A more bonkers, surreal article about Romania you will not read this year.

Published today on the website of the New York Times, this totally bizarre piece of nonsense compares Romania’s current anti-corruption drive with the reign of terror that followed the French Revolution.

Even the fact that the opening line is a repetition of the most over-used of all the lazy, journalistic cliches about Romania barely registers: the rest of it is so off-the-charts-bananas that it pales into insignificance.

‘Romania’s democratic development would be better served by a public process whereby past misdeeds were acknowledged, documented and then forgiven. Only a comprehensive process that rewards disclosure with amnesty will allow Romanians to stop looking over their shoulders, figuratively and literally.’

Yes! Let them all off! What a total dickhead.

We have no idea who the author, a certain Patrick Basham is, but a quick Google search suggests he has form: see this equally daft article from January.

We smell a rat. A well-paying rat. But who?

  • Giuseppe

    And here I was thinking these people are getting off too easily, with quite modest prison sentences and very little done to actually recoup the money they’ve cost the country.

    Personally I’d see some of these people tried for nothing short of treason, with punishments to match. Life in prison and confiscation of all assets sounds about right. You do that and people will start thinking twice before stealing from the people and sacrificing the future of this country for personal gain.

    • anon

      Agreed! They profit from misdeeds and the punishement never fits the crime.

      • Giuseppe

        One thing that annoys me to no end is that if you’re over 60, you only get to serve half of your prison sentence. So 10 years gets cut down to 5. You then “write” a couple of books in prison and those 5 years turn into what… about 3 years? Yes, I’m looking at you, Dan Voiculescu.

        Not to mention that multiple sentences get merged and instead of consecutive prison terms you get to serve them concurrently.

        Thanks to these things former PM Adrian Nastase only served 8 months on his second sentece of 4 years. The maths is simple: 48 months get halved to 24. Those 24 months get further reduced to 16 for good behaviour. Then from the remaining 16 months, the 8 he initially spent in prison get deducted from the total and voila! 8 months out of 48

        How is that justice?

        • Anon

          LOL he fake suicided over 8 months? What a pussy.
          As I’ve previously said, if the people held them to account (i.e. took to the streets and did away with that pansy ‘peaceful protest’ thing), then maybe these swines would think twice about stealing, and punishments would stick.

  • FV

    My quick Google search found that this idiot is affiliated with the Cato Institute. Yes, that Cato, founded (and funded for many years ) by billionaire Charles Koch. Familiar with the Koch brothers and Cato, Mr Turp?

    Had this Basham fellow been an adjunct scholar for say, Center for American Progress, I bet Mr Turp’s Google search would not have come up so empty. Right, Mr Turp?

    So, why couldn’t Cato be that well paying rat? After all, a bunch of Romanian right wing luminaries (such as Udrea and Băsescu, for example) are nowadays starting to fear that their personal freedom is in danger.

  • Richard

    “Romania’s anti-corruption campaign has rapidly metastasized into an illiberal crusade. The public’s insatiable appetite for justice only exacerbates the threat to the country’s democratic future.”


  • ipo
  • Johan Bouman

    I just sent an email to the NYT complaining about this spin. I hope they read it.

    • Anon

      Keep us updated. They are testing the waters for amnesty of the bankers and politicians stateside to get off with murder when the house of cards comes crashing down.

    • Anon

      Any updates? I need some new material to netwank over.

  • Rasvan Lalu

    Indeed, this article reads as if dictated by the united forces of the darkest Mafia-like predatory political groups. It indeed sounds irreal: not a single line of this text is true. It is a complete spin, no Romanian, be it Dan Voiculescu or Adrian Nastase would ever dare to publish such a reactionary compilation of criminal wishes. I never thought reading such a text, it’s simply irreal.

    The rats are really running scared, they mobilise now foreign mercenaries.

  • “The Institute’s director Patrick Basham is a former tobacco industry lobbyist …” from

    • Geronimo

      Sounds right up your street Craig

  • iandrobertsonIan

    I agree that past misdeeds could be served by amnesty but coupled with a repayment sytem if they have been laundering public finances. At the same time, corruption cannot be used as a political tool to smear and silence opponents – this is a measure favoured by the Russians, plus other more drastic measures. However, current malpractise should see the full weight of the law.

  • anon

    Wow, I know the elite rarely get punished for their actions but this guy is taking the cake….