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Anti-Russian politicians continue to be embarrassed by leaked recordings of their private conversations. From the NYT:

Tapes Said to Reveal Polish Minister Disparaging U.S. Ties
By RICK LYMAN JUNE 22, 2014

WARSAW — In a new excerpt released on Sunday from secretly recorded conversations involving some of Poland’s highest officials, Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski is quoted as describing his country’s security relationship with the United States as “worth nothing.”

Sikorski is Mr. Anne Applebaum, columnist for the Washington Post.

Indeed, Mr. Sikorski goes on to say in the recording, “It’s even harmful, as it gives Poland a false sense of security.” He also describes the relationship in rather more robust and vulgar terms.

The deepening scandal over the conversations — apparently recorded in the back rooms of restaurants frequented by Poland’s political elite and leaked to a weekly Warsaw newspaper — has threatened the survival of Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s center-right government.

The comments by Mr. Sikorski were especially startling because they would appear to drag the scandal into foreign policy at a time when Poland has become a leading voice in advocating a forceful reaction to Russia’s activities in Ukraine.

The purported conversation between Mr. Sikorski and Jacek Rostowski, a former finance minister of Poland, was said to be recorded at the Amber Room, an elegant restaurant in Warsaw, earlier this year. It would have taken place before the Ukraine crisis erupted, which gave new urgency to Poland’s security ties with the United States.

While much of the early attention has focused on the content of the conversations and its potential effect on the Polish government, an investigation is also underway to determine who made them. Such wiretapping is illegal under Polish law. …

“I am especially concerned about the lack of clarity as to who did the recordings,” …

Rumors have been flying in Warsaw about who might be behind the electronic eavesdropping, which appears to have been underway for more than a year. Potential suspects include political enemies, disgruntled security operatives or Russian agents releasing the tapes now in reaction to Poland’s hard line on Ukraine.

At first, Wprost would not say how it had obtained the recordings, but on Sunday it said that they had been provided by a “businessman.”

Well, that clears everything up. If you can’t trust an Eastern European “businessman,” who can you trust?

“This is private conversation with alcohol,” he said.

Like I’ve said, Putin undoubtedly has wiretaps of Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, and might have some of other NBA teamowners such as Michael Jordan just to share with other world leaders at summit conferences.

I once had somebody tell me that we ought to open a restaurant right next door to our archrival and bug all the booths. “Ha-ha,” I said, “That’s a great idea,” while trying to figure out how to change the subject.

Back in the 1980s, my parents were driving to San Francisco and they stopped in a Silicon Valley restaurant. The restaurant has a fountain in the middle of the dining area that had a decorative fountain in the middle of the dining era that suddenly stopped working. That was fine with my parents, but it appeared to be a dealbreaker for numerous parties around them who couldn’t discuss big deals without white noise to stymie eavesdroppers.

 
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  1. You mean Sterling

  2. If Putin publicly released the recordings of a handful of NBA owners making “racist” comments, it would so distract the country that he’d be able to reconstitute the Soviet Union and we wouldn’t even pay attention. We saw how the news about Sterling brought the country to a stop for three weeks.

  3. Nobody cares about that! How about the way US-Portugal just ended? Tying goal is secret extra time… It’s like they deliberately set it up to remind Americans what a stupid sport soccer is.

  4. I wouldn’t count on that old trick with modern electronics.

  5. Judging by the NYTIMES photo, Sikorski seems to be getting more stereotypically Polish-looking with age.

  6. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    I guess that’s kind of Putin’s advantage, impossible to embarrass back someone who has no shame. Well that and Russia doesn’t really have an alliance relationships to jeopardize. I mean honestly it’s been credibly demonstrated that Putin has accumulated a multi billion dollar fortune despite being a lifetime KGB hatchet man and politician. What could possibly be a more damaging leak than that.

    Putin is the clown pantsing the heavy weight champion of the world and proceeding to do a touchdown dance as if he knocked the champ out. Russians dont ever win because they don’t have the discipline to not start high stepping 25 yards from the end zone.

  7. Steve, maybe you and the other commenters here at the unz review or your previous blogspot site, remember my warnings in the comments section to not trust Radoslaw Sikorski.

    As a Pole, I have been watching and analyzing this guy for years, and as I have stated previously in your comments section, he is not to be trusted. His personal history is littered with skeletons in the closet. His true intentions vs. the statements he has made over the years have clearly shown he is a psychopath/sociopath hypocrite of some sort.

    P.S. Sikorski should get his own disparaging post, by attempting to associate Sikorski with Donald Sterling, you disparage the bottom-dwelling reputation of Mr. Tokowitz, who was also done in with “secret” recorded tapes.

    Once again, as a Pole, I urge everyone to laugh and completely disregard any and all Polish politicians, since you can safely assume they crooks, liars, and traitors.

  8. Also, If Sikorski said this to his associate crook in the government, then he must have said this to his Jewish wife? What is she reported in the washington post?

    P.S. The actual translations to English will be much worse then the initial redacted (for profanity) Polish stenographs. Tomorrow wprost newspaper will release the full audio where Sikorski compares the U.S. – Poland relationship to a blowjob.

  9. I look forward to Anne Applebaum’s next column.

    Modern technology makes it pretty easy for anyone to be recorded, filmed or supervised any time, youhave to act as you are being recorded all the time. “Anything you cay can be used against you”.

  10. Some Chinese guy said that if you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.

  11. More here:

    Sikorski also employs a racially-charged word in the conversation, describing the mentality of Poles as “Murzyńskość.” An English-language Polish outlet described the phrase as meaning “thinking ‘like a Negro.’”

    As per the Polish Wiktionary, Murzyńskość comes from the same word as Moor. Poles have already been joking about this.

    It’s one thing to say “F*** Europe”…

  12. “I once had somebody tell me that we ought to open a restaurant right next door to our archrival and bug all the booths.”

    As Sailer has a thing for paper plates and plastic cups, it would have had to have been a pizza-by-the-slice joint.

  13. Even so… whew, at least he didn’t say anything about the Eskimos.

  14. Emails aren’t safe, phone calls aren’t safe, in-person conversations aren’t safe, what’s left for them to use? Sign language? They could always argue that their hand-motions were misinterpreted by a bad viewing angle.

  15. Kinsleyan gaffe … speaking the truth. America is bad for Poland bc it pretends to defend NATO countries but lacks both will and means to do so. Piles are better with the truth. If they don’t want to be ruled by Russia they need their own nuke force.

    Obama wouldn’t defend his own grannie who raised him. Why would he defend Poland filled with White people?

    Honestly would any sane person trust Obama to defend them? Ever?

  16. Indeed, Mr. Sikorski goes on to say in the recording, “It’s even harmful, as it gives Poland a false sense of security.”

    According to Pat Buchanan Britain and France also gave Poland a false sense of security back in 1939. And that didn’t turn out too well.

  17. When my ad agency would fly a group of us out to Cincinnati for a meeting at Procter & Gamble, the person who arranged the travel would make sure none of us sat next to each other. The reason being that we might talk shop, and someone sitting behind us and listening might be working for another agency and also going to a meeting. This had been known to happen.

  18. So does Sikorski have to resign for his “muckface” remark? Or can Mr.Applebaum get away with more than Mr. Tokowitz?

  19. Anon:

    it’s been credibly demonstrated that Putin has accumulated a multi billion dollar fortune

    What’s been demonstrated is that there is a huge multi-billion dollar fortune on the name of a front man. Look, can Putin access this wealth after he fell from power? Of course not. In other words, this wealth is not Putin’s personal wealth (it’s not on his name, and it’s also inaccessible for him after losing the presidency), so why do people keep calling it his personal wealth? It’s the Russian president’s discretionary fund, which he can use for (probably) intelligence operations and other “gray” goals. For example in some countries it might be impossible for a (Russian or otherwise) government-owned entity to buy a certain company, but it just might be possible for a “privately” owned company.

    But once Putin loses power (or retires), he will have no access to this wealth, because it is not on his name, and because he needs a huge elaborate intelligence service to access this wealth. He will probably have a few tens (or even hundreds) of millions of dollars (like his predecessor did, or like most Western leaders can amass after retirement as a late compensation for their corrupt policies), but how is it different from Gorbachev, Tony Blair, the Clintons, Schröder, or any other saintly politician in the world?

  20. Is Sikorski right about the US/Poland alliance? The US does have a tradition of betraying its allies, but I would think this one was pretty solid, at least vs Russia? I would think Poland’s most likely problem would be that the US wants Poland to be a German/EU client state, which is not necessarily in the Polish national interest, and the US is likely to back Germany in any Germany/Poland conflict. But as long as they’re aware of that I would think it makes sense to keep the US & Germany on side as far as possible, with NATO and EU membership as a shield vs Russia.

  21. If Sikorski is warning that Poland should not take an aggressive stance vs Russia, because they can’t really rely on the US to back them up, well that certainly makes sense.

  22. HA says:

    In other words, this wealth is not Putin’s personal wealth (it’s not on his name, and it’s also inaccessible for him after losing the presidency), so why do people keep calling it his personal wealth?

    That argument holds little sway when made by defense lawyers who claimed the parties and hookers and blow were actually financed by corporate “discretionary accounts” that were not part of the racketeer’s private fortune. Ditto for the fact that he won’t get to keep all or most of it when he retires (if ever) or loses his job. The same could be said of any yakuza boss or mafioso or drug lord (or the Queen of England). What you describe is basic money laundering for the rich. It’s a step up from signing everything over to your wife, but from the same playbook.

    If Putin is the one whose discretion dictates how the funds are discharged, it’s his money. The attached governance duties may mean that it warrants a less infernal circle of hell than the fortune of a billionaire like Tymoshenko, and more importantly, may give him enough of a loophole to avoid the prison term she got (depending on how much your political successor wants to incapacitate you), but that’s debatable.

  23. HA your analysis doesn’t seem to apply to Al Sharpton.

  24. HA:

    If Putin is the one whose discretion dictates how the funds are discharged, it’s his money

    Then the whole Russian budget is his personal money, because his discretion dictates how the budget is spent. Because just as the front man is Putin’s puppet, so is the whole State Duma. Personal wealth either means something (something that you can keep after losing your job and that your children can inherit) or it doesn’t. With your definition it doesn’t.

  25. Well Done FSB…

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/navy-college-professor-leave-photo-24269476#.U6iTIJpWI8k.twitter

    John Schindler hangs out in these parts but I’ve always found him comically neo-con. He had a habit of seeing Russian influence everywhere(IIRC, he accused the Russians of training and colluding with Ayman al-Zawahiri).

  26. HA says:

    Then the whole Russian budget is his personal money, because his discretion dictates how the budget is spent.

    No, there is a good bit more accountability on that, and the oversight is more extended (though an argument like yours could certainly be made). But if a pile of money is yours to do with what you wish while you’re in office, then that is a different matter. The Queen of England is typically listed as one of the richest people on the planet, even though she only gets to pass her wealth off to her heirs subject to certain conditions, but she cannot very well sell off one of her estates in order to settle her debts with the distillers of Jim Beam and Zima. People would wonder why the place suddenly has golden arches or pictures of Trump plastered over the entrance, and inquiries would be made. But the management of a pile of money that is supposed to be used for intelligence purposes should not fool anyone. Would you want to be the journalist given the assignment of reporting what that money is being used for?

  27. HA your analysis doesn’t seem to apply to Al Sharpton.

    Doesn’t it?

  28. If Putin is the one whose discretion dictates how the funds are discharged, it’s his money.

    Great news! We can send Obama a bill then.

  29. HA says:

    We can send Obama a bill then.

    Apples and oranges. If you’re the reporter who uncovers how Obama spends his discretionary funds, it is your fellow reporters who will shoot you down, and even then, they won’t literally shoot you down. (And you still might live on to publish for Taki or Unz.) So you at least have the potential for oversight there.

  30. HA:

    I think you might be mistaken about the personal wealth of the Queen of England. Wherever I read about it, it’s always mentioned that a very large portion of her nominal wealth really belongs to the Crown and so she cannot dispose of it the way she likes, and her personal wealth is on the order of a few tens of millions of pounds at most. But at least the wealth of the Crown is also on her name in a way (because she is the Queen, after all), and her descendants can inherit it.

    Putin’s supposed wealth is not on his name, not even nominally, and his daughters will not be able to inherit any part of it. I’m quite sure he has some private wealth stashed away somewhere, and many of his relatives became very rich under his presidency (I’m sure his daughters are wealthy by middle class standards), but they are not multi-billionaires.

  31. HA says:

    I’m quite sure he has some private wealth stashed away somewhere,…

    Yeah, bit of an understatement there.

    You pointed to funds supposedly allocated for “intelligence purposes”, and I pointed out that even on that limited basis, cash that has no realistic oversight or practical accountability attached that does not begin and end with Putin do indeed qualify as his. You’re not arguing that the queen of England was indeed on the richest lists, qualifiers notwithstanding, and certainly by those standards, Putin also deserves to be on there. So unless you just want to argue, which I don’t, there’s not much left to discuss.

    I’m a little more puzzled as to where you think that none of his holdings are not really his. That seems harder to justify given the links I’ve just provided. Yes, the Putin trolls on this site are chiming in to loudly assure us that those are all lies, but if anything, that should give them even more credibility (a conclusion echoed in which takes careful note of objections such as yours). Putting an exact number on whatever it is that Putin has squirreled away is a fool’s game. The same goes for pretending it really isn’t his.

  32. Of course the Poles can’t count on us to fight and die for them if they pick a fight with Russia.

    Only knaves and weaklings rely on the charity of others for protection.

  33. Only knaves and weaklings rely on the charity of others for protection.

    Might want to tell that to the Russian separatists in the east of Ukraine who are beefing up their ranks with Chechen mercenaries.

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