• Germany edition
 
US attacks 'outrageous' media probe into its wars
The Süddeutsche newspaper claims Germany has become the “headquarters” for America’s "secret wars". Photo: DPA

US attacks 'outrageous' media probe into its wars

Published: 15 Nov 2013 16:26 GMT+01:00
Updated: 15 Nov 2013 16:26 GMT+01:00

The Süddeutsche newspaper published an investigation in its Friday edition into America’s foreign policy and wars being conducted from German soil.

It claimed: “The U.S. knows no limits. And Germany looks on—even asking where it can help.”

But on Friday afternoon the US Embassy’s press department in Berlin took the unusual step of sending out a statement attacking the "outrageous" claims.

It described the story as “full of half-truths, speculation, and innuendo".

The statement said: “For many decades there have indeed been military facilities in Germany for our mutual security under Status of Forces Agreements, but the fact that they are closed to the public in no way implies that illegal activities are being organized there.  

“Although we do not comment on specifics, as a matter of policy the United States does not engage in kidnapping and torture, and does not condone or support the resort to such illegal activities by any nation. 

“Germany is one of the closest allies and partners of the United States, cooperating in areas ranging from counter-terrorism to international economic sustainability.  Outrageous claims like those raised in this article are not helpful to the German-American relationship and to our shared global agenda.”

The story in the Süddeutsche was particularly critical of the US drone war which it described as a “massive break with international law”, as well as its use of private firms to conduct spying operations.

The newspaper launched the investigation with public broadcaster NDR and said it had spent months trying to shine a light on the secrets.

It argued: “German agencies and politicians have obviously gotten used to American intelligence and military right here in their own backyard: tapping, code cracking, recruiting informants, observing suspects, kidnapping and abducting foreign enemies. The Germans have known all that for years.

“There’s no war in Germany. But where the U.S. army and intelligence agencies once protected the West during the Cold War, they now lead a worldwide secret war—a massive breach of international law.

“American soldiers—on bases in Ramstein and Stuttgart—are conducting a bloody drone war in Africa from within Germany.”

It argued that without German bases, America’s ‘war on terror’ “would not be the well-oiled machine it is now.”

“Germany acts as the headquarters for secret wars in Africa, the European hub for CIA operations and the training ground for drone attacks worldwide. And Germany’s location is indispensable,” it argued.

See the full Süddeutsche article in English here.

READ MORE: German trust in US battered by spying

For more stories about Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter

Tom Bristow (tom.bristow@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Berlin slams Italy Nazi claims court ruling
Italy's National Partisans' Association welcomed the court decision. Photo: DPA

Berlin slams Italy Nazi claims court ruling

Italy's constitutional court has ruled that victims of Nazi-era war crimes can sue Germany in Italian courts, rejecting a UN ruling and provoking a strong reaction from Berlin on Friday. READ  

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall
Photo: Paul Sullivan

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall

Two expats who walked the Mauerweg - the 160-kilometre trail that runs the length of the former Berlin Wall - have written a book about forgotten aspects of its past and present. READ  

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat
Photo: DPA

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat

Germany's biggest department store chain Karstadt will close at least six stores, putting around 2,000 jobs at risk, in a drastic bid by its new boss to return it to profit. READ  

Quiz
How well do you know Germany?
Photos: DPA/Shutterstock

How well do you know Germany?

Do you know your Saxony facts from your Saxony-Anhalt ones? Test your knowledge of Germany's federal states in The Local's quiz. READ  

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal
Pollution from a coal-fired power station in Frimmersdorf, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal

The UN's climate chief hailed a European agreement in Bonn on greenhouse gases on Friday as providing "valuable momentum" for a world pact to be inked in Paris next year. READ  

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth
Photo: DPA

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

Germany will get an early Christmas present of around €779 million from the EU, thanks to weaker than expected GDP growth. READ  

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told
Photo: DPA

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told

It will take several days to find out what caused a massive explosion on Thursday which rocked a town on the Rhine, killing a builder and injuring 26 others. READ  

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'
An NH90 helicopter. Photo: DPA

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'

Germany's fleet of NH90 helicopters is undergoing engineering checks after one of them suffered a serious engine failure, in the latest blow to the country's military capabilities. READ  

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m
Rainer Schwarz at a court hearing in September into the case. Photo: DPA

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m

The man who was blamed for Berlin's miserable attempt to build a new airport must be paid more than €1 million - after being fired. READ  

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Kurds watching the attack on Kobane. Photo: DPA

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pressed UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon to bring possible poison gas use by Isis in Iraq before the Security Council. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Politics
Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,525
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd