Just as the former Soviet bloc's highest-ranking defector is being officially commended by the government of his native land for aiding the downfall of communism in the region, defenders of the old regime are threatening to bring him before the International Criminal Court of Justice in The Hague on crimes against humanity.
As WND reported, Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, who defected to the U.S. in 1978 after serving as Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu's top official, was praised by the current Romanian government in an Aug. 16 letter and invited to visit the country as an honored guest. The government wants him to enlighten a new generation in Romania about the tyranny of the communist era in response to revisionists attempting to rehabilitate the Ceausescu regime.
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Angered by the official restoration of Pacepa and his revealing new expose of communism's continuing war against the West, "Disinformation," a group of Romanian lawyers and human rights activists are preparing documentation to be sent to The Hague to prosecute him, according to a Romanian blog.
In addition, a contributor to an Internet forum commenting on the National Catholic Register's review of Pacepa's new book identified himself as a Romanian prosecutor and an attorney active in the field of human rights who is familiar with the plan.
"I am aware that Pacepa’s crimes will be brought before the International Criminal Court of Justice for crimes against humanity committed for 27 years while he was at the helm of the Romanian Securitate," he wrote.
Pacepa is the co-author with Prof. Ronald Rychlak of "Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategy for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion and Promoting Terrorism" and a companion documentary, both published by WND Books this year. His first book, "Red Horizons," published in 1987, is credited with helping bring about the overthrow and execution of Ceausescu.
Pacepa has been accused of involvement in crimes by Ceausescu that he publicly exposed and some that he prevented from happening.
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"We knew we had put together a powerful book," Pacepa said of "Disinformation," "but we did not suspect it to be so devastating for the Kremlin and for the Romanian communists that they would go to any length, including the physical liquidation of its main author."
Romania's decision to commend him "gave those communists a terrible blow," he said.
The letter from Romania was signed by Andrei Muraru, executive president of the Romanian Institute for the Investigation of the Crimes of Communism and for the Remembrance of the Romanian Diaspora, which is directly responsible to the prime minister.
It acknowledged Pacepa played "a major role in unmasking the criminal nature of the communist dictatorship in Romania, and especially the illegal and despotic role of the political police of the totalitarian regime."
"Red Horizons," published in 1987 while Ceausescu was still at the height of power, notes that the first things Pacepa reported to the U.S. government after defecting in 1978 were Ceausescu's orders to assassinate two Radio Free Europe employees (Noel Bernard and Emil Georgescu), two of his main political critics in the West (Paul Goma and Virgil Tanase) and three major Securitate, or secret police, defectors (Constantin Dumitrăchescu, Ion Iacobescu and Constantin Răuţă).
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Some of Pacepa's revelations were republished in 2009 in the book "Cold War Radio: The Dangerous History of American Broadcasting in Europe," by Richard H. Cummings, former director of Radio Free Europe, and in 2010 in "Cold War Broadcasting: Impact on the Soviet Union and Easter Europe," edited by A. Ross Johnson and R. Eugene Parta.
Pacepa's revelations prevented the planned assassinations, and the designated killer of Răuţă, whose identity was revealed by Pacepa, was arrested by the FBI and committed suicide.
The Romanian letter to Pacepa was issued two weeks after a national television channel in the country declared July 28, 2013, to be “Pacepa Day,” commemorating 35 years since the spy chief’s defection to the U.S. The station organized an unprecedented, six-hour prime-time program to celebrate the event, as WND reported.
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But Romanian communists have persuaded the country's justice system to condemn as "traitors" all Romanians who broke with communism when it was in power and helped the U.S. win the Cold War.
On Aug. 17, 1978, just a month after Pacepa defected, the Ceausescu regime served two death sentences on him. Two days later, the dictator created an investigative team charged to name the purported crimes committed by Pacepa. In 1980, Gen. Emil Macri, who headed the team, charged that Pacepa sabotaged Ceausescu's orders to assassinate "enemies" and "defectors" in the West. The report was never released by Ceausescu, and a few years later, Macri died in a suspect helicopter accident. In 1996, the report was published in "The White Book of the Securitate," a four-volume collection of Securitate documents issued by the new Romanian Intelligence Service, the SRI.
In "Red Horizons," Pacepa reported Ceausescu's joint operation with Yugoslavian leader Marshal Josip Broz Tito to kidnap Wladimir Dapcevic, a Belgian citizen of Yugoslavian origin. The operation ended with Dapcevic being accidentally killed by the Securitate's Anti-Terrorist Unit, which was not subordinated to Pacepa's DIE. Pacepa says he revealed the super-secret Tito-Ceausescu plan – which in the 1980s was known to only a handful of people in Romania and Yugoslavia – because he wanted to expose the criminality of communist tyrants to the world.
Ceausescu created a special Securitate unit, U.M. 0195, staffed with about 1,000 officers and given the single task of assassinating Pacepa in the United States.
Although the assassination squads never found Pacepa, he remains under deep cover because of ongoing threats.
As late as 2004, Romania still had arrest warrants for Pacepa at its borders. To this day, his personal property has not been returned to him. And, despite the lifting of the death sentence, some elements of the Romanian government still threaten his life.
Some long for dictator's return
The new book by Pacepa and Rychlak shows how Ceausescu engaged in a long-term disinformation campaign to present himself to the West as an anti-Soviet leader with whom it could do business. In a visit to the White House in 1978, President Jimmy Carter praised Ceausescu as a “great national and international leader.”
Rychlak, a professor of law at the University of Mississippi, told WND that Pacepa "did indeed work for an evil man who might, if he were still around, legitimately face prosecution in the ICC: Nicolae Ceaușescu."
"Pacepa, however, risked his life to break with that regime and let the West know the truth," Rychlak said.
Rychlak noted Pacepa convinced President Reagan to change course on Romania, "and he was a hero to the movement inside Romania that convicted Ceausescu of genocide."
"Unfortunately, as some Germans longed for a return of Hitler's regime, some Romanians long for a return to the Ceausescu era. These are the people behind the ridiculous claims being made against Pacepa," he said.
Rychlak pointed out that he has worked with, written about and even taught a course on the International Criminal Court.
"Anyone who says Pacepa should face prosecution not only disregards the historical truth of what happened in Romania but also misuses this international judicial structure," he said. "The ICC is designed to elevate the rule of law over politics."
Rychlak said the political activists who continue to bring such charges "undercut the very purpose of the court and impede the promise of international justice."
Rychlak noted that at The Hague, Pacepa would be in good company. In 2011, a leftist religious group filed a petition with the ICC accusing Pope Benedict XVI of "crimes against humanity." The request for prosecution was among more than 9,000 that have been rejected. The ICC has opened investigations into only eight cases – all of African genocide.
'We'll have Polonium for you'
As Pacepa contemplated the attempt to prosecute him before the U.N. court, he recalled the cautionary tale of defector Alexander Litvinenko of the Russian Federal Security Service, the FSB, the successor to the communist KGB.
In 2005, Litvinenko revealed that al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was trained by the FSB in Dagestan, Russia, and sent to Afghanistan to infiltrate al-Qaida and take over its leadership.
The revelation was so devastating for the Kremlin that the FSB killed Litvinenko in London with Polonium-210.
"The Western world remained quiet, and al-Zawahiri became the leader of al-Qaida," Pacepa said.
He said the U.S., in its war against Islamic supremacists, still is threatened by the "science" of disinformation.
"The disinformation machinery is now doing its best to prevent the West from getting any other Pacepas – top-ranking sources who can tell the West things that not even the most sophisticated CIA satellites can: what terrorist despots have in mind, and what their most secret plans against us are," he said.
Pacepa said the message to potential defectors is: "If you defect, you'll end up at the International Criminal Court of Justice; if the Court does not indict you, we'll have Polonium for you, as we now know where you are."
In the past five years, 6,284 people sentenced by Romania's communist justice system for assisting the U.S. in the defeat of the Soviet empire have asked to have their sentences canceled, Pacepa points out.
Only three have succeeded, however, and that was because of media pressure.
In 2009, for example, Romania's Supreme Court declined for the third time to cancel a death sentence given by Ceausescu to Constantin Rauta for defecting to the U.S. Pacepa, points out that Romania will soon be protected by a ground-based ballistic missile defense system Rauta, now a reputable aerospace engineer, helped develop.
"It is now the time for Romania to look back on communism's crimes with objective eyes," Pacepa said.
But he acknowledged that "condemning the heresies of the past and rehabilitating its victims seems to be the most difficult step in the transition from tyranny to democracy."
He noted it wasn't until 1998 that the German parliament adopted a law canceling the sentences given to Klaus von Stauffenberg, who had led a plot to assassinate Hitler, and other Germans who helped the Allies defeat Nazism.
Germany needed half a century to condemn Nazism completely, because that heresy was born in Germany and was rooted in her soil, Pacepa said.
Communism and its political police were not born in Romania, he argued, but were "imported from the Soviet Union, and Romania should not wait for new generations to repudiate them."
Pacepa said Muraru, the author of the letter commending Pacepa, should be acknowledged for "his determination to persuade this generation of Romanians to honor their fellow citizens who helped Romania fight communism."
"It is an enormous task," he said. "We wish him success."
Order "Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategy for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion and Promoting Terrorism" or the companion film, “Disinformation: The Secret Strategy To Destroy The West.” Get both the book and DVD together – at a very special reduced price.