Ex-Soviet spy chief: Blame U.S. media for ‘fake news’

By Art Moore

News Media

When the Washington Post published a series on how “fake news” websites allegedly became tools of Russian efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. elections, it cited former top Soviet bloc spy chief Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa and his book “Disinformation,” arguing the Russians are using tactics developed during the Soviet era.

But Pacepa, in an interview with WND, insisted that while the left is complaining that Americans are being duped by the Russians, the most influential dis-informers are the U.S. establishment media and its allied Democratic Party.

The irony is that the left is casting blame on the one area of journalism – digital alternative media – not under its influence, where news from viewpoints that once were suppressed can now be heard.

“Socialist-style disinformation is exactly what we are now facing in the American media,” Pacepa told WND.

Former CIA director James Woolsey says “Disinformation,” by former top Soviet bloc spy chief Ion Mihai Pacepa, is “a remarkable book will change the way you look at intelligence, foreign affairs, the press, and much else besides.” It’s available now at the WND Superstore!

The Post relied in part on a group that named Internet outlets such as the Drudge Report as purveyors of disinformation.

Pacepa noted that the Soviet Union’s massive intelligence apparatus, like the Romanian service he headed, was focused less on spying and more on activities such as rewriting history, manufacturing false documents, defaming noble people and planting anti-American disinformation in the liberal Western news media.

Donald Trump

And what he observed during the just-completed election season, he said, was a disinformation attack on Donald Trump that attempted to alter the perception of the real estate billionaire and of America’s history.

“Now, American capitalism, which eradicated Nazism, the holocaust and the Soviet empire, has become the enemy of the U.S., while the destructive evil of socialism, which generated 45 years of Cold War, has become the mainstream media’s dream,” the former spy chief said.

Pacepa, in 1978, became the highest-ranking Soviet bloc intelligence officer ever to defect to the West. Having survived multiple assassination attempts, today he lives under deep cover in the United States due to ongoing security concerns. His international bestseller “Red Horizons” exposed the massive crimes and corruption of his former boss, Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu, and was regarded by President Reagan as his “bible for dealing with dictators.”

Pacepa noted that he heard Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev repeatedly say, “Change the public image of the leader, and you change history.”

“In the sanctum sanctorum of the former Soviet empire, to which I once belonged, finding a scapegoat for the country’s problems was called political necrophagy,” he said.

Khrushchev launched that “science” on Feb. 26, 1956, when he exposed “Stalin’s crimes” at the 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party in a four-hour “secret speech” that was immediately leaked to the media.

Pacepa said that while media, such as the New York Times, hailed the speech as a move that “opened the doors and windows of a petrified structure,” in actuality “it was just a cheap show, intended to introduce Khrushchev’s new ‘communism with a human face’ to the world.”

“Fortunately, the United States is still run by ‘we the people,’ and it still has free elections,” Pacepa said. “On Nov. 8, 2016, we the people overwhelmingly endorsed capitalist freedom.”

He said Trump’s “crushing victory may prove to be the Democratic Party’s Waterloo and the funeral for Marx’s socialism and American progressivism.”

Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., hands President Reagan a manuscript of Pacepa's book "Red Horizons"
Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., hands President Reagan a copy of Pacepa’s book “Red Horizons”

Did the Russians influence the election?

Pacepa said that while he has no specific knowledge of the Kremlin’s current intelligence operations against the U.S., he can confirm that during the Cold War, influencing foreign elections was one of the main tasks of the Soviet bloc intelligence community.

He said that KGB general Aleksandr Sakharovsky, who had been Romania’s chief intelligence adviser and Pacepa’s de facto boss before leading the entire Soviet bloc espionage community, used to compare classical espionage to a pickpocket’s snatch.

“If the deed were discovered, the result would be painful but not life-threatening for the victim,” Pacepa said.

“Our disinformation operations aimed at influencing elections, on the other hand, were a continuous process, conceived to invade people’s minds and consciences and to implant solid roots there.”

Pacepa said it was no wonder that during the Cold War, the Soviet bloc had more people working for the KGB disinformation community than for the Soviet army and defense industry put together.

“The American media are now making a big deal out of allegations that Russian intelligence has been trying to influence our elections,” Pacepa said. “Actually, that is what all of the world’s major intelligence services do.”

He said West Germany, Italy, Japan and Chile are just a few known examples of U.S. interference in foreign elections, citing President Richard Nixon’s secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, who once quipped: “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people.”

Pacepa said that after the end of the Cold War, the U.S. intelligence community slowed down its covert actions, but an American hand may still be detected behind a range of more recent elections, from Honduras to Venezuela to Ukraine.

“Instead of complaining that the Russians are trying to interfere with our elections, we should concentrate on protecting them from foreign interference,” he said. “Let’s hope that the Trump administration will do just that.”

Now KGB is the state

Pacepa cautioned that the policy of recent U.S. administrations indicates Washington hasn’t fully understood that Vladimir Putin’s Russia is the “first intelligence dictatorship in history.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin

“It is a brand new form of totalitarianism, which we are not yet familiar with,” he said

“During the Cold War, the KGB — which killed tens of million people within the Soviet empire alone — was a state within a state,” said Pacepa.

“Now the KGB — rechristened FSB — is the state.”

He noted that on Dec. 31, 1999, the KGB took over the Kremlin at the end of a palace coup, and a year later former KGB colonel Putin, Russia’s new president, restored Stalin’s national anthem, which had been prohibited after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

During his annual speech to the nation in 2005, Putin declared: “The breakup of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century.”

Pacepa cited a study published in the Russian Novaya Gazeta and republished by the Center for the Future of Russia finding that as of 2003 there were some 6,000 former KGB officers running Russia’s federal and local governments.

Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s current foreign minister and Secretary of State John Kerry’s counterpart, is just one of them.

He said it’s noteworthy that the current Russian version of the KGB is also responsible for guarding the country’s more than 7,000 nuclear warheads.

“That makes the KGB, now called the FSB, the most powerful — and most dangerous — intelligence organization in our world today.”

Former CIA director James Woolsey says “Disinformation,” by former top Soviet bloc spy chief Ion Mihai Pacepa, is “a remarkable book will change the way you look at intelligence, foreign affairs, the press, and much else besides.” It’s available now at the WND Superstore!

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