In a fit of unbridled denial, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier vehemently denied knowing anything about the CIA abduction of German citizen Khaled el-Masri during a parliamentary inquiry held in Berlin about the matter. Steinmeier was the head of the Chancellery under Gerhard Schröder at the time of the abduction.

“Never heard about it,” he said. “What abduction? I’m a busy man, you know. What’s this guy’s name? El-Masri? No way. Never heard of him. And I deny that that’s a name I could have easily forgotten, too. You can’t deny that el-Masri isn’t exactly what you would call a typical German name, now could you? But I bet you I could. Maybe later.”

Steinmeier then went on to deny a number of other things, including ever having worked for Gerhard Schröder or even knowing Joschka Fischer, who also vehemently denied having any knowledge about the abduction during the hearing.

“I never saw this man before in my life,” Steinmeier said indignantly, when hearing Fischer’s testimony. “And I don’t see why his denial should be given anymore credibility than mine should.”

“And look,” he continued later, having calmed down and lowered his voice a bit. “I’ve been in this business for quite some time now and you all know the deal. Any accusations that the German government could have possibly ever aided the CIA in some kind of kidnapping like this, or even actively looked away, are absolutely scandalous and therefore, well, deniable.”

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