Minister Resigns: Luxembourg Gladio Veteran Involved in Bugging Scandal”

  1. This is kind of inter­est­ing: Accord­ing to a late 2011 report in the Ger­man mag­a­zine Focus on the US spy­ing on the BND, it sounds like the CIA’s spy­ing against the BND actu­ally inten­si­fied fol­low­ing Ger­man uni­fi­ca­tion. The report claims that the tar­gets were BND agents with a Nazi or Com­mu­nist pasts and the CIA ver­i­fied that at least two BND agents that served in the SS had joined “a NATO sab­o­tage unit”. It’s not sur­pris­ing, but still inter­est­ing:

    Analy­sis: United States and Ger­many spy on each other

    Octo­ber 26, 2011 by Joseph Fitsanakis

    By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
    Newly released doc­u­ments reveal that the Cen­tral Intel­li­gence Agency has main­tained an active pro­gram of espi­onage against Ger­many in the post-Cold War era, and experts say that Ger­many rec­i­p­ro­cates the ‘favor’. Accord­ing to an arti­cle in the lat­est issue of Ger­man news­magazine Focus, the US intel­li­gence com­mu­nity, led by the CIA, has been keep­ing tabs on Germany’s intel­li­gence agen­cies since the 1950s, and con­tin­ues to do so today. The magazine’s edi­tors say they are in pos­ses­sion of inter­nal gov­ern­ment doc­u­ments, which describe con­stant CIA mon­i­tor­ing on the Bun­desnachrich­t­en­di­enst (BND), Germany’s main exter­nal intel­li­gence agency. The CIA’s spy­ing extends to Germany’s coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence agency, known as the Fed­eral Office for Pro­tec­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion (Bun­de­samt für Ver­fas­sungss­chutz). CIA oper­a­tions against the Office have report­edly included the inter­cep­tion of tele­phone calls, some of which involved high-level con­ver­sa­tions between Ger­man and British or French intel­li­gence offi­cials. Focus claims that CIA spy­ing against the BND actu­ally inten­si­fied fol­low­ing Ger­man reuni­fi­ca­tion in 1990, as the Amer­i­can agency kept tabs on Ger­man intel­li­gence offi­cers with for­mer Nazi or com­mu­nist past. Accord­ing to one report, the CIA was able to ver­ify that at least two BND offi­cers with ser­vice in the Nazi SS had joined a NATO sab­o­tage unit. The mag­a­zine spoke to an unnamed for­mer BND coun­ter­in­tel­li­gence offi­cer, who said he was not in the least sur­prised by the rev­e­la­tions. Com­ment­ing yes­ter­day on the Focus report, Washington-based reporter Jeff Stein argued that a lit­tle friendly spy­ing is to be expected among allied intel­li­gence ser­vices. The vet­eran intel­li­gence cor­re­spon­dent spoke to an unnamed for­mer CIA offi­cer, who told him that the espi­onage between Wash­ing­ton and Berlin has not been “a one-way street” —the BND also spies on the CIA and other Amer­i­can intel­li­gence agen­cies. Stein notes that Ger­many “has always fielded a robust team of agents to keep track of Amer­i­can, as well as other for­eign spies run­ning around in their back­yard”. More­over, he says, while Amer­i­can and Ger­man agen­cies tend to coop­er­ate on some lev­els, they still tend to keep “secrets from each other”. Why, then, have no Ger­man spies been arrested by the FBI and deported from the United States, or vice-versa? Because, he says, “among friends, some things are best han­dled discreetly”.

    Here’s another inter­est­ing report from late 2011 related to the his­tory of ex-Nazis serv­ing in the BND. It’s his­tory that’s a lit­tle less clear and lit­tle more shred­ded:

    Der Spiegel
    Obscur­ing the Past: Intel­li­gence Agency Destroyed Files on For­mer SS Members

    By Klaus Wiegrefe

    His­to­ri­ans con­duct­ing an inter­nal study of ties between employ­ees of the Ger­man for­eign intel­li­gence agency and the Third Reich have made a shock­ing dis­cov­ery. In 2007, the BND destroyed per­son­nel files of employ­ees who had once been mem­bers of the SS and the Gestapo.

    Novem­ber 30, 2011 – 12:00 PM

    Prepa­ra­tions have already been made for Ernst Uhrlau’s retire­ment party next Wednes­day when he steps down from his post as the head of the Bun­desnachrich­t­en­di­enst (BND), Germany’s for­eign intel­li­gence agency, on his 65th birth­day. The office of the chan­cel­lor has selected a posh loca­tion in Berlin for his farewell party and Angela Merkel her­self is expected to attend. Uhrlau, a mem­ber of the center-left Social Demo­c­ra­tic Party (SPD), will be turn­ing over his post to Ger­hard Schindler, a mem­ber of the business-friendly Free Demo­c­ra­tic Party.

    At events like this, the suc­cesses of the per­son retir­ing are usu­ally cel­e­brated. In Uhrlau’s case, top­ping the list are his efforts to review the prob­lem­atic his­tory of the BND’s cre­ation after World War II. It has long been known that around 10 per­cent of the employ­ees at the BND and its pre­de­ces­sor orga­ni­za­tion once served under SS chief Hein­rich Himm­ler in Nazi Ger­many. In 2011, Uhrlau appointed an inde­pen­dent com­mis­sion of his­to­ri­ans to research the agency’s Nazi roots.

    Now, only one week before Uhrlau’s retire­ment, the com­mis­sion has uncov­ered what is a true his­tor­i­cal scan­dal. The researchers have found that the BND destroyed the per­son­nel files of around 250 BND offi­cials in 2007. The agency has con­firmed that this happened.

    The com­mis­sion claims that the destroyed doc­u­ments include papers on peo­ple who were “in sig­nif­i­cant intel­li­gence posi­tions in the SS, the SD (the intel­li­gence agency of the SS and the Nazi Party) or the Gestapo.” They added that some of the indi­vid­u­als had even been inves­ti­gated after 1945 for pos­si­ble war crimes. His­to­rian Klaus-Dietmar Henke, spokesman for the com­mis­sion, told SPIEGEL ONLINE he was “some­what stunned” by the occurrence.

    Did Agency Employ­ees Seek to Sab­o­tage Investigation?

    The inci­dent inevitably raises sus­pi­cions that agency employ­ees have delib­er­ately tried to obstruct Uhrlau’s efforts to inves­ti­gate the organization’s his­tory. The his­tor­i­cal com­mis­sion had not yet been appointed at the time of the doc­u­ments’ destruc­tion, but Uhrlau had already announced that he planned to look into his agency’s Nazi past.

    It is no secret that some peo­ple within the BND are unhappy about Uhrlau’s project. Some employ­ees are fun­da­men­tally opposed to the agency shed­ding light on its own past. Oth­ers are wor­ried about the rep­u­ta­tions of their own fam­i­lies — for many years, the BND delib­er­ately recruited new staff from among the rel­a­tives of exist­ing BND employees.

    Within the BND, a work­ing group headed by Bodo Hechel­ham­mer is respon­si­ble for coop­er­a­tion with the his­tor­i­cal com­mis­sion. The group is cur­rently try­ing to shed light on the cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the destruc­tion of the doc­u­ments. Hechel­ham­mer told SPIEGEL ONLINE that he regret­ted the loss of the documents.

    ...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 6, 2013, 2:23 pm
  2. The arti­cles pre­dict­ing a Juncker come­back in the wake of his res­ig­na­tion fol­low­ing the spy­ing scan­dal might turn out to have been right. Juncker just got another step closer to becom­ing Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion:

    Merkel backs Juncker to lead con­ser­v­a­tives in EU elections

    By Ger­not Heller

    BERLIN Thu Feb 6, 2014 12:04pm EST

    (Reuters) — Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel threw her weight behind Luxembourg’s Jean-Claude Juncker on Thurs­day as the lead­ing con­ser­v­a­tive can­di­date in May’s Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions, a poten­tial spring­board to head the Euro­pean Commission.

    It was her first pub­lic endorse­ment of the vet­eran for­mer prime min­is­ter and ex-chairman of euro zone finance min­is­ters and it appeared to dim the prospects of French Euro­pean Com­mis­sioner Michel Barnier, the only other declared candidate.

    As leader of Europe’s biggest econ­omy and most pow­er­ful con­ser­v­a­tive party, Merkel wields strong influ­ence in the center-right Euro­pean People’s Party (EPP).

    “It is no secret that I have a lot of sym­pa­thy for Jean-Claude Juncker,” she said at a joint news con­fer­ence with new Lux­em­bourg Prime Min­is­ter Xavier Bet­tel, who ousted Juncker after a gen­eral elec­tion last October.

    While stop­ping short of explic­itly back­ing Juncker to head the EU exec­u­tive, the chan­cel­lor said the imme­di­ate task was to find some­one to lead Euro­pean con­ser­v­a­tives in the elec­tions who could move up to become Com­mis­sion president.

    Merkel added that sup­port from his own coun­try was a “very impor­tant message”.

    “If Mr Juncker can become Com­mis­sion pres­i­dent, we will sup­port this can­di­dacy,” Bet­tel told reporters.

    A new Com­mis­sion chief, in charge of propos­ing and enforc­ing reg­u­la­tions for some 500 mil­lion Euro­peans, will take office for five years from Novem­ber, suc­ceed­ing Portugal’s Jose Manuel Bar­roso who has led the insti­tu­tion since 2004.

    ...

    Whichever group wins the most seats in the May 22–25 elec­tions is expected to lay claim to the Com­mis­sion pres­i­dency, although it is EU lead­ers who pro­pose a can­di­date under treaty rules, and par­lia­ment votes on their nominee.

    The Euro­pean leg­is­la­ture has gained an expanded role in pol­icy mak­ing under the 2009 Lis­bon treaty.

    Juncker, who was prime min­is­ter for 19 years, is a Euro­pean fed­er­al­ist who wants a big­ger say for the Com­mis­sion. He was a key bro­ker in Europe’s debt cri­sis, lead­ing the Eurogroup of euro zone finance min­is­ters until early last year.

    How­ever, his rep­u­ta­tion has been tar­nished by a spy­ing scan­dal in Lux­em­bourg and his Eurogroup suc­ces­sor, Dutch Finance Min­is­ter Jeroen Dijs­sel­bloem, told Dutch TV last month that Juncker drank and smoked heav­ily dur­ing cri­sis meetings.

    “I would like to be asked about pol­i­tics and not about my alco­hol prob­lem which I don’t have,” Juncker responded in Germany’s Der Spiegel mag­a­zine this week.

    His coali­tion gov­ern­ment col­lapsed last year when the Social­ists quit, blam­ing him for fail­ing to curb abuses of power by the secret service.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 6, 2014, 9:41 am

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