Polish Airplane Crash Cover-Up?

The following comes from a highly respected journalist in Poland.  For reasons of personal security this individual must remain anonymous:


After four months, the Polish parliamentary opposition wins the battle over the forming of an investigation committee for explaining the reasons of the president’s and his delegation’s plane crash in Russia. The committee of 120 members of Parliament (from Lower and Higher Chambers) is being led by Chairman Representative Antoni Macierewicz, who in 2008 successfully disbanded the still then pro-Russian military intelligence Wojskowe Sluzby Informacyjne (Military Information Service). Many Poles hope that Macierewicz’s committee will be able to motivate the Polish government, which as they are convinced, does not contend with the Russian deceptions on the plane crash. However, the list of those deceptions is already very long.

On April 9th the plane crash killed Polish president Lech Kaczynski, his ministers, the Army’s highest commanders, members of Parliament and many other officials in Smolensk, Russia. President Kaczynski and his delegates flew to pay homage to 22,000 Polish officers murdered in Katyn forests near Smolensk by the Russians in the biggest still unpunished war crime.

The first president who offered his condolences to the Polish nation in the face of the death of their best leaders was Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. He took Poles, who were in a state of deep shock after the loss of their president and 95 high state officials, by surprise and in an hour after the catastrophe as he established himself as the leader of an investigative committee. The next day Russian president Medvedev told Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk that Russian prosecutors will be working together with their Polish counterparts. It became obvious a little later that Medvedev acted according old Soviet tradition – tell one thing and act contrary to what you said. Putin-led investigative committee is not different from well-known to Poles Soviet-style committees. Contrary to investigative teams formed in the West, Soviet style groups practice maskirovka (concealment) – that is, hiding instead of revealing evidence, lying instead of providing information and using active measures to discredit victims and shield those responsible among them.


It seems that from the day of plane crash Russian investigators are looking for evidence which would prove their theories that plane’s captain made a mistake because the president or somebody from his delegation pressed him to land in thick fog. In fact, the Russians lied that the captain had tried to land four times, ignoring the warning of the Smolensk airport tower. Although that claim was proved wrong – the pilot did not attempt to land four times – nobody in Russia, or the Western media, which mindlessly repeated the lie, apologized. It had to be clear signal for Kremlin that they can continue misinform as they wish and no Western reporter will challenge them.

In the era of the global village, news disappears from the screen as quickly as it appears. This is exactly what happened to the reporting on this sudden death of such a great number of high officials from a NATO country. It’s hardly even shocking that the worldwide news networks went back to their everyday infotainment programs and lost interest in resolving of mystery of Polish president’s plane crash.

Americans do not know that hundreds of thousands of Poles are demanding an international committee to investigate their president’s and his delegation’s death. Although in May the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Radoslaw Sikorski, repeated that he is not concerned about the investigation by Russians, the average Pole has a different opinion. According to Millward Brown SMG/KRC, polls say that 62 percent of Poles distrust the Russians. According to Polish daily newspaper “Fakt,” Polish investigators do not trust their Russian counterparts. Famous Russian dissidents, freedom fighter Vladimir Bukovsky and poet Natalia Gorbaniewska expressed their concern about investigation. One can hardly be surprised by lack of the Poles’ faith when he learns that, for instance, only two months after investigation Russians returned black boxes… with 16 seconds of missing recording.

Until today Polish investigators were not able to question traffic control officer who communicated with pilots of Polish president’s plane. It was reported that three days after crash that officer went on retirement and Russian authorities do not know where he lives now. There is more to that, Russians did not return black boxes to Poles. Prosecutors have no access to recording of communication between traffic control tower and pilots of the plane. Recently families of victims started to demand that exhumation and autopsy be conducted.
In May Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) released transcripts of recording from black boxes. It was supposed to be a sign of breakthrough in the investigation. However transcripts raised even more questions. A group of pilots, who published their analysis, challenged the authenticity of the recording based on its length. Recordings should not exceed half an hour – the capacity of magnetic tape in the black box. The transcript published by MIA is about thirty percent longer. That is reason enough to question authenticity of the recording. In opinion of pilots a speed given in the transcript is unreal. It is not only extreme during landing but according to transcript plane descends twenty meters in one second. According to pilots, it is technically impossible because the autopilot would not allow for that. There is also problem with the TAWS (Terrain Awareness Warning System). In the transcript a plane descends to an altitude of four hundred meters at 10:39:57 but only three seconds later TAWS warns “Terrain Ahead”. It is an incorrect message which may indicate that the TAWS was not properly working.

One more detail – whenever the captain of the plane is supposed to say anything, the transcript reads: “unidentified voice” or “difficult to understand.” What is odd is that a second pilot is talking clearly – speaking extremely fast since each communiqué during landing could not last more than 0.5 second. Last but not least, the transcript is missing the signature of only Polish expert who identified voices from the black boxes. That reason alone would be enough to place disbelief in the document.

Investigators seem to exclude completely hypotheses proposed by intelligence experts, such as meaconing – the interception and resending of signals to deceive avionic equipment – although according to Russian press reports from 2008, proudly announced were successful tests of this technology in Smolensk.

Today, more information is available – such as footage from the site of crash, testimonies of families who went to Moscow to be questioned by Russian authorities, reports of investigative journalists, testimonies of witnesses such as pilots who arrived two hours before president’s plane is available (thanks to several private investigation efforts) and material provided by conservative Polish reporters. That evidence is enough for parliamentary committee to start serious investigation. A Member of Parliament has to be given all of documents which Polish government has in store. They can also ask experts for independent research and assessment.

Last Thursday the families of victims, including the wife former Supervisor of Special Services Zbigniew Wasserman, expressed support for the new committee. Its chairman, Antoni Macierewicz is probably the only guarantee that truth can be revealed. In 1970 Macierewicz established the main opposition group KOR (Committee for the Defense of Workers), and played a major role in disassembling the post-communist empire in Poland in the 90’s and 2000’s. Among his main achievements are initiating of lustration process and disbanding of pro-Soviet military intelligence, as well as building new military counterintelligence. In 1992 as a Minister of Interior he exposed the names of 64 Members of Parliament and government who were recruited as secret collaborators by communist secret police between 1949 and 1990. In 2007 Macierewicz, as Liquidator of Military Intelligence, exposed officers who were trained by GRU (Russian foreign military intelligence directorate) who still played a major role in the Polish army.

The investigation of the Parliament committee soon will be portrayed as a wedge between Russia and Poland. Poles like Macierewicz understand well that they can not count on support from Polish mainstream media. They cannot trust the European media, which tends to repeat Russian propaganda. Macierewicz, as a convinced Atlanticist and strong supporter of the American missile defense system proposed by George W. Bush, understands that only American people can help him to succeed through their vocal support of seeking the truth. He already expresses a belief shared by hundreds of thousands of Poles that the plane crash was a crime. That statement brings a new hope for the investigation.

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