Bülow, a member of the Bülow family, served as secretary of state in the GermanFederal Ministry of Defence (1976-1980) and Minister for Research and Technology (1980-1982), both during the ChancellorHelmut Schmidt administration, and was regarded as a "rising star" of German politics at the time. He served for 25 years as an SPD member of the German parliament (1969-1994). In the late eighties and early nineties, he served on the parliamentary committee on intelligence services ("Parlamentarischer Kontrollausschuss"). This committee supervises German intelligence agencies and has access to classified information. In the early nineties, Bülow also served as SPD ranking member of the Schalck-Golodkowski investigation committee, a task that first led him to inquire into white collar crime in connection with Eastern intelligence services, and later also into what he labels "criminal activities" of Western intelligence services. His first major publication dealing with this realm, In the Name of the State (German: Im Namen des Staates) is a heavily referenced and extensive study focusing mostly on the CIA. Since leaving the Bundestag, he has largely left the SPD's political loop.
Planning the attacks was a master deed, in technical and organizational terms. To hijack four big airliners within a few minutes and fly them into targets within a single hour and doing so on complicated flight routes! That is unthinkable, without backing from the secret apparatuses of state and industry. Tagesspiegel, 13. Jan. 2002 
^ abTagesspiegel, January 13, 2002, contained an interview in which Bülow was asked whether he still kept in contact with old SPD companions like Egon Bahr and Helmut Schmidt, and replied "There are no close contacts anymore. I wanted to go to the last SPD party congress, but I was sick."