Sunday, March 23, 2008

Stasi Dokumentet. Del 1.

Del 1 av det tidigare hemliga Stasi Dokumentet.En summering.

Part I (history and legal context)

Part I of this expertise offers historical context of the creation and rationale of the BStU, sketching the transformation of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in 1989/90. It describes the MfS’s infiltration of the Citizens’ Committees that tried to prevent the destruction or loss of Stasi files during the change in East Germany and reports on the continuity of employment of former MfS staff members in the BStU file archives. These included former high-ranking MfS officers who were nominally retained for their experience and expertise, allowing them to secure resources and jobs and to make particularly sensitive files “disappear”.

The authors cite the case of former MfS general Edgar Braun, who removed files that could have been damaging to West German intelligence services as well as documents related to training provided by the Stasi’s HA XXII (Main Department XXII, Counter-Terrorism) to Abu Nidal’s Fatah Revolutionary Council.

The authors discuss the controversy over the fate of Stasi files during and after the negotiations for German reunification in 1990–91. After the East German elections in March 1990, newly appointed minister of the interior Peter-Michael Diestel was charged with dissolving the Stasi structures. He subsumed all further work in this regard under the aegis of his ministry and relegated the Citizens’ Committees to a consultative function. After public criticism of this approach, responsibility for Stasi dissolution was transferred from Diestel’s ministry to a Volkskammer (People’s Chamber) parliamentary committee headed by deputy Joachim Gauck in June 1990. This committee formulated a law, passed in August 1990, mandating the retention of Stasi files as well as investigation of their political, historical, and legal implications. The law included a right-to-know for victims of Stasi surveillance.

During this transition period, the archives continued to be controlled by MfS staff; an unknown number of files were confiscated by the GDR prosecution service, supposedly in preparation of charges against former Stasi chief Erich Mielke.

In view of issues discussed further below, relating to responsibility for oversight failures, special attention is given to the legal framework of the BStU, which was constituted by a law passed in December 1991 as an independent legal entity under the auspices of the BKM (which commissioned this analysis). The BStU is one of the most independent entities under administration by the German federal government. Although it is required to report to the parliamentary committee on Culture and Media at least biennially, the authors point out that the Bundestag has no real oversight over, or influence on, the activities of the BStU, which is not subordinated to direct administration by any ministry. Only the government cabinet can supervise its activities, raising constitutional issues as to public accountability.

The broad-ranging independence of the BStU is justified by the necessity to preserve its freedom from political interference; however, the authors (citing the published legal opinion of author and retired judge H. H. Klein in footnote 60) question whether the lack of parliamentary oversight can be reconciled with the Basic Law of Germany. 

Originalet som ar pa tyska kommer att laggas ut pa natet sa snart jag hittat en forvaringsplats att lagga ut hela texten pa.

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