>– Polish President Komorowski Invites Aging General Jaruzelski, “Ex”-Communist Politicians, Secret Police Informer Walesa to Attend National Security Council Meeting
– National Security Council Discusses December Visit by Russian President Medvedev
– Communist General Jaruzelski Imposed Martial Law 1981-1983, Assumed Post of President in 1989 during Transition from Single-Party Rule
On November 17, World Net Daily articulated the anxieties of many observers of “post”-communist Eastern European politics, namely, “Why has Poland’s ruling Civic Platform meekly submitted to Moscow’s hasty explanations concerning the demise of President Lech Kaczynski’s airplane over western Russia this past April?”
Kaczynski was staunchly anti-communist and pro-Washington in his orientation. Aboard the Polish Air Force jet, which crashed in foggy conditions near Smolensk, home to a Russian military base, were a number of high-ranking Polish leaders, including the country’s top generals from all branches. Russia’s leadership continues to harbor grievances against its former Soviet-era satellite, going so far as to carry out in tandem with Belarus a mock nuclear attack against Poland in September 2009.
On November 17, armed with a petition signed by 300,000 Polish citizens, former foreign minister Anna Fotyga and parliamentary committee chairman Antoni Macierewicz, who represents the Law and Justice Party, arrived in Washington. There they sought official US support for the creation of an international commission to investigate the April 10 crash.
Harvey Kushner, a counter-terrorism expert who did consulting work for some of the officials who died with the Polish president, told WND he met Fotyga and Macierewicz the day they arrived in the USA. Kushner stated:
There are so many unanswered questions that for the Russians to take foul play off the table so quickly into the investigation is quite suspicious. There’s nothing in history like this. Where you have an airliner that goes down with such important people, and within a matter of hours the Russians announce that it was pilot error or someone was in the cockpit. This is sheer nonsense.
Accompanying the petition was a letter written by Law and Justice party chief Jaroslaw Kaczynski, twin brother of the late president. In an interview with Poland’s TVN24, Macierewicz explained that Poles are “concerned over the investigation, [its] lack of clarity and growing difficulties” and “the absence of any information and the elimination of evidence.”
Kushner noted that both Moscow and Prime Minister Donald Tusk stridently oppose Jaroslaw’s appeal to the Americans. Kaczynski has accused the Polish and Russian governments of “completely abandoning” the investigation and has called on Tusk and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski (pictured above) to resign. Polish government spokesman Pavel Gras threatened: “It is absolutely scandalous, on the verge of treason.” Kushner, who believes the Polish government’s response is scandalous, queries: “What do they have to hide?” Indeed.
Russian reports immediately after the crash, for example, contend that the Polish pilot, confronted with fog, ignored four commands from Russian air-traffic control to divert the flight to Moscow or Minsk. Some speculated that Kaczynski, distrustful of the Russians, may have ordered the plane to land anyway.
Kushner denounced the Russian investigation as “sloppy at best,” enumerating a number of investigative “transgressions”: 1) forensic evidence has not been properly examined, 2) the Russian company that normally refurbished the plane is leading the technical investigation, “casting a cloud over the entire probe,” 3) the crash site was not “locked down” until only a couple of weeks ago, and 4) Russian soldiers who were supposed to secure the scene stole credit cards from the victims, sliced up parts of the plane and smashed windows, and left the wreckage exposed to the elements for six months.
Kushner alleges that the Russians still possess the Tu-154’s “black boxes,” but according to the MSM Moscow handed over the flight data recorders in late May. Furthermore, he continued, families of the victims want to exhume the bodies, but the Polish government has rejected their requests. “The investigation,” he argues, “was carried out under the Chicago Convention, which is for civilian aircraft, even though there were NATO commanders on the plane.”
In June, US Congressman Peter King (Republican-New York) submitted a resolution calling for an international commission to investigate the crash, but he failed to obtain any support from his peers. According to Kushner, most US legislators are not enthusiastic about pressing for a third-party investigation since Warsaw itself is nonchalant about the whole affair. He issued a stern warning at the end of his WND interview:
Congress should pay attention to it, not for the tragedy that befell Poland, the decapitation of their leaders almost 70 years after the Katyn massacre, but because it’s in the vital national security interest of the United States to support an ally in a region of the world that is crucial for U.S. geopolitically.
The fact that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin promptly installed himself as chief investigator should have tipped off the West that the truth behind President Kaczynski’s fiery demise would remain buried in the forest of Katyn.
The lack of unity among Poland’s politicians with respect to Warsaw-Moscow relations and Poland’s communist past was evident on Wednesday when the National Security Council met upon President Komorowski’s invitation. The purpose of the summons was to discuss the forthcoming trip to Poland of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in December. Following Lech Kaczynski’s death, parliamentary speaker Komorowski became acting president of Poland and, then, in July won the country’s presidential election.
Komorowski was forced to defend his decision to invite former communist leader General Wojciech Jaruzelski to the pow-wow. “I can’t change history,” Komorowski huffed, after meeting with the National Security Council, which included the usual roster of past and current presidents and prime ministers, past and current foreign and defense ministers, and parliamentary faction leaders. General Jaruzelski, who imposed martial law on Poland between 1981 and 1983, was head of state for about a year and a half following the first “free” elections in June 1989. “I have to be consistent,” Komorowski added.
Not surprisingly, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who did not attend the meeting, criticized Komorowski for inviting Jaruzelski. Former president Lech Walesa also frowned upon the general’s presence, but attended the meeting anyway. Jaruzelski’s invitation was also criticized by members of Komorowski’s own Civic Platform, such as Senator Jan Rulewski, who told the Polska Times daily: “The general is not an expert on present day Polish-Russian relations. His knowledge and skills go back to the Soviet Union, and not the new Russia.”
In addition to secret police informer Walesa and Jaruzelski, the following past heads of state and government were present at the national security meeting: “ex”-communists like Aleksander Kwasniewski and Jozef Oleksy, and communist-controlled politicians like Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Jan Krzysztof Bielecki, and Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz.
Neither Komorowski nor Tusk, despite their “fishy” friendliness with Moscow and Jaruzelski, are overtly connected to the formerly ruling communist Polish United Workers’ Party. However, like many “center-right” Polish politicians, they began their careers in parties that trace their origin to the Solidarity trade union, like Civic Platform. In the early 1980s, according to KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn in New Lies for Old (1984), Solidarity contained more than 2 million active communist party cadres, which raises the issue of communist party control over Poland’s Cold War-era “dissident” movement.
In December Komorowski will also travel to the White House to meet US President Barack Hussein Obama.