The enemies of democracy

It sounds as if the new Austrian government may be following the lead of the God-Emperor in rooting out the anti-democratic Deep State:

The raids came without warning, surprising even the intelligence operatives whose job is to never be caught off guard.

On the morning of Feb. 28, police stormed offices of Austria’s main domestic intelligence agency and carted off some of the nation’s most sensitive secrets in open crates and plastic bags. Top spy service officials working from home that day were greeted by officers threatening to break down their doors.

The extraordinary decision to target the agency responsible for defending the country from a multitude of threats, including right-wing extremism, had been made by the service’s new bosses: members of the far-right Freedom Party.

The reason? Defending the totalitarian North Korean regime from an Austrian espionage operation, among others cited in the search warrant. Critics saw absurd pretext for a politically motivated stab at an independent institution that could threaten the party’s agenda.

More than five months later, the impact continues to ripple across this central European nation of 9 million – and far beyond. In a country whose geopolitical positioning between East and West has long made it a nest of spies – “a playground for all nations” in the words of one Austrian intelligence veteran – the hometown service has been left in disarray.

“It’s paralysis,” the veteran said. “How could you work in such an environment?”

Intelligence services across the West, meanwhile, have looked on in dismay – and have chosen to protect their own secrets by freezing Austria out.

And yet, it looks rather like the duly-elected Austrian government is working with both the U.S. white hats as well as Russia. Is anyone really surprised that the enemies of the people are siding with a shadowy, unaccountable intelligence agency rather than a popular government freely elected by the people?