This is Part 2 of an extended book review of Disinformation — Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism (2013) by Lieutenant General Ion Mihai Pacepa and Professor Ronald J. Rychlak.
In Part 1 of this article, we discussed Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa’s revelations about the nature of Soviet disinformation and the operations to undermine the Church, the West, and America. Disinformation tends to create a life of its own and some of the deceptions continue to this day. We specifically discussed the disinformation operations that included the framing of Pius XII as “Hitler’s Pope, the framing of the CIA as the culprit in JFK’s assassination, etc. We also learned that disinformation is not possible without the aiding and abetting of the media, particularly the progressive American media.
LIBERATION THEOLOGY: DISINFORMATION FOR LATIN-AMERICAN CONSUMPTION
Among the many other KGB disinformation campaigns was the creation of the pseudo-theological movement propounded in 1968 as Liberation Theology, a movement fabricated specifically for consumption in Latin America. The disinformation was created as to infiltrate and radicalize the recalcitrant Latin American peasants, who had not been receptive to communist propaganda. Liberation theology presented a new possibility for raising the socialist conscience of the peasantry. The peasants were interested only in being left alone to work the land and quietly practice their faith in the Roman Catholic religion. In fact in 1967 the indigenous peasants of Bolivia had rejected Che Guevara and his band of communist insurgents, and had even helped with the defeat, capture, and execution of the Argentinean communist adventurer. The communist front, Soviet-controlled World Council of Churches (WCC) decided that liberation theology was the way to reach them by subverting their religion.
The peasants were not fooled and remained recalcitrant. The communist insurgencies, which the Soviets called movements of National Liberation, lacking popular support did not fare well in Latin America. The disinformation did not work and was not successful in radicalizing the peasants and converting them to Marxism. The Marxist guerrillas in Guatemala and El Salvador were rejected and defeated in the wake of the Soviet collapse of 1991. Even in Nicaragua, the Marxists lost control after they were drubbed at the polls.
Nevertheless, popularized by the Western press in the 1970s and 1980s, liberation theology became chic with leftists academicians, purportedly as social justice and an economic reform movement stemming from the catechism of the Catholic Church. But the saintly Mother Teresa knew better and rejected the hoax of liberation theology; when asked by a journalist about the term she responded, “Before one goes about correcting the people’s social and political problems, one must first face God.” Reportedly, the journalist was not amused and moved on!
Most of the priests of the WCC were under the control of the communist-controlled Russian Orthodox Church. Ironically, today there is no Soviet Union, but the WCC marches on and remains under the control of modern radical Marxists, who hate America and the churches they claim to serve. The new WCC agenda is to change the course of Christianity and Western civilization, particularly the Catholic Church, and undermine the traditional morality by discrediting the Vatican, disrupting the West, and smearing the United States in the process.
DISINFORMATION AND SUBVERSIVE COMMUNIST FRONT ORGANIZATIONS
Communist front organizations helped immensely with framing operations and many of them continue to exist and promulgate anti-American propaganda, years after the dismemberment of the Soviet Union. Consider the story, which has also been described by David Horowitz, of how Ramparts magazine became a pro-Soviet publication in the 1960s, and when it collapsed in 1975 from its ashes sprang Mother Jones, supported by the communist-controlled Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). Like the World Peace Council (WPC) and the World Council of Churches (WCC), the IPS is still functioning, spewing anti-Americanism, promulgating Marxist propaganda, and fomenting subversion against the United States. On its website, the IPS describes itself more gently as “a progressive think tank dedicated to building a more equitable, ecologically sustainable, and peaceful society. In partnership with dynamic social movements, we turn transformative policy ideas into action.”
The World Peace Council is today less apologetic; on its website, it describes itself as “ an anti-imperialist, democratic, independent and non-aligned international movement of mass action…. Since its creation in 1949-50, the WPC stood for peace, disarmament and global security; for national independence, economic and social justice and development, for protection of the environment, human rights and cultural heritage; solidarity with and support of those peoples and liberation movements fighting for the independence, sovereignty and integrity of their countries, and against imperialism.” The Indian communist Romesh Chandra, who presided over the WPC in its active pro-Soviet communist campaign against the U.S. in the 1970s, was still, as honorary chairman of the WPC, vociferating against “U.S. aggressiveness in the world and globalization,” two decades after the collapse of the USSR. The same WPC that mobilized demonstrations against the United States to serve Soviet interests in the 1970s and 1980s, today still organizes demonstrations to incite hatred and hostilities against America.
As far as the WCC, it has moderated its image. Yet consider the fact the Patriarch of Moscow since 2009, is the former Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk — a communist KGB asset code-named “Mikhaylov,” the 1971 Russian Patriarchate acting as foreign representative to the WCC; subsequently in 1975 infiltrated by the KGB into its ruling committee. Father Kirill still holds those positions in the leftist WCC, but at least he may now serve as a moderating influence in the other direction. Under Vladimir Putin, the Patriarch has become a fervent Russian nationalist!
Another disinformation operation fortunately failed in its attempt at framing Pope John Paul II, when one of the key operatives got drunk and at a crucial moment the framing operation was ruined.
KGB CHAIRMAN YURI ANDROPOV — MASTER OF DISINFORMATION
As Yuri Andropov preached, disinformation when nurtured properly will take on a life of its own. In 1999, more than 30 years after the initial commotion caused by the performance of The Deputy, a British leftist writer, John Cornwell, published another book calumniating the Vatican. The Secret History of Pius XII, which resurrected the framing of Pope Pius XII, was not based on original sources as claimed but instead on an earlier KGB disinformation book, Carlo’s Falconi’s The Silence of Pius XII, which in turn was based on a forgery concocted by the former communist government of Croatia.
Disinformation feeds on disinformation, but it is only successful with the aid of willing useful idiots or conscious agents and media outlets, which disseminate the counterfeit information in the West. And yet, without respectable media outlets in the West to promulgate the framing deceptions and calumniations, the planned disinformation is only wasted misinformation. Western media sources propagate the disinformation, and frequently they do so with gusto.
In his memoirs Special Tasks, Pavel Sudoplatov, Deputy Chief of Foreign Soviet Intelligence and head of the Thirteenth Department (known as “Wet Affairs,” a euphemism for sabotage and assassination), aptly described the KGB jargon for deceiving the Western media: “ ‘When the ducks are flying’ means that the press is publishing disinformation.”
According to Lt. Gen. Pacepa, in 1972 KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov further described disinformation as follows: “Dezinformatsiya works like cocaine. If you sniff once or twice, it may not change your life. If you use it everyday, though, it will make you into an addict — a different man.” And when Andropov decided to fool President Jimmy Carter by reinventing the hard-line Romanian communist dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, “into the West’s favorite tyrant,” he applied the cocaine theory. Andropov instructed Pacepa: “We should plant the image of the new Ceausescu in the West as like opium seeds, one by one. And we should water these seeds day after day, until they bear fruit.” In fact, the campaign paid off well, and Ceausescu, one of the most reliable Soviet hardliners, became “a box office success in the West.” The campaign worked out so well that Andropov tried it himself when he became General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1982-1984). And so, on his assuming the Soviet leadership and with Andropov’s disinformation planted, the mainstream American media was happy to report that he was fluent in English, urban and well-cultivated, “a witty conversationalist,” etc. In fact, Edward J. Epstein has such a magnificent selection of what was reported by the progressive obliging media that it is worth quoting him at length:
Andropov’s accession to power last November was accompanied by a corresponding ennoblement of his image. Suddenly he became, in The Wall Street Journal, “silver-haired and dapper.” His stature, previously reported in The Washington Post as an unimpressive “five feet, eight inches,” was abruptly elevated to “tall and urbane.” The Times noted that Andropov “stood conspicuously taller than most” Soviet leaders and that “his spectacles, intense gaze and donnish demeanor gave him the air of a scholar.” U.S. News & World Report, on the other hand, reported that “he has notoriously bad eyesight and wears thick spectacles.”
His linguistic abilities also came in for scrutiny. Harrison Salisbury wrote, “The first thing to know about Mr. Andropov is that he speaks and reads English.” Another Times story took note of his “fluent English.” Newsweek reported that even though he had never met a “senior” American official, “he spoke English and relaxed with American novels.” Confirmation of his command of English appeared in Time, The Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Washington Post. The Economist credited him with “a working knowledge of German,” and U.S. News & World Report added Hungarian to the growing list. And this quadralingual prodigy was skilled in the use of language, too.
The glorifying framing had worked like a charm for Ceausescu virtually until he was toppled and executed along with his wife Elena in 1991. President Jimmy Carter, who actually approved the defection of Lt. Gen. Pacepa, went as far as apologizing to Ceausescu for having granted asylum to Lt. Gen. Pacepa, and later accused the general of being a KGB plant for denouncing and exposing the man, Nicolae Ceausescu, who we now know was a real criminal.
DISINFORMATION — FOMENTING ANTI-SEMITISM AND HATRED IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD
If Khrushchev wanted to break and split asunder the Judeo-Christian world, Andropov wanted to destroy it. “Operation Typhoon” also ordered by Andropov aimed at increasing terrorism in Western Europe and culminated with the 1975 assassination of Richard Welch, the CIA station chief in Athens. While anti-Semitism was promoted by both Khrushchev and Andropov, as noted previously, Zionism was presented as Nazi-style racism. Andropov went farther and ordered the hijacking of Zionist and Western planes, triggering a series of deadly hijackings during the 1970s. The Thirteenth Department (“Wet Affairs”) was responsible for coordination and providing supplies and technology from behind the scene. Terrorism was thus planned and orchestrated by the KGB without being traceable to Moscow; the KGB was happy to let the Palestinian terrorists take full credit.
“Operation SIG” was a disinformation campaign to create hatred in the Islamic nations by propounding that America was a hated Zionist country, which wanted to dominate the world and turn it into a “Jewish fiefdom.” As we have seen, the KGB not only spread the disinformation with the forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, but also had the book translated into Arabic and added documentary evidence. Hundreds of thousands of copies were disseminated in the Arab and Islamic world to sow hatred and inspire terrorism against the West.
With this background we can explain such heinous acts as the takeover of the American embassy in Tehran in 1979 and the hostage crisis that followed, the Beirut barracks bombing of 1983, and many of the worst terrorist acts that have taken place since the 1970s, up to the catastrophic 9-11 tragedy in New York City and beyond. Thousands of Muslims celebrated worldwide in the streets of various cities the worse catastrophe to befall the United States ever, the 9-11 tragedy. Islamic jubilation at such a barbaric act! But such was the intense and grotesque hostility generated by framing the United States — the seeds of disinformation planted back in the 1970s by the Soviets and continuing to germinate with the aid of enemies of freedom and sundry America haters — almost two decades after the collapse of the evil empire of Soviet communism.
Disinformation — Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism (2013) by Lieutenant General Ion Mihai Pacepa and Professor Ronald J. Rychlak is a revealing and eloquent book that requires greater dissemination and should be required reading by sober citizens of all civilized nations.
Miguel A. Faria, M.D. is a retired clinical professor of neurosurgery and long time medical editor. He is the author of Vandals at the Gates of Medicine (1995); Medical Warrior: Fighting Corporate Socialized Medicine (1997); and Cuba in Revolution — Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002). His website is http://www.haciendapub.com