Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Leading Polish priest admits spying for communists

ReutersTuesday, July 11, 2006; 6:04 AM
WARSAW (Reuters) - A leading Catholic priest in Poland, where the late Polish Pope John Paul II championed resistance under communism, said on Tuesday he had for 24 years spied on dissidents and clerics for communist secret services.
Allegations against Michal Czajkowski, a respected figure known for his work on Catholic-Jewish relations, were first published by a newspaper in May. But the priest had rejected them until now.
(Reuters) - A leading Catholic priest in Poland,
where the late Polish Pope John Paul II championed resistance
under communism, said on Tuesday he had for 24 years spied on
dissidents and clerics for communist secret services.
"I want to apologize and ask for forgiveness, especially for those whom I have hurt. There is no doubt about my guilt," Czajkowski wrote in a statement.
"I have already expressed my regret toward God. Now I am doing it toward people."
Czajkowski, an associate of John Paul who was succeeded last year by Pope Benedict, was a willing agent who reported about pro-democratic activities of his fellow clerics, according to the National Remembrance Institute, which oversees communist-era files.
Czajkowski's past is an embarrassment for a Polish church still coming to terms with the full role it played under communism.
The church supported the pro-democracy Solidarity movement, but up to 10 percent of its members may have at the same time cooperated with communist authorities, historians say.
The church has refused to make public names of clerics who cooperated with communist services.
John Paul's first visit as Pope to then-communist Poland in 1979 drew millions onto the streets and inspired Poles to challenge their communist rulers.
He was widely seen as a major influence behind the rise a year later of Solidarity, which won power in 1989 and helped bring about the fall of communism in the entire Soviet bloc.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The president uses signing statements to decree which laws apply to him

July 17, 2006 IssueCopyright © 2006 The American Conservative

Power of the Pen
The president uses signing statements to decree which laws apply to him.

by James Bovard

For generations, Republican politicians have spoken reverently of the rule of law. But since 2001, this hoary doctrine has been redefined to mean little more than the enforcement of the secret thoughts of the commander in chief.
George W. Bush has added more than 750 “signing statements” to new laws since he took office. Earlier presidents occasionally appended such comments to new statutes, but Bush is the first to use signing statements routinely to nullify key provisions of new laws. He perennially announces that he will not be bound by limits on his power and that he will scorn obligations to disclose how federal power is being used.
While Bush supporters speak glowingly of originalist interpretations of the Constitution, Bush’s signing statements have far more in common with George III than with George Washington. The Constitution specifies that Congress shall “make all laws” and that presidents must “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” But Bush—his ego swollen by swarms of groveling intellectuals—has embraced theories that convince him that the president alone may decree what shall be the law.
Bush’s most famous signing statement was on the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005. After White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales publicly declared that Bush enjoyed a “commander in chief override” regarding laws prohibiting torture, members of Congress enacted legislation to make it stark that torture was illegal. The White House engaged in long and arduous negotiations with Congress. After Bush signed this law last Dec. 30, he announced that he would construe it “in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief and consistent with the constitutional limitations on the judicial power.” This was widely interpreted to mean that the law is binding only when Bush pleases. He was reiterating a confidential 2002 Justice Department memo that declared that the federal Anti-Torture Act “would be unconstitutional if it impermissibly encroached on the President’s constitutional power to conduct a military campaign.”
Getting the Patriot Act renewed was one of the Bush administration’s highest priorities. After months of negotiations and compromises, a bipartisan agreement was finally reached, giving the White House almost everything it wanted. As part of the deal, Bush administration officials agreed to provide Congress with more details on how Patriot Act powers were being used. The Justice Department would be obliged to disclose to Congress how many Americans’ privacy was being violated by FBI subpoenas known as National Security Letters. (The Washington Post reported that the FBI was issuing 30,000 such letters a year). However, Bush reneged in a “signing statement” quietly released after a heavily hyped White House bill-signing ceremony. Bush decreed that he was entitled to deny Congress any information that would “impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative process of the executive, or the performance of the executive’s constitutional duties.” Bush announced that he would interpret the law “in a manner consistent with the president’s constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to withhold information.”
In other words, any provision in the law that requires disclosure is presumptively null and void. The crux of the “unitary executive” is that all power rests in the president and that checks and balances are an archaic relic. This is the same “principle” the Bush administration invoked to deny Congress everything from Iraqi war plans to the records of the Cheney Energy Task Force. Bush has invoked the “unitary executive” doctrine almost 100 times since taking office, according to Miami University professor Christopher Kelley.
Democrats were furious over what they saw as a Bush Patriot Act double-cross. Representatives Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and John Conyers (D-Mich.) bitterly complained to Gonzales: ‘‘Many members who supported the final law did so based upon the guarantee of additional reporting and oversight. The administration cannot, after the fact, unilaterally repeal provisions of the law implementing such oversight.” The Bush administration ignored the complaint.
Bush’s prerogative also apparently includes the right to cover up waste, fraud, and abuse—regardless of how badly taxpayers get boarhogged. After Congress created an inspector general in late 2003 to look into the Coalition Provisional Authority, Bush decreed, “The CPA IG shall refrain from initiating, carrying out, or completing an audit or investigation, or from issuing a subpoena, which requires access to sensitive operation plans, intelligence matters, counterintelligence matters, ongoing criminal investigations by other administrative units of the Department of Defense related to national security, or other matters the disclosure of which would constitute a serious threat to national security.” Since the Bush administration seems to consider any unfavorable press coverage a “threat to national security,” it is not surprising that the inspector general found almost nothing—despite pervasive reports and rumors of massive fraud. (There is no evidence that the wording of the signing statement was dictated by Halliburton.) Bush also used a signing statement to undermine the power and independence of an inspector general for Iraq in 2004 legislation.
Another frequent target of Bush signing smitings are provisions in laws on whistleblowers. Apparently he considers legal protections for whistleblowers a violation of his own prerogatives. The administration recently swayed the Supreme Court to undermine protections for federal employees who disclose federal crimes, and the Justice Department is signaling that it could prosecute both whistleblowers and journalists who publish leakers exposing government abuses.
Some people consider Bush’s “El Supremo” view of his own powers as necessary for the war on terror. But Bush claims this prerogative regarding any foreign intervention. As the Boston Globe’s Charlie Savage, who has done the best work on this subject, noted, “On at least four occasions while Bush has been president, Congress has passed laws forbidding US troops from engaging in combat in Colombia, where the US military is advising the government in its struggle against narcotics-funded Marxist rebels. After signing each bill, Bush declared in his signing statement that he did not have to obey any of the Colombia restrictions because he is commander in chief.” The Colombian government’s paramilitary allies have committed some of the worst atrocities in recent Latin American history. The fact that Bush would claim a unilateral right to engage in what could become a full-scale civil war in Colombia vivifies that his boundless power stems from his job title—not from any conflict with al-Qaeda or other “Islamofascists,” as he likes to call them.
Bush’s signing statements also imply that he considers the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878—which prohibited using the U.S. military for domestic law enforcement—null and void. Congress passed laws in 2004 and 2005 prohibiting the military from using intelligence not “lawfully collected” on American citizens. In both cases, as Savage noted, “Bush declared in signing statements that only he, as commander in chief, could decide whether such intelligence can be used by the military.” It is appalling that Congress would feel it necessary to pass a law declaring that the Pentagon cannot violate the Bill of Rights—but the president responds by declaring that he will not be bound by any such law—or by the Constitution.
The “signing statement” gambit for stretching presidential power was hatched during the Reagan administration. Attorney General Ed Meese instructed Samuel Alito, then a Justice Department lawyer, to analyze how such presidential assertions could buttress the administration’s viewpoints in court. But Alito was a piker compared to George W. Bush. Alito declared that the Justice Department should ‘‘concentrate on points of true ambiguity, rather than issuing interpretations that may seem to conflict with those of Congress.”
Bush, on the other hand, has used signing statements to negate the most important parts of legislation. According to the Bush administration, if the president issues a signing statement memo that is printed in the Federal Register, federal agencies are not obliged to obey laws enacted by Congress.
The American Bar Association has appointed a bipartisan panel to examine whether Bush’s signing-statement policies conflict with the Constitution. Their report is due later this summer. However, an ABA report earlier this year that concluded that Bush’s warrantless wiretaps were illegal failed to make the slightest dent in either the administration’s policies or its preening.
We have a nullification crisis at the heart of the American Republic. Torture is apparently legal, despite a federal prohibition. Domestic wiretapping is apparently legal, despite clear legal and constitutional prohibitions. Seizing suspects and holding them indefinitely is apparently legal, despite the Constitution’s requirement of habeas corpus.
Apparently, the government is not obliged to obey any law that Bush does not personally approve of. And how can we know which laws Bush approves of? It’s a secret. Bush’s personal thoughts thus become the ultimate law of the land—and no one can know if the government is violating the “law” because Bush has not publicly declared what the law is.
Why should anyone give Bush the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is obeying all of the laws that he has not yet publicly proclaimed a right to violate? New York University law professor David Golove told the Boston Globe, “Where you have a president who is willing to declare vast quantities of the legislation that is passed during his term unconstitutional, it implies that he also thinks a very significant amount of the other laws that were already on the books before he became president are also unconstitutional.”
Americans may have to wait many years to learn what the rule of law meant in 2006. The truth may be suppressed until Bush’s aides begin publishing their memoirs or until the Supreme Court has a change of mood and decides that the executive branch is not entitled to boundless secrecy. In the meantime, don’t count on the legislative branch to right the balance: Bush has encountered almost no effective resistance in his own party to his power grabs. One Republican senator recently told author Elizabeth Drew: “We’ve got to hang with the president because if you start splitting with him or say the president has been abusing power we’ll all go down.” Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, recently denounced criticism of the NSA warrantless wiretapping as “insulting” to the president, Drew reported. Apparently, some prominent Republicans believe that the president cannot be criticized even after he admits breaking the law.
So what is the meaning of “limited government” in the Bush era? Merely that the courts and Congress must be prohibited from limiting the president’s power. ——————————————————————James Bovard is the author of Attention Deficit Democracy (Palgrave 2006) and eight other books.

Building a North American Community

By Joseph Farah© 2006
WASHINGTON – Are secret meetings being held between the corporate and political elites of the U.S., Mexico and Canada to push North America into a European Union-style merger?
Is President Bush's reluctance to control the border and enforce laws requiring deportation of foreigners who enter the country illegally part of a master plan to all but eliminate borders between the U.S., Canada and Mexico?
Does the agenda of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America include a common currency that would scrap the dollar in favor of what some are calling the "amero"?
It may be the biggest story of the 21st century, but few press outlets are telling it. In fact, until very recently, few in the U.S. were aware of the plans and even fewer denouncing what appears to be the implementation of an effort some have characterized as "NAFTA on steroids."
But opposition is mounting.
CNN's Lou Dobbs
Perhaps the most blistering criticism has come from Lou Dobbs of CNN – a frequent critic of Bush's immigration policies.
"A regional prosperity and security program?" he asked rhetorically in a recent cablecast. "This is absolute ignorance. And the fact that we are -- we reported this, we should point out, when it was signed. But, as we watch this thing progress, these working groups are continuing. They're intensifying. What in the world are these people thinking about? You know, I was asked the other day about whether or not I really thought the American people had the stomach to stand up and stop this nonsense, this direction from a group of elites, an absolute contravention of our law, of our Constitution, every national value. And I hope, I pray that I'm right when I said yes. But this is -- I mean, this is beyond belief."
What has Dobbs and a few other vocal critics bugged began in earnest March 31, 2005, when the elected leaders of the U.S., Mexico and Canada agreed to advance the agenda of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.
No one seems quite certain what that agenda is because of the vagueness of the official declarations. But among the things the leaders of the three countries agreed to work toward were borders that would allow for easier and faster moving of goods and people between the countries.
Coming as the announcement did in the midst of a raging national debate in the U.S. over borders seen as far to open already, more than a few jaws dropped.
Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo.
Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo. and the chairman of the House Immigration Reform Caucus as well as author of the new book, "In Mortal Danger," may be the only elected official to challenge openly the plans for the new superstate.
Responding to a WorldNetDaily report, Tancredo is demanding the Bush administration fully disclose the activities of the government office implementing the trilateral agreement that has no authorization from Congress.
Tancredo wants to know the membership of the Security and Prosperity Partnership groups along with their various trilateral memoranda of understanding and other agreements reached with counterparts in Mexico and Canada.
Jim Gilchrist, co-founder of the Minutemen, welcomed Tancredo's efforts.
"It's time for the Bush administration to come clean," Gilchrist said. "If President Bush's agenda is to establish a new North American union government to supersede the sovereignty of the United States, then the president has an obligation to tell this to the American people directly. The American public has a right to know."
Geri Word, who heads the SPP office, told WND the work had not been disclosed because, "We did not want to get the contact people of the working groups distracted by calls from the public."
WND can find no specific congressional legislation authorizing the SPP working groups nor any congressional committees taking charge of oversight.
Many SPP working groups appear to be working toward achieving specific objectives as defined by a May 2005 Council on Foreign Relations task force report, which presented a blueprint for expanding the SPP agreement into a North American union that would merge the U.S., Canada and Mexico into a new governmental form.
Phyllis Schlafly, the woman best known for nearly single-handedly leading the opposition that killed the Equal Rights Amendment, sees a sinister and sweeping agenda behind the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.
"Is the real push behind guest-worker proposals the Bush goal to expand NAFTA into the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, which he signed at Waco, Texas, last year and reaffirmed at Cancun, Mexico, this year?" she asks. "Bush is a globalist at heart and wants to carry out his father's oft-repeated ambition of a 'new world order.'"
She accuses the president and others behind the effort of wanting to obliterate U.S. borders in an effort to increase the Mexican population transfer and lower wages for the benefit of U.S. corporate interests.
"Bush meant what he said, at Waco, Texas, in March 2005, when he announced his plan to convert the United States into a 'Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America' by erasing our borders with Canada and Mexico," she said. "Bush's guest-worker proposal would turn the United States into a boardinghouse for the world's poor, enable employers to import an unlimited number of 'willing workers' at foreign wage levels, and wipe out what's left of the U.S. middle class. Bush lives in a house well protected by a fence and security guards and he associates with rich people who live in gated communities. Yet, for five years, he has refused to protect the property and children of ordinary Arizona citizens from trespassers and criminals."
That's unusually harsh criticism of a Republican president from one of Ronald Reagan's most loyal supporters.
At least one of the nation's daily newspapers has officially weighed in in opposition to the mysterious plans for closer cooperation in security, commerce and immigration between the three North American nations.
Recently, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review questioned the unchallenged momentum toward merger.
"Will Americans trade their dead presidents for Ameros?" the newspaper asked in an editorial last month.
The paper chided efforts at replacing the U.S. and Canadian dollars and Mexican peso with "the amero" – a knockoff of the euro – along with the building of "a looming NAFTA-like superstate." Citing the meeting between the three national leaders at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, in March 2005, the editorial warned: "Canadians, Mexicans and Americans who value the sovereignty of their respective countries should be concerned."
The Tribune Review editorial saw synergy between the plans of the national leaders and the ambitious agenda of the Council on Foreign Relations – seen by many as a kind of secretive, shadow government of the elite. The CFR issued a bold report in the spring of 2005, shortly after the joint announcements in Waco by Bush and his counterparts.
"The Council on Foreign Relations published a report in May -- "Building a North American Community" -- calling for, among other things, redefining the borders of the three nations, creating a super-regional governance board and the North American Paramilitary Group to ensure that Congress does not interfere with whatever the trilateral union feels like doing," said the paper. "Must the Bush administration happily sacrifice every shred of American sovereignty for the greater good of the New World Order?"
In fact, the CFR report is a five-year plan for the "establishment by 2010 of a North American economic and security community" with a common "outer security perimeter."
Some see it as the blueprint for merger of the U.S., Canada and Mexico. It calls for "a common economic space ... for all people in the region, a space in which trade, capital and people flow freely."
The CFR's strategy calls specifically for "a more open border for the movement of goods and people." It calls for laying "the groundwork for the freer flow of people within North America." It calls for efforts to "harmonize visa and asylum regulations." It calls for efforts to "harmonize entry screening."
In "Building a North American Community," the report states that Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin "committed their governments" to this goal March 23, 2005, at that meeting in Waco, Texas.
Alan Burkhart, who describes himself as a free-lance political writer, cross-country trucker "and proud citizen of one of the reddest of the Red States – Mississippi," is another critic seething over these plans that seem to have a life of their own – with little or no real public debate.
"As time passes, American corporations will find it unnecessary to move their facilities out of the country," writes Burkhart. "Our already stagnant wages will be just as low as those of Mexico. The cultures of three great nations will be diluted. Our currency will be replaced with the 'Amero.' And, we’ll be one giant step closer to the U.N.’s perverse dream of a one-world government."
The Amero is not a new concept. It was first proposed by the Fraser Institute, a Canadian think tank, in a monograph titled "The Case for the Amero" in 1999.
Last month, the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America made one of its most visible and public moves since it was first announced last year. In Washington, on June 15, U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, Mexican Economy Minister Sergio Garcia de Alba and Canadian Minister of Industry Maxime Bernier joined North American business leaders to launch the North American Competitiveness Council. It was a major development that showed the March 2005 meeting was no fluke – and that the plans announced by the three national leaders then were continuing to take shape. The NACC was first announced by Bush, Harper and Fox.
Made up of 10 high-level business leaders from each country, the NACC will meet annually with senior North American government officials "to provide recommendations and help set priorities for promoting regional competitiveness in the global economy."
Officially, the council has the mandate to advise the governments on improving trade in key sectors such as automobiles, transportation, manufacturing and services. The three countries do more than $800 billion in trilateral trade.
Gutierrez said the Bush administration is determined to develop a "border pass" on schedule despite worries about its implementation. The new land pass is to be in effect for Canadians, Americans and Mexicans by Jan. 1, 2008.
The U.S. executives involved in the NACC include: United Parcel Service Inc. Chairman Michael Eskew; Frederick Smith, chairman of FedEx Corp.; Lou Schorsh, chief executive of Mittal Steel USA; Joseph Gilmour, president of New York Life Insurance Co.; William Clay Ford, chairman of Ford Motor Co.; Rick Wagoner, chairman of General Motors Corp.; Raymond Gilmartin, CEO of Merck & Co. Inc.; David O'Reilly, chief executive of Chevron Corp.; Jeffrey Immelt, chairman of General Electric Co.; Lee Scott, president of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.; Robert Stevens, chairman of Lockheed Martin Corp.; Michael Haverty, chairman of Kansas City Southern; Douglas Conant, president of Campbell's Soup Co. and James Kilt, vice-chairman of Gillette Inc.
The concerns about the direction such powerful men could lead Americans without their knowledge is only heightened when interlocking networks are discovered. For instance, one of the components envisioned for this future "North American Union" is a superhighway running from Mexico, through the U.S. and into Canada. It is being promoted by the North American SuperCorridor Coalition, or NASCO, a non-profit group "dedicated to developing the world’s first international, integrated and secure, multi-modal transportation system along the International Mid-Continent Trade and Transportation Corridor to improve both the trade competitiveness and quality of life in North America."
The president of NASCO is George Blackwood, who earlier launched the North American International Trade Corridor Partnership. In fact, NAITCP later morphed into NASCO. A NAIPC summit meeting in 2004, attended by senior Mexican government officials, heard from Robert Pastor, an American University professor who wrote "Toward a North American Community," a book promoting the development of a North American union as a regional government and the adoption of the amero as a common monetary currency to replace the dollar and the peso.
Pastor also was vice chairman of the May 2005 Council on Foreign Relations task force entitled "Building a North American Community" that presents itself as a blueprint for using bureaucratic action within the executive branches of Mexico, the U.S. and Canada to transform the current trilateral Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America into a North American union regional government.

Monday, July 10, 2006

North Korean Test Was Intel Windfall for Red China

by Ed TimperlakePosted Jul 10, 2006

As co-author of Showdown: Why China Wants War With the United States, I have argued that the real villain behind last week’s North Korean missile test is Red China. Why? Because the tests were undoubtedly an intelligence windfall for the Communist regime in Beijing.

The foreign policy experts who see the People’s Republic of China as a force for moderation anguished over the inability of the PRC to stop Kim Jong Il’s fireworks from flying over and into the Sea of Japan. Their arguments tend to give the PRC the benefit of the doubt because in their view the PRC’s influence on the “Dear Leader” only goes so far. Hence, their position is that China is sadly ineffectual but should at least get credit for working for stability in the Pacific.I don’t think so.The PRC of today is outpacing 1930s Nazi Germany in building for war. We need to take a hard-eyed view of the PRC’s close relationship with North Korea. China is the problem, not the solution.For us former Reaganites, of course, the North Korean missile tests vindicate President Reagan’s vision for missile defense, which was mockingly called “Star Wars” by Reagan’s critiques. History is proving, again, that President Reagan was a visionary. Once and for all, a stake has been driven through heart of the argument against Missile Defense. Because of the current events in the Pacific, America will become stronger and better defended. Allied relationships will be strengthened, especially with Japan.But what if--independent of the recent North Korean actions--the PRC had already determined that it was inevitable the U.S. position in the Pacific would strengthen on both the military and diplomatic fronts. What would the PRC have gained from North Korea’s long-telegraphed missile tests?The answer is simple: an intelligence bonanza for the PRC.As a result of the tests, the PRC got a free look at U.S. capabilities. The PRC saw which military resources the U.S. committed, which tactical weapons were deployed, (ships, air and land-based systems), which frequencies used (to be jammed in time of war). They also got to see how quickly and accurately we identified and tracked the North Korean missiles.And that’s not all.The Red Chinese also got to see if how well state-of-the-art U.S. intelligence and communications systems operated in a crisis. They could also see if the U.S. is exporting degraded systems. They could see if allied weapon systems were successfully integrated into joint operations.Bottom line: North Korea’s missile barrage was an extraordinary opportunity for the Peoples Liberation Army to capture invaluable information about U.S. and allied military capabilities.It can be argued that the PRC back channeled Kim Jong Il to play a little brinksmanship with his missiles as part of a masterfully executed intelligence operation. The PRC’s hegemonic designs in the Pacific is driving it to prepare for a war with the U.S. There are multiple scenarios that could cause that war to happen, including a conflict on the Korean Peninsula itself, a PRC effort to seize Taiwan or a Sino-Japanese confrontation.U.S. technological superiority is still a significant deterrent to China, and last week’s action by North Korea put that superiority fully on display. The U.S. and its allies did what they thought they had to do under the circumstance. But rest assured, Red China watching and learning.

Mr. Timperlake is the co-author (along with Jed Babbin) of "Showdown: Why China Wants War with the United States". He was director of Mobilization, Planning and Requirements at the Department of Defense for President Reagan.

EU Dictatorship: Former Soviet Dissident

From the desk of Paul Belien on Mon, 2006-02-27 21:13

Bukovsky and BelienVladimir Bukovksy, the 63-year old former Soviet dissident, fears that the European Union is on its way to becoming another Soviet Union. In a speech he delivered in Brussels last week Mr Bukovsky called the EU a “monster” that must be destroyed, the sooner the better, before it develops into a fullfledged totalitarian state.
Mr Bukovsky paid a visit to the European Parliament on Thursday at the invitation of Fidesz, the Hungarian Civic Forum. Fidesz, a member of the European Christian Democrat group, had invited the former Soviet dissident over from England, where he lives, on the occasion of this year’s 50th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. After his morning meeting with the Hungarians, Mr Bukovsky gave an afternoon speech in a Polish restaurant in the Trier straat, opposite the European Parliament, where he spoke at the invitation of the United Kingdom Independence Party, of which he is a patron.
An interview with Vladimir Bukovsky about the impending EUSSRIn his speech Mr Bukovsky referred to confidential documents from secret Soviet files which he was allowed to read in 1992. These documents confirm the existence of a “conspiracy” to turn the European Union into a socialist organization. I attended the meeting and taped the speech. A transcript, as well as the audio fragment (approx. 15 minutes) can be found below. I also had a brief interview with Mr Bukovsky (4 minutes), a transcript and audio fragment of which can also be found below. The interview about the European Union had to be cut short because Mr Bukovsky had other engagements, but it brought back some memories to me, as I had interviewed Vladimir Bukovsky twenty years ago, in 1986, when the Soviet Union, the first monster that he so valiantly fought, was still alive and thriving.
Mr Bukovsky was one of the heroes of the 20th century. As a young man he exposed the use of psychiatric imprisonment against political prisoners in the former USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 1917-1991) and spent a total of twelve years (1964-1976), from his 22nd to his 34th year, in Soviet jails, labour camps and psychiatric institutions. In 1976 the Soviets expelled him to the West. In 1992 he was invited by the Russian government to serve as an expert testifying at the trial conducted to determine whether the Soviet Communist Party had been a criminal institution. To prepare for his testimony Mr Bukovsky was granted access to a large number of documents from Soviet secret archives. He is one of the few people ever to have seen these documents because they are still classified. Using a small handheld scanner and a laptop computer, however, he managed to copy many documents (some with high security clearance), including KGB reports to the Soviet government.

An interview with Vladimir BukovskyListen to it here
Paul Belien: You were a very famous Soviet dissident and now you are drawing a parallel between the European Union and the Soviet Union. Can you explain this?
Vladimir Bukovsky: I am referrring to structures, to certain ideologies being instilled, to the plans, the direction, the inevitable expansion, the obliteration of nations, which was the purpose of the Soviet Union. Most people do not understand this. They do not know it, but we do because we were raised in the Soviet Union where we had to study the Soviet ideology in school and at university. The ultimate purpose of the Soviet Union was to create a new historic entity, the Soviet people, all around the globe. The same is true in the EU today. They are trying to create a new people. They call this people “Europeans”, whatever that means.
According to Communist doctrine as well as to many forms of Socialist thinking, the state, the national state, is supposed to wither away. In Russia, however, the opposite happened. Instead of withering away the Soviet state became a very powerful state, but the nationalities were obliterated. But when the time of the Soviet collapse came these suppressed feelings of national identity came bouncing back and they nearly destroyed the country. It was so frightening.
PB: Do you think the same thing can happen when the European Union collapses?
VB: Absolutely, you can press a spring only that much, and the human psyche is very resilient you know. You can press it, you can press it, but don’t forget it is still accumulating a power to rebound. It is like a spring and it always goes to overshoot.
PB: But all these countries that joined the European Union did so voluntarily.
VB: No, they did not. Look at Denmark which voted against the Maastricht treaty twice. Look at Ireland [which voted against the Nice treaty]. Look at many other countries, they are under enormous pressure. It is almost blackmail. Switzerland was forced to vote five times in a referendum. All five times they have rejected it, but who knows what will happen the sixth time, the seventh time. It is always the same thing. It is a trick for idiots. The people have to vote in referendums until the people vote the way that is wanted. Then they have to stop voting. Why stop? Let us continue voting. The European Union is what Americans would call a shotgun marriage.
PB: What do you think young people should do about the European Union? What should they insist on, to democratize the institution or just abolish it?
VB: I think that the European Union, like the Soviet Union, cannot be democratized. Gorbachev tried to democratize it and it blew up. This kind of structures cannot be democratized.
PB: But we have a European Parliament which is chosen by the people.
VB: The European Parliament is elected on the basis of proportional representation, which is not true representation. And what does it vote on? The percentage of fat in yoghurt, that kind of thing. It is ridiculous. It is given the task of the Supreme Soviet. The average MP can speak for six minutes per year in the Chamber. That is not a real parliament.

Transcript of Mr Bukovsky’s Brussels speechListen to it here
In 1992 I had unprecedented access to Politburo and Central Committee secret documents which have been classified, and still are even now, for 30 years. These documents show very clearly that the whole idea of turning the European common market into a federal state was agreed between the left-wing parties of Europe and Moscow as a joint project which [Soviet leader Mikhail] Gorbachev in 1988-89 called our “common European home.”
The idea was very simple. It first came up in 1985-86, when the Italian Communists visited Gorbachev, followed by the German Social-Democrats. They all complained that the changes in the world, particularly after [British Prime Minister Margaret] Thatcher introduced privatisation and economic liberalisation, were threatening to wipe out the achievement (as they called it) of generations of Socialists and Social-Democrats – threatening to reverse it completely. Therefore the only way to withstand this onslaught of wild capitalism (as they called it) was to try to introduce the same socialist goals in all countries at once. Prior to that, the left-wing parties and the Soviet Union had opposed European integration very much because they perceived it as a means to block their socialist goals. From 1985 onwards they completely changed their view. The Soviets came to a conclusion and to an agreement with the left-wing parties that if they worked together they could hijack the whole European project and turn it upside down. Instead of an open market they would turn it into a federal state.
According to the [secret Soviet] documents, 1985-86 is the turning point. I have published most of these documents. You might even find them on the internet. But the conversations they had are really eye opening. For the first time you understand that there is a conspiracy – quite understandable for them, as they were trying to save their political hides. In the East the Soviets needed a change of relations with Europe because they were entering a protracted and very deep structural crisis; in the West the left-wing parties were afraid of being wiped out and losing their influence and prestige. So it was a conspiracy, quite openly made by them, agreed upon, and worked out.
In January of 1989, for example, a delegation of the Trilateral Commission came to see Gorbachev. It included [former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro] Nakasone, [former French President ValĂ©ry] Giscard d’Estaing, [American banker David] Rockefeller and [former US Secretary of State Henry] Kissinger. They had a very nice conversation where they tried to explain to Gorbachev that Soviet Russia had to integrate into the financial institutions of the world, such as Gatt, the IMF and the World Bank.
In the middle of it Giscard d’Estaing suddenly takes the floor and says: “Mr President, I cannot tell you exactly when it will happen – probably within 15 years – but Europe is going to be a federal state and you have to prepare yourself for that. You have to work out with us, and the European leaders, how you would react to that, how would you allow the other Easteuropean countries to interact with it or how to become a part of it, you have to be prepared.”
This was January 1989, at a time when the [1992] Maastricht treaty had not even been drafted. How the hell did Giscard d’Estaing know what was going to happen in 15 years time? And surprise, surprise, how did he become the author of the European constitution [in 2002-03]? A very good question. It does smell of conspiracy, doesn’t it?
Luckily for us the Soviet part of this conspiracy collapsed earlier and it did not reach the point where Moscow could influence the course of events. But the original idea was to have what they called a convergency, whereby the Soviet Union would mellow somewhat and become more social-democratic, while Western Europe would become social-democratic and socialist. Then there will be convergency. The structures have to fit each other. This is why the structures of the European Union were initially built with the purpose of fitting into the Soviet structure. This is why they are so similar in functioning and in structure.
It is no accident that the European Parliament, for example, reminds me of the Supreme Soviet. It looks like the Supreme Soviet because it was designed like it. Similary, when you look at the European Commission it looks like the Politburo. I mean it does so exactly, except for the fact that the Commission now has 25 members and the Politburo usually had 13 or 15 members. Apart from that they are exactly the same, unaccountable to anyone, not directly elected by anyone at all. When you look into all this bizarre activity of the European Union with its 80,000 pages of regulations it looks like Gosplan. We used to have an organisation which was planning everything in the economy, to the last nut and bolt, five years in advance. Exactly the same thing is happening in the EU. When you look at the type of EU corruption, it is exactly the Soviet type of corruption, going from top to bottom rather than going from bottom to top.
If you go through all the structures and features of this emerging European monster you will notice that it more and more resembles the Soviet Union. Of course, it is a milder version of the Soviet Union. Please, do not misunderstand me. I am not saying that it has a Gulag. It has no KGB – not yet – but I am very carefully watching such structures as Europol for example. That really worries me a lot because this organisation will probably have powers bigger than those of the KGB. They will have diplomatic immunity. Can you imagine a KGB with diplomatic immunity? They will have to police us on 32 kinds of crimes – two of which are particularly worrying, one is called racism, another is called xenophobia. No criminal court on earth defines anything like this as a crime [this is not entirely true, as Belgium already does so – pb]. So it is a new crime, and we have already been warned. Someone from the British government told us that those who object to uncontrolled immigration from the Third World will be regarded as racist and those who oppose further European integration will be regarded as xenophobes. I think Patricia Hewitt said this publicly.
Hence, we have now been warned. Meanwhile they are introducing more and more ideology. The Soviet Union used to be a state run by ideology. Today’s ideology of the European Union is social-democratic, statist, and a big part of it is also political correctness. I watch very carefully how political correctness spreads and becomes an oppressive ideology, not to mention the fact that they forbid smoking almost everywhere now. Look at this persecution of people like the Swedish pastor who was persecuted for several months because he said that the Bible does not approve homosexuality. France passed the same law of hate speech concerning gays. Britain is passing hate speech laws concerning race relations and now religious speech, and so on and so forth. What you observe, taken into perspective, is a systematic introduction of ideology which could later be enforced with oppressive measures. Apparently that is the whole purpose of Europol. Otherwise why do we need it? To me Europol looks very suspicious. I watch very carefully who is persecuted for what and what is happening, because that is one field in which I am an expert. I know how Gulags spring up.
It looks like we are living in a period of rapid, systematic and very consistent dismantlement of democracy. Look at this Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill. It makes ministers into legislators who can introduce new laws without bothering to tell Parliament or anyone. My immediate reaction is why do we need it? Britain survived two world wars, the war with Napoleon, the Spanish Armada, not to mention the Cold War, when we were told at any moment we might have a nuclear world war, without any need for introducing this kind legislation, without the need for suspending our civil liberaties and introducing emergency powers. Why do we need it right now? This can make a dictatorship out of your country in no time.
Today’s situation is really grim. Major political parties have been completely taken in by the new EU project. None of them really opposes it. They have become very corrupt. Who is going to defend our freedoms? It looks like we are heading towards some kind of collapse, some kind of crisis. The most likely outcome is that there will be an economic collapse in Europe, which in due time is bound to happen with this growth of expenses and taxes. The inability to create a competitive environment, the overregulation of the economy, the bureaucratisation, it is going to lead to economic collapse. Particularly the introduction of the euro was a crazy idea. Currency is not supposed to be political.
I have no doubt about it. There will be a collapse of the European Union pretty much like the Soviet Union collapsed. But do not forget that when these things collapse they leave such devastation that it takes a generation to recover. Just think what will happen if it comes to an economic crisis. The recrimination between nations will be huge. It might come to blows. Look to the huge number of immigrants from Third World countries now living in Europe. This was promoted by the European Union. What will happen with them if there is an economic collapse? We will probably have, like in the Soviet Union at the end, so much ethnic strife that the mind boggles. In no other country were there such ethnic tensions as in the Soviet Union, except probably in Yugoslavia. So that is exactly what will happen here, too. We have to be prepared for that. This huge edifice of bureaucracy is going to collapse on our heads.
This is why, and I am very frank about it, the sooner we finish with the EU the better. The sooner it collapses the less damage it will have done to us and to other countries. But we have to be quick because the Eurocrats are moving very fast. It will be difficult to defeat them. Today it is still simple. If one million people march on Brussels today these guys will run away to the Bahamas. If tomorrow half of the British population refuses to pay its taxes, nothing will happen and no-one will go to jail. Today you can still do that. But I do not know what the situation will be tomorrow with a fully fledged Europol staffed by former Stasi or Securitate officers. Anything may happen.
We are losing time. We have to defeat them. We have to sit and think, work out a strategy in the shortest possible way to achieve maximum effect. Otherwise it will be too late. So what should I say? My conclusion is not optimistic. So far, despite the fact that we do have some anti-EU forces in almost every country, it is not enough. We are losing and we are wasting time.