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German Justice

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Here we have yet more proof that the Europeans, whom we once deigned to lecture on the “virtues of democracy”, have long since surpassed us in that.

From Der Spiegel:

Labor Minister Franz Josef Jung resigned from Angela Merkel’s cabinet on Friday. In a brief statement Jung said he was taking “political responsibility” for having misinformed the German public due to, he claims, a lack of knowledge regarding civilian casualties stemming from a Sept. 4 airstrike Afghanistan.

You see, in Germany, when politicians are caught blatantly lying to their constituencies, they do the right thing and step down. The amazing aspect of this is that, by American standards, Josef Jung’s transgression was exceedingly minor – he merely lied about the effects of one airstrike in Afghanistan. Following the strike, Jung claimed that there were no “civilian casualties”, but later it came to light that there were tens or hundreds, many of them children. For that he resigned.

Now can you even imagine something like that happening in America? We have grown so desensitized to the constant stream of mendacity from our leaders that it is difficult to grow angry over any one lie. Warrantless  wiretapping, “We Do Not Torture”, Weapons of Mass Destruction, “existential threats”, secret detentions, the Saddam-Al Qaeda link, and the list goes on and on and on. Yet not only do our leaders routinely inform us that no investigations into these lies will be forthcoming, no popular outrage seems to exist over them.

And Jung isn’t the only one to have been let go:

The debacle has made things difficult for Germany’s new Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. He is reported to have “exploded” when he first learned of the report — when he was contacted by Bild on Wednesday for a comment. He immediately called in the General Inspector Schneidhan to see if he was aware of the report. Once it was clear that he had known about it, there was little choice but for him to resign. Peter Wichert, the deputy defense minister, was also fired.

We in America are a long way off from that kind of democracy.


Written by pavanvan

November 28, 2009 at 11:04 am

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