Posted by Richard Willett - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 5 April 2024

German Intelligence Chief Defends his Efforts to Police the “Thought and Speech Patterns” of Citizens

The German Interior Ministry continues to defend its controversial and widely criticised plans to restrict the speech, travel and economic activity of political dissidents. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), our domestic intelligence service and political police, have sacrificed substantial popular regard in the face of this campaign. According to a poll published last month, a plurality of Germans believe that the BfV is being misused for political purposes. The sentiment is prominent across all parties, except of course for the Greens, who believe that all is well with the Federal Republic.

The creepy, dissolute and rodent-looking BfV chief, Thomas Haldenwang, has taken to the pages of the Frankfurter Allgemeine to defend the conduct of his office and his plans to shape the “thought and speech patterns” of ordinary people through official repression.

The thing about “freedom of expression,” Haldenwang explains, is that it “is not carte blanche for enemies of the constitution”.

Recently, public discourse has repeatedly featured headlines and articles calling the work of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) into question. There is talk of an “opinion police,” a “language police” and even a “Government security service”. They say the BfV discredits political opinions “on command” as extremist as soon as they depart from the social and political mainstream, or when they embark upon criticism of Government action or the work of the democratic parties.

One thing should be unmistakably clear: freedom of opinion prevails in Germany – and that is a good thing! Freedom of opinion is a fundamental element of our constitution and one of the greatest assets of our liberal democratic order. As such, it is also protected by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

“Freedom of opinion,” Haldenwang explains, is what “distinguishes a democracy from an autocracy or a dictatorship.” In the Federal Republic even “offensive, absurd and radical opinions” are protected.

Well, kind of:

[E]ven freedom of expression has its limits. The outermost boundaries are set by criminal law, for example with regard to punishable propaganda offences or incitement to hatred. Even within the limits of criminal law, however, expressions of opinion, despite their legality, can become relevant for constitutional protection. [emphasis mine, here and below]

In theory, you can think and say whatever you want in Germany, so long as what you think and say does not violate the law. Within the range of legal expression, however, there is a grey area that Haldenwang and his minders in the Interior Ministry get to define. If you enter this danger zone, you may end up inviting the unwelcome attention of the political police even though you have not broken any laws.

Put less charitably, there is clearly illegal speech on the one hand, and on the other hand there is speech which is alas not yet illegal, but which existing authorities will use all the administrative tools at their disposal to dissuade you from. Such speech, we might say, is pre-illegal, and only reluctantly permitted because the hurdles to banning it are too substantial.

Specifically, you become susceptible to surveillance and harassment by the BfV whenever you express opinions that suggest you are interested in “eliminat[ing] the free democratic order” of the Federal Republic. Your mere freedom of expression is “not a licence to evade observation and evaluation” by the political police if there are “factual indications” that your thought is tending in unconstitutional directions.

Read More: German Intelligence Chief Defends his Efforts to Police the “Thought and Speech Patterns” of Citizens

The Dream

From our advertisers