Sunday, 28 February 2016

Secret files will set us free!

Secret files will open our eyes! Secret files coming to the light will make our lives better!

Prospects of government running out of money to procure bread are looming, so in order to keep the nation in high spirits, rulers need to put up circuses!

I haven’t got the faintest idea whether it was unfettered greed, desire to vindicate her late husband or plain crass stupidity that incited widow of general Kiszczak to contact IPN and let them know about documents stored by the general for several years. I am not fond of conspiracy theories so I am ruling out the story that Mrs Kiszczak had been manipulated and intimidated by secret services, although I cannot say such version does not hold water at all.

Since as it turned out the documents had been kept by Mr Kiszczak at home illegally, IPN investigators swiftly seized six cardboard boxes, one which included documents pertaining to Lech Wałęsa. For no apparent reason the remaining five boxes have gone to archives and will be carefully scrutinised by historians. But for some not necessarily apparent reason, files on Mr Wałęsa have been publicised almost instantaneously. Without expert analysis whether the documents had been counterfeited, the president of IPN (Mr Łukasz Kaminski, whose term expires this year) adjudicated, they were authentic, but not certainly true. A quick look-up in the Polish language dictionary tells us words autentyczny and prawdziwy are synonyms. Mr Kaminski probably meant the documents were genuine, but their content might not have been true, but who cares about details. The compilation of signatures speaks for itself…

Yes, whose cares. The whole agitation around Mr Wałęsa’s alleged collaboration with communist secret services will make few adults change their perception of the former president. For some he is a hero and will remain, for others he is a traitor and will remain. Debates on shameful past of Mr Wałęsa have lasted for many years and will continue even after his death.

For me, even if he signed a declaration to collaborate with the secret services, he remains an icon of Poland’s most recent history. Mr Wałęsa was a young, simple worker and reality of those times tough and anything but black and white. What matters more is that files bring no evidence of any link between Mr Wałęsa and the secret services after 1976 (some would argue, but no one will forbid them tale-telling). But what matters the most is how he prevaricates today over those events. Had Mr Wałęsa been a wiser man, he would have handled it much more sensibly, instead of dragging himself down. Making a clean breast of this anything, but glorious episode, would not damage his credentials.

The case is nevertheless not about Mr Wałęsa and his merits, it is about rewriting the history of Poland of the last fifty years, denigrate those who are now enemies of the dobra zmiana and replace them with different figures, particularly with another Lech. Once PiS and their henchmen paint a picture of abhorrent III RP being an awful child of PZPR, communist secret services and corrupt opposition leaders being in liaison with apparatchiks, they will earn a strong mandate to tear down the state built since 1989. The core driver is the revenge. Kaczynski brothers were ousted by Mr Wałęsa from his office in 1992 and tossed into political non-existence for several years. The same desire goes down to masses of ordinary people who have either not benefited from the transformation into market economy, or in some other way have had it uphill in life, are worse-off than their peers and blame the system for it.

Oddly enough, a short reminder for those who have not noticed where the divide line lies. It does not matter where you were before 1989. It only matters where you are now. The example of Mr Piotrowicz, a rising star of PiS who before 1989 was an ardent communist prosecutor (therefore fits well the ruling party) proves it best.

Also, the files taken over by IPN are likely to be used selectively, when opportune moments arise. The so-called historians could assume the whole content of secret service files are home truth, as rascals serving the principals from Moscow were beyond all doubt truthful and honest functionaries. If so, all their archives should be disclosed to the public. But they will not. They will be used selectively and wait patiently their turn for a moment when their content can hurt the most.

And scarily, the same people who talk so much about przemysł pogardy (the industry of contempt / disdain), whenever any of their supporters dares to criticise PiS, they set in motion the mud-slinging machine against them. This happened to professor Jadwiga Staniszkis recently. For years she would never hide her preference for PiS, but once she passed an unfavourable judgement on recent moves of the party, believers of the prezes put dragged her name through the mire. So voter beware!

No comments: