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Carl Bildt Summoned by Subcommittee
Systematic defiance of the country's principle of public insight.
BILDTBURG — Minister for foreign affairs Carl Bildt has been reported to Sweden's constitutional subcommittee for his defiance of freedom of information requests. This won't be the first time the noble Bildt comes under fire for such defiance.
Bildt's been keen to criticise others for allegedly placing themselves above the law, but he himself seems to be one of the worst offenders.
It wasn't too long ago that Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny discovered Carl Bildt had in effect taken over the Assange case, letting his foreign office handle international inquiries without bothering to inform her.
Then it was discovered how Bildt instructed staff to use Gmail for official correspondence so they could avoid public access and make things easier for the NSA's PRISM programme.
This time it's about donations made by Sweden's Centre Party to Iraq 2007-2008. Swedish news source 'Ekot' had to wait over three months for Bildt to return the requested documents.
Morgan Johansson, chairman of the judicial subcommittee, has therefore filed a complaint against Bildt for systematic defiance of the principle of public insight.
'It's completely unacceptable that they need more than three months to expedite a request for public documents', Johansson stated. 'But it's actually worse, for we've seen a systematic defiance here in the way Bildt abuses the principle of public insight.'
Bildt has been repeatedly and harshly criticised for defying the principle of public insight and even going so far as to refuse public access requests. One year ago he came under fire for not recording official correspondence in the dedicated foreign office correspondence ledger but instead told staff to use Gmail so they could circumvent public insight.
Both the media and the public at large are entitled to this insight; Bildt deliberately blocked them.
Nobility poster boy Bildt flanked by Johansson (L) and Eriksson (R). Bildt's the Swedish Teflon Kid who makes Bill Clinton look like velcro.
Again half a year ago Bildt came under fire in the Saudi scandal when it was discovered his right wing government sent military aid to the arab country in strict violation of Swedish legislation.
Why did Bildt drag his feet on this latest request? The official answer in so many words: 'these matters are highly sensitive for the Centre Party'.
'The reason they sat on that one was that it affected one of the parties in the current government, so it was politically sensitive', says Morgan Johansson.
Carl Bildt will be summoned to the constitutional subcommittee spring 2014.
[2014 is also an election year and Bildt's party are looking very bad in the polls. Ed.]
Constitutional subcommittee chairman Peter Eriksson (Greens) says that if it's found that this violation was supposed to protect the Centre Party then it's a very serious matter.
[Indeed. New Centre Party leader Annie Lööf has herself come under heavy fire for fraud and graft. New to her post, she immediately fixed the books so she became the second highest paid MP in the country and her lavish parties at taxpayer expense quickly became a thing of legend. Ed.]
'It's completely unacceptable to take political sensitivities into account when dealing with FOI requests', says Peter Eriksson. 'I think we need to look into this further. With such suspicions on the table, we need to summon Carl Bildt himself to testify before this committee.'
But Carl Bildt's been through worse. It's generally accepted he's been an informer for the US and the CIA since 1976, helped the CIA and NATO engineer the 'submarine scare' of the early 1980s, and his dirty business in Africa and Russia are still the object of speculation. Often called before the constitutional subcommittee, Bildt's always been able to squirm out of the hot seat.
Perhaps his luck is about to run out. Wheels up.
Industry Watch: Our Man Bildt