One of the nastiest men in Europe, Anders Rasmussen, has been appointed as NATO Secretary General. To achieve this Angela Merkel, Rasmussen’s most vociferous supporter, blackmailed Turkey into agreement by saying that otherwise Turkey’s prospect of entry into the EU would be affected. (The subtext is actually that Merkel has in fact no intention of ever permitting Turkish entry into the EU, as the prospect of all Turks having the right of settlement in Germany is anathema to her party.)
Insofar as Rasmussen’s appointment has been mentioned at all in the UK media, the only background given has been his support for the publication of the “Danish Cartoons” of the Prophet Mohammed. That is a surefire way to cheap popularity, as most in Europe – myself included – will maintain the right to freedom of speech. You only have to look at the scary fundamentalist Christians in the US to understand that it is essential that we maintain the right to poke fun at religion and the religous.
But the truth is Rasmussen has a very limited concept of freedom of speech. An enthusiastic follower of George Bush, like his friend Tony Blair he told outright lies to the Danish people about the existence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. He also lied about the content of secret intelligence reports the Danes had on Iraqi WMD.
Unlike Tony Blair, Rasmussen faced a secret intelligence service of some integrity. A very brave and honourable man, Major Frank Grevil, stepped forward to tell the Danish people that Rasmussen had lied about the content of intelligence reports.
Rasmussen did not show his famed support for freedom of speech in the case of Major Frank Grevil, who was jailed for telling the Danish people the truth and has only just been released. Rasmussen survived the scandal by winning the support of his parliamentary majority for the argument that he did not have to resign as he had not lied in parliament, only in a broadcast to his people.
There was dismay throughout Scandinavia at the prospect of Rasmussen’s appointment. The leading and generally conservative, pro-NATO Norwegian daily, Aftenposten, on 26 March published an editorial calling Rasmussen a “liar” and a “simplistic militarist”, and asking why Obama would support the appointment of one of Bush’s closest allies in the attack on Iraq – which is rather a good question.
In fact Rasmussen’s appointment is the apothesosis of the new vision of NATO as an alliance to enforce Western control over energy sources and supply routes in the Islamic world. And I challenge you to find any of the information I have just given you in the UK or US mainstream media.
Major Frank Grevil was this year, on his release from prison, presented with the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence, voted by a jury of former senior US intelligence officials and former winners, of whom I am very proud to be one.