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.