Udo Ulfkotte, 55, is a long-time German journalist. Formerly an editor for the German main daily newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, he now publishes a magazine, Whistleblower, which reports on topics not covered by the German media.
Born into a Christian family, Ulfkotte abandoned Christianity by the age of 21 and became an atheist. While reporting from and living in Afghanistan, he converted to Islam. He has abandoned Islam and is now a born again Christian.
In 2014, Ulfkotte published his book, Gekaufte Journalisten (Bought Journalists), in which he claims that the CIA and other secret services pay money to journalists to report a particular story in a certain light.
In an interview on RT (Russia Today) published on Oct. 18, 2015, Udo Ulfkotte said that he and the journalists of other countries regularly are bribed and “brainwashed” by intelligence agencies, especially the CIA, to write reports that are pro-American, pro-European and anti-Russian, instead of the truth.
Below is my transcription of Ulfkotte’s interview:
“I’ve been a journalist for about 25 years, and I was educated to lie, to betray and not to tell the truth to the public. But seeing right now within the last months how . . . the German and American media tries to bring war to the people of Europe, to bring war to Russia, this is a point of no return . . . I’m going to stand up and say it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do and have done in the past because they are bribed to betray the people, not only in Germany but all over Europe.
The reason [for] writing this book [Bought Journalists] was that I am very fearful of a new war in Europe, and I don’t like to have this situation again because war is never coming from itself. There is always people behind it to push for war, and this is not only politicians, this is journalists too. And I just have written in the book how we have betrayed in the past our readers, just to push for war, and because I don’t want this anymore. I’m fed up with this propaganda.
We live in a banana republic and not in a democratic country where we have press freedom, where we have human rights . . . . If you see the German media, especially my colleagues who day by day write against the Russians, who are in trans-Atlantic organizations, and who are supported by the United States to do so. People like me . . . I became honorary citizen of the State of Oklahoma in the United States. Just why? Just because I write pro-American . . . I was supported by the Central Intelligence Agency, by the CIA. Why? Because I should be pro-American. I’m fed up with it, I don’t want to do it anymore. And so I’ve just written a book not to earn money. No. It will cause a lot of trouble for me just to give the people in this country, Germany, and Europe and all over the world, just to give them a glimpse of a view what goes on behind the closed doors . . . .
Now you ask what have I done for intelligence agencies? You see, most of the journalists you’ll see in foreign countries, they claim to be journalists, and they might be journalists, European or American journalists. But many of them, like me in the past, are [what the Americans call] ‘non-official cover’. I have been non-official cover. Non-official cover means . . . you do work for foreign intelligence agency, you help them if they want you to help them, but . . . when they find out that you’re not only a journalist but a spy too, they will never say, ‘Oh, this was one of our guys.’ They will not know you. That [is the meaning of] non-official cover.
So I have helped them in several situations, and I feel ashamed for that too now, like I feel ashamed that I have worked for a very recommended newspaper like the Frankfurter Allgemeine because I was bribed by millionaires, I was bribed by the Americans not to report exactly the truth . . . . We were all educated to write pro-European, pro-American, but please, not pro-Russian. So I’m very sorry for this, but this is not what I understand for democracy and for press freedom. I’m very sorry for all that . . . .
Germany is still a kind of a colony of the United States. [This is seen in many ways. For example], the majority of Germans don’t want to have nukes in our country, but we still have American nukes. So we are still a kind of a colony of the Americans, and being a colony, it is very easy to approach young journalists through . . . trans-Atlantic organizations. All journalists, from really respected and recommended big German newspapers, magazines, radio stations, TV stations, they are all members or guests of those big trans-Atlantic organizations. And in these trans-Atlantic organizations, you are approached to be pro-American. There is nobody coming to you and say, ‘Well, we are the Central Intelligence Agency. Would you like to work for us.’ No! This is not . . . how it happens. What they do, these trans-Atlantic organizations, is they invite you [to visit] the United States. They pay for . . . all your expenses in everything. So you’re bribed to get more and more corrupt because they make good contacts. [But what you don’t know is that] those good contacts are non-official covers — people working for Central Intelligence Agency or some other American agency. So you make friends, you think they are friends, and you cooperate with them. They ask you could you do me this favor, could you do me that favor. And so your brain more and more is brainwashed through these guys.
Your question was if this is only the case with German journalists. I think this is especially the case with British journalists because they have a much closer relationship [with the United States]. It is especially the case with Israelis, of course. [Also] Swiss French journalists . . . Australian journalists . . . journalists from New Zealand, from Taiwan. Many countries. Countries from the Arab world, like Jordan for example, like Hamas, the Sultanate of Oman. There’s many countries where this happens, where you find people who claim they are respected journalists, but if you look behind them, you’ll find they are puppets on a string of the Central Intelligence Agency . . . .
Sometimes the intelligence agencies, they come to your office and want you to write an article. I give you an example not from other journalists but from me myself . . . .
The German foreign intelligence, Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), a sister organization of the Central Intelligence Agency, was founded by the American intelligence agency. One day, the BND came to my office at the Frankfurter Allgemeine in Frankfurt. They wanted me to write an article about Libya and about Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. I had absolutely no secret informations regarding Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and Libya, but they gave me all these secret informations and they just wanted me to write, to sign the article with my name. I did that. But [this] article that was published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine originally came from the BND, from the German foreign intelligence agency. So do you really think that this is journalism — intelligence agencies writing articles?
That article I have reprinted in part in my book. The article was [about] how Libya and Colonel Muammar Gaddafi . . . secretly tried to build a poison gas factory . . . . It was a story that was printed worldwide two days later. But I had no information on that. It was the intelligence agency that wanted me to write this article. But this is not the way that journalism should work — that intelligence agencies . . . decide what is printed and what not.
[What would happen] if I say no? I give you . . . a very good example if you say no. We have a rescue unit in Germany with helicopters for traffic accidents . . . . They call themselves the Yellow Angels. There was one guy who didn’t want to cooperate. He was a pilot of the helicopter service of the Yellow Angels in Germany. This guy said no to the foreign intelligence service, the BND. When they approached him and wanted him to work as non-official cover for the German foreign intelligence agency . . . what happened was he lost his job and the court in Germany . . . the judge decided that they were right because such a guy could not be trusted. He was kicked off his job because he didn’t cooperate with foreign intelligence service. So I knew what would happen if I would not cooperate with intelligence services . . . .
Six times my house was house-searched because I was accused by the German public prosecutor . . . of leaking state secrets. Six times house searched. They hoped that I wouldn’t do that ever again, but I think it’s worse. The truth will come out one day, the truth won’t die. I don’t mind what will happen. I’ve had three heart attacks. I have no children. So if they want to bring me to court or to prison, it’s worth it — for the truth.”
H/t “Barry Soetoro, Esq.”
UPDATE (May 13, 2017):
On January 13, 2017, Udo Ulfkotte died from a heart attack. He was only 56 years old. (Spiegel)