Sunday, July 22, 2007

Duplicity…

U.S.A. Diplomatic Mission to Poland
All this talk of spies and dirty dealings seems to have crept into my thinking. I hadn't planned on it but the American side of things got into a conversation about my Polish deal over the weekend. I know that people have said that they are sick of hearing all about it over and over, but sometimes, when I do end up doing one or two of those over, I end up kicking something new loose that I haven't seen in a while.

The actual conversation revolved around the American embassy in Warsaw and how much they did or did no know about my case. I tried to explain at the time that for all intents and purposes it certainly seemed as though they were not only involved, but might have even been behind the whole thing from the first. Well, perhaps they were not behind Zaremba's hitting me with his car. I like to think I am at least reasonably accurate in terms what I am looking at and frankly, Mr. Zaremba was absolutely not government intelligence. But who might very well have been was one Foster Stolte of the American embassy.

I first met Mr/ Stolte when I went to the American embassy to get a new passport. This was in March of 2002 and the Belarusian border guards were at that time a little tentative about my old passport which had become a bit frayed at the edges. The embassy got me a new one pretty quickly but when they gave it back to me, Mr. Stolte asked to speak to me on a casual basis about what I was doing in Belarus. Basically I told him what I have told everybody forever; that my family was from there and that I had an admiration for the place. I told him I was in Manhattan for 9/11 and discussed my thoughts about what was at that time the first aggressive forays by the Americans in their search of Bin Laden.

The next time I had a chance to speak to him was just after I got out of the jail on the 17th of May. At that time I went over to the Embassy to see what all they could do for me. Stolte's attitude, at least to my eyes, was that I had gotten into something I clearly had coming. He had read the court explanations and was very quick to say that he thought the story was dubious at best. However, at the same time, acknowledging that the case was a farce didn't seem to have anything to do with how the Polish system had decided to treat me. And in one specific case, there was a good possibility that there was complicity.

The following letter was written in October, 2002 to Mr. Stolte who was at the time, allegedly re-assigned to the American embassy in India. I say allegedly because I had no way to verify that he was there and because he never responded to the following letter. I think the letter is self explanatory: The embassy simply decided no to tell me about a court date that perhaps would have allowed me my passport back. Here's the letter.

Foster Stolte
C/o American embassy.
Dear sir,

I suppose you know who I am. And I hope that any negative feelings you might have regarding our relationship can be put aside at least long enough for you to read what I have to say here today and that you are a sympathetic ear.

The reason for this letter is a situation I thought that you might be able to help me with

Let me give you a brief background. The incident, as you remember, was May 15th. On the 17th I was let out of jail with the agreement to pay bail. On May 20th I went to the prosecutor's office to pay my bail and to get my passport back and was told it that he wanted it stopped. I went to the embassy and was told by you that that the prosecutor objected to bail and was passing papers to the courts to send me to jail to wait for my trial. Fearing this situation getting out of hand, after I left your office I called my fiancé and asked her to come here for what might be a last visit. We went to Gdansk for two weeks before she had to return home. We returned together to Warsaw on the night of the 11th, and the two of us came together to the embassy to ask about my status on the 12th.

There is a lady, one of the polish employees, (Mr. John Grondelski, the chief of American services there tells me that polish employees are to remain anonymous), who, with you made one of these courtesy calls for me. And when she did, she relayed to me and my girl was that the prosecutor had said that the papers he sent were in the courts, and that the courts would decide what they would do, and that it would take about a month. She said that because of when the papers were sent, it would be about one or two weeks more before we would hear the decision. And I agreed to come back and a week or so later I returned to the embassy and was told by you that the court had decided not to arrest me, but that they would keep my passport.

So, the reason for this letter, is that a few days ago, while preparing my case for the court trial, a friend while translating some of the polish documents for me, came upon the document from the court that was from the day of the decision to keep my passport and not put me in jail. I thought I was familiar with this paper, but I suppose I had never heard the whole document before. She asked me why I didn't go to court for the hearing. I told her I didn't know what she was talking about. And she said that it wasn't simply a decision made by the courts, but that there was a note sent to the address I had given them that said there was a hearing to decide the situation on the 13th of June. She said that because I had not responded to this letter or showed up at the hearing, they had to assume that I received it anyway. She told me the document said that a hearing had been held and that because I had not shown up for it, the decision was rendered to keep me here without my passport, but not to arrest me. So, this was something new. I remembered about going to Gdansk, and about what day we got back. I remembered going to the embassy with my girlfriend to make the phone call and what we heard from you as to what the prosecutor had said.

So apparently, I was given false information about this hearing. I didn't get the original letter because these letters are sent registered mail and require a signature. I was in Gdansk, so I couldn't sign for it. Ok, so this was my problem and my bad luck. But it was my good luck to come back on time and if I would have been told the truth about this meeting I would have been there and the burden of this case would have been lessened because I could possibly have gotten my passport back and been free to rejoin my life instead of wasting my time as a prisoner of Poland.

So, I decided what I needed to do about this. A few weeks ago, I rode out to the hotel we stayed at and checked the register. Sure enough, I was there on the nights of the 11th through the 13th when Tatyana went home. It was the morning of the 12th when I went to the prosecutor and this lady called the prosecutor on my behalf. I then went to the embassy where I asked this same lady who had made the call in June if she remembered the call and the situation. She said that she did. I told her that with this new information, I was of the belief that the embassy was simply duped by the prosecutor's lies and that perhaps I was wrong in thinking of them as complicit in any way. I told her that I believed that the embassy may indeed be deserving of an apology from me concerning some things that have gone wrong in the past when the embassy had involved themselves in my problems without my consent.

And so finally this is why I write. Apparently the lady in the embassy is to remain anonymous in this affair. But you are public. So I am writing today simply for a letter from you verifying the conversation from the twelfth of June that states the following:

1. That on or about that date, I came to the embassy to ask about my status and to get a phone call to the prosecutor.
2. That they told me that the prosecutor had sent papers to the courts asking that bail be denied and that I should be held in jail pending trial.
3. That they were awaiting a decision that would take about a month, and that I could expect an answer from the courts in a week or two.
4. That they could remember I had a woman with me.
5. And that I returned a week or two later and was told that there was a decision made that I was not going to be jailed, but that they would continue to keep my passport.

I do understand how their might be some fuzziness about the date, but I am quite sure that you will remember the situation. And, in terms of a thank you, if this information can be confirmed, it would mean that the embassy was not to blame in my misfortunes, only that it relayed false information unknowingly from the prosecutor. And if you can catch my drift, it would also mean that any misunderstanding between you and I, would have been because of these communications, and not because of any duplicity on yours or the embassy's part.

Please send this document for me sir. I think that a letter from you should make things quite clear for me. This document is really quite important. If you need anything from the case files or any verification of anything I have said in this letter. Please let me know. Thank you for your time.

Adam Goodman
Warsaw, Poland.
Wednesday, October 16, 2002

More soon...


<

3 Comments:

Anonymous John Q Law said...

I tell you what happened buddy: Whatever you said or wrote to them, they passed straight over to the Poles. Simple as that. You were had. Big time.

Sunday, July 22, 2007  
Anonymous Jenna said...

I like your letter. Your sarcasm is quite obvious in the cheerful tone. You were a genius for doing this. Some day you'll get paid for it. I think your book was beautiful too.

Sunday, July 22, 2007  
Blogger BEING HAD said...

Thanks for the positive feedback. I think I want to post this letter over in the case section.

Sunday, July 22, 2007  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home