On June 22, 2008 — I read an interesting article in The New York Times claiming the sovereign state of Poland was, in fact, the 51st state of the United States.
I wonder what sort of tax rate the people of Poland will pay to help us bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

The New York Times reported Poland has been used by the USA to detain and terrorize “enemies” of the United States:

Within days, Mr. Mohammed was flown to Afghanistan and then on to Poland, where the most important of the C.I.A.’s black sites had been established. The secret base near Szymany Airport, about 100 miles north of Warsaw, would become a second home to Mr. Martinez during the dozens of hours he spent with Mr. Mohammed.

Poland was picked because there were no local cultural and religious ties to Al Qaeda, making infiltration or attack by sympathizers unlikely, one C.I.A. officer said. Most important, Polish intelligence officials were eager to cooperate.

“Poland is the 51st state,” one former C.I.A. official recalls James L. Pavitt, then director of the agency’s clandestine service, declaring. “Americans have no idea.” …

…[T]he tough treatment began shortly after Mr. Mohammed was delivered to Poland. By several accounts, he proved especially resistant, chanting from the Koran, doling out innocuous information or offering obvious fabrications. The Times reported last year that the intensity of his treatment — various harsh techniques, including waterboarding, used about 100 times over a period of two weeks — prompted worries that officers might have crossed the boundary into illegal torture.

Reading that reminded me of an earlier article I wrote — Are USS Warships Being Used as Prison Hulks? — that explored the matter of “terror suspects” being detained on USA ships without a legal way to get off the water.

A week after the 51st state report, Poland harshly, and publicly, responded:

Poland’s Defence Minister Bogdan Klich has expressed outrage at an article in The New York Times alleging that “Poland has been the 51st state” of the USA acting as host to a secret CIA prison for terrorists.

“That is unacceptable. The sheer fact that we are in tough negotiations with the Americans regarding the anti-missile defence shield suggests that we are indeed an independent state,” Minister Klich said on Radio ZET, Monday morning.

Do you think Poland is the 51st state of the United States?

How many other “nations” has the USA colonized into add-on states in this neverending “war against terror” — and I wonder if their welfare system and gas prices are any better than what we presently enjoy in the “First 50” Homeland?

Reports of the Bush Administration’s “black” terrorist missions across the world are bubbling up and around too many places to be wholly dismissed as lies or as degradations of the truth.

Are we in for more international revelations of illegal USA activity in the world… allegedly intended to fight terrorism… when the real effect has been one of chilling freedom and melting the cold Rule of Law at home that we try to hold — both cherished and wished-for — against our empty bellies and still barely beating warm hearts?


  1. Hi David!
    The Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac enterprises are very interesting!
    And it’s heartening to see that the CIA official’s absurd assertion was rightly countered by the Polish Defense Minister’s response.

  2. Dananjay —
    The CIA revelation was a bit of a slipped confession while the Poland denial seemed harsh and sort of predictably bland and suspicious.

  3. David, maybe they’re both a bit of each other. The CIA statement was also in a way denying Poland’s sovereignty.

  4. Exactly, Dananjay, that’s why the CIA confession was so revealing: There was a spark of truth to it that ignited for a bit, and a very serious one with lasting consequences. The Poland denial was by rote, but it had to be done, and it took much to long to be made public.

  5. True, David. That Ministry statement does come off like that and the CIA statement was an honest and revelatory slip.

  6. Dananjay —
    That’s my feeling. One was a bragging slip. The other was a deliberate attempt to give cover to the moment of truth.

  7. Yes, David, but what else could Poland have done under the circumstances? They should have delivered that statement earlier and maybe even tried to understand what made the CIA think that way.

  8. Right, Dananjay. There’s nothing that could be done — they had to do it — they are in on it.

  9. Exactly David, they compromised themselves, or at least people like those intelligence officials in the NYT report.

  10. Fascinating David!
    Curiously enough, this affair reminds me of a novel called A Matter of Honour by Jeffrey Archer. A basic potboiler, so not really recommending it for reading but the subject matter is similar.

  11. Dananjay —
    Yes, curious! We also took second place pretty fast, eh?
    What is the plot of that novel?

  12. David!
    Yes, but like they say, “all overnight successes spend years in the making!”
    i can’t faithfully recall the plot but googling it gave me this –
    “It seems innocent enough. A disgraced British colonel bequeaths a mysterious letter to his only son. But the moment Adam Scott opens the yellowing envelope, he sets into motion a deadly chain of events that threatens to shake the very foundations of the free world.
    Within days, Adam’s lover is brutally murdered and he’s running for his life through the great cities of Europe, pursued not only by the KGB, but by the CIA and his own countrymen as well. Their common intent is to kill him before the truth comes out. While powerful men in smoke-filled rooms plot ever more ingenious means of destroying him, Adam finds himself betrayed and abandoned even by those he holds most dear.
    When at last he comes to understand what he is in possession of, he’s even more determined to protect it, for it’s more than a matter of life and death-it’s a matter of honor.”
    and that thing turns out to be
    “the only official Russian copy of a secret codicil to the treaty by which the United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867. Seward’s Folly turns out to have not been a true purchase at all, but a long (99-year) lease akin to the British hold on Hong Kong, with a right of return to Russia (now the Soviet Union) if they can only retrieve their copy before the lease deadline, only days away.”

  13. Fantastic synopsis, Dananjay! I’m sure you just sold a thousand copies of that book!

  14. Ha! David! I hope they enjoy it as much as I did when I read it then!

  15. The novel obviously made a lasting emotional and aesthetic mark on you, Dananjay. That speaks to the quality of the work!

  16. Now that you mention it, I suppose it did, David! It’s perfect for an overnight journey.

  17. Is Poland the Urban Semiotic of 51st states? (I thought some people called Puerto Rico the 51st state… or the DC of W?)

  18. Gordon!
    We do have a counting problem. Harvard University is also known as the 51st state. Heh!

  19. Whew! I’m off for the day, David. See you on the other side!

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