"...It is intolerable that the German government believed it had the right to free a murderer of an American serviceman in order to get back a German convert to Islam, who had lived in Iraq for years, married (and divorced) an Iraqi, and apparently had gone as islamically native as one possibly could. Just because she had been involved -- so the German story goes -- in arranging or attempting to arrange a meeting with Zarqawi or his group, hardly makes her more than a one-time ad-hoc informant.
"There are three possible versions of the Osthoff story. One is that she was not involved in any intelligence work, and that the German government, stung by American criticism, is now pretending that she was some kind of intelligence agent to justify their pusillanimity. The second is that she had gone native, married a Muslim, became a Muslim, and identified with Islam, but was willing to arrange a meeting in order to help the Sunni Muslims obtain a hearing for their supposed demands from others who were working for German intelligence. But the third version of the tale is one that the Germans have not yet given, perhaps because it is false, or perhaps because it is true (and one hopes, for their sake, and to justify their action, that it is true): that Osthoff was not simply being asked to arrange this meeting given her obvious sympathies and identification with the locals, but rather was, and had always been, an intelligence agent for the Germans in Iraq.
"Were that to have been the case, then obtaining her release by freeing Hamadi, the torturer and killer of Robert Stethem, might have been explicable and, for some, perhaps even justifiable. But only in that case."
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Why Did Germany Release A Murderer?
From the January 11, 2006 edition of Jihad Watch, Hugh Fitzgerald comments on the release of Robert Stethem's murderer: