Polish military police raid NATO centre in Warsaw

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Click to enlargeRafał Guz/EPA

Tens of thousands march against “democratorship”

Polish military police have raided a NATO-affiliated counterintelligence centre in Warsaw in the latest of a series of moves by the country’s new rightwing government to consolidate its hold on power.

The raid took place at 1.30am on Friday at the temporary offices of the NATO Counter Intelligence Centre of Excellence. According to the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper, senior aides of Antoni Macierewicz, the defence minister, accompanied by military police, entered the building using a duplicate key…

Any such change of management was supposed to have been a matter of consultation with NATO and the Slovak government, which is a partner in the centre. Neither NATO nor Slovak officials could confirm whether any such consultation had taken place.

The former Polish defence minister Tomasz Siemoniak told reporters: “Nothing like this has happened in the history of NATO, that a member state attacks a NATO facility.”

A NATO official said the raid was “an issue for the Polish authorities”, adding that the centre had yet to be accredited by NATO…

However, its creation was the subject of a formal signing ceremony in the US at the end of September attended by the NATO head of alliance transformation, General Jean-Paul Paloméros, ministers from Poland and Slovakia, as well as representatives from eight other NATO members sponsoring the institution.

NATO centres of excellence are not run directly under NATO command but are coordinated by the alliance as affiliated bodies cultivating expertise…

The raid represented an attempt by Macierewicz to wrest immediate control of the centre from Dusza, who had been appointed to run it by Poland’s former centre-right government ousted in October elections by the radical Law and Justice party.

Since then, the new ruling party has moved fast to put loyalists in charge of the intelligence and security agencies, and had its nominees sworn in as constitutional court judges in the middle of the night in violation of constitutional procedure. The party is also preparing a bill that would open up senior civil service jobs to political appointments…

Replacing a Centre-Right government with radical right-wing politicians is already having it’s effect on citizens. Tens of thousands turned out for demonstrations against plans to scrap constitutional and democratic rights.

Looks like natural allies for the Trump/Cruz/Tea Party Axis.

Remember knocking on a door and not wondering if you need a bulletproof vest

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An off-duty New Jersey state trooper fired shots at a car with three young men inside as they were trying to drive away from his house after knocking on his door by mistake at night while looking for the house of a friend who lives next door…

The trooper told investigators he suspected the three men were trying to enter his Sparta home, 50 miles northwest of New York City, between 1:30 a.m. and 2 a.m. Sunday, according to the attorney general’s office.

Jesse Barkhorn, 18, who was in the car that night, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that they attended a party earlier and were dropping off one of them at a friend’s house. He said they mistakenly knocked on the door at the house next to their friend’s house. He said they heard a man screaming from inside and they ran back to the car.

They turned around in the cul-de-sac where the home is located and saw the man standing with his weapon pointed at them, Barkhorn said.

“At this point we’re freaking out, ‘It’s a gun. It’s a gun,'” Barkhorn said. “I was like ‘Dude, get out of here.'”

He said the driver accelerated and the man then fired at them. One of the bullets struck the car’s front tire and the driver stopped the car a short distance away.

According to officials, who didn’t release the names of those involved, two 18-year-olds and a 19-year-old went to the wrong house, knocked on the door and fled after a verbal exchange. They got in their car and drove away and the trooper fired three shots with his personal weapon when the car did not stop…

Barkhorn told the AP that after they stopped the car, one of the men fled. He was found by officers hours later.

Barkhorn said all three were taken to the Sparta police department then to state police barracks in Netcong. He said he remained in custody for more than nine hours before being released without being charged.

“It was traumatic. I really have never been in a situation like that,” Barkhorn said. “You don’t really appreciate things until you have a gun pointed at your head. It was really scary.”

Nine hours in state police custody because their cop bubba did the shooting – so it had to be the kids’ fault, right? How long does it take to establish that the cop firing at these kids was the one breaking the law?

Yes, you can be suspicious about someone turning up at your door at 2 in the morning. Maybe even you keep your piece handy if you’re a gun owner. But, if the dudes are obviously hurrying to depart, you needn’t do more than try to get their license number and call it in. You don’t start shooting up the neighborhood.

I’ve been in the same situation – with a young guy showing up at the door who ran out of gas in front of our home. Yes, I had a handgun in my pocket. No need to wave it about or even mention it. And, yes, we hunted up the gas can for our lawnmower and got enough into his car to get him close enough back to civilization to find an all-night gas station and get himself home.

Cripes! Being civilized is really easier than being paranoid.