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Polish secret services

POLAND: Washing the Dirty Laundry

PRAGUE, Jun 11 (IPS) - The former conservative government's abuse of the Polish secret services for ideological and political aims has left Polish intelligence in complete disarray.

Last year's October election put an end to the conservative rule of Jaroslaw Kaczynski and his Law and Justice (PiS) party in a vote comfortably won by the liberal Civic Platform (PO) of current Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

Prosecutors and inquiry commissions are investigating alleged abuse of powers in various intelligence organisations as the government prepares for a thorough reform of the seemingly impenetrable secret services.

Polish secret service agencies are accused of serving partisan interests, falsifying documents, leaking sensitive information, abusing bugging devices, enticement to corruption and in general of violating internal rules.

Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza claims that wiretapping increased dramatically before the latest elections, and was even applied against journalists, or doctors suspected of performing abortions.

All seems to have served the ideological purposes of the staunchly Catholic, anti-communist and anti-liberal Polish cabinet of Kaczynski.

"Their theory was that a rectangle of post-communists, secret services, businessmen and politicians intersect in the post-communist reality and, because there wasn't a proper decommunisation (ridding the state of communist influence), they have accumulated power to the extent that by working together they can control the whole state," Andrzej Bobinski, programme coordinator at the Centre for International Relations in Warsaw told IPS.

Now suspicions grow that the outgoing cabinet, which did not expect to lose, tried and is still trying to conceal proof of its activities while in power.

Only two days after losing the elections, Kaczynski issued an order establishing a procedure to eliminate Internal Security Agency (ABW) internal documents, leading to suspicions that he was opening the door for erasing evidence of illegal operations.

The tragic outcome of a particularly high-profile operation of the ABW remains shrouded in mystery.

In April 2007 ABW officers entered the home of former left-wing minister Barbara Bilda, with a camera crew waiting outside. Actions of the civilian secret services were at times televised as a public demonstration of the righteousness of the ruling camp's struggle against 'post-communist cliques'.

As her house was being searched for evidence of corruption, officers claim Bilda went into the bathroom and shot herself. No official charges had been pressed against her, and a parliamentary inquiry commission is now looking into the circumstances of her death, and the dubious judicial procedures and accusations that preceded it.

The previous government's sensationalistic actions did not end with its term, as key figures faithful to the conservative camp remain in influential positions.

Shortly after the elections, several documents on the ongoing vetting of secret service personnel were copied and moved to the Presidential Chancellery, the new political stronghold of the right. Government officials have not been allowed to see the documents at their new location, and prosecutors are now dealing with the case.

The former prime minister's twin brother and PiS member Lech Kaczynski remains the country's president.

A parliamentary committee on the secret services has recommended a drastic reduction in the activities of the SKW since it considers that the disappearance of documents endangers the lives of Polish soldiers, secret agents and informants.

PiS politicians accuse the current authorities of harassing intelligence officers and jeopardising the previous governments' achievements in ridding the secret services of post-communist and Russian influence.

This was mainly done by disbanding the Military Information Service (WSI) in 2006, as the right believed its communist-era links with Russian secret services and the fact that many Polish officers received training in Moscow posed a threat to national security.

The move, which at the time was supported by Tusk's party, is thought to have severely weakened the security of Polish troops and officials in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Last October Polish ambassador to Iraq General Edward Pietrzyk miraculously survived a bomb attack on his armoured car, which many interpreted as the indirect consequence of a sudden absence of Polish intelligence in the field.

"It is believed that because they got rid of so many people there wasn't the manpower to create a service with the needed experience, which in Poland you only had if you served under the communists," Bobinski told IPS.

The PiS quickly set up the new Military Intelligence Service, recruiting also right-wing journalists, boy scouts and foresters who had received little education. The service saw record-speed promotions and in some instances a mere 17 hours of training.

Polish intelligence hit a new low in March when secret agents irresponsibly revealed their identities by posting pictures of themselves during their Afghan missions on a social networking website


Re: Polish secret services

Since Platforma came to power ...

A criminal was put in charge of ABW !!
ABW has been forced to scrap its investigations into Tusk's friends.
ABW officers have had pay cuts.

Now review the original article and shout BS!!!!!!!

Re: Polish secret services

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Re: Polish secret services

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