Its goal was to eliminate feeling which the Soviet Union was in charge of the assassination.
According to the former CIA chief under the Clinton government, James Woolsey, and also the former head of Romania’s equivalent of the KGB, the suitably named DIE, Ion Mihai Pacepa, President Kennedy had been taken orders coming from Nikita Khrushchev himself by agents of the Soviet Union. Operation Dragon advances a new version of the concept already proposed by Gen. Pacepa in a prior book printed in 2007, Programmed to Kill.
The one difference is that now around Pacepa is joined by the former head of the CIA, James Woolsey. In my reading, it is unclear what if anything Woolsey donated, because all the arguments come out of Pacepa with a few references to Woolsey believing a number of the book’s promises. Why a well thought of intellect and businessman leader would give his name to the job remains a puzzle, since nearly everything in the book is absolute fantasy introduced without compelling evidence.
Delusion and Disinformation
The plot was called off following Stalin’s death, and also the prospective assassin retired by the KGB. That proposed plot was really comprehensive in Britain from the defector Vasili Mitrokhin in 1992, when he replicated extensive files in the KGB archives and also disclosed several Cold War secrets to the West. The assassination was to be carried out by a Soviet agent called Grigulevich working under the alias Tedoro Castro, a wealthy Costa Rica coffee retailer, that met regularly with the Pope.
Why is this actually included? Perhaps it is there to notify readers that actual plots to kill foreign leaders were actually what the KGB did. Otherwise, the story does not have any connection to the book’s main point.
After composing this, Woolsey and Pacepa present several paragraphs which anyone knowing the background of the American left will howl around in reaction. They refer to an American citizen called Bob Avakian, a supporter of both Maoism, who once posted a photograph of himself standing alongside Mao in Tiananmen Square.
A little and barely influential Marxist-Leninist sect, the group had been anything but a mass movement, rather than approached the membership of the American Communist Party, in its own era of decline, when the celebration could boast just a few thousand members. The authors then ask whether Avakian was”a contemporary version of Grigulevich.” They acknowledge they have no”contemporary source” with this particular assertion. Their proof, such as it is, consists solely in the fact in the time of their own writing, Avakian was in the process of writing a new Soviet-style Constitution for the USA.
Regrettably this is the sort of”evidence” presented throughout the book for many of its claims, but especially for the concept that the Soviet Union was in charge of J.F.K.’s assassination. The reader is supposed to trust the writers and their conclusion, though the”evidence” that they provide is based on dubious sources and depends on one record in particular that probably does not exist or has been an KGB forged disinformation supply.
Following a few chapters providing the background and development of Soviet espionage, that has been treated by others but sets the platform for the thesis of the publication, Pacepa and Woolsey return to business in a chapter titled”Stealing America’s Nuclear Bomb.” In their own eyes, Oppenheimer was the best Soviet spy within America’s secret wartime job. The duty to recruit scientists to offer the information for creating a bomb has been put in the hands of a leading intelligence agent, Lt. General Pavel Sudoplatov, whose accounts Pacepa and Woolsey trust implicitly.
The dilemma is that not one of Oppenheimer’s biographers have found any evidence that he had been a Soviet agent. Indeedback in 2011 the preeminent founders of Soviet espionage, Harvey Klehr and John Earl Haynes demonstrated Sudoplatov’s lack of credibility in a lengthy paper,”Special Tasks and Holy Secrets on Soviet Atomic Espionage.”
Within this lengthy review essay, Klehr and Haynes also dispute another book on which Woolsey and Pacepa foundation their story: Jerrold and Leona Schechter’s Sacred Secrets: How Soviet Intelligence Operations Changed American History. Woolsey and Pacepa rely so heavily on Sacred Keys that Klehr and Haynes’ demolition of the book casts severe doubt on all Operation Dragon’s promises also.
A Credibility Gap
Woolsey and Pacepa discount the best available study on Soviet espionage (Klehr, Haynes, and Vassiliev’s Spies) from slander, arguing that the writers accept”the barrage of disinformation the Russians have spread” This is amazing because Spies is based on documents smuggled into Britain from Alexander Vassiliev, a former KGB agent. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union along with his turn from intelligence to fiction, he had been offered the assignment of writing a history of the KGB. Throughout this effort, Vassiliev faithfully replicated many of the documents he had been given to support his study. After emigrating to the U.K. in 1996, he was able to regain his study, which eventually became the basis for two books on Soviet espionage.
Pacepa and Woolsey do not take the records in Spies, a lot of which are verified by documents found in the Venona Project–a cache of information Soviet KGB messages delivered to agents in the USA that allowed scholars to understand how Soviet intelligence operated. Instead, they smear Vassiliev, arguing with no shred of evidence that the KGB gave Vassiliev the documents to release in London as Soviet disinformation. Woolsey and Pacepa write:
The Vassiliev laptops are not credible, because they had been created by the KGB specifically because of their book in the USA and surfaced soon after the book of Sudoplatov’s memoirs. Its many references to the unrecruited Oppenheimer appear to us to be disinformation designed to conceal the fact that he was a cooperative source who allowed Russia to construct its own nuclear bomb.
The writers’ rejection of Spies is based solely on the fact the evidence does not adapt to their own contention that Oppenheimer had been a Soviet spy. Againas Klehr and Haynes finish,”the proof the mid-1940s [Oppenheimer] had left his earlier Communist allegiance supporting and truly supported America’s role in the Cold War is entirely persuasive.” This conclusion is accepted by virtually every scholar of Soviet espionage.
Nonetheless, Woolsey and Pacepa insist that Vassiliev’s laptops are”spurious,” and that”the KGB officially released [these ] for book in the U.S. in 2009.” (They make no difference between the KGB and its successor organization, the SVR). They again say that Klehr and Haynes”firmly dismiss all Sudoplatov’s accounts on nuclear espionage as the ramblings of a feeble mind according to’sparse documentation free of provenance. ”’ He neglects to say that many of Vassiliev’s documents are confirmed by their own concurrence with files in the Venona transcripts, which they completely ignore.
The 2 writers then use and current as important evidence a record that appeared in the Schechter’s book Holy Keys. It is considered so essential that the writers reproduce it in full.
The letter contains Merkulov telling Beria that from 1941 to 1943, they were given reports about the A-bomb preparations on uranium and its own development from 2 KGB agents, Vasily Zarubin and Grigory Kheifetz. It goes on to say that CPUSA chief Browder affirmed that Oppenheimer also”provided cooperation in access to the study for a number of our tested sources” That included”a relative of Comrade Browder.” Merkulov then advocates that by 1944 on, American agents have to”sever the connections of leaders and activists of the CPUSA together with specialists and scientists participated in work on uranium.”
There is one problem about this Merkulov letter. The Schechter’s book, Sacred Keys, Klehr and Haynes write,”provided no data on the provenance of the record,” along with the Schechters provide”no explanation of the circumstances where they got it or the archive at which it had been discovered.”
According to the Schechters, also now Woolsey and Pacepa, Kheifitz along with another Soviet representative Eliazabeth Zarubina met with Oppenheimer, in a period when the FBI was closely tracking the Manhattan Project leader, which would make such a meeting improbable. Sudoplatov argued in his novel, and his first claim is repeated in Operation Dragon, which Zarubina, Vasily Zarubin’s spouse, took this information to”a drugstore in Santa Fe, that had been used as a meeting point…which turned into a safehouse in which the couple could also pass files to other unregistered illegals.” They would then”act as couriers, carrying the records to other unregistered illegals, who afterward goes to Mexico City, in which”the Soviet intelligence leader Lev Vasilievsky would get them and guarantee their clandestine transmission to Moscow.”
The challenge is that this safe home , which the Soviet Union had bought to use for participants in the Trotsky assassination in 1940, was conducted by Kitty Harris, whom the Schechters argue was a freelancer for nuclear secrets. This was Harristhey say, who transported herself to Vasilievsky in Mexico. Venona files that Woolsey and Pacepa appear to be unaware of, but reveal that Kitty Harris lived in Mexico City in 1943 to 1946, in which she had been KGB liaison with left wing trade union leaders. Not one Venona mention to Harris mentions that she did courier function or was a player in nuclear espionage.
As for their evidence, the Schechters wrote that copies of these files they used could be introduced to the Hoover Library in Stanford, California, in which scientists and scholars could use them. Klehr and Haynes did just that and could not locate the October 2 letter the Schechters and Woolsey and Pacepa swear by. Klehr and Haynes finish that Jerrold or Leona Schechter were granted bogus documents. The only sound conclusion one can reach is that this record does not exist, and it itself is probably Soviet disinformation.
There are quite a few different whoppers in the book; really, too much to mention cite. In 2014, Vladimir Putin declared at this annual meeting that a new intelligence agency would be added to the FSB, known as The Dzerzhinsky Division.
Woolsey and Pacepa subsequently ask:”This must raise a query…. Is it a pure coincidence that the terrorist assault on the USA on September 11, 2001″ and the assault at Benghazi in 2012,”took place at the birthday of Felix Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the Cheka…?” Apparently, there’s absolutely no such thing as coincidence. The insinuation that these attacks weren’t orchestrated by Islamists, but actually were undertaken by the successor agency to the KGB indicates a detachment from reality.
Now it might be true that during the Cold War, the KGB trained a few terrorists, like al Zarqawi, as they trained other terrorists from all over the globe. That does not imply that al Zarqawi,”has been a secret KGB/FSB operative.” When Communists was able to maintain a half-truth or what other people considered a lie, they’d also start by stating”It’s no denying that….” Apparently Pacepa, who probably awakened this argument, could not give his old Communist mindset.
Back to Oswald
The authors also claim that the Warren Commission proved Oswald was trained by the KGB to kill J.F.K., and that the proof was in secret”code words” embedded in the record; which somehow, Woolsey and Pacepa were the only people to notice and decode. They describe that the 26 volumes of the Warren Commission report”include dozens of KGB codes and operational patterns,” that none of the Commission members even knew they were there. That is because of its”associates’ lack of familiarity with KGB codes and patterns” They provide no sign of what the”code has been,” or proof due to their theory. Nor do they explain why other American agents along with other Soviet defectors never exposed these codes.
More”proof” the writers offer to demonstrate that Oswald had been a KGB operative, is yet another conspiracy theory. Oswaldwe know, had tried to kill General Edwin Walker on April 10, 1963, however, failed. Woolsey and Pacepa argue that because Oswald shot Walker just once his doing this”was mostly a test exercise for Oswald to prove [to the KGB] that he would be able to escape and discover from a true assassination in the U.S.”
The KGB if Khrushchev held Stalin’s old place as General Secretary was one Vladimir Yefimovich Semichastny. A hard-liner, he would later advocate that Khrushchev be removed from office because he feared that his liberalization would result in the end of the USSR. As KGB mind, he had the job of investigating Lee Harvey Oswald following JFK’s death. Oswald had invested time in the Soviet Union, but following a thorough investigation, Semichastny concluded that Oswald had never worked for the KGB.
The authors write that Oswald”was recruited from the KGB after he had been stationed in Japan in 1957,” where he managed to provide the KGB the details of the American covert U-2 plane, that would be shot down during the Eisenhower presidency before a scheduled summit between Ike and Khrushchev. The Soviets hadn’t any rockets that could have taken down the plane at that moment, despite Khrushchev’s bragging that they did. “What they’d really completed,” the authors claim,”was construct a distinctive lightweight plane, whose pilot managed to maneuver into the U-2’s slipstream and cause it to collapse.” As usual, this assertion the writers made has no verification or source. Nor do they offer evidence that this sort of plane ever was built.
Moreover, the problem with this assertion is that Oswald had no access to some of the U-2 airplane keys while in Japan. This was just acquired by the Soviets when they shot one down, utilizing the proximity fuse that Julius Rosenberg had passed to them Christmas Day in 1944. Julius met his KGB controller, Alexander Feklisov, in a Horn and Hardart café on Broadway and West 38th Street in Nyc. The fuse allowed a shell to explode at a short distance from its airborne goal, thus strengthening a hit, besides correcting the path of an explosive charge towards a plane. It is rather astonishing that two ex-intelligence agency heads would not know this and would attribute the Powers plane being taken down to data supposedly assembled in Japan from Lee Harvey Oswald.
Feklisov writes that when the device smuggled out of the factory he worked at by Rosenberg, Soviet scientists and military leaders analyzed it. Instantly, new ones have been put in to production. “Thanks to it,” Feklisov writes,”the U-2 reconnaissance plane flown by Francis Gary Powers was shot down over Sverdlovsk on May 1, 1960.”
Ultimately, I must note a different ridiculous claim that’s wholly wrong. The writers write about the work of Morris and Jack Childsand two brothers that were trusted American Communists who met several times with Brezhnev and the Politburo, talking on behalf of the CPUSA.
The reality is that the two brothers had been turned and were working for the FBI, to whom they reported regularly about what the Soviet leaders advised them. On the Soviets along with Gus Hall, the CPUSA’s mind, they pretended to be loyal Communists. Indeed, when they obtained cash for the American Party out of Brezhnev, the FBI got it and then gave back the funds to the Childs to be dispersed to the CPUSA.
The authors develop a totally preposterous theory that the Politburo knew from the beginning that Morris and Jack Childs were FBI agents, but the Moscow Communist chiefs claimed they didn’t know, so that they could provide the Childs brothers data that the Soviets weren’t responsible for JFK’s death, which the Americans would subsequently think. The actual reality is that the revelations and substance given to the U.S. by these brothers was extremely bad for the Soviet Union. In the USA, the CPUSA leader Gus Hall would instantly have been expelled from another American Communist leaders.
I can only echo the words of New York Times foreign reporter David Binder, that examined Pacepa’s first book, Red Horizons for the Times on January 3, 1988. Binder notes that Pacepa”has several times changed his stories…which throw doubt on his veracity.” The stories that he tells in that book, Binder states, are doubtful and”at least a decade “
Kramer is the guy who edited and brought The Black Book of Communism to the Usa. “He spouted nonsense,” he emailed me,”for a long time… To draw attention to himselfhe would make increasingly more outlandish claims, especially about matters he couldn’t possibly have known.” Operation Dragon is only the most recent example, and also the past, because Pacepa passed away before the book’s publication, preventing himself the hassle of it being disregarded, or getting bad reviews. Why R. James Woolsey would include his own name to the publication is a puzzle which Woolsey himself would have to reply.
Its goal was to eliminate feeling which the Soviet Union was in charge of the assassination.