The news that American troops arrested three months ago, in Iraq, two Romanian workers on spy charges, shocked the Romanian public opinion.
The two men - a carpenter and an electrician - worked for bottling mineral water for the US troops when they were apprehended with photos of the US military base on their electronic equipment.
Having the media digging up the case and presenting it is a major blow to the Government credibility, which proves an approach similar to the communist times authorities, when it comes to communicating the unpleasant truth.
As a European, democratic nation, we should have gotten used to the mature behavior of political and administrative institutions, which keep public opinion informed.
One is that they are just morons, who thought were doing a swell job photographing the military premises, and getting photos to brag about to relatives and friends back home.
The other more sinister option is that they were tempted by money put forward by members of the local terrorist groups, and indeed agreed to take pictures for them, as it seems the Americans charged them with. No matter the truth on their alleged guilt, fact is Romanians and Americans are faced with double standards when breaking the law on each others turf or territory. Romaniaâs ambassador not even got access to visit the two Romanians, to provide them with translators and a lawyer that would ensure their right to a fair trial was not being curtailed.
Whereas the US marine killing two years ago a Romanian rock star in a car accident was whisked out of Romania the same night, with no chance for Romaniaâs judiciary to put him on trial. This fact ensured he got as much as a slap on the hand from the US military justice system. The double standard cannot go well with the Romanian public and is likely to endanger the long lasting love it had for the Americans.