The protocols’ untold truth
All those who today denounce the collaboration protocols between various institutions of the judiciary and intelligence services are the ones to have laid the foundations of this system, or have enthusiastically signed them when they were in power. The Tariceanu Government adopted a Government Decision that provided for the conclusion of protocols, Dragnea signed one at the Ministry of Development, and the Judicial Inspection – which is currently verifying these protocols – has also concluded such agreements.
Why did they do it? Why are they vilifying today that which they praised a decade ago? Today’s unspoken and elided truth is that the protocols were not anyone’s conspiracy. They represented a simple implementation of the will of the Romanian state, which, in 2005, two years before joining the EU, committed itself to fighting forcefully high-level systemic corruption.
In order to achieve this goal, the political decision-makers from President Traian Basescu, Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu and others from 2009, Boc, Ungureanu, enabled all institutions in this large-scale action known as ” the fight anti-corruption”. The famous MCV mechanism was also accepted as a guarantee that Romania will not regress in this fight.
For example, the Government of Călin Popescu Tăriceanu adopted in 2005 a Government Decision that provided in Article 2 the following: „The Action Plan for the implementation of the National Anticorruption Strategy 2005-2007, as set out in Annex no. 2”.
Annex no. 2 also provides for the following indicator under the heading „Indicators for the assessment of the stage of implementation of the measure”: „Protocols signed by the institutions concerned„. The following institutions are responsible for the category: „NSC, the Romanian Intelligence Service, the Foreign Intelligence Service, the General Intelligence Department, Information and Internal Protection of the Ministry of Administration and Interior, General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police, and the High Court”.
In its turn, the NSC adopted in 2005 the famous Decision in which corruption was included in the category of threats to national security, which is the basis of action for all the security institutions in this direction.
In fact, the NSC activity report of 2005 shows on page 6 the following:
- „The Council members assessed the risks and implications of these phenomena on the national security objectives and on the process of integration and qualification for the standards and requirements for accession to the European Union. Through the specialized bodies, an operative monitoring of the areas and sectors of activity with potential in the field of corruption and organized crime was carried out. The Public Ministry and the National Anticorruption Department have concluded cooperation protocols with all the structures that have information duties in order to effectively manage and valorize the information on corruption offenses (the Romanian Intelligence Service, the Foreign Intelligence Service, the General Intelligence Department, Information and Internal Protection of the Ministry of Administration and Interior, General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police), as well as with other institutions that have attributions in this field (National Bank of Romania, National Office for Preventing and Combating Money Laundering, National Control Authority, Financial Guard , The National Securities Commission). „
It is also worth noting that Calin Popescu Tariceanu was a member of the NSC that adopted the above decision in 2005, as prime minister.
Here we should remember an important political detail. Traian Basescu and Calin Popescu Tariceanu won the elections in 2004 riding a strong anti-corruption wave, the main weapon of attack against the Nastase Government. Under the SDP governance of 2000-2004, corruption had flourished and had become systemic. Do you remember the slogans „Whips in Victory Square!” And „Jail the corrupt!” of Basescu’s presidential campaign ? What followed was the implementation of the most important electoral promise made 14 years ago by the leaders of the DA (Justice and Truth) Alliance, Traian Basescu and Calin Popescu Tariceanu.
Out of opportunism, fear, or good relations with the „system”, the new leaders of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), coming after Năstase, have also been involved in the removal of the old networks of corruption. Victor Ponta, a relative of George Maior, appointed to SRI in 2005, and Liviu Dragnea, in good relations with the services (most likely one of the few local SDP barons who played offside in 2004, making Basescu’s on-the-cusp victory possible) collaborated without hesitation with the security institutions out of a simple calculation. They hoped they would enjoy protection, and by destroying the old barons, they would replace them with their clientele.
For this reason, Liviu Dragnea had no hesitation in signing a protocol of cooperation with the SRI in 2014 as Development Minister. In other words, Dragnea did not just dissect pigs with the SRI, but also barons who were too greedy or had fallen into disgrace. Instead, the former president of County Council Teleorman enjoyed the protection of the unseen hands, TelDrum thrived, and the new party moguls were not Voiculescu or Vântu, both from the old security networks of corruption who had been sent sent to prison, but the younger Sebastian Ghita, produced and raised in the new SRI laboratories.
All these politicians were used by the state to achieve their goals, and they also took advantage of the privileged relationship with the system to prosper in business or to defeat opponents in their parties. They signed protocols, ratted on each other, and would have sold anyone in order to be under the protective umbrella of the new system.
The anti-corruption mechanism set in motion in 2005 imploded 13 years later when it managed to swallow its tail, devouring its creators and protectors. Basescu, Tariceanu, Ghiţă, Udrea, Ponta, Dragnea were caught by their misdeeds, and, after the SRI people torpedoed the influential groups of the SIE (Monaco and other heavy ones) the critical mass for the political will expressed in 2005 to turn on its head was rife. The collapse of anti-corruption dos not represent just the revenge of politicians, but also the result of the struggle for supremacy between services.
Abuses, and the trampling of rights and freedoms? These are big words that camouflage political vileness. Sure, there were punctual excesses. The derailers of justice, however, invoked the excesses not out of a desire to repair the errors of the past, but to justify the demolition of justice and the judiciary, and to dismantle the mechanism of state based on protocols, considered the supreme evil.
Today, Dragnea, Tariceanu, Basescu, Udrea, Ghiţă, and a large coalition of criminally investigated individuals denounce the protocols, as they are at the basis of many difficult cases, hoping that if they remove these bricks from the foundation of the anti-corruption struggle, the edifice will collapse. Feeling their freedom and wealth threatened, the system’s mutants, those who have been protected for years, have turned their weapons. The parents of the system killed their own children.
The history of the Romanian “mani pulite” operation concludes in a circle. With the anti-corruption discourse we have triumphantly stepped into the EU . With the destructive attacks on justice and the judiciary, we are heading towards its exit.
Traducerea: Ruxandra Stoicescu
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