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A correspondent in a former Warsaw Pact country, who read my
“Origins of the Fourth World
War,” recently decided to test the thesis that Eastern Europe’s turn away from communism was contrived by the communists for strategic deception purposes. So he questioned East European friends and neighbors. The result, however, was hardly comforting. The accumulation of anecdotes, he says, “all point to an unpleasant reality.” Making inquiries with a friend whose contacts in the military were extensive, he learned that the communist “Old Guard” remains “in command positions.”
Whatever we might think about the revolutions in Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Romania, the guns and tanks still belong to the party of Lenin — who remains unburied in Moscow. Last month the headlines from Eastern Europe reported that Lech Walesa, the anti-communist Soldarity leader and former Polish president, had been accused of working for the secret police by Piotr Naimski, former head of the Polish secret service.
Naimski claims to have seen Walesa’s file, which lists the former Gdansk shipyard electrician as a secret agent of the communists, recruited in the early 1970s, code-named Bolek. Walesa denies the charges, which have been officially dismissed on more than one occasion. But if Walesa was an agent of the communists from the start, who is to say the communists haven’t been calling the shots all along?
As it happens, the stories about Walesa go way back. Ten years ago Dr. Wojcieck Myslecki, former managing director of Warsaw’s Technical University, told me that Solidarity was a communist front. He called it a “controlled opposition movement.” Myslecki also told of Lech Walesa’s pro-communist activities before being elevated to a starring role in Poland’s liberalization process. Myslecki was quite clear in making his allegations: Walesa was an agent of the secret police, who helped the communists infiltrate and control Solidarity for many years.
Myslecki’s testimony is of particular interest because it agrees with the analysis of KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn, who wrote of Solidarity’s role in his 1984 book “New Lies for Old.” According to Golitsyn the communists were using organizations like Poland’s Solidarity to attempt “previously unthinkable stratagems” such as “the introduction of false liberalization in Eastern Europe and, probably, in the Soviet Union. …”
Golitsyn wrote that the West did not understand communist strategy and disinformation. The appearance of Solidarity in Poland, he explained, “has been accepted as a spontaneous occurrence comparable with the Hungarian revolt of 1956 and as portending the demise of communism in Poland.” But one has to question Solidarity’s credentials, warned Golitsyn, pointing out that the French, Italian and Spanish communist parties “all took up pro-Solidarity positions.”
Golitsyn further pointed to evidence that Poland’s emerging democratic movement “was prepared and controlled from the outset within the framework of bloc policy and strategy.” Poland’s trade unions, he said, were built by the communists during their ascendancy, and increased from 5 million to 13 million members in the 20-year period from 1960 to 1980. Stanislaw Kania, who eventually became interior minister and top party leader, admitted there were one million communists in Solidarity. In fact, out of 200 members of the communist Central Committee in Warsaw, 42 were Solidarity members. Even Zofia Gryzb, who sat in the politburo, was a leading Solidarity figure. But none of these people were expelled from the party of Marx and Lenin for anti-socialist agitation.
Golitsyn and Myslecki would argue that Poland’s democratic movement was orchestrated and guided by the communists from the start. According to their way of thinking, Solidarity was one of many superficially anti-communist organizations built by the communists. Those who worked closely with the secret police — like Walesa — received special publicity. Cameras were put on them. Their faces were broadcast around the world. Such people would build popular organizations under communist control, especially organizations that would be accepted as “liberal” in the West. But the communist bloc would remain in existence, as always, beneath the surface.
Some readers may recall
my column about Andrzej Suda, a naturalized American citizen from communist Poland who got mixed up with a Polish intelligence agent in California. When asked about Poland’s current status as a Western ally involved in NATO, Suda replied, “Don’t believe in your new friends. They are fake friends.”
Another East European named Mikhail, a former citizen of the Soviet Union now living in California, told me that the East Europeans and Russians were very active in the United States. Mikhail said they were waging a clandestine war against us on our own soil. During several hours of interviews, Mikhail spoke of a self-styled Slavic mafia operating in the Sacramento area. “The chiefs of this mafia are GRU, Russian military intelligence officers,” he alleged. “They are allied to powerful financial interests and boast of controlling Child Welfare Services.”
“They don’t need to threaten to kill anyone,” said Mikhail, whose children were taken by the state of California last year after he refused to cooperate with leading Russian intelligence agents. More than 20 years ago, while living and working in the Soviet Union, the KGB took Mikhail’s infant son. “They took my baby because I refused to go to Israel and work as a spy,” he explained. “I never saw him again. Years later, after remarrying, I was lucky to have more children. We got away to America. I thought the FBI and CIA would protect me in America. But the KGB warned me. They said that nobody would protect me here, and they would take my children once again if I refused to work for them.”
Both Andrzej Suda and Mikhail told their stories to the FBI. But in both cases the FBI did nothing. A ranking law enforcement official familiar with Suda’s case, whom I interviewed while researching the Suda story, thought there was a problem at the Justice Department in Washington. Things were being short-circuited at the top, he believed. For some strange reason, spies connected to East European mafia organizations were being allowed to operate freely on American soil.
Americans do not fully appreciate how devoid of on-the-ground intelligence resources America is. They imagine that the CIA and the news media have a handle on everything. Well, they don’t.
David Schippers’ book,
“Sellout,” there are revelations about an extensive investigation into Clinton administration efforts to illegally grant citizenship to tens of thousands of foreign criminals. The program, explains Schippers, was headed by none other than Vice President Al Gore.
If you think the Cold War is over and communism is dead, you could be dangerously mistaken. Yes, President Vladimir Putin announced a reduction in Russia’s armed forces by one third; but this announcement is not to be taken seriously. Boris Yeltsin also made such announcements in the first year of his presidency. In 1992 Yeltsin said that Russia was halting its submarine production. In that case, the Kursk could never have been sunk because the Kursk could not have been built — if you took Yeltsin’s statement seriously.
Defectors have written of how the Soviet Union and East European countries announced troop reductions during the Cold War, but no troop reductions would take place. Nonetheless, Western intelligence services and media would believe that the troop reductions had taken place. There was no sign that anyone in the West had caught on. These were early experiments in advance of what is being done today.
In the last two weeks we’ve had a chance to see, up close and personal, the top leaders of Russia and China on American television. President Jiang Zemin was interviewed by Mike Wallace and President Vladimir Putin was interviewed by Larry King. The Chinese president gave a charming performance, shielding his murderous regime from criticism by reciting Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address.”
President Putin was not a performer like Jiang. When Larry King asked Putin what happened to the submarine. Putin answered: “It sank.” Then a slight smile began to play on the former KGB officer’s lips.
When asked if he believed in a higher power, Putin answered: “I believe in human beings.”
Americans should have learned by now that some human beings are not to be believed. And those human beings are the “former” communists of Eastern Europe.