Of the actions of soldiers and employees of the Military Intelligence Services (WSI) and military organizational entities performing military intelligence and counter-intelligence activity before coming into the force of the Act July 9, 2006 on Military Intelligence Services to the extent determined in Art. 67 subpar. 1 p. 1 through 10 of the Act of June 9, 2006 “Regulations Implementing the Military Counter-intelligence Service and the Military Intelligence Service Act and the Duties of the Military Counter-intelligence Service and Military Intelligence Service Officers Act” and other actions going beyond the issues of the State defense and safety of the Polish Army.
THE PRESIDENT OF VERIFICATION COMMISSION
ABSTRACT OF THE REPORT
On the actions of soldiers and employees of the former Military Intelligence Services (WSI) performing military intelligence and counter-intelligence activity and other actions going beyond the issues of the State defense and safety of the Polish Army.
The Report comprises information about the activity of soldiers and employees of special services (and the persons co-operating with them) concerning:
• disclosure or use of the information making by the State secret or;
• omission to notify the prosecution agencies of criminal acts;
• obstruction and disconcerting penal proceedings;
• use of violence and illegal threats;
• exerting illegal affect on decisions made by the public authorities;
• keeping secret cooperation with entrepreneurs and persons acting in (public) media;
• falsifying information in order to exercise or extend penal proceedings against specific persons;
• taking financial or personal benefits from the above mentioned actions;
• and any other actions going beyond the matters of State defense and safety of the Polish Army.
The Report also discloses the information about the persons occupying leading state positions who did not undertake any actions aiming at discontinuation of the activities of the military special services going beyond the prevailing regulations of the law.
Military Intelligence Services (the WSI) and their legal predecessors – the entities executing the military intelligence and counter-intelligence tasks, constituted and were integral part of the Polish Army. As part of the Polish Army, the military special services could act exclusively within the scope of State defense and safety. The strictly determined obligations of Military Intelligence Services (the WSI) included only the tasks relating to identification and counteracting the threats being detrimental to State defense and breach of the State secret relating to defense.
In connection with liquidation of the Military Information Services – the WSI [the process begin on the summer of 2006 by three Acts of Parliament, issued on the 9th of June], the Verification Commission was appointed. The Commission was collecting and analyzing materials originating from the hearings of the soldiers of the WSI and third persons, from the archive files, being at the disposal of the WSI (Military Information Services). Then after WSI was disbanded on the date of the 30th of September 2006, files were at the disposal of new services: SKW (Military Counter-intelligence Service), SWW (Military Intelligence Service), IPN (Institute of National Remembrance), CAW (Central Military Archives).
The transformations performed in the Army after 1989 left intact the basic structures and the old cadre of the special forces and subordinated them to the management of the officers originating from the 2nd Directorate of the Staff General. The files of former military services or files produced by individual WSI units on an on-going basis, were systematically destroyed and hidden. In turn, the process of establishing of a new system aimed at hiding material information before the vetting-related legislation coming into force was initiated. For instance, an attempt at destroying the personal data by deleting them with the use of a marker in the register of agents from ‘Wybrzeże Gdańskie’ [Three-Cities: Gdańsk-Sopot-Gdynia Region] from the 70’ies and 80’ies was proved.
The Report contains 24 documentary annexes, in which the problems referred to above are discussed in more detail comparing to the Report itself.
The WSI - origins
In the 1980s two structures composed the military services of the People's Republic of Poland. These were: the 2nd Directorate of the General Staff of the Polish People's Army and the Military Internal Services (WSW) established from the former Military Information, acting simultaneously as C.I. as well as military police but in reality being merely a kind of military political police. In the autumn of 1991, the structure was named the Military Intelligence Services. In 2006 the Parliament’s Act dissolved the WSI and established two separated services: the Military Counter Intelligence Service - MCIS and the Military Intelligence Service - MIS (SKW and SWW [in Polish: Służba Kontrwywiadu Wojskowego and Służba Wywiadu Wojskowego]).
Organizational changes made in the end of eighties and in the beginning of nineties did not have a crucial impact. [Military] Service(s) have played a function of political apparatus continuously: amongst almost 10 thousand collaborators of the military services acting inside the country as well as abroad in the year 1990, at least 2500 (roughly 25%) consisted of people being very well-placed in central administrative and economic institutions of the country. This problem is illustrated below presenting a list encompassing of as many as 2457 WSI (WSW) collaborators being placed in as WSI 'assets' in civil institutions of the [so-called] People's Republic of Poland [before 1989]. Inter alia they were placed in:
• National Level Administration: 204 (including 108 in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs alone).
• Political and social organizations: 24
• Academies and Universities: 207 university teachers, 342 students, 38 members of the Polish Academy of Sciences, 41 employees of Research Institutes.
• Schools: 25 in high-school, technical, professional and elementary schools.
• Journalists in TV, Radio and Press: 67
• Artistic and cultural institutions, publishers and printing offices: 21
• Hospitals and medical institutions: 34
• Banks and insurance companies: 18
• ‘International Commerce ‘Centrala’s’ - foreign trade companies and chambers: 471
• Military Production Companies: 19
• Fuel & Energy Companies: 32
• Transportation companies: 272
• Maritime sector companies [besides the mentioned above transportation ones]: 101
• Other business branches: 407
• R&D centers for industry, project bureaus, etc.: 49
• Cooperatives including dwelling-cooperatives: 38
Single collaborators were placed also in inter alia: arrests, labor offices, ‘Treasury Printing-house’, taxi-cab companies, ‘Institute of Meteorology’, sport clubs, ‘Folk Riding Team’ (‘Ludowy Zespół Jeździecki’), ‘State Mint’, and many other institutions.
WSI established also a network of companies on the territory of the neutral countries (from Scandinavia to Mediterranean countries), working legally as regular commercial establishments. Several sources of military intelligence were identified:
• smuggling and illegal trade of computer parts;
• foreign bank transaction from the funds of the state-owned ‘Foreign Trade Central’;
• repurchase of Polish debt through ‘Foreign Debt Administration Fund’ (FOZZ);
• taking over inheritances of former Polish citizens deceased abroad;
• arms trade with (especially Arab) terrorists;
• establishing common ventures (called even in Polish: 'joint venture') with Polish companies through secret collaborators.
• the Foreign Intelligence of the WSI tried also very hard to start with its own TV company. Original reason for such activities was to make easy to place secret collaborators on the West.
Russian penetration: the threats for internal and external safety of the State
The Soviet special services (KGB and GRU) fully controlled (also, if not especially military) Special Forces of the Polish People’s Republic. They had their permanent representations, in which GRU and KGB residents were placed. Though the WSI were established in October 1991, they maintained the fundamental feature of special services of the countries subordinated to the USSR: their cadre was composed of selected and trusted people, who underwent special training guarantying their loyalty. From the beginning of the 70-ies to 1989 at least 800 officers from Poland were studying in the USSR schools, among the others the future WSI Chiefs (like Rear Admiral Kazimierz Głowacki and Gen. Marek Dukaczewski), as late as in 1992 and 1993. Until 2006 several dozen graduates from the Russian training and courses served in the WSI structures basically composing the ‘upper echelons’ (directorial/decisive positions) of the Service.
While the Red Army was based in Poland and then the Russian army was withdrawn from Poland in 1993, GRU and KGB intensively recruited the agents and operationally gathered information about the citizens of the Republic of Poland. The main objective was to create the information base, i.e. so called “frozen net of agents”, which could be activated in the future by the Soviet or post-Soviet services.
For example, following the withdrawal of the Soviet Army units, intensified contacts of the Soviet Army officers with the citizens of Republic of Poland were noted after 1994. They maintained familiar contacts, in many meetings participated persons representing the political circles, sometimes even the women from escort agencies. According to the opinion of witnesses, during these "meetings" so called "pressure" materials were gathered against the participants.
In addition to individual business activity organized in Poland after 1990, several thousand companies with participation of Russian capital were established, some of them by the (former) officers of the Russian Army.
There are a lot of counter-espionage cases concerning the Russian activities that bear visible traces of removing documents in cases’ files. There was at least one case of a German national who employed many former STASI officers, held close relations with the key Polish politicians and military personnel, entered military facilities but there was not a single sign of the WSI counter-intelligence warning them of the threat. For 11 years of carrying the case none operational advantages were obtained. It seems that all the actions were intentionally carried in such way as “not to disturb” the suspected persons.
WSI had never undertaken a comprehensive operational investigation of officers and soldiers, who underwent training in the USSR and quite contrary, the WSI favored them in their service and in the Polish Army. Only certain former trainees were handed specially prepared questionnaires, but their detailed filling out was not exacted. The graduates from the training courses were not subject to any comprehensive polygraph tests. In effect, there were almost no appropriate reactions to the connections of the WSI officers with Eastern special services. The WSI were incapable to carry effective counter-intelligence work. Ominously, during the entire period of their existence they did not detain even one Russian spy. All successes in this field were merely the result of civil services actions. In turn, it was indicated that the graduates from KGB and GRU courses "made a natural recruitment base for Eastern special services". The assessment of the WSI operating actions both in intelligence and anti-espionage area must be negative. For several recent years they have not been in condition to build any operating structure, which could carry intelligence reconnaissance and provide counter-intelligence security, unexposed to the Soviet infiltration.
WSI use of the ‘Security Service’ (SB) apparatus
In some part of Poland the WSI used negatively verified apparatus of communist Security Service (Służba Bezpieczeństwa – SB) for the organization of its non-central structures. Former SB agents were engaged to the WSI actions and also fully employed. It happened quite often that the sought persons should be truly dedicated to the former communistic state structures, and in view of their placement should be ready to co-operate and at the same time be prone to manipulation.
Surveillance of the internal social and political environment
WSI actively penetrated the political circles, first of all the politicians of the right-to-the-center. In spite of manipulating by the WSI the archive documents and falsification of the contents of files of run operational cases, it may be decidedly stated that certain right-to-center parties were methodically put under the WSI surveillance. Among others, the operations [on the beginning of 90-ties] were oriented against Jarosław and Lech Kaczyński.
The actions relating to these circles prove that the WSI behaved like its communist predecessor Military Internal Services (WSW) [from the times before 1989], which being so called "political police" in the army, controlled the political views of soldiers and commanding cadre and were fighting their “ideological enemies”. The tasks of Military Internal Services (WSW) included, among others control of participation of the soldiers in religious practices and listening to Western broadcasting stations and detecting in the army the “offences” of political character.
The WSI actions against military associations, postulating the necessity of introducing changes in the Army were correlated with the actions against civil persons; there occurred fundamental convergence of operating actions. The actions against the soldiers may be regarded as justified to the extent in which they were carried under statutory frames. The fact that the actions against the soldiers were only a pretext for political parties’ investigation is a characteristic feature of the discussed activity.
The WSI have worked out a specific doctrine of political opponent, which should be fought, since it is dangerous for State structures. Under the pretext of gathering information on articles appearing in the press, interviews in radio and leaflets critical for the Ministry of National Defense, Polish Armed Forces and the WSI, the information about journalists and politicians was gathered. The object of surveillance were first of all groups, political parties and persons, who demanded carrying de-communism plans and vetting in the army, dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, accession to NATO etc. Taking issue with the persons disclosing irregularities or remainders of the patronage system of the Polish People’s Republic (called ‘nomenclature’) in the army, the WSI acted in favor of keeping communistic influence in the Armed Forces.
The WSI noted the cases of sending to military units the letters containing leaflets on enfranchisement of the ‘nomenclature’ (communist patronage system) in the Army and decrepitude of Ministry of National Defense chiefs (J. Onyszkiewicz and B. Komorowski). They wanted to find the authors of the leaflets and organizers of associations presented as acting in the Army.
Most operational cases related to opposition politicians were always run by the same group of the WSI (Military Information Services – MIS) officers. In other words, in the military secret service’s structures there was a specialized group of officers whose task was to collect information about the WSI soldiers’ contacts with the journalists, publishers and politicians’ circles.
In 1992 a detailed investigation of the Deputy Minister of National Defense, Radosław Sikorski, started as well. In the course of the case, actions were taken to “inspire” the press articles which would show Sikorski in a negative light, in particular in his capacity of the Deputy Minister of National Defense in Jan Olszewski’s cabinet. The WSI have also investigated the political circles around Bronisław Komorowski, another Minister of Defense.
On the other hand, a very dismissive approach was adopted by the WSI with respect to the signals about possible crimes committed by the post-communists. Although such information about the politicians from these circles was gathered, but in these cases the military services were very abstemious. That information was never used by the WSI to start any operational cases. There were also no documents preserved which would prove that the signals about possible crimes were conveyed to those persons’ superiors or to the prosecutor’s office, to civil special services or to the ministers in charge of a given domain.
The WSI tried to gather materials against the President of the Republic of Poland, Aleksander Kwaśniewski. The Verification Commission found the documents discussing the case of alleged acceptance of a one million USD check for Jolanta Kwaśniewska’s [President’s Wife] Foundation. The operations of the WSI against President Kwaśniewski resulted from the involvement of some WSI officers in the competition of foreign companies on the Polish alcohol market.
The asymmetry in the approach to the assessment of intelligence threats related to the activities of the political world is visible also in yet another example. The WSI did not undertake any steps in the case of two former Soviet Army officers who frequently contacted many prominent politicians (including Jerzy Szmajdziński, then the Minister of Defense), who formally established a company dealing with medicine trade. It was a general opinion that they worked for the Soviet special services. Despite drawing such far-reaching conclusions, no action was taken in this case to provide effective counter-intelligence guard.
To recapitulate: in the WSI’s assessment, the right-to-center circles were considered the extreme part of the Polish political scene. The services suggested that this was the direction from which the threats for the state security should be expected. Creation of such a diagnosis by the WSI resulted in fact from the intention to protect the WSI’s own interests and had no relation whatsoever to the real security of the State and the Polish Army.
The WSI influenced the mass media through the recruitment of journalists and members of management of television stations, owing to which they could have indirect impact on the publishing policy and program line of the publications or broadcasters. At the beginning of the 90-ties, the operational activities were conducted both in public and in private media, leading to the achievement of such a position by the WSI where they tried to control all Polish TV stations and most of nationwide press.
Illegal arms trade
At the turn of 1991 and 1992, the WSI developed the so-called concept of organization of counter-intelligence protection for arms production and of monitoring of special trade conducted by the Polish companies. The real purpose was to create a mechanism of illegal arms trade. The authors of this concept aimed at gaining a share in that market and controlling it through the military special services. The profits from the operation were to constitute “off-budget sources of financing of the activities of military special services”. In order to obtain tangible benefits, the WSI were using their powers and facilitated the process of obtaining of relevant permits for activities in this domain. In order to receive the relevant documents, the WSI officers often used officers under cover or collaborators employed in the relevant units of the state authorities.
The WSI’s secret collaborators also performed money laundering operations together with the Italian Mafia. Specific actions were taken against the Police. The WSI not only protected their people from the Police and UOP, but also sought assistance in solving problems by way of informal contacts with the justice, in criminal cases, etc.
Meanwhile, the arms trade operations led to establishing contacts with terrorist groups. The WSI made business with individuals punished for arms trade, including contacts from the period before political transformation that helped with organization of arms for the PLO from the countries at war with Israel and pursuing anti-American policy. The companies, which dealt in special trade, together with people who supervised them at the WSI level, in fact, created an organized crime group and supported criminal activities.
Irregularities Related to the Protection of the Tender for Wheeled APC (Armored Personnel Carrier)
The WSI did not react properly to the irregularities related to the tender for APC. The ABW (Internal Security Agency, civilian agency) informed the WSI that they obtained a number of materials indicating that there could have been some irregularities in the process of selection of the WAPC from the Finnish company ‘Patria’. In spite of unfavorable information, the tender procedure was completed in April 2003 and the contract for delivery of WAPC for the Polish Army was signed. The final record of the delivery and acceptance tests for WAPC ‘Rosomak’ (Wolverine – Polish name of ‘Patria’ vehicle) were changed many times before the ultimate version was ready. The WSI were responsible for the procedure, however, the WSI officers did not confirm the data obtained by HUMINT sources and other operational means, nor did they assess or analyze the gathered materials (also those from the ABW). They did not take any actions, which would aim at the neutralization of dangers occurring in the case.
Interference of the WSI on the Fuel and Energy Market
In the scope of their business activities, the WSI carried out operational and investigation activities in the area of fuel management in the units of all types of armed forces. Till the end of 1990, the provisions of fuel to the military units were carried out centrally. Since 1991, the changes made by the General Staff did not lead to the independence of the Polish Armed Forces from the Russian suppliers, but created a new structure of profit-sharing in the fuel trade. The greatest profits were made by the Russian go-betweens (e.g. the company J&S) and those senior military people who supervised that trade.
At least since October 2003, the WSI Counter-intelligence was perfectly aware of the Russia’s endeavors to take control over the Polish energy sector. The acquired documents presented the Russians’ plans to cause the bankruptcy of the Polish energy sector in order to take it over. The obtained analysis contained long-term and strategic plans of operation in the territory of Poland after joining the UE. Efforts have been made by the WSI to precisely block any further flow of information and in fact to protect Russian interests. In addition in 2006, Russia started collecting information about the Polish brown and bituminous coal mining, in order to implement the plan of taking over Polish 12 strategic mines.
In turn, the files about the German plans to eliminate Poland from the world brown and bituminous coal market show that concealing important information from the state authorities was a widely accepted practice in the WSI.
The ‘Fuel Mafia’ case is one of the gravest charges against the WSI. Not only did the services know about illegal activities and tolerate them but also its soldiers were the main chain links in the Mafia and the WSI protected the criminal activities of Russian services and the Mafia.
Activities of the WSI Officers in the Military Technical Academy
Very often the funds belonging to the economic entities or institutions connected to the military were transferred out or embezzled via companies, foundations or other institutions established at the initiative of the WSI officers or closely linked to them. An example of this type of activities of the WSI offers were their business activities focused around the Military Technical Academy (WAT, ‘Wojskowa Akademia Techniczna’). Some WSI officers were appointed as the counter-intelligence guard of the WAT just to become employees of that academy. If they did not work in the WAT, then they usually represented business entities, which were the academy’s partners in commercial illegal transactions.
The Recruitment Irregularities
The selection of new candidates for duty was not conducted on the basis of correct criteria. The premises acquired about the candidates for duty and the WSI soldiers did not have any impact on staff-related decisions. In spite of negative opinions about the candidate (e.g. negative psychological profile, alcohol abuse, unreliability, important counter-indications for operational work), positive decisions were made regarding the acceptance for service in the WSI. There were also situations where the officers tried to influence their subordinates to hide unfavorable facts in their CVs.
Irregularities in the Organization of Purchases
It has become an unwritten rule that the entities dealing in the distribution and service of special technique equipment employed former soldiers of the WSI and the Polish Armed Forces. Those companies obtained in advance the information about planned purchases of necessary equipment. In many cases, only one company, which had information about the purchases planned by the WSI, entered the tender. The information about tenders for equipment for WSI often did not reach at all any other interested companies, operating on the market.
Irregularities Related to Counter-Intelligence Guard
It was interesting how the proper counter-intelligence guard of institutions and military units on the part of the WSI, which were obligated to run surveillance on those entities, was missing. Among others, the WSI should have controlled whether the civil business entities that co-operate with military institutions do not conduct any criminal activities – in this respect lack of proper reaction of the WSI was observed. There were obvious instances of informal ties between senior officers of the Polish Armed Forces and the representatives of business and state machinery. The WSI operatives acquired information about irregularities and provided that information to their superiors, however the latter did not draw proper conclusions from those reports.
From the materials contained in the sources, it can be seen that there was a concept of establishing a commercial company (or a network of companies) which would deliver supplies to the military units in “ZEN” (a code-name for a country). On one hand, those companies were supposed to form the base for surveillance and intelligence work, on the other hand, to satisfy the financial needs of the circles co-operating with Polish forces in “ZEN” country. The author of the plan was an ex-SB (Służba Bezpieczeństwa, ‘Security Service’, communist Political Police) agent who left the service after negative verification. He joined the WSI in the 1990s, then became a businessman. During the course of the events, the authorities of the Republic of Poland and the allied countries were frequently deceived and provided with false information. It also turned out that this person was suspected of swindle, and negatively assessed by the most important special services of the world. As a result of disinformation, the WSI Intelligence started an operation that was aimed at conning the allies out of multi-millions award under the pretences of elimination of the terrorists.
The case "ZEN" thus appears as a specific summary of the negative consequences arising from the fact that the Polish military special services were based on human teams, concepts and patterns of actions inherited from the People’s Republic of Poland. Almost all pathologies described in this can be seen the USSR-trained personnel, use of former Security Service agents, conducting intelligence activities based on the network of business enterprises and complete disregard of the State authorities. The alleged professionalism, effectiveness and indispensability of those services proved to be just the opposite. In the case "ZEN", the WSI, acting at the orders of a swindler, robbed the Polish State and was ready to expose Polish soldiers and commanders of Armed Forces to the highest danger and international embarrassment. Looking from this perspective, the disbanding of the WSI and establishing the new military special services appears as the only possible solution for Poland.