Saturday saw the 11th anniversary of the April 10, 2010, Smolensk air disaster. Law and Justice (PiS) has been in power for more than five years, and it seemed to have all the necessary tools needed to explain the circumstances of the tragedy. Nothing of the sort happened. Instead, we see only havoc which is undermining the credibility of not only PiS but of the entire state.
The report of Jerzy Miller’s commission, presented ten years ago, which described the negligence of the plane’s staff and Russian flight controllers, was repealed by Antoni Macierewicz’s commission. Meanwhile, Macierewicz himself has been stating for months that he has a new report ready but has not yet made it public. Without any evidence, he is claiming that the cause of the catastrophe was an explosion.
“The hopes which we tied with the new Smolensk sub-commission have let us down to a great extent,” Magdalena Merta, who lost her husband in the catastrophe, told the Gazeta.pl liberal news outlet. She called for the minister of national defense to audit the activities of Macierewicz’s commission.
“I had hoped we’d get the plane wreckage back. I do not believe in researching the causes of the plane’s crash without the plane itself. This key piece of evidence, which is still in Russia, should be regained. Polish authorities declared that they would try to get it back and that it would happen,” Merta added.
It seems that Jarosław Kaczyński has also given up hopes of learning the truth. During a meeting with the Gazeta Polska clubs, he stated that truth can be unveiled only when “we actually have it and no one who thinks rationally, who refers to rational arguments, can undermine it”.
Although the prosecutor’s officer has been dealing with the catastrophe for years, it is hard to say that all doubts have been cleared. Its latest statement claims that Russian flight controllers were responsible for the tragedy. This is nothing different than the same conclusion made by Miller’s commission years ago.
Therefore, we are observing a society growing increasingly divided. We are observing a conflict between the families of the victims and Macierewicz’s commission, as well as conflict between Macierewicz and some of the members of his commission and the prosecutor’s office.
At the same time, Macierewicz said in a recording published by Gazeta Polska that “we should remember that lies, deception, diversion, and the attempt to destroy our unity are our main opponent.”
Not only are we not certain today as to what the cause of the catastrophe was, we do not even know how much Macierewicz’s commission’s activities cost and who are its members. We also do not know about how much responsibility is held by members of Lech Kaczyński chancellery who were responsible for organizing the visit on April 10, 2010.
If someone believes that only Macierewicz should be blamed for the chaos, they are wrong. Kaczyński spread a protective umbrella over Macierewicz and has been legitimizing his actions.