An Editorial Comment
by Otto Diederichs
The re-creation of secret services, euphemistically termed secret intelligence services in the language of the political arena in Germany, took place in post-war Germany (both East and West) with remarkable celerity. Establishing control mechanisms for these agencies proved considerably more difficult. It wasn’t until 1956 that the parties of Germany’s Bundestag succeeded in forcing Chancellor Adenauer (CDU) to accede to the creation of a so-called „Body of Confidential Men“ which was subsequently informed about selected secret service matters on a completely sporadic basis. From this body today’s parliamentary control bodies finally evolved under numerous difficulties. (In the former GDR, for instance, no control beyond the state party SED (Socialist Unity Party) ever came into existence.) Yet, how effective can such parliamentary control bodies which are forced – with the exception of a few domestic affairs committees – to meet exclusively in closed session be at all? This special issue of CILIP attempts top deal with these questions.
Parliamentary Control of the Agencies
by Wolf-Dieter Narr
The question as to who will control the controllers is a question which has plagued government from its inception. Quis custodiet custodem – who protects against the protectors is a question which governments in roman times also were forced to deal with. For modern states this question is all the more urgent. This necessity begs all the more for an answer to the extent that the protections which a state provides for its citizens become clandestine. Who can guarantee that the state protects against dangers which it has created itself? The author, a political scientist at the Free University of Berlin, attempts to deal with this elusive question.
Controlling Intelligence Activities through an Opaque Glass Window
by Otto Diederichs
In the early post-war years, the intelligence services were under direct con-trol of the federal chancellor. Finally in 1956 the parties in the Bundestag succeeded in forcing Chancellor Konrad Adenauer (CDU) to set a „body of confidential persons“. Its task was to control the activities of the successor to the „Organisation Gehlen“ (1945-1955), the Federal Intelligence Service, which had so renamed up a year earlier. However, no real control ever took place: The body only held sessions when the chancellor felt it necessary or delegated the task to one of his cabinet members. Both the substance and extent of reporting was exclusively controlled by the federal government. It wasn’t until the late seventies that the individual states as well as the Bundestag installed their own parliamentary control committees with their own rights and duties. By this time, however, real investigatory rights had been effectively eradicated in parliamentary committees preparing the legislation by conservative politicians and the intelligence service lobbyists.
Internal Affairs Committees, Parliamentary Control Committees, G 10 Control Bodies and G 10 Commissions
by Martina Kant
A majority of the work of parliaments takes place in its committees. Here is where preliminary discussion of new legislation, budgets, etc. takes place and where legislation is prepared to be dealt with in plenary session. Every department of every state and the federal government are controlled by such committees in parliament. The home secretaries are controlled by domestic affairs committees, the G 10 committees and the parliamentary control com-mittees. By converse, the G 10 commission is a committee set up by parliament but it operates independently of that same parliament and thus not subject to its control. The article summarises the tasks and the authorities of these control bodies.
From the Diary of an Intelligence Service Controller in Bremen
by Martin Thomas
Reporting on the activities of confidential oversight committees becomes all the more difficult and restricted due to the fact that its sessions are not open to the public and are considered secret and that „the members of the committee are bound to maintain complete confidentiality with regard to all matters which come to the attention during the course of the committee’s activities“. The author thus attempts less to confront us as readers with what was discussed in this or that particular session but rather to provide a more summary review of the problems, issues and results of work in the committee and its general experience over the past eight years. The author, senior intelligence service controller of the Greens, attempts to summarise his experience to date.
Parliamentary Investigating Committees
by Martina Kant
Parliamentary Investigating Committees as ‚muck-raking inquiries‘ are gene-rally called into being by opposition parties in parliament to investigate government mismanagement and failure. With regard to intelligence services and the police they provide an additional control instrument ‚ex post facto‘ e.g. for incidents which have not been sufficiently clarified using normal instruments of parliament control such as inquiries. The article reviews the goals and authority of investigating committees.
The Investigating Commission on Incidents in the Volunteer Police Reserve Force
by Kea Tielemann
In early February of 1993 Berlin’s police chief, Hagen Saberschinsky, esta-blished a commission to investigate Berlin’s volunteer police reserve. The rationale for setting up the commission was the arrest of 12 right-wing ex-tremist arms dealers, five of whom were found to be currently members of the volunteer police reserve force, one a former member of the force, and finally two who had applied for entrance into the force but were subsequently turned down. The subsequent investigation of all personnel hired by two members of the personnel department who were also responsible for the hiring of the apprehended members of the force, it was discovered that 87 of the 207 members subjected to special scrutiny also had records or files in the files of the detective division of the Berlin regular police. subsequently the internal affairs committee in the Berlin parliament then attempted to ascertain if Berlin’s volunteer police reserve force had been especially targeted for subversion by right wing extremists and debated setting up a special investigating committee. The author, a staff member of the Greens/Coalition 90 faction in Berlin’s parliament, presents a review of the past efforts in this area of investigation.
Parliamentary Committees and the Media
by Wolfgang Gast
The commentary on parliamentary investigating committees by the managing editor of Germany’s weekly news magazine ‚Der Spiegel‘ is devastating to say the least: In January of this year, he commented „Parliamentary committees have seldom been able to establish more than their own incapacity.“ It is simply to difficult task to serve truth and be an effective politician at the same time. The division of labour then rises to the surface: Politicians exert power and this needs to be controlled – by the media in as much as politics is ultimately unable to exert any self-control due to the partisan interests involved. The author, himself a journalist, tends to discover a certain reciprocity which make both sides dependent on the other.
A chronology of Parliamentary Investigating Committees in the Federal Republic of Germany dealing with police and intelligence service affairs
by Otto Diederichs
Since the beginning of the FRG approximately 70 parliamentary investigating committees have been convened to investigate police and/or intelligence ser-vice affairs. During the current year alone five such committees have been convened or established. The chronology includes the date the committee was set up and the date of publication of its final report (incl. publication no.).
Where’s the Scandal?
by Jürgen Gottschlich
In October 1991 a German customs official stumbled upon a Soviet tank thus discovering arms trading between Israel’s Mossad and the German intelligence services, the Federal Intelligence Service and the Military Counterin-telligence Service, which had been in operation since 1967. Members of par-liament responsible for the control of such activities had never once been informed during all those years. When the Constitutional Guard of Lower Sa-xony blew a hole in the wall with the aid of the Border Control Group 9 in order to insert an undercover agent into the terrorist‘ ‚Red Army Fraction‘ members of parliament only learned about the incident years later and more by mistake than by design. With regard to the co-operation between the former GDR’s Gold Finger, Alexander Schalck-Golodkowski, and the Federal Intelligence Service, members of parliament were lied to. So where’s the scandal. A commentary.
Basic Elements of Parliamentary Control Mechanisms in selected European Countries
selected by Otto Diederichs
The synopsis briefly describes intelligence service control mechanisms in France, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and Spain.
Controlling Northern Ireland’s Police
by Birgit Schippers
Since the reform of 1970, Northern Ireland’s para-military police force, ‚Royal Ulster Constabulary‘, has become more similar to the police forces in Great Britain in terms of its organisational structure and is bound into a triadic chain of command including the chief constable, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the Police Authority for Northern Ireland. Since the declaration of the armistice by the IRA in August of 1994, the Royal Ulster Constabulary and who will control it have become a matter of public debate. The Royal Ulster Constabulary is currently making an effort to develop a profile which would make it acceptable to both elements of the population, but finds itself burdened by its past. The Police Authority is also engaged in a search for a new identity and seeks to expand its authority. Here, it is confronted by stiff resistance from both the RUC and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. The Chief Constable is completely opposed to the concept of control.
Community Policing in Great Britain
by Phil Scraton
On July 9, 1829 the Metropolitan Police Act went into effect, thus initiating the creation of Great Britain’s first professional police force. The first directive orders issued to the first police „officers“ emphased the „prevention of crime“ in contrast to a reactive enforcement of the laws. To accomplish this goal police officers were encouraged to work closely together with the communities in which they operated. In the years and decades that followed numerous community policing policies have been introduced and later replaced by others. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act of 1984 established consultations with local communities. These efforts have had little effect. The author describes the historical development of the concept of community policing in Great Britain and identifies some of the reasons for its ultimate failure.