German DM Urged to Resign Over Kunduz Massacre

Will September Air Strike Claim Yet Another Top Official?

On September 4 a US warplane, operating under the orders of a German military colonel, attacked a pair of fuel tankers near a village in Kunduz Province. The ensuing fireball killed over 140 people, mostly civilians.

German Defense Minister Guttenberg

The strike was not major news in the US, which is after all no stranger to killing enormous numbers of Afghan civilians in an air strike. The report took the nation of Germany by surprise though, as the public had been repeatedly told the military wasn’t really fighting a war in Afghanistan.

The German government attempted to defend the killings, and the increasingly unpopular war, by lying about what really happened, insisting that few if any civilians were killed. The truth eventually came out, however, and last month the chief of the army and Labor Minister (former Defense Minister) Franz Josef Jung both resigned in disgrace.

Now the head of the current Defense Minister, Karl-Theodur zu Guttenberg, may be on the chopping block. Though it was initially assumed that Guttenberg, who didn’t hold a military position at the time of the attack, was as much in the dark as anybody else, it has later come out that Guttenberg knew full well that other officials were lying, and declared the killings “militarily appropriate” even though he knew the evidence showed otherwise.

Though Minister Guttenberg insists he will remain in power, but so did his predecessor Minister Jung. The pressure to resign seems likely to continue mounting, however, particularly as evidence of involvement in the killings and coverup by the KSK, the nation’s secretive commando organization.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.