By: Benjamin Weingarten
Title: Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism
Author: Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa
Yesterday we released an explosive interview with Romanian Lt. Gen. Ion Pacepa, in connection with the release of his most-recent title “Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism.”
Pacepa is the highest-ranking Soviet intelligence officer to ever defect, having come to the United States and received asylum from President Carter in 1978. Ever since, Pacepa has been writing in defense of freedom while living undercover due to assassination threats.
Below are 11 vital quotes from our interview. Be sure to check out our full review of the book as well.
Soviet propaganda reading: “Rise higher the banner of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin!”
(Image Source: http://www.communisme-bolchevisme.net/)
1. On today’s Russia “The very idea that the Soviet Union was defeated is disinformation in itself. The Soviet Union changed its name and dropped its façade of Marxism, but it remained the same samoderzhaviye, the historical Russian form of autocracy in which a tsar is running the country with the help of his political police…Russia today is the first intelligence dictatorship in history. It is a brand new form of totalitarianism, which we are not yet familiar with. Now the KGB, rechristened FSB, is openly running Russia.”
2. Russia as hypothetical post-WWII Germany run by Nazis “Is it too far-fetched to suggest that this post-Cold War Russia calls up the hypothetical image of a postwar Germany being run by former Gestapo officers, who reinstate Hitler’s “Deutschland Über Alles” as national anthem, call the demise of Nazi Germany a “national tragedy on an enormous scale,” and invade a neighboring country, perhaps Poland, the way Hitler set off World War II?”
3. resident Obama and the U.S. ”Perhaps our book may also help President Obama abandon his craving for Marx’s utopian ideology, “to each according to his need,” which is transforming the United States into a decaying socialist country in all but name.”
4. On Disinformation and the re-branding of Pope Pius XII as “Hitler’s Pope” ”There is a widespread belief that the worst damage from Soviet/Russian intelligence operations against the West has been the theft of highly classified secrets, such as the technology for the atom bomb. Not so. The absolutely worst—and often irreparable—damage done to the Free World has been caused by the Kremlin’s disinformation operations designed to change the past…In 1978, when I broke with communism, I left in my office safe a slip of paper on which Gen. Sakharovsky had scrawled: “Gutta cavat lapidem, non vi sed saepe cadendo.” (A drop makes a hole in a stone not by force but by constant dripping.) That Latin saying, Sakharovsky explained, encapsulated the whole concept of disinformation and framing. Lying next to it was Mao Zedong’s version: “A lie repeated a hundred times becomes the truth.”
The Kremlin’s repeated lie that Pius XII was Hitler’s Pope has become the “truth”—a lie so firmly established against all evidence to the contrary, that for most educated people who have not looked closely at the subject, there seems nothing to discuss.”
5. The “framing” of Pope Pius XII and birth of international terrorism ”Both the framing of the pope and the threat of international terrorism were born at the Lubyanka, the headquarters of the KGB. Both grew out of the Kremlin’s anti-Semitism and its addiction to framing people and countries. And both were intended to slander and undermine the faith of the Judeo-Christian world, while at the same time driving a wedge between Jews and Christians.
That brings me to the crux of the matter. Anti-Semitism has always generated terrorism.”
6. The KGB plot to turn the Arab World against the Jews ”In 1972, during a breakfast in his office, KGB chairman Andropov told me that “our” disinformation machinery should ignite a campaign aimed at transforming Arab anti-Semitism into an anti-American doctrine for the whole Muslim world. The idea was to portray the United States as a war-mongering, Zionist country financed by Jewish money and run by a rapacious “Council of the Elders of Zion” (the KGB’s derisive epithet for the U.S. Congress), the aim of which was to transform the rest of the world into a Jewish fiefdom. Andropov made the point that one billion adversaries could cause far greater damage than could a mere 150 million.
The KGB boss described the Muslim world as a waiting petri dish, in which we could nurture a strain of hate-America. The Muslims had a taste for nationalism, jingoism and victimology. We had only to keep repeating, over and over, that the United States was a war-mongering, Zionist country financed by Jewish money, with the goal of taking over the whole world.
The KGB community threw millions of dollars and thousands of people into that gigantic project, as described in our book.”
7. On the true objective of the Cold War “The Cold War is indeed over, but, unlike other wars, that one did not end with the defeated enemy throwing down his weapons. In spite of the press coverage given to its nuclear competition, the Cold War was in fact waged primarily for the purpose of conquering minds, and it seems that the loser’s mindset cannot be changed from one day to the next…”
8. On the true meaning of glasnost “But for those of us who once led the Soviet bloc intelligence community, glasnost was a dezinformatsiya [disinformation] instrument used to embellish the stature of a leader, not a catchword for openness, as it has lately become known to the rest of the world. Glasnost was not invented by Gorbachev and it does not mean openness. Glasnost is an old Russian term for polishing the ruler’s image.
In the mid 1930s—half a century before Gorbachev’s glasnost—the official Soviet encyclopedia defined the word glasnost as a spin on news released to the public: “Dostupnost obshchestvennomy obsuzhdeniyu, kontrolyu; publichnost,” meaning, the quality of being made available for public discussion or control. In other words, glasnost meant, literally, publicizing, i.e., self-promotion.
Since the 16th century’s Ivan the Terrible, all that country’s leaders have used glasnost to promote themselves inside and outside the country.”
9. The Soviet Union devoted more resources to ideological warfare than standard intel-gathering “During the Cold War, disinformation and glasnost were a lot more important for the KGB community than stealing secrets…Classical espionage, like picking pockets, was an accumulation of one-time thefts. Our disinformation and glasnost techniques, on the other hand, were a continuous process, conceived to invade people’s minds and consciences and there to put down roots. That was the future. That was going to open up a whole new era in the history of communist foreign intelligence.”
10. On “Operation Ares,” the Soviet plot to build U.S. leftist anti-Vietnam resistance “In 1972, I had a long discussion with Andropov about this operation in his dark, cavernous KGB office, which breathed secrecy from every inch of its thick walls, just as his “Ares” did. “Our ‘Ares’ turned America against her own government,” Andropov started off in his soft voice. It damaged America’s foreign policy consensus, poisoned her domestic debate, and built a credibility gap between America and European public opinion that was wide and deep. Now all we had to do was to continue planting the seeds of “Ares” and water them day after day after day. Eventually, American leftists would seize upon our “Ares” and would start pursuing it of their own accord. In the end, our original involvement would be forgotten, and “Ares” would take on a life of its own. That was how human nature worked, Andropov explained. Our “Ares” would change America forever.”
11. The KGB flooded the world with copies of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” ”During the almost two decades that I continued to remain in Romania, our intelligence community disseminated several million Protocols—translated into German, English, French and Arabic—to leftist organizations around the world, to mosques, and to countless people whose names were randomly selected from telephone books.
We do not have an instrument that can scientifically measure the results of disinformation operations. But it is safe to presume that the combined effect of spreading millions of Protocols around the world and portraying the United States as a Zionist instrument used to subjugate the world to Jewish interests played a role in generating the shameful anti-Americanism costumed in the robes of anti-Semitism that we are facing today.”