One of the great recurrent obsessions that has remained deeply rooted in the national conscience after the communist dictatorship trauma that Romanians experienced for half a century – along with the poverty, moral degradation, and limitation of any liberty – is that of the absolute and invisible power of Ceausescu’s notorious security system.
And the whole legend according to which the Securitate allegedly lent substantial and essential help to the success of the so-called 1989 Revolution and the regime change that occurred back then.
In fact, very many Romanians have the unshaken belief that this dark web of the state is the one that continues to hold real control over power, even at present. Aside from the image of a President, Prime Minister, or party president, or of who knows what journalist or blogger who have become national avatars and influencers.
But, when you have engaged in politics for more than 20 years and it is assumed you have pretty much started to know how the system of state structures is functioning, doing so from a position that is fairly close – in terms of degree of tangency – to a certain reality that is not accessible to everyone, to fear almost pathologically the existence of a potential deep state orchestrated and directed by people and structures that have precisely that role and obligation to maintain within normal and functional parameters the entire state structure takes on an entirely different connotation and dimension.
And if it also happens that you hold not one but approximately three of the most important and powerful positions of power – leader of a ruling party, Speaker of the House, and boss over all the bosses in the country –, then fear from a potential enemy of the state which you have almost fully identified yourself with can take a grave form.
Lately, it seems Liviu Dragnea has started to persistently fear everything that moves around him. The first victim of this fear that is of an entirely strange nature that has taken shape in the mind of the left wing’s leader has been the entire Protection and Guard Service (SPP) detail assigned to the Victoria Palace and the man that leads it: Lucian Pahontu.
Who or what does Liviu Dragnea in fact fear?
What is the real reason that prompted Liviu Dragnea to take such a decision – via his new Premier – whose effects can be extremely unpredictable and unhealthy for the Romanian state and Romania’s image in the world?
Liviu Dragnea has officially admitted that, from an institutional standpoint, any Prime Minister (one should understand that this rule applies to most high-ranking officials, in line with clear, well-established, and legally-sanctioned state protocols) must be in touch as closely as possible with the SIE, SRI, and – last but not least – the SPP.
“According to law no.191/1998, the SPP is the only legal structure that ensures the protection of Romanian and foreign dignitaries:
Art.1 (1) – The Protection and Guard Service is a state body with prerogatives in the national security field, specialising in the protection of Romanian dignitaries, foreign dignitaries during their stay in Romania, the protection of their families, within the limits of the legal prerogatives, as well as the guarding of their offices and residences, in line with the decisions of the Supreme Defence Council.”
However, this did not prevent Liviu Dragnea from removing the entire SPP detail from the Victoria Palace and to declare the following, as justification for this decision: “A colleague of ours, Paul Stanescu, said that a good friend of his was sent by Mr Pahontu, the head of the SPP, and told him that I will be executed sometime in March and that he should stand aside because he will be protected and he will even become the party’s president. If he had the same kind of talks with Grindeanu and Tudose too, we can start having explanations. I find it a very grave thing.”
This statement made by Liviu Dragnea clearly shows that the leader of the left wing has become extremely suspicious of the potential intrusion and alleged indirect pressure that SPP Director Lucian Pahontu allegedly exerted on him through various middlemen who are part of the increasingly small political circle that surrounds him.
Consequently, the SPP’s presence around PSD leaders and especially around the party’s president has become unwanted.
Mr Dragnea’s fear of the “establishment” and state “structures” is not something new in politics and power in recent years in Romania.
Traian Basescu was the first who, for almost 10 years, triggered a veritable battle, developed and stoked a veritable national psychosis around the state’s security and intelligence structures and around their various directors.
From his position as President, Traian Basescu continuously flirted and tireless juggled with such “media bombshells.” Which, at various time intervals, he placed in key points along his route, successfully using this entire arsenal to generate a veritable political and media war.
For Traian Basescu, the “friendly establishment” vs “inimical establishment” game became a must-have ingredient in his traits as “active president.” The “establishment” became the main source of information and, consequently, of the “active president’s” power or weakness.
The same establishment that, in the end, was considered by the same Traian Basescu the scapegoat for his presidential failures or for the bitter war he started and stoked against various people from within this establishment (Florian Coldea, Laura Codruta Kovesi). And the motives of this presidential war eventually turned out to have great and close link with the President’s intimate circles of power and with those who were their members over the years.
One can say Traian Basescu is the de facto parent of this Leviathan of the state’s new Security structures.
Now, however, in the case of Liviu Dragnea’s attitude toward the sudden and imperious necessity to expel the SPP from his inner political circle, Traian Basescu says: “He believes he can use the structures that are independent of the Government for the interest of his need for information. Dragnea is a psychopath! He always believes someone is conspiring against him.”
Traian Basescu’s conclusion fits strangely well with certain rumours coming from the PSD’s power circle.
For some time now, there is increasing talk of the fact that Liviu Dragnea’s position within PSD has become increasingly fragile and vulnerable. Because of the left-wing leader’s draconic, dictatorial, completely paranoid attitude even toward some of the closest people that have surrounded and backed him for most years.
Thus, one way or another, the paranoia or psychosis Liviu Dragnea is accused of in what concerns potential leaks or spreading of information inside and outside the party via people and/or certain networks of state structures would not be fully unjustified and aberrant, wouldn’t it?
An issue that prompted Liviu Dragnea to create – a priori – a backup for what could become, sooner or later, a resounding governance failure. Or an extreme and radical measure to manoeuvre power in the defensive he wages against the deep state’s attempt to apply a decisive blow against him and, implicitly, against the current ruling coalition.
If things were to head toward a happy denouement from the standpoint of the political game that Liviu Dragnea is pulling (although there is no evidence in this sense, on the contrary), then the entire glory of the successes in governance would automatically belong to him.
Liviu Dragnea would become a veritable national hero, coming out the victor through his unflinching resistance against the continuous demolishing assaults launched via the various golems of the establishment/deep state and of their perfidious attempts to ruin the proper progress of state affairs and the successful implementation of the governing programme.
Otherwise, the entire disaster would be blamed on the same deep state, coup plotter, enemy of democracy and of the people’s welfare. A sinister and nefarious tool in the hands of the dark occult powers outside Romania that have allegedly spread their tenebrous ramifications within the most intimate and powerful structures of our state.
Moreover, in a completely bizarre way, if we are to look at this from the standpoint of the matter’s entire evolution of substance, Dragnea’s gesture of giving up using the SPP’s services can have an almost heroic connotation and not at all devoid of impact on a certain segment of the population and especially of the electorate.
Liviu Dragnea does not fear the people. That is why Liviu Dragnea and the PSD do not need special protection and guard. On the other hand, Liviu Dragnea fears the people behind the people. The ones who, via people and with their unconscious help, can be easily manipulated and can strike fatal blows against the Romanian state and its democracy.
And, since Liviu Dragnea has an obvious and non-dissimulated admiration for Turkish leader Recep Erdogan, and for the deep state he reactivated as public enemy number one and direct enemy of the current regime in Ankara, Liviu Dragnea imitates in a way that is as transparent as possible the route and reasons that prompted Erdogan to state that in Turkey, in 2016, there was a putsch against democracy and people’s freedom. A putsch organised by no one else but that terrible and toxic deep state whose body consists of those invisible and extremely dangerous state structures.
Consequently, in Bucharest, Liviu Dragnea does not prevent people from expressing their dissatisfaction and outrage in the street or online. But shows special care to make sure that those who are protesting against the current political regime and its measures are not the indirect, venomous and poisonous extensions of structures and “agencies” who badly want to oust the leader of the left wing and to bring down the entire scaffolding of the current ruling power.
After the events of 2016 in Turkey, the Turkish leader immediately started a “witch hunt” that spared no one: Opposition politicians, judges, prosecutors, journalists, professors, policemen, servicemen. And the parliamentarian regime was replaced by a presidential one with enhanced powers.
What could happen next in Bucharest, in case Liviu Dragnea’s fear of the deep state reaches a certain critical mass in the future weeks and months?