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KGB Material Released By Cold War Project, Available Online

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the fewer-redactions-than-a-foia-request-about-yourself dept.

Government 94

pha7boy writes "The Cold War International History Project just released the 'Vassiliev Notebooks.' The notebooks are an important new source of information on Soviet intelligence operations in the United States from 1930 to 1950. Though the KGB's archive remains closed, former KGB officer turned journalist Alexander Vassiliev was given the unique opportunity to spend two years poring over materials from the KGB archive taking detailed notes — including extended verbatim quotes — on some of the KGB's most sensitive files. Though Vassiliev's access was not unfettered, the 1,115 pages of densely handwritten notes that he was able to take shed new and important light on such critical individuals and topics as Alger Hiss, the Rosenberg case, and 'Enormous,' the massive Soviet effort to gather intelligence on the Anglo-American atomic bomb project. Alexander Vassiliev has donated his original copies of the handwritten notebooks to the Library of Congress with no restriction on access. They are available to researchers in the Manuscript Division."

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fuck the police (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27973057)

I hate cops and celebrate their deaths.

Fuck those tools of fascism.

#2 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27973063)

just dropped an obama.

Re:#2 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27973349)

your trolling strategy is really giving wind in the sails for the republican party these days

Re:#2 (2, Funny)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973487)

You don't honestly think that is a republican posting, do you?

Those kind of post are people just trying to make all conservatives look ignorant (yet not ignorant enough to post on slashdot anonymously.)

Do you think someone who is that stupid could even work a computer?

Re:#2 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27973563)

Yes, [freerepublic.com] I [raptureready.com] do [conservapedia.com] .

Freaking hilarious. While it's possible that original troll is just an imitation of stupidity as opposed to the real thing, your reasoning is tortured.

— not GP AC

Re:#2 (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973795)

Well, I honestly think it's a Republican posting. Given the stupidity of the rhetoric we hear from Republican politicians and pundits, the Republicans don't need any help making themselves look bad. Hell, that AC post is downright sophisticated compared to some of what you hear from the likes of DeMint and Limbaugh.

Re:#2 - Poor KGB! (3, Funny)

meburke (736645) | more than 5 years ago | (#27977803)

The world might be quite different if the KGB had realized how wasy it was to get the USA to elect a Communist, foreign-born, Muslim president.

Re:#2 - Poor KGB! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27982895)

Actually if you look at another of Yuri's lectures he describes the appearance of a political "messsiah" at the time of escalating tension in the society. You can understand Obama better after this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xef8EEyhPVU&feature=related [youtube.com]

Re:#2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27973851)

Fuck you. I'm a democrat and pissed at Barack W Obama. Issue after issue, he's George Bush. Or worse. I voted for him but I might as well have voted for John Sidney McCain (who is more liberal than many democrats!). At least the media and democratic congress would have the balls to stand up to his bullshit.

Re:#2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27974083)

Bullshit. The "dropped an Obama" troll goes back to at least the inauguration.

You're not a democrat... Just another web SA.

It's never too late to change. You could stay a Republican or ESR-anarcho-capitalist-acolyte or whatever you really are, but represent yourself truthfully. If you have faith in the power of your ideas, you don't need to do shit like this.

Actually, I am a Republican (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28036981)

I am a Republican, did not vote for Obama, but did have high-hopes for him. I am not a Bush fan for reasons I won't detail here, but Obama in my opinion has turned out to be a bust so far...

In terms of foreign policy, despite some rhetorical flourishes, he is exactly like Bush.

He has hired crooks to run his administration. Too many people who conveniently don't pay their taxes while insisting other pay more

He has engage openly in class warefare, blaming rich people ($250K/year) while all the while bailing out actual rich people with TARP funding

He is nationalizing the car industry

Despite being critical of Bush (rightly so) for ballooning the deficit, Obama doubled Bushes deficit within 60 days and shows no signs of letting up.

Thus despite talking about the need to help the poor, inflation from this massive spending will hurt the poor significantly more than the rich

Bottom line: This guy is a cliche tax and spend guy. And it's no use bringing up Bush, Bush was bad, but Obama, once you get past the nice suit and ability to orate is worse.

Re:#2 (0)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27974069)

In Soviet RrUSA, Obama drops YOU!!!!

He did what for two years? (1, Funny)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973067)

... two years poring over ...

Must have been quite the sweaty fellow. :)

Re:He did what for two years? (1, Informative)

abigor (540274) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973505)

I hope you're joking, as that is the correct use of the verb "to pore":

pore

1. to read or study with steady attention or application: a scholar poring over a rare old manuscript.
2. to gaze earnestly or steadily: to pore over a painting.
3. to meditate or ponder intently (usually fol. by over, on, or upon): He pored over the strange events of the preceding evening.

Re:He did what for two years? (2, Funny)

SIR_Taco (467460) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973943)

Pun
noun
1. the humorous use of a word or phrase so as to emphasize or suggest its different meanings or applications, or the use of words that are alike or nearly alike in sound but different in meaning; a play on words.
2. the word or phrase used in this way.

verb (used without object)
3. to make puns.

Does that help?

Re:He did what for two years? (-1, Troll)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27974099)

Not really. Pore as a noun may be connected with sweating, but as a verb it isn't. Learn English, you wog-brained shitcock.

Re:He did what for two years? (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 5 years ago | (#27975301)

you wog-brained shitcock.

An interesting expletive, is it British or Australian English?

Re:He did what for two years? (5, Funny)

LaskoVortex (1153471) | more than 5 years ago | (#27975531)

you wog-brained shitcock.

An interesting expletive, is it British or Australian English?

The "shitcock" is a nesting bird primarily located in the northern hemisphere. It is closely related to the "fucktwit" in that both are members of Phasianidae family of birds. While not known for their intelligence, they are considerably smarter than the common wog of the order Galliformes.

Male shitcocks and fucktwits can be identified by a peculiar ability to act annoying and sometimes even hostile. Such behavior and a similar appearance often evokes comparisons to wogs despite their only distant relation. These activities are associated with mating patterns and are surprisingly affective at attracting the female members of the species.

Re:He did what for two years? (0, Flamebait)

abigor (540274) | more than 5 years ago | (#27974291)

Not really, as incorrect usage is not the same as punning. Is English your first language?

Re:He did what for two years? (1)

franki.macha (1444319) | more than 5 years ago | (#27978041)

Of course they're not the same, but incorrect usage for the sake of humour seems to me to be a valid variety of pun, and English is my first language. In fact there are enough examples of exactly that to warrant their own classification. [wikipedia.org]

Now Moose and Squirrel know secret KGB plans (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27973083)

Boris! What shall we do!

Yes but... (1)

Ghede (1521401) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973101)

What about the communist plot to undermine our great American nation from within by planting their agents in our movie studios? Sad part? That is the extent of my knowledge about 'communist' activities. Mah school hadn't done gave me some book learnin's!

Re:Yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27973307)

What's sad is that McCarthy was basically right, just a bit, um, over-zealous about it.

Re:Yes but... (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973775)

Ummm? Sure . ? . ? . ?

I shall now claim that everyone has colon cancer. I must now be right, just a little bit over-zealous.

Re:Yes but... (5, Informative)

anaesthetica (596507) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973791)

The Venona project [wikipedia.org] , only declassified toward the end of the Cold War, contains a large amount of information vindicating the position that the U.S. government was indeed riddled with Soviet assets. McCarthy didn't have access to Venona, and in all probability his lists of communists working in the government were a wild goose chase. It's unfortunate that his tactics and fervor discredited his larger objective, however, because it turns out that there were quite a number of spies in the U.S. government and other key institutions of American society.

Re:Yes but... (5, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#27974277)

because it turns out that there were quite a number of spies in the U.S. government and other key institutions of American society.

True. But they were mostly useless. One of the more amusing Soviet documents to surface from that era was a grumbling memo from KGB Moscow Central. They were complaining that too many useless agents had been recruited in places like the State Department, and not enough in atomic and other defense programs.

Some well-known items:

  • The Rosenbergs really were guilty, both of them, but they weren't most useful spies. The Venona transcripts are fascinating, because you can see why the US was so frantic at the time. The intercepts made it clear that the Russians had spies inside the nuclear program, but didn't identify them. It took years of messages (stuff like "met ANTENNA in Baltimore") before enough info was collected to identify the leak.
  • There are some later interesting disclosures about how the Soviet Union financed the Vietnam-era anti-war movement in the US.

For an good background on that era from the Soviet side, read Anatoly Dobrynin [wikipedia.org] 's memoirs. He was Soviet ambassador to the US from 1962 to 1986, and after the Cold War wound down, wrote it all up. Dobrynin became an ambassador due to a whim of Stalin's. One day, Stalin was frustrated with his diplomats, who were mostly old guys left over from the Revolution. He said something like "We need new Soviet men in this job, like young aircraft designers." The next day, Anatoly Dobrynin, young aircraft designer, was taken from his drawing board (literally) by KGB agents and shipped to Moscow, to attend the Higher Diplomatic Academy. And no, he wasn't told why at the time.

Re:Yes but... (1)

anaesthetica (596507) | more than 5 years ago | (#27974437)

They were complaining that too many useless agents had been recruited in places like the State Department, and not enough in atomic and other defense programs.

Funny that they had the same esteem for the State Department that President Nixon would later have.

Dissatisfied as the Soviets were with the number of assets inside the nuclear and defense programs, they had more than enough inside both the Manhattan Project and Los Alamos to steal the U.S. designs for nuclear weapons. Both of these projects were subject to our highest standards of security, but that didn't seem to make much difference.

Re:Yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27976283)

You realize Stalin died in 1953? Of course you didn't.

The 5th Column (2, Informative)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 5 years ago | (#27976689)

> True. But they were mostly useless.

Depends on what your definition of useless is. Go read _Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies_ by M. Stanton Evans. The fifty year seal on the Senate records has expired and combined with many other sources, all well footnoted, that book makes several things clear.

1. McCarthy had no idea just how far the rabbit hole went. Which is why he lost. But what he did know was for the most part accurate.

2. The US State Dept from the entry of the Soviet Union into WWII to the end of the period covered in the book was essentially in Soviet hands. China and Eastern Europe fell into Communist hands with the heroic assistance of the 5th Column within our foreign service.

3. A non-trivial but not quite majority of the US Congress were either Communists or useful idiots. The majority were Dems but the Pro/Anti Communist line hadn't hardened alone party lines to the same extent. Many Dems were still hard core anti-communist, including for example Robert Kennedy who served with Joe McCarthy for a time.

Again, I dare you kids to read it. It is brutal in the attention to detail and use of actual declassified documents.

Re:The 5th Column (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27977973)

But US is a democracy, right? Everyone has a right to keep their own political view, religion, and so on.

Then why communists were singled out and persecuted?

Re:The 5th Column (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27986601)

Someday one must grow up and accept the fact that you can't allow those who want to destroy democracy to abuse the democratic liberties.

Take Hitler, Chavez or Evo. All of them were elected. Armed revolution is not the only path to totalitarianism. There's also corruption, subversion and populism. And democratic societies, being so tolerant on different views, often fails to recognize the enemy within.

As a Brazilian, I find funny how Americans fall so often in unjustified self-immolation. You've built the most free society and the strongest democracy in the world, and, still, you seem to like to hate yourselves and think you are to blame for all the evil in the world.

Anti-Americanism has a good life here in the south. It's unfair, but it an useful political weapon here. The shocking thing is seeing you willfully tying your hands; giving, in name of freedom, power to those who want to destroy your freedom.

It's like you are a country of schizophrenic people.

Re:The 5th Column (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28045477)

>The US State Dept from the entry of the Soviet Union into WWII to the end of the period covered in the book was essentially in Soviet hands. China and Eastern Europe fell into Communist hands with the heroic assistance of the 5th Column within our foreign service.

You're *ucking kidding: do you think ANY POWER ON EARTH could have prevented China from being taken by Mao et alia (or whoever else had stood up against Chaing)? Who? How?

Read up on what happened when George C Marshall went to China after WWII and tell me you still think that huge, corrupt, and chaotic country could have been propped up.

Believing "saving" China was possible shows you are either ignorant of history or blinded by ideology. Give me a break with this revisionist garbage.

Re:Yes but... (2, Funny)

Vidar Leathershod (41663) | more than 5 years ago | (#27977277)

No, they have actually formed our recent history. See this post below:

http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1234821&cid=27975543 [slashdot.org]

Their infiltration of our higher ed system and popular culture can be clearly seen today. It's eerie that if you watch Ronald Reagan's farewell address, you notice that at the end, it's the decline in the core of American sensibilities he is worried about, despite the increase in national pride under his administration.

http://millercenter.org/scripps/archive/speeches/detail/3418 [millercenter.org]

Re:Yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27979885)

> to the US from 1962 to 1986, .... Dobrynin became an ambassador due to a whim of Stalin's. One day, Stalin was frustrated with his diplomats

Sorry, but Stalin was dead for 9 years for this be true (he died in 1953)

Re:Yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28045321)

>There are some later interesting disclosures about how the Soviet Union financed the Vietnam-era anti-war movement in the US.

More crap. I'm sure the CCCP was trying to stir up trouble in the antiwar movement, but most of the infiltration of those groups was by COINTELPRO agents (cf Tommy the Traveler) who advocated violence so the gov't could justify more spying and arrests.

Re:Yes but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27975345)

I didn't see this mentioned in the Wikipedia article on Verona, but I wanted to mention that it is also known now that the Soviets had a U.S. congressman on the payroll during this same time period. I can't find a reference for this at the moment but I believe Vassiliev was the one who brought this to light.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Dickstein_(congressman) [wikipedia.org]

In his 2000 book The Haunted Wood writer Allen Weinstein charged that documents discovered in 1990s in the Moscow archives showed Dickstein was paid $1250 a month from 1937 to early 1940 by the NKVD, the Soviet spy agency, which hoped to get secret Congressional information of anti-Communist and pro-fascist forces. According to Weinstein, whether Dickstein provided any intelligence is not certain; when he left the Committee the Soviets dropped him from the payroll.

Re:Yes but... (1)

Xarin (320264) | more than 5 years ago | (#28042991)

What about the communist plot to undermine our great American nation from within by planting their agents in our movie studios? Sad part? That is the extent of my knowledge about 'communist' activities. Mah school hadn't done gave me some book learnin's!

One has to be careful about using movies as propaganda tools. The Soviets used "The Grapes of Wrath" as propaganda to show how the poor were exploited in America. The audience on the other hand came away believing that every poor person in America owned an automobile.

And...? (2, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973169)

The executive summary please.

 

Re:And...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27973289)

In Soviet Russia, the KGB releases its cold war files

Re:And...? (0, Offtopic)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973467)

Surely this should be:
In Soviet Russia, the KGB releases its cold war files to YOU!

Re:And...? (4, Funny)

FilterMapReduce (1296509) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973517)

I prefer:

In post-Soviet Russia, KGB shows its papers to YOU!

It's sort of inspiring, actually.

Sadly, no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27974689)

Both the Party and KGB archives have been closed to researchers under Putin, and probably purged, too.

Re:And...? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27973335)

//The executive summary please.

In Soviet Russia, notes take you?

Sandwich theft! (1)

whitefang1121 (1432411) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973175)

Did it note the attempt to steal my sandwich?I would really like to know what happened to my sandwich!

Call me paranoid (4, Interesting)

brasselv (1471265) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973259)

Given the personal history of the powers that be [wikipedia.org] in Russia, I find hard to believe that this guy is given the "unique opportunity" to access or publish "some of the KGB's most sensitive files".

Get that Moose and Squirrel!!! (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973355)

So, now we have access to the Boris and Natasha's nefarious plans of the past!

Where's the 'spyversusspy' tag when you need it!

Summary (1)

whitefang1121 (1432411) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973361)

The best part..... the End.

Article about Vassiliev's credibility (3, Informative)

miletus (552448) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973405)

Here's an article from the Nation that questions some of Vassiliev's conclusions on the Hiss case [thenation.com]

Re:Article about Vassiliev's credibility (3, Insightful)

daknapp (156051) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973481)

And we all know what a neutral, unbiased source The Nation is!

Re:Article about Vassiliev's credibility (3, Informative)

nbauman (624611) | more than 5 years ago | (#27974257)

I think the Nation article raises points that stand on their own merits:

Vassiliv sued John Lowenthal (and lost) for libel over Lowenthal's claim 'that Weinstein and Vassiliev "omit relevant facts" and "selectively replaced covernames with their own notion of the real names." 'that "he never met the name of Alger Hiss in the context of some cooperation with some special services of the Soviet Union."'

When Vassiliev was asked on the witness stand whether 'he'd ever seen a single document linking Alger Hiss with "Ales"--the code name of a Soviet agent in the 1940s who, Weinstein and Vassiliev insisted, had to be Hiss--he admitted he hadn't.'

Oh please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27977159)

If the Nation said it is 2009, I'd check the calendar.

Where's the skepticism? (2, Interesting)

Oyjord (810904) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973411)

So, we're supposed to just take the word of a former KGB operative-turned journalist that what he wrote in his notebooks is historical truth? Sorry, till a Western historian gets access to the KGB archives (I personally know a couple who have) and publishes their results in a peer-review, Western historical journal, I won't believe a word I read.

Re:Where's the skepticism? (0, Flamebait)

rezalas (1227518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973507)

Bullshit. If they had, they would have published by now. Shit or get off the pot sir, people need seats for better reasons than yours.

Re:Where's the skepticism? (3, Interesting)

plover (150551) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973671)

These notes help corroborate other facts that have been revealed, such as the massive archive that Vasili Mitrokhin brought over with him at the end of the Cold War.

While they may not be 100% accurate, I'm expecting they'll likely be 90% or better. His previous writings have mostly dovetailed with the Mitrokhin Archive.

Yes, Vassiliev is prone to exaggeration and self-aggrandizement, (men of power frequently are) but these notes are not the only glimpse into the KGB's archives.

Re:Where's the skepticism? (1)

pha7boy (1242512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27975823)

CWIHP - www.cwihp.org - also has quite a few of the Mitrokhin notes. just click on the link on the front page.

Great work of fiction - sorry but I call bullshit. (2, Insightful)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973497)

Considering Alexander Vassiliev's (not sure where the double "s" came from in )rep and lack of any verifiable evidence to the validity of the data, I see this nothing more than a lengthy and uninspiring work of fiction. He is just using his ex-KGB cred to prop up his book business.

How redacted is it? (1)

Stauken (1392809) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973523)

I am curious if the former USSR has released something like this, especially with Putin basically still at the head; two things: first, how much of this document is black-lined at this point? Second, isn't it pretty obvious anything that isn't is an attempt to tell us what they want us to believe?

Re:How redacted is it? (2, Insightful)

Phizzle (1109923) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973665)

These days, it is a lot easier to publish freely in Russia than in USA - the stuff on the shelves in Moscow and Piter is way more unshackled than the things you will find at your average American Barnes and Noble. Plus, why would KGB bother redacting a work of fiction? They didn't bother with Vasiliev's prior work.

Re:How redacted is it? (1)

Zordak (123132) | more than 5 years ago | (#27973923)

I'm curious to see what analysis leads you to the conclusion that the Russian press is more free than the U.S. press. Please do elaborate.

Re:How redacted is it? (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27974141)

The Russian government serve considerably fewer "cease and desist" notices than the USA's.

I'm only counting written ones, of cour&
*^
##.;';''[p%$no carrier

Re:How redacted is it? (0, Flamebait)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27974171)

His handler in the KGB told him so...

Re:How redacted is it? (1)

Yokaze (70883) | more than 5 years ago | (#27977143)

You must be joking or living behind a rock. Just google for the keywords journalists russia [google.com] .
Journalists (or lawyers) critical of the regime, local administration or the oligarchs land up faster dead than reporters in Iraq. Most often, the police doesn't even bother to fake a investigation, despite the murder happening in public. Guess why they don't investigate, and why the murder happens in public.

Re:How redacted is it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27978243)

The expat newspaper The Exile, which for years was an example of freedom to publish in Russia, was shut down by the government. TV stations, radio stations, newspapers and magazines which don't follow the party line are all in danger of being put out of business by the Kremlin. You either don't live in Russia or you've got some serious blinders on.

Remember the 10 rules of intelligence & securi (1)

Martin P. Hellwig (1555589) | more than 5 years ago | (#27974761)

#1
If it is really secret then don't write it down, forget it and never talk about it, not even your colleagues and heavens forbid your superiors.

#2
If it is really secret but also really important that it should be preserved and you are absolutely 'put your life on the line' sure about it then make sure you spread enough 'information'. Preferably related to it but meaning the opposite and meaning the same but unrelated to it, the quantity of misinformation counts the most.
Do so in at least in the main stream languages from every major region.
Involve colleagues and superiors to help you but never mention what is the actual accurate intelligence unless it is the person who is on a need to know basis.

#3
There is no correlation between hard to get information and its accuracy

#4
There is no correlation between hard to get information and easiness to protect it.
Strive for not common known available, create an action plan for when using this information the worsted case scenario happens.

#5
Never assume because it is 'near' impossible to decode information that it is impossible to do so, the future is sooner then later.

#6
You are not special, if you can figure it out then at least one person who is at the moment considered your enemy can find it out too.

If 'it' came from the enemy then treat the content as if it was made available on purpose by the enemy unless proven otherwise.

#7
The walls have ears

#8
So have the ceilings, your car, your phone, the bypassing colleague, the open air and everything else which is not in the silent room, which is inspected by your self for electro-magnetic and sound leakages prior your intend to communicate.

#9
When confronted with an opponent that is prepared to die for their cause, don't let them down but keep well out of their way. History is not written by the dead but by the ones that lived.

#10
Eventually people will defend if they have something to loose.
Eventually people will attack when they having nothing more to loose. Give them just enough to prevent them from defending or more than what your opponents give you, whatever is the least.

So what does this all mean?
The information you get is probably not that interesting or important.

The Sword and the Shield (3, Interesting)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 5 years ago | (#27975027)

If this interests you, check out the book, The Sword and the Shield [amazon.com] which is compiled from the notes of a KGB archivist who smuggled documents from KGB archives for about 20 years.

Re:The Sword and the Shield (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27975921)

I don't have mod points with which to thank you for that. (Holy shit, the real Mitrohkin Archive is available online!)

So in lieu of mod points, anyone who enjoys the story will also enjoy Stephen Coonts' (of "Flight of the Intruder" fame) fictionalized version of the story in his novel Liars and Thieves [victoria.tc.ca] .

Re:The Sword and the Shield (1)

haaz (3346) | more than 5 years ago | (#27978597)

When I saw this post, I immediately thought of the The Sword and the Shield and the follow-up book, The World Was Going Our Way, which was about the KGB's Third World plans. But it turns out this was not from Vasili Mitrokhin. As an amateur historian, I look forward to exploring this stuff.

KGB Defector On Politcal Subversion (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27975543)

Former KGB operative and defector Yuri Bezmenov said most KGB agents were not involved in "James Bond" type espionage over atmioc secrets etc. Ideological subversion was the primary focus:

    On Demoralization & Destabilization

"YURI BEZMENOV: Ideological subversion is the process which is legitimate and open. You can see it with your own eyes.... It has nothing to do with espionage.

I know that intelligence gathering looks more romantic.... That's probably why your Hollywood producers are so crazy about James Bond types of films. But in reality the main emphasis of the KGB is NOT in the area of intelligence at all. According to my opinion, and the opinions of many defectors of my caliber, only about 15% of time, money, and manpower is spent on espionage as such. The other 85% is a slow process which we call either ideological subversion, active measures, or psychological warfare. What it basically means is: to change the perception of reality of every American that despite of the abundance of information no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves, their families, their community, and their country.

It's a great brainwashing process which goes very slow and is divided into four basic stages. The first one being "demoralization". It takes from 15 to 20 years to demoralize a nation. Why that many years? Because this is the minimum number of years required to educate one generation of students in the country of your enemy exposed to the ideology of [their] enemy. In other words, Marxism-Leninism ideology is being pumped into the soft heads of at least three generation of American students without being challenged or counterbalanced by the basic values of Americanism; American patriotism....

The result? The result you can see ... the people who graduated in the 60's, dropouts or half-baked intellectuals, are now occupying the positions of power in the government, civil service, business, mass media, and educational systems. You are stuck with them. You can't get through to them. They are contaminated. They are programmed to think and react to certain stimuli in a certain pattern [alluding to Pavlov]. You cannot change their mind even if you expose them to authentic information. Even if you prove that white is white and black is black, you still can not change the basic perception and the logic of behavior."

Excellent series of videos with Yuri on YouTube. These should be required viewing in schools.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHgYPDvQFU8&feature=related [youtube.com]

http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:dW8vp_7B-00J:brianakira.wordpress.com/2008/10/25/videosyuri-bezmenov-on-soviet-subversion-of-the-free-world/+A+person+who+is+demoralized+bezmenov&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=4&gl=us [74.125.47.132]

Re:KGB Defector On Politcal Subversion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27975679)

Indeed. It's also worthwhile remembering that George H W Bush was director of the CIA before he was President, and that Richard Cheney was Secretary of Defense under the elder Bush. Both would have been quite familiar with psychological warfare and misinformation techniques.

Re:KGB Defector On Politcal Subversion (3, Insightful)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27975919)

This contradicts everything else that is known about KGB, however it is consistent with American propaganda that pretty much projected their own image on propaganda efforts of others -- real or imaginary.

Re:KGB Defector On Politcal Subversion (3, Interesting)

Vidar Leathershod (41663) | more than 5 years ago | (#27977217)

Nice unsourced statement. You are conveniently attempting to ignore, much like the early leftist fans of Stalin, the reality of the situation. Our institutions of learning and higher learning *were* purposefully infiltrated by the Soviets in order to take us out from within. It's the same modus operandi that the Scientology folk have used on a larger scale, and like Scientology they also targeted Hollywood. Unfortunately for us, they were more successful.

Our popular culture is filled with people who are devoid of independent thought. Some, like Pete Seeger, eventually disowned Stalin, but many didn't, and a lot of damage was done. Seeger still sells the communist line, and look who he works with: School Children. Upstate New York's public radio is headed by a man who could sing you all the old "Labor songs" without reading them off a sheet.

You can show them revenue figures from the 1980's that showed tax revenue almost doubled, and they will still claim that the tax cuts caused the increase in the deficit, and that the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. The truth of course is that both groups got richer. If confronted with facts and figures, they will retreat into the rich got disproportionately richer than the poor, so it's "not fair". It's complete class warfare, and it's been pounded into them their whole lives.

Re:KGB Defector On Politcal Subversion (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28050447)

Our institutions of learning and higher learning *were* purposefully infiltrated by the Soviets in order to take us out from within. It's the same modus operandi that the Scientology folk have used on a larger scale, and like Scientology they also targeted Hollywood. Unfortunately for us, they were more successful.

Or maybe Communist ideas were popular among intellectuals to begin with, yet your politicians preferred to blame everything on "foreign spies". That is, before starting to promote blatant anti-intellectualism.

Re:KGB Defector On Politcal Subversion (1)

Vidar Leathershod (41663) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053393)

Or maybe Communist ideas were popular among intellectuals to begin with, yet your politicians preferred to blame everything on "foreign spies". That is, before starting to promote blatant anti-intellectualism.

"Lenin's war on his intellectual foes, whom he had described in letters as 'lackeys of capital,' gained force on June 1, 1922, when he signed a new penal code into law. It effectively gave the government the right to kill anyone who threatened to destabilize the new power won by Soviet workers and peasants, i.e., the one-party state."

"The lists arrived in Lenin's hands by mid-August - he drew up the list of philosophers himself - and arrests began. An Aug. 31, 1922, article in the government newspaper Pravda informed readers that several groups in the intelligentsia endangered the Soviet regime, and they were 'headquartered' in high schools, universities, and such faculties as philosophy and literature.

The arrested intellectuals had to sign statements promising never to return to the Russian Socialist Federal Socialist Republic (the U.S.S.R.'s precursor). If they did, they acknowledged, Article 71 of the Criminal Code provided for them to be executed immediately. According to the documents, each deportee was allowed to take 'one winter coat and one summer coat, one suit and change of clothes, two shirts, two nightshirts, two pairs of socks, two sets of underwear, and 20 dollars in foreign currency.'"

You were saying?

Re:KGB Defector On Politcal Subversion (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28063377)

You mean, they sent people who hated them them to promote Communist ideas abroad?

Or are you just googling for anything that is supposed to make Communists look bad, and pretending that it's a relevant argument?

Re:KGB Defector On Politcal Subversion (1)

Vidar Leathershod (41663) | more than 5 years ago | (#27978943)

Welcome, Stalin Apologist...

After reading some more of your posts, I see that this is a hobby of yours.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1227031&cid=27945215 [slashdot.org]

And there's my source, where you decry American propaganda for creating "myths" about Stalin regarding his purges.

Let me guess, you think the Gulag Archipelago was American propaganda, too? And now you are here, sticking up for your fellow collaborators and trying to influence useful idiots. Nice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHgYPDvQFU8&feature=related [youtube.com]

Re:KGB Defector On Politcal Subversion (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28050481)

Welcome, Stalin Apologist...

Actually I hate Stalin and Stalinists -- at the extent that it's possible to hate dead people. However history is about studying facts of the past, not producing creative writing about it. Ex: 300 movie is not history.

Let me guess, you think the Gulag Archipelago was American propaganda, too?

No, it's a vaguely autobiographic work of fiction that only American propaganda worker would use as a source for anything but literary criticism.

Re:KGB Defector On Politcal Subversion (1)

Vidar Leathershod (41663) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053281)

Actually I hate Stalin and Stalinists -- at the extent that it's possible to hate dead people. However history is about studying facts of the past, not producing creative writing about it. Ex: 300 movie is not history.

No, it's a vaguely autobiographic work of fiction that only American propaganda worker would use as a source for anything but literary criticism.

Right. And the source is so fictional that the KGB tortured people to get their hands on it. And that's also why it's corroborated by Soviet records...

From Wikipedia:

"The sheer volume of firsthand testimony and primary documentation that Solzhenitsyn managed to assemble in The Gulag Archipelago made all subsequent Soviet and KGB attempts to discredit the work useless. Much of the impact of the treatise stems from the closely detailed stories of interrogation routines, prison indignities and (especially in section 3) camp massacres and inhuman practices."

"One of the noteworthy elements of Solzhenitsyn's analysis are the seemingly outlandish claims of Soviet brutality, which subsequently turned out to be true - or which in some cases turned out to be more outrageous than Solzhenitsyn had originally stated. For instance, Solzhenitsyn claimed that the Gulag system was so voracious that between 1930 and 1939, a quarter of the population of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) was shipped to the Gulag. Post-Soviet scholarship has confirmed that the figure was even higher.[5] This one, seemingly unbelievable event, was reported by Solzhenitsyn in The Gulag Archipelago, to skepticism in the West."

"The KGB seized one of only three extant copies of the text still on Soviet soil. This was achieved by torturing dissident Elizaveta Voronyanskaya, Solzhenitsyn's typist[8] who knew where the typed copy was hidden; within days of her release by the KGB, she hanged herself on 3 August 1973.[9]"

It seems to me the only reason you may hate Stalin is the negative publicity he gave the Soviet system.

Re:KGB Defector On Politcal Subversion (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28063487)

Right. And the source is so fictional that the KGB tortured people to get their hands on it.

Libel can get you pretty heavy penalties anywhere in the world.

And that's also why it's corroborated by Soviet records...

What? It never was.

"One of the noteworthy elements of Solzhenitsyn's analysis are the seemingly outlandish claims of Soviet brutality, which subsequently turned out to be true - or which in some cases turned out to be more outrageous than Solzhenitsyn had originally stated. For instance, Solzhenitsyn claimed that the Gulag system was so voracious that between 1930 and 1939, a quarter of the population of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) was shipped to the Gulag. Post-Soviet scholarship has confirmed that the figure was even higher.[5] This one, seemingly unbelievable event, was reported by Solzhenitsyn in The Gulag Archipelago, to skepticism in the West."

GULAG was a prison system, it was not made specifically for politically-related crimes, or had some outrageous mortality rate. It was harsh because it involved hard labor, however that was the extent of it for most of the prisoners (including Solzhenitsyn himself).

It seems to me the only reason you may hate Stalin is the negative publicity he gave the Soviet system.

I's not the only reason, however that's pretty much the only thing Americans know that is true about him.

Re:KGB Defector On Politcal Subversion (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 5 years ago | (#27979583)

This guy, Yuri Bezmenov, is nothing more than a Russian Curveball ( Curveball is the Iraqi spy who fed bullshit to the US, telling the Bush administration what they wanted to hear, in exchange for money). His thesis is Freeper porn. All he's saying is exactly what rabid anti-communists want to believe -- our society is being penetrated on every level by communist ideology. It's a nightmare paranoid fantasy. He;s telling you want you want to hear. In short, it is a crock of shit.

No, Russia was not concerned about nuclear missiles pointed at Russia, how much oil reserves the US had, how many cars were rolling out of Detroit. What they really wanted was a few professors. And what would have been the appropriate response? "American patriotism." Yeah, sure, we need to fight these commie professors by having the kids stand up and say the pledge more often, and join the boy scouts. Tell me, why are pinko professors so powerful in 'programming' and 'indoctrinating' our youth, while all the television, movies, and advertisements are utterly powerless to do anything to 'program' the generation? Most folks don't even go to college, much less read any marxist literature while they are there.

It's a great brainwashing process which goes very slow and is divided into four basic stages. The first one being "demoralization". It takes from 15 to 20 years to demoralize a nation. Why that many years? Because this is the minimum number of years required to educate one generation of students in the country of your enemy exposed to the ideology of [their] enemy. In other words, Marxism-Leninism ideology is being pumped into the soft heads of at least three generation of American students without being challenged or counterbalanced by the basic values of Americanism; American patriotism....

This sounds like Michael Savage tripe. It belongs in a science fiction movie.

Re:KGB Defector On Politcal Subversion (1)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 5 years ago | (#27980009)

Well this guy defected right? I imagine its better from his point of view to increase his apparent knowledge by feeding Authorities in the US exactly what they want to hear, and puff up his own importance. Its entirely possible he had little to trade when defecting, but since the Soviets were the great unknown its probably easy for him to bullshit his way into establishing a massive plan that only he knows the details on.
Intelligence is always a case of weighing the information from a source like this and comparing it to other facts to reach a conclusion.

Of course we are all products of massive Soviet disinformation and demoralization, so our conclusions are naturally questionable. I guess I am only saying I think this guy is full of it, because I am a product of the education system in the 70's and 80's, otherwise I would be able to reach a logical conclusion :P

Re:KGB Defector On Politcal Subversion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27983035)

Since he is speaking in in early 80's his remarks about using gays and homosexuals to divide society are quite phrophetic at this pint in time:

"The sleepers go up, they become leaders of groups..preachers...
All of a sudden we see a homosexual... 15 years ago he did his dirty job and nobody cared. Now he makes it a political issue. He demands recognition, respect, human right, and he rallies a large group of people and there are violent clashes between him and police, his group and ordinary people. No matter what. It's black against white, yellow against green. Doesn't matter where this division line goes. As long as these groups come into antagonistic clashes, sometimes militantly, sometimes with firearms, that is the destabilization process. The sleepers, many of whom are simply KGB agents, become leaders of the process of destabilization."

It was Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci who created theory of using marginal groups and minorities to militatr against the sinstitutions and culture of capitalist societies. His ideas are the beginning of political correctness which is neo Marxist Trojan horse. Obama is also a cultural Marxist in tradition of Antono Gramsci. Liberation theology is cultural Marxism since it replaces classical Marxism and economic struggle with a cultural struggle. Jesus is changed from a spiritual figure into a politcal figure to save the "oppressed". In Obama's black liberation theology its blacks who become the proletariat and whites who become the capitalists. Switch blacks and whites for proletariat and capitalists and you have good idea of neo Marxist shell game going on. Of course homosexuals are also used as an oppressed group.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6b8BdrNaZ4&feature=related [youtube.com]

Re:KGB Defector On Politcal Subversion (0, Troll)

Vidar Leathershod (41663) | more than 5 years ago | (#27980433)

I get it. He's wrong because you *think* he is wrong. Never mind that you have no actual knowledge of events during that era, or that declassified materials on both sides have shown it to be true. Believing it would upset your liberal worldview, which tells us that the Soviets were only interested in espionage for the purposes of self-defense against the capitalist imperialist overlords.

Re:KGB Defector On Politcal Subversion (2, Insightful)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 5 years ago | (#27980723)

No, he's wrong because his story is a supernatural story. It's a fairy tale, a story with a moral. These super-powerful spies ( spies! ) are able to perform a kind of mind-control by 'programming' college students by exposing them to certain professors. These spies have supernatural abilities -- the ability to program -- not convince, not indoctrinate, but program people because they took World History 101 with Professor Finkelstein. Never mind all of the television and movies that these American kids watch, never mind all the advertising they're exposed to, never mind all the songs they hear, never mind all the ideas of their parents, friends, families, co-workers, fellow church-goers -- their whole worldview in *installed in their heads* by reading Das Kapital in their sophomore year at college.

Boy, isn't that scary? How superpowerful these mind control techniques are! Why anybody around you could be 'infected'! You never know if your co-worker is one of "them". How could we ever hope to fight back?

Fortuneately, there is hope. We can fight back. We need to fight these advanced brainwashing techniques with our own counter-programming. We need kids reading Adam Smith's _Wealth of Nations_. We need them saying the pledge at the beginning of each school day. We need them going to church and believing in God. We can fight back against those commie memes, with our own mind programming.

That, my friend, is a Phillip K. Dick science fiction plot. It's something straight out of Videodrome. Brainwashing is a complete fiction.

Re:KGB Defector On Politcal Subversion (1)

Vidar Leathershod (41663) | more than 5 years ago | (#27983295)

Fantastic. So I guess those people who became entrapped in cults weren't brainwashed either?

In any case, the things he is referring to can also be classified as indoctrination. But I am sure you will self-document that as "pretend" also. You set up so many straw man arguments you should be a wikipedia reference.

There is ample documentation of Soviet activity in a manner described by this man. Where is your documentation? Oh, wait, you are just another sympathizer who spent far too much time believing what you were taught by left-wing loonies.

Re:KGB Defector On Politcal Subversion (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 5 years ago | (#27983373)

Fantastic. So I guess those people who became entrapped in cults weren't brainwashed either?

So a few people have joined cults; therefore the whole United States was brainwashed by the KGB via university professors. Brilliant.

Re:KGB Defector On Politcal Subversion (1)

Vidar Leathershod (41663) | more than 5 years ago | (#27984147)

You have still not refuted his statements with documented facts. Probably because you can't find a source, but it doesn't give you adequate standing to besmirch the man's character. You not liking what he said does not make it untrue.

Re:KGB Defector On Politcal Subversion (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 5 years ago | (#28040921)

Brainwashing is indeed a fantasy. There hasn't been a single psychological experiment that supports the notion that large-scale brainwashing is feasible. Since cults contain a minuscule set of Americans, it is not possible to extrapolate from cults to American society.

Quite frankly, every time I hear someone talk about brainwashed Americans, it is in the context of others not hating enough the communists, socialists, fascists, islamo-fascists and other boogiemen du jour. These people cannot fathom how someone could possibly not have a phobia of an intellectual concept or a group of people.

There's no need to refute them, they merely exhibit irrational paranoia.

Re:KGB Defector On Politcal Subversion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28045919)

>There hasn't been a single psychological experiment that supports the notion that large-scale brainwashing is feasible.

Bullsh*t. What do you think TV advertising is?

There's a great study about how well brainwashing works that uses the "Buckle Up" TV public service announcements re seatbelts of the 1960s and 70s as a metric. Results showed that people (even those who didn't at first remember seeing the commercials) not only knew the message "buckle up for safety" but could sing the jingle. A whole generation grew up getting this message daily on the TV.

Imagine if it had been "We Have Always Been At War With EastAsia".

NO. NOT NOW. NOT EVER. I'M COMING FOR ALL OF YOU! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27975991)

What to the files contain about their most successful agent of all time? You know, the father of Emacs.

Raoul Wallenberg? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27976707)

He looked up a lot of people, but nothing on Raoul Wallenberg? If its true, that would be extremely disappointing. Perhaps thats some of the stuff he never got to see (and understandable). The little information from the Gulag is quite disappointing, considering the daring of Wallenberg during World War 2.

And the winner is... (1)

eyendall (953949) | more than 5 years ago | (#27978191)

Whatever the KGB was doing in the US, the US was trying to do the same in the Soviet Union. Spy vs Spy. It is still going on today. The real point is what was the long term strategic impact of these efforts by both sides. Clearly very little of substance. The Soviet Union got atomic bomb a year or two earlier, but to think their physicists and engineers were incapable of designing and building one is sheer fantasy. The CIA did not hasten the fall of the Soviet Union: it did it all itself.

Twenty more years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27980887)

I wonder when the KGB archives will open up for the 1960's and 70's. Then we finally get to confirm that the anti-war movement was funded and orchestrated by the KGB. I'd love to know who the "handlers' were for prominent anti-american activists like Jane Fonda.

"So tell me, Mr Vassiliev, (1)

gidds (56397) | more than 5 years ago | (#27982037)

"How much polonium [wikipedia.org] do you take in your tea?"
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