July 9, 2016
The President of the United States
Mr. Barack Obama
Dear Mr. President,
As members of the Polish-American community who are engaged in the struggle for democracy and civil rights in Poland, The Committee for the Defense of Democracy – KOD Polonia USA would like to thank you for your supportive comments on Friday during the course of the NATO summit in Warsaw.
By raising the issue of Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal and the continuing attacks on democratic institutions by the Law and Justice regime with President Duda, and including comments on these issues in your public remarks, you demonstrated that the United States, as an ally of Poland, will not hesitate to pressure the current regime on its anti-democratic agenda. At the same time, your comments gave inspiration and hope to those in Poland and in the Polish émigré community that their fight for democracy in Poland is not forgotten.
Ironically, the state-controlled Polish media turned your comments into a further demonstration of how far the culture of democracy and free speech has fallen during the seven months of Law and Justice’s reign. Rather than report your critical comments about the constitutional crisis in Poland, the heavily-censored government media assured its viewers that you praised the continued “spreading of democratic values” and lauded Poland as “an example of democracy for the whole world.”
This clearly manipulated and misleading distortion of the facts is, unfortunately, par for the course in Poland’s politically-controlled public media. It is little wonder that those in Poland and the Polish-American community who rely on such media for their understanding of current events have a skewed view of reality that merely reinforces the dominance of the Law and Justice party.
We, as members of the Polish-American community who believe in democracy and civil rights for all, along with our counterparts in Poland and the independent Polish media, assure you that we will do all we can to spread accurate information about the United States’ support for democracy in Poland. Your support is a vital source of inspiration and hope in our fight to save Poland’s democratic institutions and we hope that you and your administration will continue to send that message through all available channels.
The Committee for the Defense of Democracy – KOD Polonia USA
Peter J. Wlodarczyk – President Kinga Kosmala – Secretary Jonathan Lahn – Director
Tom Kokocinski – Vice President Andre Hryn – Treasurer