Final Word from Friday, December 10, 2010

When we questioned recently how ex-Defense Minister Martin Barták managed to get a Nato security clearance, a reader with experience in the area said it is quite simple: Nato doesn't do any of its own vetting of a host country's applicant, except for an Interpol check. And the National Security Office (NBÚ) gives a security clearance to anybody it wants, the reader said. The EU sometimes shows just as much interest in the people it does business with. Take this week's decision to award the Galileo satellite-navigation system to Prague. The Czech Space Office (Česká kosmická kancelář, o.p.s.) was named by the transport ministry in 2005 as the CR's official contact point for Galileo, and the CSO also serves as the contact point for the European Space Agency. The CSO was founded by Jan Kolář, who (according to official documents) knowingly and willingly worked for the StB in the 1970s and 1980s and spied on employees of the U.S. embassy in Prague. Does the EU truly need someone like this handling its Galileo secrets and money?[Czech Republic navigational European Union ESA]

Glossary of difficult words

insouciance - casual lack of concern; indifference;

to vet - to investigate someone thoroughly, esp. in order to ensure that he or she is suitable for a job requiring secrecy, loyalty or trustworthiness.


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