Old Lessons for New Wars: Counterintelligence at the Roots of Provocation and Terror
(Dr. Jack Dziak, March 7, 2018)
Transcript available below
About the speaker
Dr. John J. Dziak served as a senior intelligence officer and senior executive in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and in the Defense Intelligence Agency, with long experience in counterintelligence, hostile deception, counter deception, strategic intelligence, weapons proliferation intelligence, and intelligence education.
He is co-founder and president of Dziak Group, Inc., a consulting firm in the fields of intelligence, counterintelligence, counter-deception, national security affairs, and technology transfer. His clients are found in industry, the Intelligence Community, and the Department of Defense.
Dr. Dziak is a Distinguished Fellow in Intelligence Studies at the American Foreign Policy Council and also is a Senior Fellow at the International Assessment Strategy Center for counterintelligence, terrorism, and strategic deception issues. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, DC.
Dr. Dziak received his honors Ph.D. in Russian history from Georgetown University, is a graduate of the National War College, and is a recipient of numerous defense and intelligence awards and citations. He was the co-developer and co-director of the Masters Degree Program in Strategic Intelligence at the Defense Intelligence School, the original predecessor to the current National Intelligence University. He has taught graduate courses at the Institute of World Politics, the National War College, Georgetown University, and The George Washington University; and lectures on intelligence, military affairs, and security issues throughout the US and abroad.
Dr. Dziak is the author of the award-winning Chekisty: A History of the KGB, numerous other books, articles, and monographs, including The Military Relationship between China and Russia, and Soviet Perceptions of Military Power. He currently is preparing a book on foreign counterintelligence systems, as well as other works on intelligence and national security issues.
For more on information operations and state influence campaigns, see Robert Reilly’s Westminster talk, Information Operations: Successes and Failures, and Kenneth E. deGraffenreid’s Westminster talk, Information Warfare and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Robert R. Reilly:
It is a terrific pleasure to welcome an old friend and colleague and a regular member of our gatherings. You are on the other side of the podium. I am very happy, but welcome Dr. Jack Dziak, as our speaker tonight.
He served as a senior intelligence officer and senior executive in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and in the Defense Intelligence Agency, so he has had long experience in counterintelligence, hostile deception, counter deception, strategic intelligence, weapons proliferation intelligence, and in fact, Jack is simply intelligent period outside of even those fields. He is the co-founder and president of the Dziak Group, which has as clients various parts of the government, Defense Department, Intelligence Community.
And he teaches and has taught at Georgetown University. He has taught at John Lenczowski’s Institute of World Politics. I am on the advisory board, so that comes easily to my mind. And his own field of study where he received honors and his PhD. Russian history was from Georgetown University. He is also a graduate from the National War College. Numerous awards. He [is] co-developer [and] co-director of the master’s program in strategic intelligence at the Defense Intelligence School, now known as Defense Intelligence University.
Chekisty: A History of the KGB is one of his award-winning books, and he has also written many articles, monographs [on the] military relationship between China and Russia, Soviet perceptions of military power. I wonder if that differs from Russian perceptions of military power. I think we will find out tonight. We will see. And he- Jack is currently preparing a book, and I think we will hear some of the material from this forthcoming book, on foreign counterintelligence systems as well as other works on intelligence-national security issues. His topic tonight is “Old Lessons for New Wars.” Please join me in welcoming Dr. Jack Dziak.
Dr. Jack Dziak
Thank you, Bob, for that nice introduction and thank you all for coming. I really appreciate it. We dodged another one, Points North got it and we did not, so here we are tonight. It is good to see them.
Right, what I plan to do tonight is do a stroll through what I call the counterintelligence state and the one that is the most notable exemplar of that is the successor to the Soviet Union, namely the Russian Federation and our good friend Vlad Putin. I will be looking at the nature of deception that we call deception, but which runs under a number of different terms in the KGB lexicon of counterintelligence, the things like provocation, provokatsya in the Russian, dezinformatsya, moskurovka, etc. There is a whole lexicon. We will get through that.
I have an awful lot of material that is derived from various portions from the book I am working on that is in different stages of development that has not been coherently pulled together again, so you are going to see an example of maybe an incoherent coverage of counterintelligence and deception tonight.
So with that since I am going to need a lot of time, let us move on. Those of you who… here we go. Anybody here who can decipher Cyrillic? Want to give it a try? Never again. That is just Cyrillic in English. “Never give a sucker an even break,” Vlad Putin channeling WC Fields. Actually, there was a movie with that title. And I thought that was an apt tongue-in-cheek introduction to our subject tonight. Let us move on.
Some more counterintelligence wisdom of a timeless variety. Christ had only twelve apostles and one of them was a double agent. Alright, so there is a long history to the matter of double agentry and using double agents as vectors for deception, disinformation, directed information, and manipulation of the enemy’s mind. That is one of the major objectives of counterintelligence in systems that have it as the major characteristic or ethos of their culture.
We are a fairly ahistorical society in the United States. In places like Russia and the Soviet Union and China, both pre-Communist China and Communist China today, and even in Islamic cultures, counterintelligence takes on a special meaning in those systems because it is not meant just to capture spies, to chase spies who are penetrating their systems. It is meant to control first and foremost the population.
And after the population is under control, and kept under control, then, what we call foreign intelligence for them is external counterintelligence. It is a different system, and it is common to these societies that I just mentioned. This is captured beautifully by the Vladimir Bukovsky. You may remember him coming out. We exchanged Bukovsky for the head of the Chilean Communist Party, Luis Corvalán, some years ago. I believe it was back in the ’70s. That is when I first met Bukowski on one of his first trips to the United States. On a more recent trip and one of his presentations here.
So the KGB does not understand normal human interaction or human relationships. That is why the KGB are either their enemy or their agent. That again gets at the heart of counterintelligence and the counterintelligence state. Now, when you use the term KGB, obviously, it is not called the KGB anymore. Well, it is a good generic term. Even the Russians still refer to it. I keep tripping over my tongue when I want to say FSB, I say KGB, but the successor is the FSB.
And the interesting thing too, about the KGB and its paramount role in the old Soviet system, is that it was the first major armed organization that was created after the Bolshevik coup. Notice I do not call it a revolution, I call it call it a coup. The March revolution or the February revolution, depending on which calendar you are using- They used the- at the time at habit was the old Julian calendar. They switched over to the Gregorian calendar. So the March revolution and then the November revolution.
The first organization that was set up to protect the party and its monopoly position of power was the cheka, okay, in December 1917. They did not create a Red Army until the late winter/early spring of 1918. The secret police was first created, alright? And we will go into some of the reasons for that. I bring this up too because this is a lovely character portrait of the ethos of the KGB. Represented here is an early Cheka officer. Notice he is carrying a Nagant, 7.62 pistol caliber, an officer’s sword from the old Czarist army or from the Whites. And he represents the judge, jury, executor of sentence all wrapped up in one. That was the KGB. That was the Cheka. The revolutionary tribunals took care of everything.
And the interesting thing about that Nagant, just a little gory sidebar, it was the preferred weapon of execution. The style of execution was for the victim to kneel and then the pistol to the back of the head where you separated the brain stem from the spine and that was the standard vehicle of execution. It was stylized. One of the things it did was, and they used hollow point bullets in their execution when they were doing this particular style, was to mess up the face so if the family did get the body back, they could not have an open coffin. And then it took off from there.
And this was the first experience in mass murder or state terrorism that we saw manifested then throughout the rest of Soviet history, especially under the long tenure of Stalin. Stalin still has the longest tenure of control that Vlad is not too far behind. I want to clarify too: I am not saying that Vlad Putin is another Stalin. Stalin was a mass murderer, also a psychopath. And by the way the first chief of the KGB was a psychopath, Felix Dzerzhinsky. He was a bona fide psychopath. So was Stalin. Stalin especially had a criminal past. We will get into that.
Before we get to that, let us take a look at what happened when the USSR imploded and that will bring us up to date, and then we will go back and fill in the gaps from history on why Putin and the whole approach to counter-counterintelligence operations via deception, moskovka, provocation, etc. takes place. The Communist Party State Security, the KGB, the MVD, the military aparatchky and the criminal elements – and there were many criminal elements in the old Soviet Union – morphed into the Russian Federated state structure- the Russian Federation state structure. There was no decommunization as we saw in Nazi Germany there is a denazification, no decommunization occurred.
I remember an account when they are taking down Felix Dzerzhinsky’s statute in front of Lubyanka, the old KGB headquarters in Dzerzhinsky Square, and one of the people who gave this account was on the inside of the building and they are standing in one of the higher stories looking out over the square. And as a crane is taking Dzerzhinsky’s statute down, this KGB Colonel said we will be back, channeling Arnold Schwarzenegger. And they were back. Nothing happened. One of the reasons that nothing happened was the old state nomenklatura, the nomenclature, just transitioned into the new state. Even though Yeltsin himself had the image of a fairly liberal party apparatchik, he was still a party apparatchik and the old state structure of the old KGB structure of the old party structure morphed into the new Russian Federation.
So what did not happen? There were no changes. There was some downsizing in the KGB. In fact, one of the people sitting here brought in the first chief of the KGB after the system’s collapse, a man by the name of Bakatin and I had the good fortune of sitting in on the meeting that this person arranged. And Bakatin was very, very serious about trying to do something about the KGB. He even brought up, as a a token of goodwill to the United States, the detailed technical plans of the penetration of the new U.S. embassy. See KGB did not like that one bit. Bakatin did not make it.
We had a family friend, my wife and I had a family friend, who was one of the first FISA judges. We hear about the FISA warrants, et cetera today. He was a sponsor of a Russian judge who was visiting the United States and he was introducing him to U.S. jurisprudence that this Russian judge was interested in introducing into this new Russian Federation. And I had some very interesting- interesting talks with this fellow. It was a young guy, probably in his early 40s and he was very, very anxious to make something work like that in the Russian Federation. And he voiced a very prescient statement. He said this is not going to work if we do not get rid of the secret police. He said it simply will not work, and we have seen what resulted from that.
Okay, so there was some downsizing. The KGB was split up into a multiplicity of agencies. They, for the first time in Soviet history, actually, the first time in Russian history, they got a standalone foreign intelligence service. That was the old first chief Directorate of the KGB. That was carved out. It was made the SVR. They carved out their SIGINT elements and put them together in a standalone SIGINT-COMINT organization, roughly a counterpart to NSA, and they call it the FAPSI. It was an acronym for a government communications agency. Supposedly, the border guards were separated. That never happened. Supposedly, the Third Chief Directorate, the Armed Forces Counterintelligence Directorate run by the KGB, was carved out. It was going to be given to the military, supposedly. That never happened.
Okay, but the presidential security service was carved out and made semi standalone and that is one of them that Putin still controls. It is a standalone. But since then, and actually it started beginning under Yeltsin, things started moving back in. And we sense that the old KGB was being reconstituted. So with the exception of the foreign intelligence service, the old First Chief Directorate, and the presidential bodyguards, everything was back together under the FSB again the way it had been under the KGB. I speculated for a long time that they were probably gonna rename it too and bring in the SVR, but fortunately I was proven wrong on that. But it still could happen. And there are still rumors about the old name coming back. They actually went through a number of other name changes and until they settle[d] on the FSB.
There was no reform, no accountability for the mass murders – and there were mass murders, and we will look at some of the figures when we move on. And for our purposes tonight, the one thing that did not change and that morphed over completely and became part of Putin’s is the active measures operat. The active measures operat and the culture remained in place and actually it grew, and it improved with the sophisticated IT that came online in the new Russian Federation. And we see now the examples of that with what has been going on since the 2016 election here and the controversy associated with that. I will have some words to say about that but primarily from the Russian perspective.
Let me address the issue of criminality because that factors in to the new Russian Federation under Putin. Actually, it was there all along. It began in the underground period when the party was operating underground. Remember it was the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party. [It] split into two factions, the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks, and even there you had a deception. The term Menshevik, the root of Menshevik is меньший menshay, meaning lesser or smaller, while actually the Mensheviks were the larger element, the larger faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party.
The Bolsheviks, the root of that is больше bolsha, or larger, and they were the smaller element, so when people talk about [this], remember the numbers. They pulled this off, the Bolsheviks pulled this off with less than 5% of the population, so when people say, well, you know, there may be X number of millions of jihadists in the Islamic world, remember what 5% did and even that figure can be argued.
Stalin himself had a criminal background. Now, a lot of people do not like this being brought up, especially Vlad Putin, alright? But for the longest time even after the death of Stalin, the party, the collective party leadership under Khrushchev of Malankov and first under Berea, did not want that brought up. U.S. academics did not like that being surfaced and still do not like that being surfaced. There are several very, very good first-rate works on Stalin’s criminal pedigree.
When you go through them, it is very, very difficult to come to any other conclusion but that Stalin was an Okhrana stukotch, stupid, double agent. One of the things he was doing, while he was a double agent, and the Okhrana started this stuff, this goes back a long way, you can take this stuff all the way back to Ivan the Terrible and his oprichniki. The Okhrana, [a] bizarre security service, was a relatively small counterintelligence service in a country that had what 111 time zones, 160-some-odd nationalities, okay? All kind of restive national and ideological opponents within the Empire and yet the Okhrana was able to keep a lid on that thing. How did it do it when it had only really several thousand defectives?
I used to say that it had about fifteen thousand at its peak, which was in 1916, but most of that number really comprised the core of the gendarmerie, so the military muscle. And we will talk about an updated version of that today in Putin’s new National Guard a little bit later. So how do they do it? Through very adroit counterintelligence techniques and this is the essence of the counterintelligence state. You do not use the criminal predicate when you are going after enemies of the state, which is what the Czarist Okhrana did. You use the counterintelligence predicate. What is that? You penetrate. You run them in place. You manipulate. You do not wrap things up and arrest people right away. You get into the minds of your opponents, and you feed your opponents. That is the domestic angle.
How did the Okhrana do that foreign policy-wise? They had what I would call external counterintelligence. The Zagrenishka Argentura in Paris was the foreign agency of the St. Petersburg Department of Police of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. That was foreign Counter Intelligence or external counterintelligence. Why did they do that? Because they had a large immigrant population, exiled population living in Western Europe and in Great Britain and the Scandinavian countries, etc. And this foreign agency worked with the local police agencies in those areas, keeping counterintelligence check on the revolutionary parties.
The most dangerous one to them at the time before the Revolution, back around the turn of the century, the 19th to the 20th century, were the Essers or the SRs, Socialist Revolutionaries. And the Okhrana penetrated them the same way they ultimately penetrated the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. And they would then plant them back and sponsor them back in their parent organizations that they came from and they were so adroit at that that for instance the Bolshevik speaker of the Duma, a man by the name of Roman Malinovski, was an Okhrana double-agent. And it was Malinovski that Stalin wanted to supplant as the premier Okhrana double agent both in the Bolshevik Party and in the Okhrana.
And among the things they use – where you get into the criminal dimensions of this – were expropriations. They call them expos. How did Lenin and his conferees finance themselves? Bank robberies, alright? And the Okhrana countered that by working through the foreign agency in Paris and the- they knew the Bolsheviks were doing this, so they had all the bills that were stolen in bank robberies numbered. And many of them were wrapped up in Western Europe when the party tried to pass them there. Stalin was heavily involved in that stuff. All the while being an Okhrana stukotch, a double agent.
Among the other things and this is critical, I am being very provocative here and I am being a provocateur myself, early influence op or provocation. Ever hear the name of Parvus, Alexander Parvus? That was a klitchka or a cover name. The guy’s real name was Alexander Helphand. He was a rich merchant from Odessa, living in Germany. This is before the Revolution, working with the German Foreign Ministry, the German General Staff, the intelligence elements of the German General Staff. This is World War One.
He was working with the German Social Democrats, the German socialists. They financed Lenin and the Bolshevik Party to knock Russia out of the war. The contemporary and traditional histories of that period tend to downplay that. Remember the sealed train? And they treat the sealed train as an anomaly. That was a political action operation on the part of the Germans to knock Czarist Russia out of the war. Lenin’s staff was so penetrated by the Okhrana, everything he wrote was read by the Okhrana. Some of the senior staff members around Lenin were Okhrana penetrations. So they had him well covered.
Now, in the end they still lost. The Bolsheviks won. But there are a whole bunch of other things going on to explain the loss. But at any rate Parvus was one of the major sources for the funds that went into the Bolshevik Party. They were vetted through an underground network going up through Scandinavia called the Northern Underground and you can find very good books, very, very excellent books on this. In fact, there is a book titled the Northern Underground that chronicles that whole operation. And there is a book titled The Merchant of Revolution, which chronicles Parvus.
Lenin went to great effort after the success of the revolution to deny that he ever knew anything about Parvus. Parvus was one of his financiers and he was a grey eminence, a financial grey eminence. And he was fostering the Bolshevik Revolution and that brings to mind George Soros and his past and current operations, what he is doing especially in Eastern Europe.
So there are precedents for a lot of the things that we are observing today. Another thing about criminality – by the way, Stalin was only one of the very, very many at the time of the Bolshevik Revolution-Bolshevik Coup in November, new style calendar. One of the things that happened with many of the Okhrana and police officers scattered around the old empire was that many of the files were looted. That was not necessarily driven by the Bolshevik Party. And they did not want that to happen. They were scared witless about what those files would reveal. Lenin even defended Malinovski, Roman Malinovski, because he knew he was implicated so he had to defend him. In the end, Malinovski came back thinking that Lenin would protect them, and Malinovski was tried in a kangaroo court and shot. But the influence of these penetration operations led the – one of the reasons for the creation of the Cheka so early on was to get ahold of those files because of the implications for the future of the Bolshevik Party and for Stalin himself.
When I was running an organization back in my DIA days many, many years ago, we set up the first deception/counter deception-dedicated element in the Soviet Warsaw Pact division where I worked. We made a concerted effort to recontact and read to brief every defector we could get our hands on. We went back into Soviet history as far as we could for the people who are still alive. One of the guys we got was a Crimean Tatar. His name was Ismail Akhmedov, also known by the name of Ishmael Eggie, who was in the GRU at the time in the ’20s and actually, he was first in the Cheka and the ODPU and then later moved over to the GRU.
In 1941, as a result of reporting coming in that fingered the Germans as about to invade the Soviet Union – Stalin, who was his own intelligence analyst – Stalin never trusted his raw intelligence to be vetted through somebody else’s mind, okay? He read the raw stuff. We know he made marginal notations in some things. And in this case where the report that came in that gave the actual date of the German invasion in June of 1941, Stalin wrote in the margin, “this is obviously a British provocation,” alright? They are famous for topopwye arguments, you project on your enemy what you are guilty of, and we have seen plenty of that in this election cycle, but not coming from them.
And he orders General Golikov, the chief of the GRU, to take care of the source that reported that. It so happened the source was a Czech engineer at the Shkoda works in Czechoslovakia, which the Germans had taken over in 1938, okay? And listening to water fountain conversation among German officers, you know, he sends a report back through his GRU channels to Golikov. Golikov takes it to Stalin. Stalin says this is a provocation. Take care of the source.
Now, you know what take care of the source meant. You know, eliminate him. Akhmedov gets the job. He stages through Berlin on the diplomatic cover. He is in Berlin on 22 June 1941 when the Germans invade. And so, you know, what does Akhmedov do? He cannot do much. He gets interned because he has got diplomatic protection and the Germans sent him for an exchange of diplomats in Turkey. Well, that was a good move for Akhmedov because he is a Crimean Tatar, so here he is with his blood brothers. He defects to the Turks after the war. The Turks give him to us.
CIA takes him over and we asked, we want to see Akhmedov. And we got to see him. He was a little guy. He was about that high maybe about as tall as Stalin. Stalin was a short guy too. Most figures say he was 5’4, he may have been a little less. He used to stand on a on a box behind a podium whenever he was lecturing to the Supreme Soviet or a Communist Party gathering. But Akhmedov was like that, and he looked just like an Ottoman horseman. He was bowlegged. He was an interesting guy but a phenomenal intelligence officer. And how do you say he- you know he was not going to fill his job and he knew if he went back, he was going to get whacked because that is how Stalin characterized failure. Okay, he was not going to go back.
We talked to him and he gave us insight into all those stuff. He says one of the first things they did, both in secret police, the Cheka school, and then the GRU, was study the Okhrana, and I wrote that down. These were debriefs that I have access to, but he was talking about deep history, so I know that was unclassified, and I wrote that down when I got home and I still have the notes. He said copy the Okhrana, study the Okhrana, because this is the way they ran counterintelligence.
Now, the interesting thing about the party operating underground is they had to learn seat-of-the-pants counterintelligence themselves or counter-counterintelligence because they had to counter Okhrana penetration, so that when they came to power on November 7th, 1917, they hit the ground running. They knew how to do it. And so, you had these early influences, impacting on the new secret police, so they did not have a sharp learning curve. They knew how to do it right off the bat.
In addition, what the secret police did was they co-opted as many of former Czarist officers as they could, held their families hostage, and then they had to work not only with the Cheka, the first secret police, they had to work with the Soviet military to set up the Soviet military because the new Soviet military that was created in early 1918 were really ragtag remnants of the old Czar’s Army, anarchists, soldiers who were were bent on pillage and rape. They needed discipline, they needed professional control, so they brought back in the Czarist officers. By the way, none of them lasted after- very few of them lasted after the revolution. A few of them made it but very, very few.
Okay, other characteristics of Russian criminality. We will get into some of the things that I started mentioning here: mass murder, Gulag, confiscations, collectivization/industrialization. We are talking- the figures that are involved are very difficult for the Western mind – especially the U.S. mind – to comprehend. You know, Stalin used to say, “One death is a tragedy. A thousand is a statistic,” okay? And so, you see statistics here.
Now, the standard figure for years was established by Robert Conquest, very good man. He died a couple of years ago. I had a very good fortune that he wrote the introduction to my book on the history of the KGB. His figure was 20 million, but he knew that was inadequate, but being a very conservative and solid scholar, he did not want to take it beyond that.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, and when we started getting access to archival material – I want to clarify something here right off the bat. Whenever you hear people say that we got into the KGB archives, no we did not. Nobody got into the KGB archives. What they got into were the Politburo Central Committee and Secretariat papers, okay? In those papers, in those archives were reports from the KGB and its predecessors and the GRU and its predecessor, which had the same name. They were reports, finished intelligence reports, to the party. They were not KGB archives.
Now, I will make a little exception to this. In some of the outlying [areas] like the Baltics, Ukraine and Kiev, in some of the Stans in Central Asia or in the Caucasus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, or Armenia*, some of the local KGB offices were pillaged, and you got reports out of them, but they were not the central archives. For the operational archives on cases of penetration of the United States and elsewhere, they would be in central KGB archives. We did not get that stuff. We did not get it.
For more on Armenia, see Svante Cornell’s lecture on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Crisis.
Now, I got some of the other stuff. People like Herb Romerstein or- great- late great friend Herb Romerstein would roam around Eastern Europe and the collapsing Soviet Union and you could buy stuff. I bought stuff in my trips over there. For $100 dollars I bought a top-secret history book of the KGB. There was a KGB manual, a history of the KGB, for $100 bucks. Not too long before that my agency or any other agency in government in the Intelligence Community would have paid millions of dollars for it. You had what we called military intelligence here in the United States, we call it the GS-F-G fire sale, a ‘Group of Soviet Forces-Fire Sale. You could buy anything.
I worked on a program. We were working with people out in Albuquerque who were in the late last years of the Soviet Union were buying equipment for a song and a dance. This was before the Soviet Union even collapsed. And they were bringing it out to Kirtland Air Force Base and I even was- I was there one time when some pilots who were bringing in Soviet aircraft that we had bought were hot-dogging it over Albuquerque. A lot of people got in trouble because they violated all kind of FAA regulations, etc. But the place was- you had a fire sale going on. You could buy almost anything.
One of the things I also want – you will see in a little bit later in the talk was a lexicon, a Top Secret KGB lexicon. Actually, I did not buy it. The guy tried to sell it to me, and I did not want to pay his price and then because nobody was interested in it, he said I will let you take it for a while and Xerox it and then I want the original back and that is what I did, so I made a deal. I was running a special program – was working in the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the time – I made a deal with the Intelligence Community, primarily within DoD. I said I paid for this stuff. It is mine.
Now, if you will pay for the translation, but under one condition, I pick the translator. I did not want the normal contracting process to go through where you know on the lowest bid gets it and you get what you pay for, right? So, I picked the translator. And at the time it was it was a beautiful choice that I had because after the Soviet Union collapse, we downsized our Russian Soviet and Russian capability, not only linguistically but among analysts, et cetera. And we lost a whole generation of memory that was not passed down to people who do not understand how Vlad is running provocations today. Okay, I will say that right up front. And so, we got it translated and you will see examples of this a little bit later. We got to translate it. We kept it unclassified and then made it available on an unclassified database within the Intelligence Community, so people could access it, so we did the Top-Secret history and we did the lexicon.
See they trained their people even in the terminology. Terminology means something. Language is important. The specificity of the language is important, so when you see for instance of- if you read either in the Wall Street Journal today or I think also in The Washington Post the account of a former KGB officer who was probably poisoned in Salisbury, England, okay? And Lugovoy came online and is quoted. Lugovoy is the guy who probably poisoned Litvinenko with Polonium-210. Lugovoy got online and he said this is a British provocation. There you go. Topopwye again. Projection. That stuff is out there.
There are some people in this room who are involved in still involved in training, trying to train our intelligence community in hostile deception and counter-deception and this is one of the things we tried to inculcate in to the students is that the language is important. So when you are reading- when Putin says provocation, he is projecting, okay? But you know he is talking about something that is near and dear to his heart and that is central to the system.
Okay, by the time Gorbachev and regional party chiefs, who function like crime families. You know what they were doing at the end of the Soviet Union. They were basically a criminal enterprise, presiding over, you know, an economy that did not work. Socialism does not work. Just take a look at Venezuela, okay? One of the examples that somebody gave me once or a little saying, “If Socialism came to the Sahara Desert, there would soon be a shortage of sand.” They ruin countries and so they are presiding over the distribution of shortages.
They had their own criminal enterprise because how do you make things work but through a black market? Many of the oligarchs that we see today had a pedigree of the gulag. These were guys who work in the black market. They are in and out of prisons and in the Soviet and in the Russian system, the prison structure is a preliminary phase of incarceration. The gulag was and still is the main phase of incorporate incarceration. Okay, so they are all there- from that unique criminal class in the camps, in the prisons and the camps where the prisoners basically ran the camps under the overall tutelage of a combination of the MVD and the KGB. Alright? So, you had a highly criminalized structure.
On one of my trips there after the collapse I was hosted by a couple of KGB officers and there is a long story to that, but I was retired, and I went with two other intelligence officers. One was a Canadian and one was former CIA, and we had some very interesting meetings. In one of the meetings with one of these guys who was hosting us in his apartment, he was running a business.
And you know he says, “ah you are a businessman now.” He says “Yeah, yeah, yeah, businessmen.” And I said, “Well, you do not have a happy look on your face. What is the problem? He says, “Well, they are coming after me.” I knew what he was saying. What he was saying is the uncontrolled criminal element was putting the arm on him, okay? And he was running some sort of import-export firm. And I said, “So what did you do?” And he says, “Well, I went to my krisha. Krisha meaning roof, okay? Russian for roof; protection. I said, smiling, “Who is your krisha?” And he says, “Jack, you know.” It was the KGB, well, the FSB. I said, “So what did they do?” He says, “Well, they took care of the problem, yeduk akulak.” You know kulak means fist. Okay, not by gentle argument but it took care of the problem. Now, there is a little lesson in that.
Also around the same time in the late ’90s, I am working on an interagency- not an interagency group but an organized, an international organized crime study group. I see General Soyster sitting in the audience. He was on the steering committee of that, and I was on the Russian organized crime one. Our first study came out in ’97, okay? And we know it went over to Yeltsin’s Russia.
In the year 2000, we were asked to set up a revisit of that study after Putin was named the new president and one of the members of the study group was a former KGB officer, and he claimed he was not a defector. I am not talking about Kaluga. This is somebody else. He was not a defector, but he was in our group, and he was a very good addition to the group.
The first thing he said to the group was, you know, you guys had the title wrong in your 1997 study. What was wrong with our title? The title was “Russian organized crime.” He said, it was not organized. And he said, now, under Putin, it is organized. And you know, that was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but it spoke to a great deal of truth there.
So what you had was a morphing of this political-criminal structure into a new society of oligarchs, okay? And they privatized things to themselves. I live in Great Falls, and not too far from where I live, there was a rather large piece of property and it was sold to the former Minister of Pharmaceuticals, who had privatized the ministry to himself after taking a pair of many other partners in the operation, including the secret police.
Remember, Putin himself was an understudy of sorts to Anatoly Sobchak, the Mayor of Leningrad before it reverted back to St. Petersburg again. One of his local handles in Leningrad city and oblast was Mr. 10%. He presided over foreign investment in the Leningrad area. That is where he made his first bucks, and Putin now is a billionaire. When I told a Russian, a former Russian intelligence officer, I said my understanding is that he is worth about $40 billion. He giggled. He says, “You are supposed to be an intelligence officer. What is the matter with you? You are off by several factors.”
I do not know exactly what he is worth but all you got to do, for instance, I was going to say Google. If you Google, you are going to be tracked. Go to DuckDuckGo, you are not tracked on DuckDuckGo, but search for Putin’s palace on the Black Sea, okay? It is on a height over the Black Sea not far from Sochi where the 2014 Olympics were held, okay? And you will see some very interesting photographs. That gives you a flavor of why you have such an animus today among the overall Russian population against free enterprise capitalism. Because they saw that they were raped blind by wild west capitalism as they see it.
We sent over a bunch of Harvard economists and they helped to crash the economy. By 1998 you had a bunch of people who got rich as millionaires and people’s life savings were wiped out, and this is this is what comprises this system today, okay? What you had growing up out of that was lost, the party apparatus, there was nothing to replace it. The only organization that kept its coherence and its internal discipline and it reconstituted itself was the KGB.
Now, again, the name is changed but I still refer to it as the KGB, and that is what gave form. Now I call it, and many others call it, the KGB-state because they are the only ones who were able to run something and in the last years of the Soviet Union before it died, things were really coming apart. The KGB knew that the system was coming down. They knew that. And one of the things they did was to start to develop all these kind of companies, offshore banks, other offshore operations, international enterprises.
Berezovsky, Boris Berezovsky, who is dead now. He died in England. He allegedly hung himself on the shower bar of his hotel room or wherever it was he was staying. Now, there is a guy who was at least 250 pounds. You go into any hotel and try to do pull-ups on a shower bar, you are going to pull it out. As with Skripal, who was just poisoned in Salisbury, I do not think Berezovsky, you know, aced himself.
But Berezovsky was part of this structure. He was one of the financiers of Putin coming to power, okay? He came out of this structure, and he became a multi-billionaire. Another one was Vladimir Gusinsky, a Russian Jew. Gusinsky was smarter than Berezovsky. Berezovsky hightailed it to Israel. Berezovsky went to England and England was not safe enough for Berezovsky. Gusinsky is still, I think, alive and well in Israel. They know how to handle the KGB. But the system was coming apart and so, when the party, when the USSR imploded, all this stuff came together in a new reality, a very, very corrupt reality.
Another example from that trip that I was on to the Russian Federation in the late ’90s. We rented a car with a driver. He happened to be a KGB officer, okay. Look his price was good. We got him for $50 a day for the car and him. He drove us all over the place. One of the things we wanted to see was, you know, where different spies were buried, etc. like Philby and a number of Americans who had defected the Soviet Union and even where Khrushchev was buried.
And while we are waiting for him to kind of pick us up at the hotel we were staying in, we were in the Ukraina and a line of limos, black limos come up, limos and SUVs. And a whole bunch of guys in Commie uniforms, smocks, etc. pop out with their sawed-off AK-74s. And they march in a line to the bank of elevators and my Canadian friend, who was working for an oil company at the time and that company had oil. It was Amico, American Oil, had fields in Western Siberia. Most of his employees for security were KGB. That was the reality at the time.
So I turned to my friend. I said, “Dan, what is going on here?” He said, “They are meeting a banker who is going to be escorted to work, okay? Because they were knocking off bankers left and right in these gang fights. So that gets back to what I said about what that KGB officer said about Putin putting regularization into the organization, organized crime. It was a wild west frontier and people were getting shot. They were blowing up people in elevators. They did not care about the collateral damage. Putin gave order to it and now he has elements of the KGB to oversee all the stuff, and that was the reality of the place.
So it is all overseen by today’s FSB. And the other thing about today’s FSB and Putin’s organization, is that with other totalitarian systems, as with Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist Party, you have multiple security organizations, alright? To keep any one of them from getting too powerful and then to keep them away from your throat.
So Putin reinvented what Stalin did. His most recent invention was the Russian National Guard headed by his former bodyguard’s Chief, [Viktor] Zolotov. And so now you have, along with the KGB, with the FSB, several organizations that have counterintelligence and internal security functions, and even with the FSB, they still have foreign operational functions in the Soviet- Russian embassy downtown – I still have to correct my tongue – the Russian embassy downtown. There will be an FSB resident, which you know we call a station chief.
Let me move on. Alright, let us get to that terminology. So, you have something to hang your hats on once you are reading another speech by Putin. There is a stylized vocabulary. Okay, it is the art of the KGB, and it was there going all the way back to the Czarist period. I am doing a lot of research of late on my book and I am fixating for a while on the Okhrana period and the parallels between the Okhrana, not only linguistically but operationally as well, are very, very eye-opening.
So here we are, provokatsiya provocation. It is a broad term, but it is more than setting somebody up, it encompasses deception, it encompasses active measure, it encompasses disinformation, it encompasses sting operations. And I will give you an example of the longest-running provocation in Soviet and Russian history shortly, but [it is] penetration. That is in the realm of getting in and controlling organizations.
Remember, the Czarist secret police, the Okhrana, had set up police unions to take the sting out of the labor movement in the early part of the 20th century. One of these things got out of hand. They marched through the so-called Bloody Sunday which led to the 1905 revolution. First blood, okay? Father [Georgy] Gapon, an Orthodox priest set up the organization as an Okhrana operation. Later on, he was hunted down and executed, I think by the Bolsheviks, but it was an Okhrana operation, double agent operations.
These things can be, you know, double-edged. For instance, if you want to read a classic study of an early Okhrana-type operation, going back even before the Bolsheviks back to the People’s Will organization around the 1870s, I believe it is.
Richard Pipes, you may be familiar with that name, was a stalwart in Soviet studies. He was one of the National Security Soviet specialists on the NSC back during the Reagan administration, the first Reagan administration. Pipes did a book titled The Degaev Affair. Degaev was a revolutionary from the People’s Will Organization, who was being run by a case officer from the Czarist secret police. He got out of hand. He killed his case officer, took operational money, and hightailed it out of the country, having the ability to have false papers, passports, etc. he travels to the United States, becomes a U.S. citizen, marries an American woman, teaches at a Midwestern college. Nobody knew that he was a Russian revolutionary double agent run by the Okhrana, okay? Back in the late 1900s. And that gives an example.
Some of the bank robberies that Stalin was involved in were overseen by the Okhrana. It created a lot of controversy, so these things can get out of hand, they can be dangerous. But it is the classic operational style. You take it back to Sun Tzu. Sun Tzu in his comments on intelligence operations and on deception – and he was very, very well-versed and well-trained in both – he said the best agent, the best intelligence agent, is a double agent. Why? Not just for stealing secrets but to be used as a vector to get back into the mind of the enemy and you can control his policy.
The Cheka and the KGB took that to heart and that characterized so many of their operations. So, for instance, Alger Hiss. Alger Hiss not only stole state secrets but he had the ear of the President of the United States, FDR, and he was used as an agent vilyaniya, that one that is about- what- one, two, three, four, five… five down. Agent– agent of influence. So he is a penetration agent of influence. You [have] got [to] effect policy. Harry Dexter White was another one. There was another man, an army officer. Most people do not remember this if they ever knew in the first place, especially academics [who] do not study the secret police. That is a phenomenon of the later part of the 20th century. [A] man by the name of Faymonville. Have you heard that name? Philip Faymonville, he was-
The Red Colonel.
Dr. Jack Dziak:
The Red Colonel. He was first, one of the first army attachés to the USSR after we established diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union then following FDR’s election, okay? It was compromised, okay? It was a sexual entrapment. I believe in his case it was a homosexual entrapment.[He] works his way up to become a general. [The] Army was against him being nominated to go and run the Lend-Lease Operation in Moscow along with Harry Dexter White. They were overridden by the President, who had somebody else whispering in his ear. He was nash, to use the KGB terminology. Nash meaning ours. He was theirs, okay?
Other terms here. Conspiratsiya: clandestine war. Dezinformatsiya. You can see many of these are cognates to the English, except dezinformatsiya probably has a French root: disinformation. Okay, very, very interrelated. Wetwork. Okay, wet affairs, mokrye dela. Alright, we went through a period in the early 1980s… Remember when John Paul II was shot? There were some serious studies, very contentious, under way in which I participated about the Soviet connection there too and the Soviet connection to many others we will see shortly. A lot of opposition to that in the Intelligence Community or elements of the Intelligence Community. They did not want to hear it. So many elements of the Intelligence Community then announced a little one here that we can be deceived. It is a bureaucratic operational problem. Okay.
They changed that term. They realize that we were reading their mail, so to speak, and they started changing the terminology, okay? And so they call it direct action, Aktivnyee akty. That was a bad choice too because we call that kind of work that we do direct action, okay? We are authorized to use kinetic energy. Active measures, okay? That was a little bit deceptive, but it covered a multitude of sins. Maskirovka: Now, here is where you got the manipulation of the terminology in the U.S. Intelligence Community. They argued, many people argued that maskirovka is really, really camouflage. It does not connote deception.
Well, all I have to do is show you the Soviet encyclopedia. It is not only the great Soviet encyclopedia but the military encyclopedic dictionary and the military encyclopedia and they are very, very specific. That is for internal consumption back there in the old Soviet Union. Very, very specific that deception is the end game of maskirovka.
Okay, it is a series of measures that employ a variety of things, including camouflage and denial. That is another thing because the argument was being made during the battles on deception in the United States, being made that oh, they are denying us the information and so that finally, when they grudgingly accepted that there could be deception involved, we had to preface it with denial and deception.
Okay, so you could see how if you do not pay attention to the terminology the way they use it, you are missing out on the essence of the way they operate. Okay, another thing they use. Igra operativnaya: operational games. Now, that is a game like chess is a game, okay? When we make comparisons about the way that the Russians and the Soviets do strategy, you know, one of the comments that Andy Marshall use to make, who ran the Office of Net Assessment was, “We do monopoly. They do chess.” It is a very cerebral game. That is how they approach strategy and everything that support strategy that includes deception, okay? Legendary organizations, make-believe organizations. I will show you one in a moment.
And then this is an interesting one because it is very relevant: reflexive control. That is an interesting one. We have a good definition of that from a Russian officer. Okay, with a reflexive control – and I will read it for those of you who cannot see it in the back – it is control of an opponent’s decision. There you go. You are getting into the guy’s mind, the enemy’s mind, which in the end is information of certain behavioral strategy on and through reflexive interaction. Okay? It is not achieved directly, not by blatant force, but by means of providing me with the grounds by which he is able logically to derive his own decision, but one that is predetermined by the other side.
This is an outgrowth of their fixation with cybernetics back in the ’60s and 1970s. We had the good fortune in the United States when the Jackson-Vanik Amendment was approved. We had an influx of Russian Jews coming out, many of them went to Israel, many of them came west and went to the United States. We had a debriefing procedure for them in Germany before they came out. Most of the reports that came out were at a fairly low level of classification, but I think- confidential – and I think the classification was only to protect their identities because many of them still have families back in the Soviet Union.
But they were a treasure trove. Why? Because they were technical people. They worked in the design bureaus. They worked as mining engineers. Why is that critical? All of their relocation centers, the underground centers, which were a vexing strategic intelligence problem for us on the issue of surprise, etc. They gave us the codes so to speak. We used to call them PI Keys, photographic interpretation keys, for what to look for, which we could not get either through SIGINT or HUMINT- regular SIGINT, HUMINT, or satellite imagery.
They gave us the code and then bingo! We started making breakthroughs, going back through old photography, old SIGINT etc. They were a gold mine and among the people who came out were a husband-and-wife team by the name of Lafette. It is a French name but they were Russian researchers, the technical background. In the interviews that we did in my group – we had them for about two days – and this was the kind of stuff they were talking about.
The objective was first, domestically, to cybernetically control the whole economy. That was going to be their salvation because they knew Socialism did not work. Forget Communism, you know, that was an idiot’s dream. Even basic Socialism will not work, so they were trying to control the system through cybernetics. That is why they were coming after our super computers. They wanted to control the whole economy through cybernetics. The military saw great value in this for controlling the battlefield for command and control, alright?
And so deep, deep research went into this and eventually we get to the situation where we are now. What we are seeing today was an outgrowth of that: the internet and manipulation of information, manipulation of crowds, etc. That is the pedigree for, that is the background for very, very interesting [stuff], and all that stuff is sitting in there. People do not read them anymore.
One of the things, for instance, going back to Bukovsky. Bukovsky – and this guy had a spine that was phenomenal – he had guts. He goes back to Russia. They let him in. His mother did not raise a dumb son. He takes a hand scanner, he goes into the presidential archive, and he spends days. He controls the staff there. He spends days scanning with a hand scanner all this stuff. I have a whole bunch of it. We try to get the Intelligence Community use it. We found all kinds of stuff in that.
For instance, we found that yes, indeed Virginia, the Party’s Politburo was up to its pointy-head in the assassination attempt on John Paul II, okay? That is in there. We found, you know, clear evidence from the Soviet side that Teddy Kennedy and John Tunney made an approach to the KGB for help against Reagan in the 1980s. Yeah, you talk about 2016 elections, bring that one up. Reflexive control, okay?
By the way, if you want to read about the Kennedy collection, just hit Paul Kengor. K-E-N-G-O-R. He has written that up. There is a whole bunch of stuff out on that particular one. Alright, now let us look at the structure and how the structure for the kind of Active Measures we are seeing today came about.
Well, this was a command structure. This, what you see here, was the general staff of the party, basically. So, at the top was the Politburo General Secretary, Secretary in the Politburo. There the J1, J2, J3, etc. of the Politburo’s general staff was the Central Committee. Alright, so here are some interesting elements of that. The international part: foreign policy, okay? The Foreign Ministry theoretically executed foreign policy. These were the guys who made it under the guidance of the General Secretary in the Politburo and the Secretariat. International information pocket: ah, information, think what is going on today with trolls, bots, and everything else.
Here is one that has a certain relevance today, the main political administration of the Army and Navy, alright? That was the party control of the military. There were two legs to the party control of military: the zapolits, it was also known as glavpor, chief director for the political administration. And the officers who ran it were the zapolits, political officers, down through the regimental level and comparable organizations, organizational structure in the Navy and the Air Forces you had the same thing: Deputy Commanders for political affairs. They had their own chain of command independent of the regular military chain of command, okay? They ran party discipline. They ran the training of the military in ideology, alright?
I had a very good friend who is no longer among the living. He was a Marine Corps officer who was with the Military Liaison mission. We call it, you smell it, U.S. Military Liaison Mission, in Potsdam in Germany. They would roam around Germany, you know, with the Stasi on their backs, the KGB on their backs, the military on their backs, collecting anything they could, getting camera shots or whatever.
I worked with this guy. We were office mates together. He was a Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel. When he was selected for the mission I says, “John, get me anything you could,” to use his teaching materials I was teaching at the old defense intelligence school at the time.
About four months later, he had a package in the mail, and it came through, you know, the attaché mail. And what is it but a lesson plan for a whole year for a political officer for training the troops in party doctrine. Where did he find it? It was TRASHINT, trash intelligence. They used to visit garbage dumps, okay? The Soviets could be as bad discipline-wise as anybody else, you know, they throw good stuff away, and I still have it sealed in double plastic because I do not know what the stains are.
Okay, all of this structure did not go away. Names changed and it morphed into what we have today, okay? Here was an example of it. This is from a declassified FBI file if I knew how to do this stuff at one time. This is what you saw putting the Central Committee level, okay? Now let me quickly… I have a better one than that. Could you see that a little bit better? Those Central Committee departments and the other departments that you saw up there, they are all part now of Putin’s Russian Federation administration, different titles, same operations, minus the ideology.
Now, in the issue of ideology, an article just appeared in I think Jamestown Foundation. One of theirs is a man by the name of Alexander Golts, who writes on Russian affairs. They are talking about reviving the main political administration in the Russian military today to inculcate ideological preparation. They did not go into detail about [what] that meant but one of the legs of that ideological preparation is the Orthodox Church. And, in fact, after-
Dr. Jack Dziak:
The Orthodox Church, yeah. After the party collapse, the main political duties of the main political administration were picked up by chaplains from the Russian Orthodox Church.
Now, Putin decides that if this article has any legs to it, and we have to wait to see more information, if Putin decides to go with reconstituting glavpor or the zapolits structure, he is talking about patriotism as the new ideological core for training the Russian military. It also means coming up with a budget of well over a billion dollars for the new structure and a number of general officer billets because the last major head of the main political administration was a four-star general. And the most notorious one was Yepishev, General [Alexander] Yepishev, a real scoundrel of a guy.
Okay, very quickly, I talked about some of this stuff but the one thing- let me hit you with this one. The trust, it was a domestic and international provocation, grand-scales strategic deception. Evocations of the trust ran all the way down to the ’40s and the ’50s. Nobody remember, nobody remember.
First, the Germans picked up in the 1930s trust assets, who were white officers, who were KGB agents or NKVD agents. Some of those same officers after World War II, we, the United States, the Army counterintelligence corps and the new CIA after 1947, picked up the same assets. Nobody remembered. This is what counterintelligence is supposed to do. Hive me the history trace on this stuff.
Oh, there were some people who remember. One of my mentors from CIA. I was in DIA but he was a good mentor, a good friend. We did a lot of interagency work together, Ray Rock. Ray had a whole stable of people who reconstituted all of those cases and we went back to them repeatedly and we saw the same modus operandi being repeated again and again. The same operation that they ran in the Trust in the 1920s was played in Poland in the so-called Win Operation in the late 1940s. Same methodology and took foreign intelligence services to the cleaners and then wiped out- this one happened to be in Poland, wiped out the domestic opposition in Poland the same way they did with the Trust. I can go through so many others but I think you get the sense.
Even Wet Affairs, the assassination [of] Litvinenko, we were talking about the- the guy just died in- or not died, still in hospital I think in Salisbury. That smacks of Litvinenko. They still have the secret chamber, the Commandant as they call it, KGB poison factory. The guy who started it was the third chief of the secret police Genrikh Yagoda. Guess what he was before he became a secret policeman? A pharmacist. Poisoning is in the genetic structure of this organization, alright?
We have good reason to believe, I talked to several defectors, one of whom came from the bodyguards’ directorate, that Stalin was poisoned. Why? Because he was getting ready to do another series of purges, including the final solution, the final-final solution for the Jews, okay? They were the next in line. Actually, he had been working on them for a while and Beria was going to be part of that cluster because he was kind of friendly to the Jews.
And after the war and then into the ’60s and the ’70s, you have the new era of deception, agit prop of the Comintern updated. I bring in the Long March. I am not kind of talking about the Chinese Long March. I am talking about the Frankfurt School. And the long march through U.S. institutions of which Saul Alinsky, you know, is one of the players. Okay, you know about that. Then they institutionalized Sluzhba A, service A, which even though they had the first department that- where they institutionalized early on in the early 1920s, they went for the new program of coexistence, peaceful coexistence. And it was active measures on an international scale.
Moving to the Third World: penetration and use of international media. They would buy up newspapers. They owned newspapers in India and in Greece. They would play a story in a Third World country newspaper that would be picked up in Western Europe and then picked up in the United States. We who were in the world of trying to counter this stuff, we are pulling our hair out because you would see it on NBC, ABC, CBS, and then when CNN came online the same damn stuff was being played, okay? Very adroitly done, okay?
And then they, the decade of the spy, the 1980s, one major penetration after another. One of the things we did then, that that has not been done of late, especially with the controversy over the last, latest political campaign: damage assessments. We do not do them now or at least it was not done with Hillary’s home-brew server. They are critical and they are required. They were not done.
The Ames and Hanssen cases: I bring these up because even after the U.S. assets were compromised by Ames and Hanssen, okay? Reporting still came in through those channels. And there are arguments going on in the community, hey, wait a minute, what the hell is this? You know? You know what I am saying? And they were accepted. Even Arlen Spector – remember Arlen Spector? He is dead now. The Senator from Pennsylvania. He was on the SSC, the Senate Select Committee. He visited one of the central figures that vetted this kind of information, and he was shocked when the guy said the information is still good. Spector was shocked. He was absolutely shocked. I remember him talking about that in a breakfast meeting that he was the [unintelligible].
Okay, very quickly: Putin’s great game in the Middle East: you know Russia- Russia has a long history of dealing with Islam, alright? One of Stalin’s first responsibilities as commissar of nationalities was to handle the Islam problem, okay? And he did it very well. They ran operations against the Islamic insurgents in Central Asia where many years later, when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, I debriefed an Afghan defector general and he was telling us, my people and myself, telling us that KGB came in with lists of people they wanted wrapped up and they had on that list Bazmachi fighters, who defected, who escaped over the border into Afghanistan in the 1930s, okay? That is memory. That is memory.
A few others, here I just mention: the Western intelligence denial syndrome. I call it Stockholm Syndrome II. You remember Stockholm Syndrome? It was a criminal robbery of a department store in Stockholm and the hostages identified with the perpetrators. We try to counter this, actually, we did that fairly successfully, active measures working. There is a NDU defense, a National Defense University study on this. I worked with the two guys who wrote that to give them some insight on that working group. What they did, what they could not capture, necessarily, it was no fault of their own. They were several of them, especially at the classified level.
I travelled overseas with some road groups, training foreign governments in how to conquer Soviet active measures. This is where Herb Romerstein was outstanding. I went with them on a trip to the Middle East. Herb would go to conferences here sponsored by Communist front- front groups, here in the United States I mean, and if the Soviets learned that Herb was coming, they would cancel out. He was so good. He was a member of the American Communist Party himself. He worked his way out of it, and he understood them. He understood them well. Okay, let me move on a little more quickly. I will show this later if you want to talk.
One thing I would recommend, if you are in the market for a good book that captures something historically that has absolute relevance to things going on today, there is a book titled, A Triumphant Provocation, by Józef Mackiewicz. It is a pole. [He] wrote it. He was a dissident- He wrote it in 1962. It was translated and published by Yale University Press in 2009. He has a whole chapter devoted to the Trust. He talks about how they manipulate government and public opinion, okay? We have seen this working out in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. I have friends who are going in behind the lines in the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic or whatever the hell it is in eastern Ukraine and he says, all you have got to do is read Anne Applebaum’s book on the takeover of Eastern Europe and you can see exactly how the KGB ran the operations in Eastern Ukraine and impose a Communist-like government. Okay.
One thing with all of this is that not only Russia but the PRC, Iran, and many others counterintelligence and intelligence is fused with these strategic political leadership. When they set up the Trust operation, people like Lenin, the boss, Stalin, Trotsky, Dzerzhinsky were sitting in on the planning of the Trust and they monitored the execution of it and that is characteristic all throughout Soviet and Russian history, so when people say do you think Putin knows about what is going on, [what do you think]?
Okay, okay, we are just about [done]. I could address- There was a Russian connection, a long Russian connection to al Qaeda and ISIS. We could talk and talk about it another one and so then finally I would say I raise a rhetorical question here? Do Putin, the PRC, resurgent triumphalist Islam detect a deeply rooted Western proclivity to self-deception? Well, that is basically answering, okay? I answered my question. I am way over time. I apologize. I pass it on to you.
Robert R. Reilly:
If you would, a couple words about the Russia connection to the cyber-Caliphate and Al Qaeda?
Dr. Jack Dziak:
Alright, we see, number one, Russia’s problem is Sunni Islam, okay? That is their problem. So it is no accident that you see them working with Iran and Assad. Granted, the Syrian situation is a little bit different, but remember Syria was their client for a long time. They tend to honor the loyalty to their clients, okay, with some exceptions. Okay, for instance and I debrief- I spent about a week in England, debriefing a major defector, KGB defector who came out of Iran in the early 1980s. And he was there when he got directives from his leadership- He was in the KGB residency in Tehran, got directives from their leadership to throw a Tudeh Communist Party under the bus. Why? They made a strategic decision. They were going to support the Ayatollah Khomeini, okay? And so they make such decisions.
But the connection to Afghanistan, the cyber–Caliphate Chechen, etc. In Chechnya remember Shamil Basayev, okay? He is dead now. Shamil Basayev. He was one of them involved in the operations in Beslan in the Caucasus where the school was taken? Those people died. Most of them died from the KGB capture operation. Basayev [it] turns out was run by the GRU and probably the FSB at the same time. He was their agent. Basayev was running operations against the Russians, but he was also running operations under the control of their services. Very interesting.
And that is not unusual. We have seen that where they change sides so many times and use people that they, you know, who were running operations against them. It is absolutely amazing to go back and reconstitute that kind of history. The Cyber Caliphate, okay, that was a cover operation from what I could gather, where they were themselves involved in cyber operations, working with elements of ISIS and Al-Qaeda, okay? And they have been known to do that historically and then drop them as necessary but at the same time run those agents. Very, very interesting, okay. I will cut off at that.
I would just like to give you an example of the latest deception. A couple of years ago a former godfather of Russia today died by banging his head against all kind of [unintelligible]. The police investigation concluded that he died by the result of banging his head against the side. And he was the guy who decided to quit the game. Even today, even with all of the knowledge we have, the police and whomever else came to this kind of a conclusion. [That is] just an example.
You may have seen – there was a very quick thing related to this. A guy in London, I think in Salisbury, and his daughter I believe were found pretty much comatose in Salisbury, and he was one of those who was exchanged for the group that was wrapped up in 2010 here, that large group that we wrapped up. We never had a chance to really do any debriefing on [them]. There was some sort of very odd deal in that one, but I understand. Yeah. Any other questions?
Is there anywhere that people can study, in an organized manner in the intelligence community or the Defense Department, active measures? Is that a part of the curriculum? I guess I am saying maybe it should be. There are people [who] say that during the Cold War for most of the time that it was a very small percentage of the personnel, and budget, and effort went into active measures.
Okay, well, I will try to answer that very quickly since I have really gone over. There is an organization that still does that, but it has been truncated considerably. I ran an organization back in my old agency for a number of years before I moved on to OSD, and we did that as a dedicated effort, studying active measures. There were groups in the community that did that, and by and large they have all been eliminated with the exception of this one last group that still sits in the DNI structure, the Director of National Intelligence structure, but they are only a pale shadow of what they used to be, so it did not survive.
In my old organization, which was DIA – I retired back in ’96, but the last ten years of my career I was chopped, assigned to OSD – [in] my old organization we had a dedicated effort on that, but it was an uphill fight. There was a lot of opposition inside the intelligence community to that because you are basically threatening to rice bowls. You know what I am saying? Established bureaucratic structures. It was not too popular because you were basically saying your sources are going to be compromised, okay, so you had to plan on [what] back then was Soviet deception. You had to plan on Soviet deception to counter it. It is not that popular of a subject.
Now, what happened after the collapse of the Soviet Union? A lot of that stuff was scaled back. DI kept it going for a long time. One by one each of the participating agencies that had dedicated elements dropped off, and then DIA’s organization I think about a year-and-a-half ago disappeared, as well. So, there was one at the national level at the DNI level that is still doing its best to hold its own, and they are doing some very, very good work, but they are running a lonely operation. Okay, any other questions? Yes, sir?
You mentioned that once the Soviet Union imploded, a decision was made to dramatically cut back on the staffing in one of the key intelligence agencies, and a lot of organizational memory was lost. Who was responsible for that decision?
Oh boy. You get into bureaucratic politics. Number one, let me be very candid about something here. When you are saying that you could be deceived, okay, you are threatening rice bowls. You know what I mean by that? You are threatening people’s professional structures, careers, etc. because if you admit that you could be deceived, a lot of things fall out from that.
There were a number of battles back in the 1980s. In fact, the ’80s we called the ‘decade of the spy.’ Back in the 1980s [there were] a lot of battles. Most of the opposition – and I do not do this to recriminate, but institutionally, a lot of the opposition came from within elements of CIA, elements within NSA, and within the State Department. Okay? It was just an unpopular topic. For people who owned INTs. If you are running a HUMINT operation, and you admit that you could be deceived, you [have] got bureaucratic trouble, okay, especially when it comes time to appear on the Hill, okay, to justify budgets, etc. And if word of that gets to the Hill, you are going to be asked some embarrassing questions. It took a long time to overcome that.
In the viewgraphs here I had on one of the bullet-points the Active Measures Working Group. That was the result of a lot of blood that was spilled [on] bureaucratic floors around town. [In] the organization that I setup in the early 1980s in DIA, we were dedicated to analyzing hostile deception, and then supporting what we call U.S. ‘special planners.’ Okay? Our version of deception. So, we had a blue dimension and a red dimension. The red dimension [was] what the bad guys were doing, the blue [dimension was] what we were supporting, and there was interaction between that because you had to know how the bad guys operated if you were going to counter it. It was really counter-deception operations.
And under pressure from the White House and from the Hill in the 1980s, every major intelligence organization was urged to establish a dedicated element. In my organization in DIA where I worked in the old Soviet-Warsaw Pact division, we set that up, actually, in the late ’70s, but it was sort of a sidebar operation. We created a dedicated element that I ran, beginning in 1982 until I left in 1987, to takeover [a] program in OSD. Other intelligence agencies set up dedicated elements the same way, but one by one they dropped off, especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. And then you had a prominent member of the Directorate of Operations in CIA, saying, ‘You know, we are not at war anymore,’ basically, and so we are not doing that.
And then you saw all of the dedicated organizations in other agencies starting to drop off. DIA was one of the last to drop off, and that was about a year-and-a-half or two years ago. And I used to work with them, going and consulting with them on how to run it, how to keep it going, etc. It was a hard thing to keep going because you are viewed as threatening. If you are an owner of an INT, if you are a collector, whether it is SIGINT, HUMINT, whatever, if you are telling them that you can be deceived, you are a troublemaker, okay? And what counts in the final analysis? Budget, that is a big thing.
In the beginning of your presentation, you talked about how after Nazi Germany was defeated, there was the de-Nazification of the German operation. It did not happen with communism. Why do you think there was no call on the part of those in the West for a Nuremberg of the communist leaders?
Yeah, we brought that up, a lot of us. Truth be told there were a lot of people in the Community who said, hey, this is the time for fessing up. You know, you do not let this go away. We could not get any traction. You could not get any traction. There simply was no way politically we could have gotten that done, okay? Everyone was just so happy that the Soviet Union had collapsed. You had people declaring [peace at last].
I will give you an example, okay?
I was already out of DI. I was in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, running a special program, and the head of counterintelligence and policy in OSD Policy (I was in OSD, the Office of the Secretary of Defense) came to me and said, Jack, would you go with me to be sort of an expert witness with his boss, who was a political appointee. This is in the first Bush administration, papa Bush, okay, so it is the early ’90s. It was right after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He was telling me, ‘I am trying to convince her that they have not gone away.’ The KGB was broken up and everybody says they are finished, they are finished.
I gave her the example of [Vadim] Bakatin, who Mike Waller brought in for visits into the Community. Bakatin was urging us to help out, to get this monster under control. And we knew that the KGB had [been affected, but] step back a little bit. Nothing happened to the GRU. They kept their operations. GRU is Russian military intelligence, okay?
So, he says, let us try to convince her. You come in with me and we will double-team her. Okay, so we did that. He says you be my expert witness. I said alright, so we go and try it. We were thrown out of the office. She was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy. That was run by an Under Secretary, so she was Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy for Counterintelligence and Security. She called us retrogrades.
She was a political appointee from Texas, naturally, because papa Bush was from Texas, a political appointee. This was no big secret. This was in the open. We were thrown out. She [said], ‘You guys are trying to keep dirty history alive. What is the matter with you?’ There was nothing we could do about it. We did what we could, and we continued on working. And we figured, okay, we are civilian employees, she is a political appointee, maybe we can wait her out. And we did, but in the meantime, an awful lot was lost, okay?
One of the things – I will just mention very quickly – one of the things that was done in the Intelligence Community, especially in that part of it – I sat in on the military intelligence side – we mentored the people coming in behind us. And I was mentored that way not only by my superiors in military intelligence, in DIA, I had people around the Community, in CIA and NSA, who took me on as a personal case study so to speak, to mentor in how to do this stuff. And you needed continuity to do it. You do not do this in a three-year tour.
And the difference between us and the Soviets, for instance, and this will be my last point, [is as follows]. A very good friend of mine – well, he ended up being a good friend, he was an Army Special Forces Officer. He searched me out. This was back in the early ’90s right after the Soviet Union collapsed. He was somebody in the Army who had a very good vision. He was being sent into the Stans. He was capable in several Central Asian languages, very, very good, and he was being sent to the Stans. Someone told him he should come and talk to me before he went out. And he was going to be working with an Uzbek Colonel who had recently come over from the GRU.
Okay, so long story short, he comes back, and he feels me up. He and this GRU are stuck together, joined at the hip for weeks, maybe even months, and they are going all over Uzbekistan. And it turned out that after they bonded, they got to know each other, he begins to tell my friend, who was an Army Major at the time, such things as the name of his wife, the names and ages of his children, when they were baptized. It turned out this Uzbek Colonel was a colonel in the Furstenberg GRU Spetsnaz Brigade in Germany.
How long was he there? Ten years.
In the United States Military, you do not homestead for ten years. Civilians in intelligence do not homestead for ten years. If you want to make it in the system, you have to move around, and you are promoted out of your substantive [area of expertise]. I was one of the lucky guys. I made Senior Executive, staying within the substance. Most people did not do that. But this guy knew his target. [He] knew it inside and out. They happened to be in southeastern Germany in a place called Batultz. You may be familiar with it. [It is] a beautiful area, okay, and that was in the target area where this colonel would have been operating in the precursor to any kind of invasion coming in from the Warsaw Pact. He knew his target inside and out. He knew names, he knew my friend’s wife’s name, [and he] knew when they were married. I mean that is fine grain intelligence, that really is.
Robert R. Reilly:
Alright, thank you very much.