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Carl Bildt: Secrets & Lies
Things gets worse still when one thinks again of the context.
STOCKHOLM (Rixstep) — Carl Bildt was confronted with the contents of the WikiLeaks 'Kissinger cables' prior to publication.
Those cables showed how Carl Bildt had, without permission and strictly in contravention of the internal governmental agreement, made contact with Henry Kissinger's special envoy Ronald Woods to give him intel for the CIA, intel from secret closed door sessions that not more than a handful of people in the entire world were privy to.
Bildt's responses are recorded here.
Following is a deconstruction by Josefin Sköld and Johannes Wahlström.
AFTONBLADET: Did you give information about closed door deliberations to US diplomats?
CARL BILDT: No. But I might have given them my opinion on various matters.
THE TRUTH: According to the WikiLeaks cable, Carl Bildt met with Ronald E Woods and told Woods in detail about the progress of the government deliberations. Ronald Woods himself told Aftonbladet that he passed the information onto the embassy who then turned the information over to the CIA.
AFTONBLADET: When even the Swedish people don't know anything about them?
CARL BILDT: But those things were in all the papers back then.
THE TRUTH: The Swedish people could read in Aftonbladet 1 October 1976:
'Behind closed doors, beneath a glaring red lamp, sit three Swedish party leaders in complete secrecy, conducting vigilant sessions which are to weld together a coalition government. But not even after nine days has anyone heard anything to give the Swedish people'.
AFTONBLADET: They were closed door sessions.
CARL BILDT: No they weren't. They weren't closed door sessions.
THE TRUTH: Party leaders Torbjörn Fälldin and Per Ahlmark state that they did not know, and certainly would not approve, of Carl Bildt yapping to the US embassy.
'If one agrees that all we do is to be kept confidential, then it's to be kept confidential. And that holds for everyone.'
'Every word was kept secret. Not just secret from foreign interests but secret even from our own party colleagues. We were very diligent to see that nothing at all leaked out.'
AFTONBLADET: Bildt says on his blog that he didn't leak sensitive information about Swedish energy policies to the US.
THE TRUTH: One can read the following in the WikiLeaks PlusD cable:
'BILDT SAID HE UNDERSTOOD THAT UNDER COMPROMISE SOLUTION REACHED BY THE THREE LEADERS, TWO NEW NUCLEAR PLANTS (BARSEBACK II AND RINGHALS III) WOULD NOT BE CHARGED AT LEAST UNTIL 1978, DESPITE THE FACT THAT BARSEBACK II IS SCHEDULED TO BE LEADED THIS MONTH. NO NEW PLANTS WOULD BE CONSTRUCTED.'
Does Memory Serve Carl Bildt Well?
But look again at that interview - does Carl Bildt remember what he did? Of course he does, but does he admit it?
Q: But what contacts did you have when you were Gösta Bohman's assistant?
A: I have no idea. Back then I was a young student.
[Bildt's memory is failing.]
Q: Did you tell them anything about closed door sessions?
A: I have no idea.
[Bildt's memory is failing.]
Q: Did you have permission to speak with the US embassy?
A: No permission at all. It was completely innocent, you could read all about it in the papers.
[Bildt's memory is getting better.]
Q: They were closed door sessions.
A: No they weren't. They weren't closed door sessions.
[Bildt's memory, he would at least have you believe, is getting better. But he's lying here and he knows it.]
Q: It says here the party leaders had deliberated in closed door sessions.
A: Yes OK. Absolutely. And we were in agreement to build a government.
[Bildt's memory and truthiness improve, but he's so panicky he already forgot his previous contradictory response.]
Q: But did you have permission to do that?
A: You got anything else to come at me with?
[Bildt's answer is not an answer. Bildt is panicking. At last his true colours are exposed.]
All in all, most of Bildt's responses were evasive at best, confrontational and arrogant at worst. Perhaps that's not befitting a foreign minister, but it's behaviour expected of a spy.
Think Again of the Context
Think again of the context, Aftonbladet's Lena Mellin would ask.
'We're in the midst of the Cold War. The US and the Soviet Union are escalating their arms race so they can destroy each other - and us - with their nuclear weapons. And we're relying on a 'balance of terror' - an equal number of weapons on either side - to stop them both from starting World War Three.
'Sweden is a neutral country. We don't take sides in armed conflicts. But that also means we must not try to curry favour with the superpowers - with either of them. This could take on bizarre consequences, as when Swedish Right Party ('Moderate') leader Jarl Hjalmarson in 1959 was denied a seat as a UN delegate because he'd criticised the Soviet Union political system.
'This was the context when Carl Bildt went to the US embassy to speak with Kissinger's special envoy. To tell him things even the Swedish people didn't know.'
This says more about the individual Carl Bildt than anything else. It's not OK to break agreements in my world. It's unbelievably embarrassing that he goes around yapping like that.
- Peter Eriksson, chairman, Swedish Constitutional Committee
Closed door sessions where the participants are in agreement to not leak any information: of course one doesn't speak to others.
- Urban Ahlin, social democrat MP
If one agrees that all we do is to be kept confidential, then it's to be kept confidential. And that holds for everyone.
- Torbjörn Fälldin, Swedish prime minister 1976-1978, leader of the closed door sessions
Every word was kept secret. Not just secret from foreign interests but secret even from our own party colleagues. We were very diligent to see that nothing at all leaked out.
- Per Ahlmark, Liberal Party leader 1976-1978, participant in the closed door sessions
What Carl Bildt Did for Iraq
Carl Bildt's in Carter's Cables
Carl Bildt: The Seeds of Betrayal
Carl Bildt's User-Friendly Memory
'Bildt Treats Us with Scorn and Arrogance'