Is it a coincidence that Udo Ulfkotte died of a heart attack after releasing his CIA exposé?
Conspiracy theorists would like to believe that his death involved a sinister plot. There is little to find out about Ulfkotte unless you peruse conspiracy theorist websites, or speak the German language. The English language mainstream media is practically silent.
Who was Ulfkotte? Was he a paranoid racist? Was he cashing in on the hostile political climate for profit through his book Gekaufte Journalisten? The English version, Journalists for Hire, is due for publication May this year. Or did he really provide an exposé on the underbelly of how the world actually runs?
Ulfkotte died of a heart attack on January 31 this year
In 2014 Gekaufte Journalisten hit the bookstores. The time frame between the events is what conspiracy theorists tout as suspicious. Ironic as Ulfkotte himself was a conspiracy theorist extraordinaire. Looking for information surrounding details of his death is not easy. He was an exceedingly private and paranoid person.
When journalist Jan Fleischhauer sought to interview him in 2015, it was quite a challenge. The Der Spiegel journalist explained that Ulfkotte wasn’t listed anywhere.
He had to track him through his publisher to obtain a phone number. Then the local priest and mayor had to direct Fleischhauer to his forest fortress home, situated in the middle of a lake.
He claimed numerous illnesses throughout his life
He claimed to have suffered several heart attacks. He experienced a ski accident that caused him serious injury. He even professed to have had cancer, and this got him fired from his job at Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).
There were also many claims of on the job wounds he had endured during his stationing in the Middle East. He lived in Jordan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Oman, Afghanistan, and Iraq as a correspondent during the 80s and 90s.
This could suggest that his final fatal heart attack in January this year was the cherry on top of a lifetime of ill health. But there is no way of knowing.
Assumptions are all that abound
Anecdotes, not dissimilar to the anecdotes he would give about his bad health during his life. Colleagues had noted that for one injury, he would report a different reason for it, to different people. No one knew what was true or false.
Ulfkotte was a darling of the ultra right wing arena. A lucrative market for book sales. He notoriously gave a speech for the intensely anti-immigrant organization Pegida, on the topic of Islam in 2015. So popular with this group were his anecdotes, Gekaufte Journalisten spent 18 weeks on the bestseller list in Der Spiegel.
His bestseller made controversial and damning claims against global secret services agencies. Most hard hit by Ulfkotte’s accusations were the CIA and the German Intelligence agency (BND). Conspiracy theorists claim that it was the CIA that covered up his murder with the claim of a natural heart attack.
Outspoken on Islam, Ulfkotte claimed to have converted briefly to the religion while stationed in Afghanistan
Having been an atheist from the age of 21, he ultimately returned to Christianity, the religion of his family. During the period where he claimed Muslims tried to convert him, he believed this made him an expert on Islamism.
He claimed that at the time, the Muslim cohorts he lived with made wild claims for world domination. When he returned to the west, the increase in Muslim immigration from these nations fed his paranoia. He feared that they had substance, as he saw Germany changing to suit Islam.
But this too is a matter of his perspective. Ulfkotte wants you to take his word for it. He certainly lived a paranoid life. And he was able to provide a lifestyle for himself via the proceeds of his work as a journalist and author. And whether these are all the coincidence, and in reality, there is a deeper exposé that he provided, is not clear.
All that we find from looking into the life and death of Ulfkotte are more questions. In a world rife with fake news, questioning everything is all that remains pure.
Sometimes thinking that a singular perspective is the only one, is what leads us down mistaken paths. We all, after all, view the proverbial elephant from different angles.
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