Patterico's Pontifications


Russian Election Meddling succeeded in Poland

Filed under: International — DRJ @ 1:40 pm

[Headline from DRJ]

Was Polish scandal a Russian test for US election tampering?

High-ranking Polish politicians used a side door to get to the VIP section of Sowa & Przyjaciele, a posh Warsaw restaurant. Sealed off from other patrons, government ministers and lawmakers felt free to speak their minds while enjoying continental cuisine and wine at taxpayers’ expense.

But the privacy was an illusion, the special dining room a trap.

For about a year, waiters secretly recorded public officials at Sowa & Przyjaciele and another restaurant, Amber Room. When a newsmagazine published transcripts from some of the recordings, it spawned a scandal dubbed “Waitergate” that helped topple a pro-European Union government.

According to one observer, Russia’s goal in Poland and in the US is to weaken Western democracies:

Grzegorz Rzeczkowski, a respected investigative reporter for the Polityka newsmagazine, argues in a new book that Russian intelligence services carried out the restaurant buggings on behalf of the Kremlin. He also presents evidence to allege that Polish intelligence figures conspired to use the recordings to bring the right-wing Law and Justice party, or PIS, to power.

In his book, titled “In a Foreign Alphabet: How People of the Kremlin and PIS Played with the Eavesdropping,” Rzeczkowski maintains that, just as with the U.S. election meddling that special counsel Robert Mueller called “sweeping and systematic,” Russia’s goal with Waitergate was to weaken the West.

“It was to open the road to power for the anti-Western, anti-liberal, anti-democratic opposition of the time,” Rzeczkowski told a Polish parliamentary panel last month. “Russia had a full, spectacular success.”

It also works to undermine our institutions and faith in our system of government.


15 Responses to “Russian Election Meddling succeeded in Poland”

  1. You would think the name “Amber Room” would have sparked a bit of suspicion in the customers’s minds.

    Kishnevi (eb30e0)

  2. Russian meddling in other countries is certainly a bad thing, but these politicians would regularly have private dinners at an expensive restaurant on the taxpayer dime?

    I’m also a bit skeptical of these claims that every single world government more conservative than, say, Angela Merkel is somehow a pawn of Russian interests.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  3. My favorite part of this story is Waitergate.

    DRJ (15874d)

  4. My favorite part of this story is Waitergate.

    That actually is pretty clever, though I think the whole practice of attaching -gate as a suffix to signify scandal is pretty well played out. I can still remember 20 years ago when the media was trying to put “Monicagate” into the lexicon. They need a new trick.

    But once in a while it works because it is clever, like in this case.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  5. The PIS is apparently anti EU, as well as not keen on free press and independent judiciary, and like Putin openly hostile to gays.

    Kishnevi (eb30e0)

  6. I wonder: Who obtained the transcripts of politicians in Puerto Rico? It’s not even the
    only the Telegram chat.

    Now, Vázquez is wrapped up in her own alleged text leak, dubbed “WandaLeaks” on social media.

    The blog, En Blanco y Negro, run by Puerto Rican journalist Sandra Rodríguez Cotto, has posted screenshots of alleged messages that appear to show Vázquez shielding party members from investigation.

    The Justice Department has replied to the accusations referred to in the blog in a statement released Thursday morning, calling them “false” and “defamatory.”

    “Vázquez categorically rejects the contents of the reports that she could have committed any improper acts,” the statement said. The statement does not address the legitimacy of the leaked texts.

    There is now maybe a legal dispute over who, if anyone, is the Governor of Puerto Rico.

    The Governor named someone (Pedro Pierluisi – a former dlegate to the U.S. Congress) to the vacant post of secretary of state on Wednesday.

    He was confirmed by the House bt not the Senate and the Senate is unlikely to.

    Is Pedro Pierluisi whom the Governor who resigned, Ricardo Rosselló named secretary of sate, now Governor?

    And is that because:

    A) It was a recess appointment, which remains valid unless it is disapproved by both houses.

    B) A law passed in 2005 allows the governor to name a Secretary of State without requiring confirmation.

    Or is he not because

    A) The 2005 law violates the Puerto Rican constitution AND it wasn’t a recess appointment,. (te Senate was not in session)

    And if it was a recess appointment can the Senate remove him by voting him down or is it too late since he’s already been promoted?

    Is the Justice Secretary, Wanda Vázquez, the new Governo? Nobody wants her to take the job including herself. She doesn’t speak English well, and it is considered a qualification for governor of Perto Rico that he or she be able to get along in English. And then she’s tied nto the corruption maybe.

    Sammy Finkelman (e806a6)

  7. The 889 leaked pages of Telegram chat in Puerto Rico is known as Chatgate or Telegramgate.

    Sammy Finkelman (e806a6)

  8. well would you trust the eu, the way they are willing to impose climate change and immigration demands, and they would likely sell you out to the Russians, that’s why we’re putting an American base on polish territory,

    narciso (d1f714)

  9. Narciso, I know a bunch of Europeans. They all think the EU is a good thing. Given that they live there, I will trust their judgment far more than yours.

    Kishnevi (57338f)

  10. @9. The EU is a VERY good thing; Churchill’s ‘United States of Europe’ dream thingy. Back in the day, when living in the UK, the chatter was whether or not to have Britain join what was then called, ‘the Common Market.’ The debates were just like now. The Brits, though, have had this “identity battle,” literally for centuries, on whether to tie themselves to Europe or remain an island of ‘independence.’ It slews back and forth over the decades. The mindset then, in Cold War days, with the Iron Curtain intact, the Berlin Wall solid and a divided Germany, was it would be good for the economy of Britain because they’d believed they’d end up ‘running’ the thing. They didn’t anticipate the sudden Soviet collapse, the Iron Curtain melting away, nor the speedy reunification of Germany. Hence, the Brits ended up not running the EU but being just anoter member, getting jerked around by dictums from Brussels. So Brexit got popular. And when they leave, expect before the end of the century, they’ll rejoin it. Because the economics and geography and generational changes will make it so.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  11. They think themselves enlightened because with 1/5th our population at most, have used our security umbrella to protect themselves and build their welfare atate, in Germany which is the powerhouse they trust Russia more than us, as they did with Iraq, with all their deals

    Narciso (72d34b)

  12. Narciso, did it ever occur to you that Europeans, being Europeans, might know a thing or two about Europe you don’t?

    Kishnevi (57338f)

  13. @12. ROFLMAOPIP

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  14. They killed how many of their own between 1870 and 1945 again?

    Narciso (72d34b)

  15. “Narciso, did it ever occur to you that Europeans, being Europeans, might know a thing or two about Europe you don’t?”

    There is a such thing as an American. There is no such thing as a “European.” We use words like “Russian” and “Polish” for a reason.

    “He also presents evidence to allege that Polish intelligence figures conspired to use the recordings to bring the right-wing Law and Justice party, or PIS, to power.”

    Sounds like whatever-passes-for-Five-Eyes over there engaging in the usual whatever-passes-for-CIA-shenanigans, using foreign intelligence assets and the cover of secrecy as a bludgeon against their personal political enemies, much like the British and Australian diplomats did against Trump using their particular favorite Russian assets. (Russia is a big country and lots of their intel people have been up for sale for a while!)

    Oh, but because a RIGHT-WING government did it, all of a sudden the Russiagaters get the vapors!

    At the end of the day, kompromat is kompromat, whether it comes from Russian intel assets looking for a side gig for cash and local Kremlin resume padding or homegrown Google/Discord/Facebook employees looking to get themselves in good with the DCC. Being dumb enough to fall into obvious traps and then solemnly declaring that your own screw-ups should be forgiven and forgotten just because Russians were involved in revealing them is…optimistic, to say the least.

    White Hat Russian (a5e8c1)

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