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This article appears in the July 19, 2013 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Germany Must Become Sovereign; We Need a Civil Rights Movement!

by Helga Zepp-LaRouche

[PDF version of this article]

July 12—The colossal, global eavesdropping assault on American citizens, as well as on the citizens of other countries and their governments, institutions, and corporations, is unprecedented in history, and represents a flagrant violation of human rights of all those who are being spied upon. It has, in fact, undermined international law.

The National Security Agency (NSA) monitoring programs "PRISM" and "Tempora" obtained telephone calls, faxes, e-mails, letters, chat, video and audio transmissions, etc.; communications can be accessed directly from the servers of Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, etc. This means that even members of Congress and the German Bundestag, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, judges, lawyers, their clients, doctors, priests, etc., are bugged. Perhaps you will believe that this information is only kept in archives—if you are Sleeping Beauty.

Unfortunately, in Germany we have a two-fold experience with surveillance states. The Nazi Gestapo had 31,000 employees and also a perfidious system of informers established at the end of the Third Reich, which helped to train the population to the "German view."[1] The Stasi system also violated people's privacy, after East German Minister of State Security Erich Mielke's motto: "Comrades, we have to know everything." Despite the ruthlessness with which the opponents of the DDR system were persecuted, anyone who has ever visited the Stasi Museum, will agree that the Stasi's cameras hidden in bird feeders were downright amateurish, compared to the global information vacuum cleaners of the NSA.

Therefore, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has done mankind a very, very great service. Snowden, in his June 4 interview with the Guardian, described the motive for his revelations: "We were actually involved in misleading the public and misleading all the publics, not just the American public, in order to create a certain mindset in the global consciousness, and I was actually a victim of that...." He had hoped these excesses could be brought under control, but "as I've watched, I've seen that's not occurring, and in fact, we're compounding the excesses of prior governments and making it worse and more invasive. And no one is really standing to stop it.... The NSA lied about the existence of this tool to Congress...."

Thus, Snowden has put his finger on the sore spot: From the time of the Bush Sr. administration at the latest, but, above all, during the two Bush Jr. administrations, and even more massively under Obama, the U.S. has been transformed from a republic into an empire, which is trying to control the world on the basis of the Anglo-American special relationship. Or, in the words of Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers 42 years ago, which led to the resignation of Richard Nixon: "The country I stayed in [to face justice—Ellsberg] was a different America, a long time ago," but now, Snowden has given Americans the chance to save themselves from the "United Stasi of America."

Germany Faces Choices

This is exactly why the question is not whether "America is, and has been, our most faithful ally" as Chancellor Merkel has said, but this: Do we accept a status as vassals under an empire, or we stand by our republican constitution?

We can be wholeheartedly grateful to Snowden, because his revelations help to put a whole series of taboo topics on the agenda, namely:

  1. That Germany, from 1945 to the present day, has been an occupied country, as unequivocally documented by a book spotlighted by Snowden, Monitored Germany, by the historian Joseph Foschepoth. This is a status that all governments have accepted without resistance since 1945, and nothing changed with the reunification in 1990. It is very good that this situation is now out in the open, because now everyone must face the question of whether he wants to stay a subject, or become a free citizen in a sovereign republic.

  2. Given the breathtaking wealth of information over the past weeks on the extent of the NSA's operations on German soil, the exchange of information with German intelligence, and, above all, the reports of espionage on the EU itself, and against embassies, Merkel's statement that she had learned about the whole thing only from the media ought to raise some eyebrows.

If she really had no idea, then she has neither exercised her supervisory duties as Chancellor over the services, nor has she honored her oath of office to avert damage to the German people. If she has occupied herself so little with the matter, why is she so quick to play down the total surveillance of citizens, by rejecting the comparison with the Stasi? Given the excesses of American politics since the advent of the Bush-Obama era, ranging from wars of aggression, built on lies, against Iraq and Libya; Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, drone war, Benghazi, arming al-Qaeda against the Syrian government; use of the IRS against political opponents, etc., she might have given a little thought to what sort of picture actually emerges from all that.

There is some evidence here that the American concept of "plausible deniability" comes into play, i.e., that the chain of command is so arranged that the political responsibility may be evaded, if in doubt. That Merkel so lightly dismissed the spying by the NSA, unfortunately brings to mind the fact that, although she now insists that the Stasi was incomparably worse than the NSA, as a young person in East Germany, she was able to thoroughly conform to the system.

Merkel's justification of the NSA's total-surveillance in Germany unfortunately confirms the thesis of Gertrud Höhler, who writes in her book, The Godmother, that Merkel is working for the dissolution of democracy in Germany; she allows the infiltration of "illegal activities into the legal system." And then there's the outrageous statement which she uttered on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the CDU: "For truly, we do not have a legal right to democracy and the social market economy for all eternity."

But what we indisputably do have is the claim guaranteed in the rights certified by the Basic Law, and in particular, Article 10 (1)—the privacy of correspondence, posts, and telecommunications shall be inviolable—as well as the inalienable rights that every human being is given by natural law.

The Fight for Civil Rights

Luckily, there are patriots in America like Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.), who are preparing laws that will abolish the Patriot Act and the FISA Amendments Act (2008), which made the present surveillance state possible.

The total spying by the NSA fundamentally violates the U.S. Constitution, and even in the U.S., has no legitimacy, but it may yet have legality. In Germany, it has neither the one nor the other. It is one of the great achievements of constitutional history that governments derive legitimacy only through the consent of the governed, which is wonderfully expressed in Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, with the formula, "government of the people, by the people, for the people."

Obviously, Madame Chancellor, your socialization has not allowed you to get to know this basic idea of republican virtue, and probably, you would take the side of Gessler's party in Schiller's drama "Wilhelm Tell." In China, there is the concept that the government has the mandate of Heaven, only if it represents the common good, and only this mandate gives it the right to demand the obedience and loyalty of the citizenry. The mandate of Heaven can be withdrawn in case of bad rule. I think your statement on the NSA was such a notice of termination.

What we need now in Germany, is a civil rights movement, which ensures that all rights enshrined in the Basic Law are recaptured and that Germany finally gains its full sovereignty, for which it struggled most recently with the peaceful Revolution of 1989—and indeed, the full sovereignty over the domestic, foreign, economic, and monetary policy.

We need a second peaceful revolution, because we have been cheated out of the fruits of the first!

Translated from German by Daniel Platt.

[1] The "German view" was a term for a timid, suspicious "keeping your eyes peeled," even if no one is listening and no one is near. You could never know, in those Nazi years, whether any remark, any word of criticism, would be picked up by the Gestapo—with devastating consequences for those affected.

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