You know, about once a week I get some kind of offer to put ads on my blog, or sell something to foreigners/expats in Romania, or questions about how to do that sort of thing. And I always send ’em on over to Bucharest Life. In fact, even if you’re NOT trying to drive me nuts with sales pitches, I still recommend that you go visit Bucharest Life.
I have nothing but admiration for Craig Turp and BL as they do darn good work, and have come up with about a million ways to make Romania better, including an awesome redesign of the Bucharest subway map that’s far more comprehensible than the confusing shit you see on the walls at metro stops in Bucharest.
I also like BL because they’re so… vanilla? So mainstream? I don’t know. They’re bland and inoffensive in a good way, if that makes sense. Me and my band of weirdos are strange and sometimes very antagonistic. I like disappearing down the rabbit hole of conspiracies and cover-ups while BL likes to post friendly reviews of new restaurants. That’s cool. Somebody needs to be the popular normal kid.
That’s why I had to laugh reading their article today entitled “Goodbye, Mr. Iohannis”:
It’s all over. After a year and a bit of merely mild disappointment we – along with millions of others – today abandoned all hope of Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis being an agent for positive change.
Of course, I’ve been calling out Dirty Klaus for being a useless piece of meat in a suit since before he was even elected. But that’s all right, I’ve been Cassandra for years and I’m used to it.
The issue at hand is that Dan Voiculescu is now in jail and so his powerful “Atena” media empire is no longer being propped up by dirty politicians. ANAF (the IRS/Inland Revenue of Romania) dinged them for about 60 large and now Bucharest Life “and millions of people” in Romania are having the vapors because Klaus is stepping up to defend Atena.
First of all, Klaus WAS a member of the PSD-PNL-PC alliance (known as USL) and was a hair’s breath away from being a cabinet member under Ponta back when Voiculescu was still a free man (and head of the PC). So it’s not like it’s some kind of revelation to find out that Klaus supports his old backers.
Secondly, Klaus has been a dirty politician since long before he ran for president in 2014. I’ve documented that extensively elsewhere but even a regular joe on the street has to ask what the fuck is going on when Klaus, who has had two jobs in his life (mayor and schoolteacher), and his wife (schoolteacher) own six houses in downtown Sibiu. I mean that’s a pretty overt sign that the guy is corrupt. Obviously, a number of rulings from an anti-corruption agency (ANI) finding him guilty proves it.
Third, Romanian media groups are always going bankrupt and ending up owing the state millions in unpaid taxes and fees. Hell, I remember when Realitatea got kicked out of their Cluj HQ just days before I did an interview with them years ago. That’s because the Romanian media (with the exception of American-owned and operated PROTV) is not a business venture. It’s not a capitalist enterprise designed to make money. It’s simply a propaganda vehicle for whichever oligarch owns it.
But I didn’t really write this article to ding Turp for clutching at his pearls when Klaus disappointed him “for the last time” or fretting over the naughty behavior of Antena. The real reason I wrote this article is this final paragraph:
Our last hope? Laura Codruta-Kovesi. All power to the DNA.
“I told the Prime Minister about my conviction that during the term of this commission, we will end the verification mechanism,” Mr. Juncker said in a press conference here Monday after receiving Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos, himself a former EU commissioner and adviser to Mr. Juncker.
Yep, that’s right. The EU is about to whitewash Romania’s sins thanks to the fucking DNA!
I’ve already written about the 2016 MCV report and how it highlights huge problems in every sector of the “fight against corruption” except for one sterling example: the DNA. Juncker is ready for Romania to “graduate” from the MCV based solely on the DNA’s progress. Turp loves her. The Romanian people love her. The MCV writers love her. All hail Saint Laura!
Yes, what a wonderful woman. And, as Raluca Pruna noted recently, the DNA doesn’t even need the SRI anymore because they have their own spy equipment.
Judge Norel Popescu was speaking to the CSM [administrative body of judges and prosecutors in Romania] and drew attention to the fact that the MCV technical report mentioned certain concerns… about the number of telephone conversations being recorded by the SRI [intelligence agency].
“There have been some calls for the Justice Ministry to investigate the number of telephone conversations recorded by the SRI that are then used for DNA prosecutions.”
[Raluca Pruna, the Justice Minister, responded] “In terms of the DNA, I urge the members here not to take that paragraph [from the MCV report] out of context as there are a lot of errors there. We don’t have the budget to investigate the SRI’s involvement in recording phone calls and anyway the DNA has their own capability of wiretapping phones.”
And Pruna is right. Saint Laura herself admitted as such in April 2015 after the minor scandal broke out about the extensive use of the SRI to gin up cases for the DNA. Just how many of the DNA’s cases came from SRI wiretaps is unknown as Kovesi gives out figures ranging from 5% to 19%.
In America, this would be the equivalent of learning that, in addition to the NSA spying on you, the FBI has also been routinely doing it as well. And yes, just like in America, the DNA can only spy on phone calls “if” a rubberstamp secret court gives them the legal approval to do so.
In Romania in 2014, the Constitutional Court only narrowly ruled against making registering all phones with the SRI mandatory. The SRI objected, saying that “terrorists will flood Romania to buy prepaid SIM cards”, which, as far as I can tell, has not fucking happened. Nor will it ever, as that is a ridiculous idea.
But it just goes to show you the mentality of people who can spy on your phone calls because once they can do it, they will always want to do it. Especially in a country where corruption, blackmail, and thuggery is rampant.
So… for the millions of people who worship at the feet of Saint Laura, I just have one question. Are you going to be so happy about the DNA’s limitless powers to basically do almost anything to anyone after Kovesi steps down or is replaced by someone else? Aww, come on! Don’t you know that witchhunts are always fun until they come for you? After all, that’s what made the French Revolution so gosh darn fun!
Romanians seem to have a fixation for this kind of shit. For decades they spied on each other and ratted one another out to the Securitate. And now it’s all hands on deck to praise a rogue “anti-corruption” agency which spies on people and throws them in jail after a secret trial in a special court system that has a more than 92% conviction rate. And yet this move backwards towards Ceausescu-type behavior is going to allow Romania to “graduate” the EU’s test on having a free and fair government system. Ha!
I hate corruption, and I loathe Dan Voiculescu and his monkeys on Antena 3, and I think Klaus is a dirty thug, and I grind my teeth when I see Victor Ponta still running around free, and Adrian Nastase was an old-school “Tammany Hall” type corrupt politician, but you know what? Fuck the DNA. Fuck them and their secret shit. I’d rather every corrupt politician in Romania go free than this razzle dazzle bullshit of the new Securitate 2.0 version masquerading as democratic progress.
There is a path forward to cleaning up Romanian politics but the DNA is not it!