Public Opposition, Private Support?

Monday, February 27, 2006

Public Opposition, Private Support?

In Germany, both the government and the public firmly opposed the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq. Several weeks before the invasion, an estimated 500,000 Germans gathered one day to protest military invervention. So what will organizers of those German protests make of this disclosure by the New York Times' Michael Gordon?
Two German intelligence agents in Baghdad obtained a copy of Saddam Hussein's plan to defend the Iraqi capital, which a German official passed on to American commanders a month before the invasion, according to a classified study by the United States military.

In providing the Iraqi document, German intelligence officials offered more significant assistance to the United States than their government has publicly acknowledged. The plan gave the American military an extraordinary window into Iraq's top-level deliberations, including where and how Mr. Hussein planned to deploy his most loyal troops.

... the German government was an especially vociferous critic of the Bush administration's decision to use military force to topple Mr. Hussein. While the German government has said that it had intelligence agents in Baghdad during the war, it has insisted it provided only limited help to the United States-led coalition.

... Reached by telephone, Ulrich Wilhelm, the chief spokesman for the German government, declined to comment on Sunday on the role of the German agents.

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