Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pacepa, The Great and Powerful II: Or, How to Trap a Former CIA Director - 3 August 2013

The Pacepa team seeks to shift discussion away from his relationship with the KGB and from the cessation of Romanian intelligence cooperation with – and subordination to – the Soviet Union, and to draw US institutions and officials on their side against Larry Watts and his book With Friends Like These: The Soviet Bloc’s Clandestine War Against Romania. Pacepa goes so far as to claim (with emphasis) that the aim of Larry Watts is “to discredit the CIA by discrediting me.” (Pacepa and Rychlak (2013): 339).
            In this manner they set up former CIA director, R. James Woolsey, provoking him with their artificial version of “Larry Watts.” Along with the entirely fictitious biography described in Part I, Pacepa, Bädin and Tismaneanu provide Mr. Woolsey with gross misrepresentations of my work to compel his negative comment.
            Let me be clear. Mr. Woolsey is persuaded as to the central theses of Disinformation: that the Kremlin conducted an anti-Vatican campaign; that it proliferated anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism, especially in the Middle East; and that it sponsored terrorism. I also consider that the available documentation on Soviet operations bears out such conclusions.
However, Pacepa’s (and Tismaneanu’s) allegations concerning alleged Romanian involvement in those operations after 1963 is so ludicrously at odds with the documentary record of more than seven countries that they would be laughable if they were not so damaging to Romanian-American relations.
            Exploiting Mr. Woolsey’s support for the central theses of Disinformation and, in Pacepa’s case, older relationships of trust that may have been based on accurate information regarding Soviet operations, Pacepa, Bădin and Tismaneanu now manage to persuade the former CIA director not to examine my book, my other publications, or my TV or radio broadcasts, but rather to believe what they say Larry Watts says about him.
Using this technique they elicit responses from Mr. Woolsey to statements misattributed by them to Larry Watts, again careful to avoid any citation or quotation that would allow Mr. Woolsey to verify their misrepresentations. None of my previous publications attribute any statement or action to former CIA Director Woolsey (beyond noting his presence in a publicly-reported symposium). Mr. Woolsey is not mentioned even once in With Friends Like These.
            According to Pacepa in his “whisper-down-the-line” scenario, Larry Watts claims that former Director Woolsey stated that “I [Pacepa] had confessed to him [Woolsey], in his CIA office, that I was a KGB agent.” Pacepa further alleges that Larry Watts refers “to some undisclosed documents allegedly found in CIA archives” to claim that Ceauşescu would have broken “away from the Soviet bloc” when he “was executed in 1989 because the CIA had concealed the truth about him [Ceauşescu] to avoid having to admit it had granted me [Pacepa] political asylum even though it knew all along that I had actually been a KGB agent all my life.” (Pacepa and Rychlak (2013): 339)
Having thus misrepresented the work of Larry Watts as seeking to discredit the CIA – and suggesting that Watts’s arguments are not sourced with the utmost precision – Pacepa and Bädin then paradoxically declare that Larry Watts has been seeking to associate himself with the very organization that he is bent on discrediting, that he “claimed to be working for the CIA” and that “Watts wrote in his biography (later also published in his blog) that he worked in the CIA.” (Pacepa and Rychlak (2013): 340;, 18/10/12 and 19/10/12)
These are “whoppers” indeed. Whoppers that Mr. Tismaneanu propagates more obliquely, stating that “known American personalities are attributed words which they have never uttered. I refer to Mr. R. James Woolsey, former director of the CIA. Thus, resort is made to crass lies, the intentional disfiguration of the truth, [and] the brutal falsification of verifiable fact.” (, 27/07/13)
Bädin is more explicit in his exchange with Mr. Pacepa, stating that: “According to Mr. Larry Watts, the former director of the CIA, Mr. James Woolsey, had said that you admitted in his bureau at the CIA that you denigrated Ceausescu because you were a KGB agent.” (Evenimentul zilei, 29/07/13) Not surprisingly, given his sources, Pacepa’s co-author likewise declares that “Watts claims that the proof that Pacepa was a KGB agent was provided by former CIA director James Woolsey, who allegedly disclosed that Pacepa acknowledged to him, in his CIA office, that he had been a KGB agent all his life.” (
            In conformity with standard disinformation good practices, Pacepa, Tismaneanu and Bädin all fail to identify any book, article, page, TV or radio broadcast in which Larry Watts made such outlandish allegations. They cannot produce them because they do not exist. Trusting in the word of Pacepa and company, Mr. Woolsey reacts naturally to such obviously “ridiculous affirmations,” labeling them the lies they are.
Successfully misrepresenting Larry Watts as having made these absurd assertions, the Pacepa team manages to draw out Mr. Woolsey’s uninformed comment that “the affirmations of Watts are lies.” The affirmations to which Mr. Woolsey is replying are indeed lies. But they are the lies of Pacepa, Tismaneanu and Bädin, not of Larry Watts.
Mr. Woolsey’s comment is exactly the sort of jewel that Pacepa, Tismaneanu and Bädin most desired – a clear statement from a former U.S. official, and a former CIA director at that, dismissing the work of Larry Watts. This is reflected in the eager insistence on Woolsey’s comment by an impressive array of websites sympathetic to the Pacepa line. The Pacepa team members are less successful in achieving their secondary goal, to have Larry Watts engage former Director Woolsey in a polemic while leaving Pacepa and his colleagues to continue their mischief unchallenged.
Knowing the mechanism employed by Pacepa & co., I would prefer to refrain from further comment were it not for the fact that my lack of response might give the mistaken impression that these attacks on my credibility have some basis, or that Mr. Woolsey’s current opinion of Pacepa and of Romanian-Soviet intelligence collaboration represents that of the community of US intelligence agencies, the CIA especially. Neither is true.
            In fact, there are dozens (at least) of CIA documents detailing the anti-Soviet independence of the Romanian regime, especially within the Warsaw Pact, that post-date Pacepa’s defection. Those who wish to verify this can consult, for example, the collection of reports brought out by Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski, whose contribution to US and NATO interests far exceeded that of Mr. Pacepa. Kuklinski, a more reliable source than Pacepa, repeatedly described Romania’s independence with admiration in both these documents and in his published interviews. (, 18 March 2011; Kultura (Paris), 4 475 (April 1987): 3-57)
            Mr. Woolsey’s opinion, that “all of the intelligence services of the Soviet bloc were, under one form or other, controlled by the KGB,” was presumably formed when he was acting CIA director (02/92 – 01/94), when the archives of the Soviet bloc were only just cracking open. At the start of the 1990s I also shared that opinion, at least in part.
However, that opinion no longer represents the current state of knowledge among U.S. intelligence agencies or academic analysts. On the contrary, documentary collections made available since 1991 from the former regimes of the Soviet bloc – as well as further U.S. declassifications – all confirm the breakdown in Soviet-Romanian intelligence cooperation since the early 1960s. An ex-KGB foreign counter-intelligence chief, now resident in the United States, has even explained that, by 1971, “Romanian State Security terminated its ties with the KGB” while the “other Eastern European secret services became even more subservient to the Soviets.” (
Clearly, my discussion of the fact that Mr. Pacepa was an agent of the KGB throughout his career in Romania’s state security apparatus has struck a nerve. Pacepa’s discomfort is somewhat odd. He boasts throughout his 1987 Red Horizons that he received his instructions directly from senior KGB officer Alexander Sakharovsky, and had private meetings with KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov. And he underscored his privileged relationship with KGB leaders in subsequent articles as well as in his current volume, where Pacepa repeatedly describes the KGB’s foreign intelligence chief as his “boss and mentor” and the leader of the Soviet Communist Party as his “ultimate boss,” and credits the Kremlin with “pushing” him “to the top of Romanian foreign intelligence.” (Pacepa and Rychlak (2013): 45, 90, 150, 191, 281, 375)
At times he has been quite specific about the nature of the orders that he received from his KGB bosses. He claims, for example, that in 1972 the chief of KGB foreign intelligence “gave him responsibility for illegal operations in Romania.” (The American Spectator, 09/07/10) What that KGB-granted responsibility meant in terms of the complete breakdown of Romanian-Soviet intelligence cooperation the year before I will leave to the reader to judge.
Pacepa’s insistence on receiving orders from the high firmament of the KGB creates a rather large contradiction when he now claims that he was “never a KGB agent.” His cheering section dismisses any suggestion that Pacepa might have been a KGB agent as utter nonsense and addled fantasy. Mr. Tismaneanu decries the fact that “Abracadabra scenarios are launched conforming to which Ion Mihai Pacepa was a Soviet agent.” And Pacepa’s co-author labels the claim “that Pacepa was a KGB agent” as “preposterous.” (, 27/07/13;, 29 July 2013)
Identifying Pacepa as a KGB agent is hardly the hallucinatory fantasy Mr. Tismaneanu claims. As Pacepa openly admits, the U.S. Presidential Administration that granted him asylum in 1978 believed him to “have been a KGB agent,” was convinced that his defection was “concocted by the KGB,” and even prohibited him “from publishing anything for the rest of [Pacepa’s] life.” (Pacepa and Rychlak (2013): 332, 342) Pacepa received asylum not because of the alleged value of his information but because it was U.S. policy not to return political defectors likely to be executed on their return – Pacepa was sentenced to death in absentia – nor was it in U.S. interest to discourage other high-level Soviet bloc defections (even if defections “in-place” were always preferred.)
The great victory obtained by Pacepa and company in this current campaign is Woolsey’s statement (retranslated from the Romanian newspaper account in Evenimentul zilei) that “Watts maintains that General Pacepa informed me that for many years he had been a KGB agent,” and that this alleged “affirmation of Watts, that Pacepa confessed to me that he had been a KGB agent, is a lie.” (
No doubt Mssrs Pacepa, Tismaneanu and Bädin see this as game, set and match.
To be clear, up to this point Mr. Woolsey was reacting naturally to the disinformation provided him by Pacepa & co. Now, however, he commits an error of his own. According to Front Page Magazine, in April 2004 Mr. Woolsey participated in a three-man panel with Mr. Pacepa entitled “KGB Resurrection,” in which Mr. Pacepa declared that “I spent 27 years of my life working for the KGB, I defected from it 26 years ago.”  (, 30/04/04)
Barring the unlikely possibility that the moderator mistook Mr. Woolsey and/or Mr. Pacepa for some other persons, Mr. Woolsey probably has misremembered. Pacepa did admit in the presence of, if not directly to, Mr. Woolsey that he “worked for the KGB” for the entire period of his 27 years in the Romanian state security apparatus. Pacepa acknowledged during the same panel that Soviet KGB officer Sakharovsky was his “former boss,” removing any doubt as to which KGB he might be referring.
In any case, as I affirm in my 2010 volume, Pacepa had indeed “gone on record that he was in fact a Soviet agent throughout his career in the DSS,” and he has “admitted having ‘spent 27 years’ as a Soviet agent taking ‘orders from the Soviet KGB,’ the entire length of his career in Romania’s state security organs.” (Watts (2010): endnote #59 on 206, 660)
Pacepa’s “monster plot” conspiracy theory, like that of his predecessor, Anatolyi Golitsyn, did win some adherents within the US intelligence – and especially counterintelligence – establishment, but the CIA as institution never endorsed it prior to 1985, as Pacepa and company would have us believe. Nor does the Central Intelligence Agency endorse it today, contrary to what Mr. Woolsey suggests.
Comintern agent Willi Münzenburg is credited with inventing the Soviet front organization and the “clubs of innocents” (or “useful idiots”) through which he manipulated unsuspecting Western opinion. In similar fashion Pacepa and company persist on running with the lie that Communist Romania during 1963-1989 was a Soviet Trojan horse and its independence a sham. That lie falls before overwhelming archival evidence to the contrary.
                   Naturally, Pacepa and his supporters are anxious that we “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” that might expose him as a false wizard whose information is not nearly so great nor so powerful as he would have us believe. Instead, he insists – along with Mssrs Tismaneanu and Bădin – that we look almost anywhere other than at the great hoard of publicly accessible documents detailing the close Romanian-American relationship, the close Romanian-Chinese relationship and the mutually antagonistic and often outright hostile Soviet-Romanian and Warsaw Pact-Romanian relationships.
            According to one time-tested legal adage: “If the facts are on your side then argue the facts; if the law is on your side then argue the law; but if neither are on your side then attack your opponent.” Unable to combat the avalanche of documentary evidence, Pacepa, Tismaneanu and Bädin clearly resort to this approach, attacking their imagined versions of the past and character of Larry Watts rather than the arguments and evidence presented in With Friends Like These. No doubt they will run into similar difficulty with my second volume, Extorting Peace: Romania and the End of the Cold War (2013). 

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