Teaching Our Polish Partners in Torture: State Secrets
I had been predicting for weeks before Obama went to Poland that the Poles would move to quash their investigation into the black site at which KSM and others were tortured.
And sure enough, that appears to be what happened.
The first move actually happened before Obama arrived in Poland: three days before Obama got there, the AP reported that one of the two prosecutors in the investigation, Jerzy Mierzewski, had been sacked.
On Wednesday, it became clear why Mierzewski had been sacked: because he was preparing charges against the politicians who had partnered with the CIA.
Polish state prosecutors are considering bringing charges against members of the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) for their alleged involvement in secret CIA prisons located on Polish soil between 2002-2005. The prisons were allegedly used to torture terrorist suspects from al-Qaeda.
Officials from the leftist SLD government in power at the time, including former Prime Minister Leszek Miller, may be charged with violating Poland’s constitution, helping to illegally imprison a number of people and with participating in crimes against humanity.
That’s according to documents released by daily Gazeta Wyborcza, which show that former deputy prosecutor Jerzy Mierzewski, who was recently removed from the investigation, wanted to press these charges.
And now AP reports that Poland is responding in the same way the US would: to declare state secrets and pursue the whistleblowers.
Adam Borzyszkowski, a prosecutor in Gdansk, said his office would question the reporter and editors at the newspaper due to “state secrets being leaked” from the main investigation. He said those steps come amid an ongoing 10-month investigation into other media reports that leaked sensitive information.
Back when I was reading lots of samizdat in grad school, it was clear the US genuinely served as a model for Eastern European activists (whether or not we should have been a model is another question).
I guess we still serve as such a model. Only rather than serving as a model of democracy and creativity, we’re now showing others how to use state secrets to hide torture and other crimes.