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EXCLUSIVE - Ion Mihai Pacepa: "Basescu will go all the way"
Ion Mihai Pacepa, about the Cotroceni Commission for the Analysis of the Communist DictatorshipIt would be useless to speak about him. He is the man who was sentenced to death for two times by a regime that did not accept contradictions or denials. He has left Ceausescuâs Romania in 1978 and has denounced communism ever since. Ion Mihai Pacepa talks about the role of the Commission for the Analysis of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania.
Jurnalul National: Itâs been 28 years since you have left the country. You have been attacking the communist regime that influenced Romaniaâs destiny all this time. Here we are today, 16 years after the Revolution, facing the initiation of a Commission for the Analysis of the Communist Dictatorship. Is this your dream come true?
Ion Mihai Pacepa: I hope the present process that incriminates communism will unify Romania in the same way in which the eradication of the Nazism did with the USA. 405,399 Americans died in WWII, but their country of immigrants remained close to the White House until it transformed the Powers of the Axis in prosper democracies. Communism killed and terrorized more than 500,000 Romanians. I hope that their sacrifice will make the politicians abandon duplicity and rebuild the political unity that Romania has been missing in the past 60 years. The country is facing a crucial moment and needs unity in the same way it needs air.
WHAT IS TO BE DONE?
Which should be the first step of the Commission?
It should convict the "White Book of the Security" published by SRI (the Romanian Secret Service) in 1994, which says the communist dictatorship has been a legitimate regime and that its political police served for Romaniaâs interests in a certain historical step. "The White Book" deforms not only the past, but the present as well. It insinuates that the present Romanian secret services are a result of the former Security. SRI and SIE have taken over this idea in order to justify the presence of hundreds of members of the former security in their structures. The SIE website, for example, still says that: "On the 8th of February 1990, by the Decree No. 111 of the FSN Council, CIE, the "espionage service of the Security" has been reorganized".
Some say President Basescu had collaborated with the Security. Do you think he is the one that could take out all the members of the former Security?
I do not know the details of this collaboration, but the NAVROM representatives in the Occident and the ship commanders were subordinated to the DIE and I know they had not been used for political police, but for illegal imports of strategic products. In "red Horizons", I have described the way in which a Centurion tank has been brought in the country on a Romanian commercial ship. In "The Black Book of the Security", I have given several details on the duties of this kind of collaborators. President Basescu is a sort of Romanian Chirac. He has the same pragmatism, political instinct and adaptability. Moreover, as a sailor, he knows how to survive. For 15 years, SRI and SIE have pretended to be using only a few members of the Security, most specialists in numbers. The Presidents refused connecting his name to this lie and quietly dismissed tens of generals and colonels of the SRI and SIE, who came from the Security. For 15 years, SRI refused to open the archives of the Security. The President understood this was bad for Romaniaâs prestige and his and he sent 1.3 million files from the SRI archives to the CNSAS (the National Council for the Analysis of the Stateâs Archives). I am fully convinced that he will go all the way. He wants to be reelected.
SINCE WHEN? UNTIL WHEN?
How far back should the Presidential commission go?
It should go at least to the first major action regarding the instauration of the communist dictatorship in Romania: the Stalin-Hitler Pact. As I have said in "The Black Book of the Security", Stalin built this pact with the help of the NKVD, which had a very important role in the afterwards transformation of Romania. The first Romanian political police, the "Mobile Brigade", the precursor of the Security, has been led by a product of the Stalin-Hitler Pact: Boris Grunberg, a member of the NKVD in the Moldavian Republic and Romanized under the name of Alexandru Nicholschi. The Security has also been created and led by another member of the NKVD in the same generation: Panteleimon Bondarenko, who became General Gheorghe Pintilie.
One year ago, we have opened a painful file of the recent history: the death of the Romanians that wanted to become free again by swimming across the Danube. The number of Romanians that died this way is greater than the one of the Germans that at the Wall of Berlin. Our measure, with great feedback from the civil society, had no influence on the authorities. How do you comment on this?
This is because the former dignitaries of the Ceausescu regime, who wanted only to change the leaders, but not the political regime have poached the peopleâs anti-communist rebellion in December 1989. These communists have kept the former members of the Security in the SRI. They are also the ones that drew SRI in actions with political influence with the target of preventing the legalization of a Law that would have taken out the members of the former Security.
What are the actions that you refer to?
In 1996, SRI released "Literary and Artistic Histories", which was to compromise the writers and the artists that did not agree with the Iliescu regime and to lighten up the image of the ones that did. Also in 1996, SRI Captain Constantin Bucur showed to the press hundreds of tapes containing phone conversations of several politicians and journalists that had been illegally intercepted by the SRI. In 1997, SRI released "Behind the Curtains of the Romanian Espionage, a book that tries to compromise the Romanians that had helped the NATO fight against communism by naming them the "desertersâ phalange". Now, the press has all kinds of articles containing documents of the Security made to discredit the former monarch of Romania.
SRI AND THE IMAGE
Recently, the SRI Director, Radu Timofte, announced he intended to hire a company to take care of the image. Do you think this is what SRI needed? Maybe, the image of this service is a matter of PR.
The image of the secret services is built on facts not money. During the last years, SRI has created a superb antiterrorist unit, which the NATO informative community appreciated. However, this didnât lead to the disappearance of the illegal politically influencing activities. In Bucharest, there is a black market of the Securityâs secret documents controlled by SRI that denigrates the ones that tried to reveal the crimes of the Security. Hundreds of such documents have been offered to Europa Libera (an important Romanian radio station) for sale. There are also some secret documents from SRI, which have appeared on this black market in the past years with the purpose of compromising the ones that wanted to expose the Securityâs outlaws. I have seen several private collections with such documents. They are relevant.
You are the subscriber of an open letter to the countryâs President. How did your name get on the list of the 500 subscribers?
With the help from Mr. Sorin Iliesiu, the vice-president of the Civic Alliance. I was one of the first subscribers, but my name hasnât been published for a while because we didnât want some other subscribers to change their minds. Unfortunately, there are still many well-intentioned Romanians that continue to believe that the Security served for the national interests and that the ones that denounced its crimes betrayed their country.
Do you think there will be a special chapter for you in the final report of the Commission?
Maybe. In 1978, I paid with two sentences for "betraying" the Security in its full glory and for practically annulling DIE. In 1980, when I started revealing the crimes of communism, Ceausescu offered 2 million US dollars for my head and created an operative security unit, with 694 officers, with the almost exclusive duty of killing me in the USA.
What is the description that you expect from that report?
Maybe the same as in the American contemporaneous political encyclopedia, Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion_Mihai_Pacepa).
THE JURNALUL INITIATIVE
Do you support the Jurnalul initiative of opening all the communist archives - party, Security, Army, External Affairs, Courts of Law, Church?
Absolutely. The communist that took over after the Revolution in 1989 hid these archives because they incriminated them. The people demolished the communist Government and they the right to know its heresies. How do you picture the communismâs conviction? A statement to convict its crimes, which should be adopted by a solemn session of the Parliament, Government and of the Supreme Court of Justice, which would be signed by the Romanian President afterwards. A law to annul all the political convictions of the communist regime. As well as a law similar to the one Jurnalul National proposed, a law that should make public all the archives of all the communist institutions. In 1990, I suggested to the Romanian President the initiation of a Security museum like the ones in Dachau and Auschwitz, a museum in which he should show the names of all the ones killed by the Security. I make the same suggestion to President Basescu. The ones that do not remember the past are convicted to repeat it.
Translated by SORIN BALAN
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