Last Tango in Ibiza

Earlier this month we posted about the entrapment of Heinz-Christian Strache. The incident occurred two years ago, when Mr. Strache was the leader of the FPÖ (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs, Austrian Freedom Party), before he became vice-chancellor in the coalition government headed by Sebastian Kurz. Intelligence operatives rented a villa in the Spanish resort of Ibiza and lured Mr. Strache to a meeting with a phony Russian investor, with whom he was videotaped discussing corrupt business deals to be made after the elections.

Significantly, the tape was not revealed before the Austrian general election. Rather, it was held in escrow until the moment when it could be used to best effect, just before the European parliamentary elections. There was never a more obvious set-up than the little escapade in Ibiza.

The essay below, written by a member of the Bundestag for the AfD (Alternative für Deutschland, Alternative for Germany) discusses the wider ramifications of what happened to Mr. Strache. The translator includes this prefatory header:

Plus ça change, plus c’est la mème chose — An ominous European footnote to the attempted presidential coup in the US

Many thanks to JLH for translating this piece from Politically Incorrect:

The Conspiracy

by Martin Renner, Bundestag AfD
May 24, 2019

Since the video on the Ibiza conspiracy and the rupture of the Austrian governing coalition, no other subject has had such relevance.

An abyss has opened. And this abyss threatens to swallow more than we can imagine. This is not about a number of politicians — or should we say, political players — who evaluate themselves too highly, and perhaps do not have the required character. It is also not just about parties.

This is about states, their alliances and our democratic political system as a whole.

I have always refused to deal with “conspiracy theories.” However, it has dawned on me slowly that with the contemporary propagation of numerous conspiracy theories in our political reality, critical view of conspiracies has become obscured. You might even suspect that to be the intention.

“Abyssus abyssum invocat”

It is not merely the number of them that dismays, but far more so the consequences. An actual, confirmable conspiracy to expose a supposed conspiracy pushes a respectable European country into a crisis of state as well as a crisis of government.

“Abyssus abyssum invocat” — the abyss invokes the abyss. The actual and provable conspiracy is revealed as the singular basic problem which draws all other evil and destruction along behind it.

This conspiracy is obvious. One or more persons have carefully concocted and elaborately implemented it. The legend of a supposed Russian millionaire’s niece was constructed. Contact with the targets was established slowly and over time, at least one actress was engaged and trained, a villa rented and — in the best secret agent manner — bugged and prepared. All with the purpose of politically, morally and ethically discrediting an unpopular politician of not exactly sterling character from a likewise unpopular party which was otherwise stable in its position and attitude.

Crime against all European democracies

Even if those responsible for the idea, planning, organization, financing and implementation are not yet known, the political intent is clear. As is the reprehensible illegality of the entire action. And therewith the definition of a conspiracy is fulfilled: targeted, conspiratorial action by a small group of actors to accomplish an illegal and illegitimate goal. Conspiracies of this type — called “honey traps” — were created and used again and again by the Stasi and Soviet intelligence services. At that time, in illegitimate states and dictatorships. But in democracies? Hard to imagine.

The compromising material for this illicit assault on individuals and on the party in which they were functioning as part of a democratically legitimized government was placed as a political bomb just before the Europe elections. The effective area of this manipulative intervention is magnified many times because the intention is to influence the elections in nations across Europe.

There is a clear political objective. It does not make matters better that this compromising video was already available previously and known to third parties. It makes them worse. Everyone privy to the material is perforce an accessory in the conspiracy. And since political forces outside Austria are involved, the conspiracy becomes an international political scandal — no, that is too harmless a word. It was a crime against democracies all across Europe, intended to illicitly influence the votes of sovereign citizens. Or, in the case of Austria, to change its government into its polar opposite.

Potential for extortion and manipulation

Whoever possessed or knew of this video had the means to extort or manipulate, even if only for financial gain. He had it in his power to decide when a selected government would implode. That is an enormous and unexpected power that must never occur in a democracy.

The questions that arise from this will terrify any who are committed to the preservation of democracy. Who sought to manipulate the fate of a democratic republic?

It was never about Austria alone, but about all of Europe. Who wishes — and with what intention — to prevent citizens in various nations from voting in their own interests?

Who is making use of undeniable human weaknesses of the political representatives of the peoples of Europe to manipulate elections?

Whoever destroys democracy will reap violence and tyranny

This manipulation does not affect only certain politicians and political tendencies. In truth, it affects all democratic politicians and ergo democracy itself. Even if many see themselves as profiting from this conspiracy and joyously shout it from the rooftops, they too are in the hands of anonymous puppet-masters, who may, to be sure, protect, but can also destroy.

Will these political winners still be able to act freely, when they finally know about the capabilities of these more powerful puppet-masters?

There are in truth no winners in this conspiracy — only losers. The greatly desired guilt-by-association of Europe’s alternative parties is a chimera, already derided and rejected by citizens in its nation states. The alternative parties will continue to follow the idea of a “Europe of homelands” and continue the fight against a globalist, international socialist, feudal bureaucracy.

Even the unknown actors and those who commissioned them will ultimately be drawn into the common abyss. Whoever destroys democracy will experience violence and tyranny with unexpected rapidity.

In the end, the ruthless will be ruled by the even more ruthless.

9 thoughts on “Last Tango in Ibiza

  1. This is a good question in the article:
    Who is making use of undeniable human weaknesses of the political representatives of the peoples of Europe to manipulate elections?

    If we know this answer, we can counter the effort.

    History has many teachings here, but 4 data-points that illuminate the wider point are familiar. The end of the Roman Republic, the consequences of the initial French Revolution, the second Russian Revolution of 1917 and Stalinist USSR all fit this pattern. China under Mao, The Paraguay and the War of the Triple Alliance, and post-Pol Pot Cambodia are cautionary tales, but for another slightly different reasons.

    Whoever destroys the existing social order for a group of insiders is replaced with an inner circle of more ruthless and unprincipled individuals. Extreme violence is the norm, as tyranny rapidly ramps up.

    In the end, the ruthless will be ruled by the even more ruthless. And the lives of everyone outside the inner circle are in danger. In military terms, the country that existed before is gone, and normally a weaker country, with less prospects, is the end result. Cites available upon request.

  2. My bet is that operatives from the intelligence agencies–including non Austrian–were behind the sting operation.

    I can’t help but relate this to the recent news that Italy’s Prime Minister fired top officials of Italy’s intel agencies

    Trump and nationalists in Europe expressed opposition to intervention in the Middle East and better relations with Russia. The intel agencies are opposed to the foreign policy of Trump and the nationalists because the intel agencies have an institutional interest in conflict.

  3. there are people who are not corrupt / suspect to corruption, these are the oeople to support and defend not a man like this. bravo to whomever exposed his true character.

  4. The operation was the sort of thing Panorama does all the time and gets applauded for. Whoever was behind it did Austria and the FPÖ a favour, not because Strache did anything criminal but because he was exposed as a complete idiot.

  5. @ M,
    This Austrian politician who was set-up in Ibiza was evidently not a saint. He may have been ready to accept bribes or make deals with a Russian oligarch. And now his political career is over, perhaps rightly so.

    But we must remember that this conversation was taped in a private setting, during a summer holiday, in a rented beach house on the island of Ibiza. There was drinking and high talking. The careless politician was may have been just puffing himself up and talking big to impress the belle sitting next to him. Thats what “honey traps” are all about. But that’s not the point.

    The point, well made by the German member of the AfD who authored the article, is that it happened at all. The Honey Traps affairs were commonly used by the Soviets in Russia to entrap and later blackmail naive Western political visitors. These methods are common in dictatorships, but they have no place in democracies.

    That it could happen in a Western democracy is a terrible scandal. That some unknown people could go to such lenghts to abuse this man, to rent a house , bug it, find an actress and coach her, keep the video secret for two years and release it a few days before the European Union elections is frightening. It gives us a glimpse of the shadowy world welive in.

    The results are frightening too: some loose talk in a beach house two years ago and a whole country is in turmoil. Today the Austrian Chancellor Kurz was brought down by the Austrian Parliament. The whole equilibrium of European poltics is affected. That what is important.

    Who ordered this sting operation? Who paid for it?… If I was a complotist, I’d say it was funded by Soros’ money… But we will probably never know.

  6. The FBI commonly sets up sting operations against corrupt politicians in the US and gets some pretty shady characters snared.

    NBC kept some very compromising tapes on Donald Trump on ice for years, finally slipping them to the Washington Post to publish shortly before the election. The obvious intent was to knock Trump out of the running. The difference between the tape situation and the Strache case was that the tapes were handled by private companies, without the intervention of spy agencies.

    The intelligence and security agencies in the US tried the same thing: official, extensive spying on the Trump campaign, honey traps, timed leaks, and selective focus (nothing on Hillary or Bill doing extensive business with Russian interests, including Uranium One, massive speaker fees, and the transfer of millions of dollars to Russian disinformation specialists).

    I guess the thinking is, you’re better off if you can pick off corrupt politicians willing to sell out the public interest, but once your spy agencies become corrupt and politicized, the public is harmed far more by the corrupt Deep State than by a little honest graft…graft which, by the way, usually manages to get exposed by whatever free press remains.

  7. Zersetzung. Look it up on Wiki. This was the final perfection of control by the E. German Stasi police. Those trained in its methods are STILL around and operative in Germany and elsewhere. The results are ‘invisible’ and the victims themselves don’t believe what is being done to them.

    • Here’s an old joke, and perhaps not quite appropriate, but never mind:

      -What do former members of the Stasi do for a living?

      -They drive cabs; you tell them your name, they know where you live.

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