July 24, 1999
Rannacher concedes mistake
State security annoyed Teufel
Stuttgart (rai) - Constitutional Security President Helmut Rannacher has apologized for his agency's latest blunder and assumed responsibility for it.
It had been a mistake not to have informed Minister President Teufel in advance that he would be portrayed in the 1998 Constitutional Security report as an espionage target of the Scientology secret service, Rannacher explained on Thursday to our newspaper. The agency chief assumed sole responsibility. He contested the statement that he had only superficially read the report. In reading it that passage just did not "click" for him. At the same time Rannacher defended Constitutional Security's source. The written communication which a Scientologist had forwarded on to the Scientology secret service was not questionable, even if part of its content about Teufel had been incorrect. According to his agency's findings it was genuine and proved Scientology's efforts to gather intelligence.
Interior Minister Thomas Schaeuble, to whom Rannacher reports, also stated that he had much understanding for Teufel's annoyance. The matter would be occasion to think over an "optimization" in the cooperation between Constitutional Security agents and the Interior Ministry. Schaeuble (CDU), whose house was supposed to have reviewed the report in any case, stated that it would not be necessary to reassign personnel because of the matter. Rannacher continued to have his full trust.
Green party faction chief Fritz Kuhn recommended that those responsible for the Constitutional Security report, in the future, should read it before they print it. The Scientology organization also mocked [the situation]: "Who's going to protect Minister President Teufel from this kind of Constitutional protection?" it said in a statement.
by Rainer Wehaus
July 23, 1999
Should one laugh? The State Office for Constitutional Security, the insider which mocks the renowned Israeli Mossad secret intelligence service as "Mossadle", has once more disgraced itself. Their own minister president was cited as being a victim of espionage in the Constitutional Security report on the basis of a questionable source without even having been informed about it - that is rather comical. However, it is not funny. The mission of Constitutional Security is too important for that. It is still sensible to have an early warning system against extremists and fanatics. But who is supposed to believe the state security agents - much less their "findings" about Scientology - when they go about it so negligently? Naturally mistakes can happen, even with Constitutional Security. However in this case too many staff - including in the Interior Ministry - have done sloppy work. Constitutional President Rannacher bears responsibility for the content of the report and Interior Minister Schaeuble the political responsibility. One is anxious to learn what the consequences will be for the two gentlemen.
Renewed Disgrace for Constitutional Security
July 23, 1999
[note: Minister President is the equivalent of US state governor.]
State office presents Minister President Teufel unquestioningly as a victim of espionage - questionable proof.
Stuttgart (stn) - A little sentence in the state Constitutional Security report of 1998 causes consternation:
"Another written communication shows that a SO member took an interest in the personal environment of a minister president and forwarded his findings on to OSA Munich."
(SO is the abbreviation for Scientology Organization; OSA stands for Office of Special Affairs and it, in effect, is an internationally active secret intelligence service for the organization)
Stuttgart - Teufel is in the latest Constitutional Security report in a line: the Minister President is unquestionably presented there as a victim of espionage - on the basis of evidence which is still questionable.
by Rainer Wehaus
It appears as if nobody noticed the explosiveness of a little passage in the 1998 Constitutional Security report. Not the constitutional security agents who put the report together. Not the Interior Ministry which reviewed the report as authorizing agency and which has responsibility for it. And not even the journalists to whom the report was presented at the end of April. Just now that the report has arrived on the market in bound form has an editor of the "Suedkuriers" picked out the little sentence in the report which states that an unnamed minister president was taken under the scrutiny of the secret service at the beginning of the 1990s.
On Thursday it could be verified in the government circles that the minister president involved was Erwin Teufel (CDU), who took office at the beginning of 1991. The piquant thing about it is that Teufel did not even know that his name was in the Constitutional Security report. Nobody had told him about it - not Constitutional Security President Helmut Rannacher nor Interior Minister Thomas Schaeuble (CDU). Both had apparently only glanced through the report themselves. "Everything in there was done by the technicians," was apologetically stated. "Painful" described the story, interjected an official.
Add to that that the source for Constitutional Security is apparently more than questionable. The alleged "findings" which were supposed show that a snooping Scientologist had gained access to Teufel's personal environment are at least partially false. So false that the Constitutional Security agents really had to have known it. Yet the information was apparently not seriously checked out. There are two alternatives: either the state security agents have innocently been taken in by a con man or the feared Scientology secret service is not capable of performing intelligent research. However it may be, "The passage should not have ever appeared," scolded an official.
After several crisis sessions, Rannacher gave an explanation for the failure on Thursday evening. The written communication by the Scientology member was said to be "provably false in content." For instance, it asserted that Teufel was related by marriage to someone who is known by name to be a Scientologist. However a familial or other type of relationship to this person does not exist.
The last publicized failure by Constitutional Security occurred about 15 months ago. In April of last year an investigator from Stuttgart was arrested while doing research on Scientology in Switzerland. He was released after three days on bail. Rannacher and Schaeuble apologized for this violation of the sovereignty of the neighboring country; the agent will probably have to answer before the Basel criminal court for illicit political intelligence work. In the aftermath of the case it turned out that the constitutional security agent had apparently acted in ignorance of the stricter Swiss laws.
The First Page
July 23, 1999
Stuttgart. According to statements by the State Office for Constitutional Security in Baden-Wuerttemberg, the Scientology organization gathered certain information on federal and state politicians. These statements by the Constitutional Security agency confirmed a report made by the "Suedkurier." Among the politicians affected were said to include Minister President Teufel (CDU). [note: A Minister President is the equivalent of a US state governor.] Constitutional Security President Helmut Rannacher reported yesterday on a written communication of April 1991 which a member of the Scientology organization is alleged to have forwarded to the Munich resident Scientology secret service in Germany. It falsely asserted that Teufel was related by marriage to a Scientologist who is known by name. Scientology dismissed the accusation from Stuttgart. They said it amounted to a "stale joke just in time for the summer lull."