Will Hans-Georg Maaßen be Fired for Contradicting His Chancellor?

Hans-Georg Maaßen is the president of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, BfV), Germany’s domestic intelligence agency. During the recent controversy over anti-migrant street demonstrations in Chemnitz, Mr. Maaßen determined that media reports about “neo-Nazis” and “manhunts” of migrants in Chemnitz were utterly without foundation. Law enforcement agencies plus the political leadership of Saxony agreed with him.

The only source for the spurious assertion of a “manhunt” was an Antifa propaganda video. On the basis of this video — and without consulting her security services — Chancellor Angela Merkel made her own assertions about “manhunts” by “xenophobes” in Chemnitz.

Mrs. Merkel’s coalition partners in the SPD (Social Democratic Party, specifically Martin Schulz, if I am not mistaken) have said that the chancellor will soon fire Mr. Maaßen from his position as head of the BfV, for contradicting his chancellor about the “manhunts”. If she really does give him the boot, it will set a devastating precedent, and signal the complete politicization of the German intelligence services.

Just think about the ramifications: Mrs. Merkel’s intelligence chief gives her an accurate assessment of the domestic situation, so she fires him. Such an action makes certain that whoever succeeds him will NEVER tell the chancelloress anything she doesn’t want to hear.

It reminds me of the way Stalin handled his underlings in the USSR (except, of course, that Mr. Maaßen is unlikely to end up neckshot in the basement of the Bundeskanzleramt). No commissar would dare tell the General Secretary that only 300 tanks had actually been produced by the factory in Novosibirsk, rather than the 5,000 listed in the Defense Ministry’s report*. Comrade Stalin did not want to hear such facts, and telling them to him could end one’s career, and most likely one’s life. As a result, Stalin made important strategic decisions using bad intel, sometimes with disastrous consequences.

Bad intel was one of the things that helped bring down the USSR. Mrs. Merkel would be wise to remember that fact.

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The following video discusses remarks by Alice Weidel, the leader of the AfD (Alternative für Deutschland, Alternative for Germany) about the possible firing of Hans-Georg Maaßen.

Many thanks to MissPiggy for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

For those who read German, more information is available at Politically Incorrect.

Video transcript:

00:00   The AfD deputy parliamentary leader Alice Weidel declared that
00:05   the discussion circulating about the dismissal of secret service chief Hans-Georg Maaßen
00:09   was a punishment for his blatant criticism of Chancellor Merkel’s refugee policy.
00:13   “Anyone who dares to criticize Merkel’s illegal immigration policy is mercilessly
00:17   put through the wringer by the establishment parties. Now, right in the
00:21   middle of the Bavarian election campaign, President Maaßen is being shot down over
00:25   CSU Interior Minister [Horst] Seehofer’s head,” wrote Weidel on her Facebook page.
00:30   AfD Party Chairman Jorg Meuthen explained that if the CSU had a glimmer
00:34   of dignity and self respect, then Seehofer would resign. The CSU should terminate
00:38   their party association with the CDU instead of following Merkel down her far-left path.
00:44   The SPD has demanded the dismissal of the Constitutional Protection Agency Chief.
00:50   The reason behind the demand is a statement made by the agency chief
00:54   during an interview in which he questioned the authenticity of the video claimed to be
00:58   a xenophobic attack in Chemnitz in Saxon.

*   This is a made-up example. Don’t take it literally.

5 thoughts on “Will Hans-Georg Maaßen be Fired for Contradicting His Chancellor?

  1. Breaking news: as Maassen might know too much, he is not fired but promoted to be vice secretary of state under Seehofer, so he is made his own boss. Why does that remind me of a movie with Marlon Brando: The Last Tango In Par…. exc.me, Berlin and of that ominous triple xxx- rated scene with the butter whose use is known to the cineastically inclined?

    • Read my footnote, where I said bit was a made-up example. But it’s similar to things that really DID happen — USSR production figures presented to the boss were wildly inaccurate, because no one from the factory managers on up could tell the truth and expect to hold his position, or avoid the gulag. It’s been almost fifty years since I read the relevant books (by Communists or sympathizers), so I can’t remember any specific incidents.

      The funny thing is, the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies took those spurious internal figures at face value. Those were the numbers presented to Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Andropov, and Gorbachev by their own intelligence people — how could they be wrong? It’s one of the reasons Reagan ramped up US military expansion so much: to counter those inflated Soviet numbers. That’s why I say that bad intel was one of the reasons for the demise of the Soviet Union.

      • Here’s something the Soviets got right: the T-34 tank, a radical design with wide tracks (not easily bogged down), thick, sloping armour (so shells would glance off it) and a big gun (so it could hit enemy tanks while out of range of their guns). Following the Nazi invasion, the factory was relocated east of the Urals, and back in production, within weeks; over 80,000 were produced.

        The Germans had the sense to copy it, but typically over- engineered their version, the Panther, which was prone to mechanical failure; the US and UK ignored the lesson, so we were stuck with the Sherman, whose only virtue was being available in quantity.

        There’s a T-34 on waste ground about a mile from here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandela_Way_T-34_Tank. Story goes that the owner of the land was refused permission to build on it, so asked whether he could erect a “tank”, but this may be apocryphal.

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