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Top U.S. diplomat in Poland gets to see files communists kept on him


U.S. Ambassador to Poland Stephen D. Mull, left, Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak and Gen. Lech Majewski, commander of Poland’s armed forces, attend the arrival of U.S. airborne soldiers at the military airport in Swidwin, northern Poland, on April 23, 2014. (Marcin Bielecki/EPA)

U.S. Ambassador to Poland Stephen Mull will now know exactly what the communists had on him in the 1980s.

Mull tweeted Wednesday that he had visited Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance, where he was given “20 lbs of formerly secret files on my stay in communist Poland!”

Mull worked as a junior foreign service officer in the mid-1980s when Poland was under communist rule. At his Senate confirmation hearing in September 2012, Mull said he “fondly” remembered “carrying messages of support between Lech Walesa and President Reagan, and meeting many of the activists who would later lead Poland to freedom.”

Quite obviously, the courier job would have put him on the communists’ radar. The institution, according to its Web site, keeps archives of documents the communist political police kept on “people who were objects of invigilation.”

President Obama is expected to visit Poland in June for the 25th anniversary of the country’s first democratic elections. The U.S. Embassy in Warsaw wasted no time creating a hashtag for the visit — #ObamaPL – and tweeted a picture of a (much younger) Obama superimposed in the country’s capital with a message in Polish that roughly translates to: “We remind you that the official hashtag June visit of President Obama in Poland.”

Colby Itkowitz is the lead anchor of the Inspired Life blog. She previously covered the quirks of national politics and the federal government.

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