By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
A fascinating aspect of the Edward Snowden affair, demonstrating his close collaboration with anti-American forces worldwide, has just come to the attention of the media. Contained in several stories about one of his meetings in Moscow was the name of his key German contact, a member of the German Green Party, Hans Christian Ströbele, who is also a member of the German Parliament. Buried in some of these accounts is the fact that Ströbele is a prominent German lawyer who represented the communist terrorist group, the Baader-Meinhof Gang—also known as the Red Army Faction (RAF).
Incredibly, Ströbele is now a member of a German parliamentary committee that oversees German intelligence agencies. He has sent letters to the U.S. House and Senate intelligence committees proposing a “dialogue between both of our monitoring committees and their members and to discuss future changes in the intelligence policy.” It’s extremely doubtful the U.S. Congress will favorably respond to his initiatives. But the Congressional Progressive Caucus may find his offer appealing.
In Germany, this far-left pro-communist and pro-terrorist lawmaker has significant influence. He is leading a campaign to have the German government protect Edward Snowden by giving him asylum in Germany.
His biography refers to the RAF terrorist killers as “political prisoners.”
The book, Tolerating Terrorism in the West: An International Survey, notes that Ströbele had been sentenced to 10 months imprisonment in 1982 for setting up a communications network between the prisoners of the RAF and activists outside the jails. He claims this was because of his “mission as a defender” of the RAF prisoners from 1970-1975. Ströbele says the sentence was changed to probation.
In Moscow, Ströbele handed Snowden the “Honorary Diploma of the Whistleblower Award 2013,” in honor of his theft and release of classified documents on NSA surveillance programs. The term “whistleblower” is still being accepted by some dupes in the West who are willing to ignore Snowden’s international connections to America’s enemies and adversaries.
Ströbele’s immediate purpose is to get the former NSA contractor—who has been granted temporary political asylum in Russia—to leave Moscow and testify before a German parliamentary committee hearing on the details of NSA surveillance in Europe.
Alleged U.S. eavesdropping on foreign leaders, including Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has figured prominently in this controversy.
Not mentioned in the coverage of this “scandal” is the fact that there are good reasons why the Brazilian and German governments might come under U.S. surveillance. Rousseff is a former Marxist guerrilla who was chief of staff to former Brazilian president and Worker’s Party leader Lula da Silva. The Worker’s Party is a Marxist political organization in Brazil and Lula was a personal friend of Fidel Castro. Although Merkel is considered an ally, the German Parliament includes not only members of the far-left Green Party like Ströbele, but the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS), descended from the old ruling party in East Germany and now called the Left Party.
Ströbele’s representation of the RAF, whose members were trained at Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) camps, demonstrates that members of the international communist left in Germany, as well as the U.S., have not disappeared, but in some cases have assumed positions of power and influence. The RAF was the German equivalent of the Weather Underground in the U.S.
The RAF kidnapped and murdered German corporation executives, bankers, and police; bombed U.S. military bases; and attacked U.S. military personnel in Europe in the 1970s and 80s. One of their victims was U.S. Army Specialist Edward Pimental, who was abducted and executed with a bullet to the back of his head. One of his terrorist killers was released in 2007.
“The prisoners should have the chance for a new life,” Stroebele said, referring to the terrorists being released from prison.
The famous KGB archivist, Col. Vasili Mitrokhin, revealed in the book, The Sword and the Shield, that the Soviet KGB, mostly through the East German intelligence service, was behind this campaign of violence and terrorism by the Baader Meinhof Gang/RAF. The purpose was to undermine the U.S. and the NATO Alliance—of which Germany is a member—in Europe.
Egged on by Snowden and his communist backers, Brazil and Germany introduced a U.N. General Assembly “anti-spying” resolution on November 7, urging all countries to recognize “internationally guaranteed rights to privacy to the Internet and other electronic communications,” as The Washington Post described it.
Snowden signed a letter brought back by Ströbele expressing his willingness to testify as an “expert witness” on NSA surveillance. The letter refers to Snowden’s work for the NSA, CIA, and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). But Snowden is facing espionage charges in the U.S., and Germany would be expected to detain and extradite him to the U.S. if he ever set foot on German soil.
A German magazine, Die Welt, reports that high-ranking German security sources say the meeting in Moscow between Snowden, Ströbele, and the others was organized and monitored by the Russian FSB, the successor to the KGB. “This plays into the hands of the Russians,” a German intelligence officer said about the campaign to have Snowden come to Germany and testify.
The old Soviet Union always sought to divide the U.S. from Germany and its other allies in NATO and Europe. The Putin regime in Russia is using Snowden to try to accomplish the same thing.
The story gets even more interesting when you consider that one of the more detailed accounts of Ströbele’s visit with Snowden in Moscow appeared in the People’s World, the newspaper of the Communist Party USA, and that the author, Victor Grossman, is an American communist who defected to East Germany and wrote a book about it.
Ströbele is described in the article as “always (or almost always) the Green deputy opposing wars in Iraq, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Patriot missiles for Israel, who fought hardest against anti-foreigner discrimination (even supporting the right of immigrant-rooted police officers to wear turbans or head cloths) and a Turkish version of Germany’s national anthem.”
Another member of the German Green Party is Joseph Martin “Joschka” Fischer, the German foreign minister and vice chancellor from 1998-2005, under former Chancellor Gerhard Schroder. Fischer was a supporter of the Baader-Meinhoff Gang and attended a 1969 meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization at which the PLO dedicated itself to the destruction of Israel.
One participant in the Moscow meeting with Snowden was John Goetz, identified as an American journalist living in Germany and associated with a website called “Secret Wars,” which purports to know how the U.S. war on terror is conducted from covert bases in Germany. Goetz is now representing Süddeutsche-Zeitung, a major German newspaper.
According to Victor Grossman, Goetz “did a series on Germany’s secret assistance to the U.S. war in Iraq” and helped expose the “extraordinary renditions” of anti-American terrorists to secret locations that required German government cooperation.
Other participants in the meeting were Georg Mascolo, a former editor in charge of crime, terrorism, and intelligence issues at Der Spiegel, the German news magazine, and Sarah Harrison of WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks has posted silent videos of the Moscow meeting.
Snowden’s lawyer is another interesting character in this process. Anatoly Kucherena, described as “linked” to FSB and “Kremlin-connected,” says his client has accepted a job with a Russian website and that he is studying Russian.
In an article from 2002, written in honor of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fiftieth birthday, Kucherena praised Putin, a former Soviet KGB officer, as a “reformer,” reports Deutsche Welle, a German broadcasting company that has covered some of the controversial aspects of the Snowden affair. Kucherena emerged as “one of Vladimir Putin’s most prominent supporters and campaigned for him” in 2012, the news organization reported.