Andreas von Bülow Interview:
Former German Minister of Research and Technology
Speaks Out About September 11th and After
A translation of an interview published in
the German daily newspaper Der Tagesspiegel on 2002-01-13.

Andreas von Bülow was Minister for Research and Technology in the cabinet of former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, and was for 25 years an SPD member of the German parliament. During official investigations he learned of the work of the German and American intelligence and security agencies, and subsequently wrote a book on this subject, Im Namen des Staates (In the Name of the State). Von Bülow, 64, lives in Bonn, where he currently works as a lawyer. This interview was conducted by Stephan Lebert and Norbert Thomma.


Q: You seem so angry, really upset.

Von Bülow: I can explain what's bothering me: I see that after the horrifying attacks of September 11th all political public opinion is being forced into a direction that I consider wrong.

Q: What do you mean by that?

Von Bülow: I wonder why many questions are not asked. Normally, with such a terrible thing, various leads and tracks appear that are then commented on, by the investigators, the media, the government: Is there something here or not? Are the explanations plausible? This time, this is not the case at all. It already began just hours after the attacks in New York and Washington and ...

Q: In those hours, there was horror, and grief.

Von Bülow: Right, but actually it was astounding: There are 26 intelligence services in the U.S.A., with a budget of $30 billion ...

Q: More than the German defense budget.

Von Bülow: ... which were not able to prevent the attacks. In fact, they didn't even have an inkling they would happen. For sixty decisive minutes, the military and intelligence agencies let the fighter planes stay on the ground; 48 hours later, however, the FBI presented a list of [alleged] suicide attackers. Within ten days, it emerged that seven of them were still alive.

Q: What, please?

Von Bülow: Yes, yes. And why did the FBI chief take no position regarding contradictions? Where the list came from, why it was false? If I were the chief investigator in such a case I would regularly go to the public, and give information on which leads are valid and which not.

Q: The U.S. government talked about an emergency situation after the attacks: They said they were in a war. Is it not understandable that one does not tell the enemy everything one knows about him?

Von Bülow: Naturally. But a government which goes to war must first establish who the attacker, the enemy, is. It has a duty to provide evidence. According to its [the U.S. government's] own admission, it has not been able to present any evidence that would hold up in court.

Q: Some information on the perpetrators has been proven with documents. The suspected leader, Mohammad Atta, left Portland for Boston on the morning of September 11th in order to board the plane that later hit the World Trade Center.

Von Bülow: If this Atta was the decisive man in the operation, it's really strange that he took such a risk of taking a plane that would reach Boston such a short time before the connecting flight. Had his flight been a few minutes late he would not have been in the plane that was hijacked. Why should a sophisticated terrorist do this? One can, by the way, read on CNN's website that none of these names were on the official passenger lists. None of them had gone through the check-in procedures. And why did none of the threatened pilots give the agreed-upon code 7700 over the [Steuerknueppel: steering nob?] to the ground station? In addition: The black boxes which are fire and shock proof, as well as the voice recordings, contain no valuable data ...

Q: That sounds like ...

Von Bülow: ... like assailants who, in their preparations, leave tracks behind them like a herd of stampeding elephants? They made payments with credit cards with their own names; they reported to their flight instructors with their own names. They left behind rented cars with flight manuals in Arabic for jumbo jets. They took with them, on their [alleged] suicide trip, wills and farewell letters, which fall into the hands of the FBI, because they were stored in the wrong place and wrongly addressed. Clues were left like behind like in a child's game of hide-and-seek, which were to be followed! There is also the theory of one British flight engineer: According to this, the steering of the planes was perhaps taken out of the pilots' hands, from outside. The Americans had developed a method in the 1970s, whereby they could rescue hijacked planes by intervening into the computer piloting [automatic pilot system]. This theory says, this technique was abused in this case. That's a theory ... [See Home Run: Electronically Hijacking the World Trade Center Attack Aircraft.]

Q: Which sounds really adventurous, and was never considered.

Von Bülow: You see! I do not accept this theory, but I find it worth considering. And what about the obscure stock transactions? In the week prior to the attacks, the amount of transactions in stocks in American Airlines, United Airlines, and insurance companies, increased 1,200%. It was for a value of $15 billion. Some people must have known something. Who?

Q: Why don't you speculate on who it might have been.

Von Bülow: With the help of the horrifying attacks, the Western mass democracies were subjected to brainwashing. The enemy image of anti-communism doesn't work any more; it is to be replaced by peoples of Islamic belief. They are accused of having given birth to suicidal terrorism.

Q: Brainwashing? That's a tough term.

Von Bülow: Yes? But the idea of the enemy image doesn't come from me. It comes from Zbigniew Brzezinski and Samuel Huntington, two policy-makers of American intelligence and foreign policy. Already in the middle of he 1990s, Huntingon believed, people in Europe and the U.S. needed someone they could hate — this would strengthen their identification with their own society. And Brzezinski, the mad dog, as adviser to President Jimmy Carter, campaigned for the exclusive right of the U.S. to seize all the raw materials of the world, especially oil and gas.

Q: You mean, the events of September 11th ...

Von Bülow: ... fit perfectly in the concept of the armaments industry, the intelligence agencies, the whole military-industrial-academic complex. This is in fact obvious. The huge raw materials reserves of the former Soviet Union are now at their [the U.S.'s] disposal, also the pipeline routes and ...

Q: Erich Follach described that at length in {Der Spiegel}: "It's a matter of military bases, drugs, oil and gas reserves."

Von Bülow: I can state: the planning of the attacks was technically and organizationally a master achievement. To hijack four huge airplanes within a few minutes, and within one hour to drive them into their targets, with complicated flight maneuvers! This is unthinkable, without years-long support from secret apparatuses of the state and industry.

Q: You are a conspiracy theorist!

Von Bülow: Yeah, yeah. That's the ridicule heaped [on those raising these questions] by those who would prefer to follow the official, politically correct line. Even investigative journalists are fed propaganda and disinformation. Anyone who doubts that, doesn't have all his marbles! That is your accusation.

Q: Your career actually speaks against the idea that you are not in your right mind. You were already in the 1970s state secretary in the Defense Ministry; in 1993 you were the SPD [Social Democratic Party] speaker in the Schalk-Golodkowski investigation committee ...

Von Bülow: And it all began there! Until that time, I did not have any great knowledge of the work of intelligence agencies. And now we had to take note of a great discrepancy: We shed light on the dealings of the Stasi and other East bloc intelligence agencies in the field of economic criminality, but as soon as we wanted to know something about the activities of the BND [Bundesnachrichtendienst, German intelligence] or the CIA, it was mercilessly blocked. No information, no cooperation, nothing! That's when I was first taken aback.

Q: Schalck-Golodkowski mediated, among other things, various business deals abroad. When you looked at his case more closely ...

Von Bülow: We found, for example, a clue in Rostock, where Schalck organized his weapons depot. Well, then we happened upon an affiliation of Schalck in Panama, and then we happened upon Manuel Noriega, who was for many years President, drug dealer, and money launderer, all in one, right? And this Noriega was also on the payroll of the CIA, for $200,000 a year. These were things that really made me curious.

Q: You wrote a book on the dealings of the CIA and Co. In the meantime, you have become an expert regarding the strange things related to intelligence services' work.

Von Bülow: "Strange things" is the wrong term. What has gone on, and goes on, in the name of intelligence services, are true crimes.

Q: What would you say determines the work of intelligence services?

Von Bülow: So that we don't have any misunderstanding: I find that it makes sense to have intelligence services ...

Q: You don't think much of the earlier proposals by the Greens, who wanted to dismantle these agencies?

Von Bülow: No. It is right to take a look behind the scenes. Getting intelligence about the intentions of an enemy, makes sense. It is important when one tries to put oneself into the mind of the enemy. Whoever wants to understand the CIA's methods, has to deal with its main tasks {covert operations}: below the level of war, and outside international law, foreign states are to be influenced, by organizing insurrections, terrorist attacks, usually combined with drugs and weapons trade, and money laundering. This is essentially very simple: One arms violent people with weapons. Since, however, it must not under any circumstances come out that there is an intelligence agency behind it, all traces are erased, with tremendous deployment of resources. I have the impression that this kind of intelligence agency spends 90% of its time this way: creating false leads. So that if anyone suspects the collaboration of the agencies, he is accused of the sickness of conspiracy madness. The truth often comes out only years later. CIA chief Allen Dulles once said: In case of doubt, I would even lie to the Congress!

Q: The American journalist Seymour M. Hersh, wrote in the {New Yorker} that even some people in the CIA and government assumed that certain leads had been laid in order to confuse the investigators. Who, Herr von Bülow, would have done this?

Von Bülow: I don't know that either. How should I? I simply use my common sense, and — See: The terrorists behaved in such a way to attract attention. And as practicing Muslims, they were in a striptease bar, and, drunken, stuck dollar bills into the panty of the dancer.

Q: Things like that also happen.

Von Bülow: It may be. As a lone fighter, I cannot prove anything, that's beyond my capabilities. I have real difficulties, however, to imagine that all this all sprung out of the mind of an evil man in his cave.

Q: Mr. von Bülow, you yourself say that you are alone in your criticism. Formerly, you were part of the political establishment, now you are an outsider.

Von Bülow: That is a problem sometimes, but one gets used to it. By the way, I know a lot of people, including very influential ones, who agree with me, but only in whispers, never publicly.

Q: Do you still have contact with old SPD companions, such as Egon Bahr and former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt?

Von Bülow: There are no close contacts any more. I wanted to go to the last SPD party congress, but I was sick.

Q: Can it be, Mr. von Bülow, that you are a mouthpiece for typical anti-Americanism?

Von Bülow: Nonsense, this has absolutely nothing to do with anti-Americanism. I am a great admirer of this great, open, free society, and always have been. I studied in the U.S.

Q: How did you get the idea that there could be a link between the attacks and the American intelligence agencies?

Von Bülow: Do you remember the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993?

Q: Six people were killed and over a thousand wounded, by a bomb explosion.

Von Bülow: In the middle was the bombmaker, a former Egyptian officer. He had pulled together some Muslims for the attack. They were snuck into the country by the CIA, despite a State Department ban on their entry. At the same time, the leader of the band was an FBI informant. And he made a deal with the authorities: At the last minute, the dangerous explosive material would be replaced by a harmless powder. The FBI did not stick to the deal. The bomb exploded, so to speak, with the knowledge of the FBI. The official story of the crime was quickly found: The criminals were evil Muslims. [See Troubling Questions in Troubling Times.]

Q: At the time Soviet soldiers marched into Afghanistan, you were in the cabinet of Helmut Schmidt. What was it like?

Von Bülow: The Americans pushed for trade sanctions, they demanded the boycott of the Olympic games in Moscow ...

Q: ... which the German government followed ...

Von Bülow: And today we know: It was the strategy of the American security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, to destabilize the Soviet Union from neighboring Muslim countries: They lured the Russians into Afghanistan, and then prepared for them a hell on earth, their Vietnam. With decisive support of the U.S. intelligence agencies at least 30,000 Muslim fighters were trained in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a bunch of good-for-nothings and fanatics who were, and still are today, ready for anything. And one of them is Osama bin Laden. I wrote years ago: "It was out of this brood that the Taliban grew up in Afghanistan, who had been brought up in the Koranic schools financed by American and Saudi funds, the Taliban who are now terrorizing the country and destroying it."

Q: Even though you say, for the U.S. it was a matter of raw materials in the region, the starting point for the U.S. aggression, was the terrorist attack which cost thousands of human lives.

Von Bülow: Completely true. One must always keep this gruesome act in mind. Nonetheless, in the analysis of political processes, I am allowed to look and see who has advantages and disadvantages, and what is coincidental. When in doubt, it is always worthwhile to take a look at a map, where are raw materials resources, and the routes to them? Then lay a map of civil wars and conflicts on top of that — they coincide. The same is the case with the third map: nodal points of the drug trade. Where this all comes together, the American intelligence services are not far away. By the way, the Bush family is linked to oil, gas, and weapons trade, through the bin Laden family.

Q: What do you think of the Bin Laden films?

Von Bülow: When one is dealing with intelligence services, one can imagine manipulations of the highest quality. Hollywood could provide these techniques. I consider the videos inappropriate as evidence.

Q: You believe the CIA is capable of anything [wouldn't stop at anything]?

Von Bülow: The CIA, in the state interests of the U.S., does not have to abide by any law in interventions abroad, is not bound by international law; only the President gives orders. And when funds are cut, and peace is on the horizon, then a bomb explodes somewhere. Thus it is proven, that you can't do without the intelligence services; and that the critics are {nuts} as Father Bush called them, Bush who was once CIA head and President. The U.S. spends $30 billion on intelligence services, and $13 billion on anti-drug work. And what comes out of it? The chief of a special unit of the strategic anti-drug work declared, in despair, after 30 years of service, that in every big, important drug case, the CIA came in and took it out of [his] hands.

Q: Do you criticize the German government for its reaction after September 11th?

Von Bülow: No. To assume that the government were independent in these questions would be naive.

Q: Herr von Bülow, what will you do now?

Von Bülow: Nothing. My task is concluded by saying, it could not have been that way [according to the official story]. Search for the truth!


Thanks to Virginia Raines for forwarding this translation
(done by the Schiller Institute in Stockholm?).
Some minor editing has been done for publication here.
The original interview (in German), "Da sind Spuren wie von einer trampelnden Elefantenherde", is at
http://archiv.tagesspiegel.de/archiv/12.01.2002/ak-sn-in-558560.html


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