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Sovjetska filozofija neutralisanja protivvazdušne odbrane



Soviet Wild Weasels: Part One (Doctrine/Tactics)

The Soviet military high command watched with intense interest the American experience in dealing with the dense enemy air defense environment in the skies over North Vietnam. From the lessons noted, the Soviet military had made two conclusions about the American experience- first, that the USAF and the US Navy had placed considerable importance in the suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) with specialist aircraft like the Wild Weasels, specialist weapons like the AGM-45 Shrike, and tactics in dealing with what was essentially a Soviet model air defense system protecting North Vietnam. Their second conclusion was that the technological primacy of the United States would the main offset to the Soviet and Warsaw Pact numerical superiority in the event of a conflict in Europe. This meant that not only could they expect the NATO Alliance to deploy sophisticated anti-radar weapons, but that the same technological advances gave NATO a potent air defense system of its own that would have to be dealt with in the event of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe. While both the Soviets and the Americans favored a layered approach to SEAD with specialist aircraft, weapons and tactics, the main difference lay in the operational use of SEAD assets.



Jak 28

Soviet doctrine had SEAD an integral, if not indivisible part, of air operations over Western Europe. While SEAD was primarily a function of specialist units for the NATO Alliance, Soviet SEAD operations were present and integrated into every level of the air battle as their strategy called for "santized" corridors through western airspace to allow their strike aircraft to ingress and egress their targets in the West. For the NATO Alliance, SEAD operations focused on specific locations and weak spots that ELINT (electronic intelligence) had mapped out. Given the numerical inferiority of the SEAD forces of NATO, a focused effort as opposed to a broad effort made more sense. From 1959 onward Soviet doctrine included the early use of nuclear weapons. While tactical and battlefield nuclear weapons were to be used against targets relevant to the land battle- supply depots, troop concentrations, and the like, the SEAD effort called for a series of high-altitude nuclear detonations over Western Europe which would generate a significant amount of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that would short out electronics of alliance weapons systems and wreak havoc with communications.



MiG 27

Unlike the West where SEAD aircraft were grouped in specialist units, the Soviet Air Force and its Warsaw Pact allies had their SEAD assets parceled out to what were called "task groups"- these were squadron to wing-sized organizations that were assigned from four to eight SEAD aircraft. When a task group was assigned a target, it was the responsibility of the SEAD aircraft to clear the way for the strike package across predefined "santitized" air corridors across West Germany. The prime targets for the Soviet task groups were NATO's air bases and nuclear weapons bases. The SEAD aircraft of the task group were then responsible for dealing with any residual air defense assets that remained after the initial nuclear salvo. The Soviets in particular were concerned with the dispersal of tactical nuclear assets like the Pershing intermediate range ballistic missile and the locations of the alliance's nuclear weaponry were high on any task group target list.

Soviet planners envisioned NATO's air defenses as a pyramid with the airborne early warning aircraft (like the Boeing E-3 Sentry AWACS) and early warning radars as the top of the pyramid, disseminating information to other air defense assets that formed the intermediate and lower levels of the pyramid. Realizing that the AWACS aircraft and early warning radars were a key node in the NATO air defenses, considerable effort was apportioned to neutralize these assets, the idea that it would deprive the alliance of the overall picture of the evolving battle. In making the shrewd assessment that there were less AWACS aircraft and early warning radars than lower level, shorter range systems, the Soviets counted on confusion as part of the effort against these more numerous systems which could easily be engaged having lost their long range vision. Though such battlefield systems were still effective as NATO wasn't as reliant on central control as the Soviet air defense model, they were sure to be less coordinated with the key node at the top of the pyramid neutralized.


Tupoljev 22

Another key difference in the Soviet SEAD doctrine was a reliance on both stand-off weapons and stand-off jamming. While American SEAD and electronic wafare aircraft functioned close to their targets to insure a kill, the Soviets favored longer ranged weapons that could saturate the area and stand-off jamming using specialist aircraft that could jam radars from even a hundred miles out. These jamming aircraft were usually based on either bomber aircraft like the Tu-16 Badger or the Tu-22 Blinder or transport aircraft like the An-12 Cub. The Soviets even fielded a stand-off jamming helicopter version of the Mi-8 that could jam radar systems out to 62 miles. Barrage jamming from stand off ranges would fill the skies with static while SEAD aircraft assigned to the task groups could prosecute specific air defense assets as part of the integrated plan to deprive NATO of its nuclear weapons and aircraft. Shorter-ranged battlefield systems like the British Rapier SAMs or the French Roland were essentially ignored unless they were specifically arrayed in defense of a task group target. These short range systems were to be dealt with by artillery units of the Soviet and Warsaw Pact armies. Anti-radar missiles were reserved soley for high-value assets and targets in the Soviet doctrine as it was felt that over-saturating those assets was the only way to defeat the West's technological superiority.

Soviet planners envisioned the "sanitized" air corridors over West Germany to be approximately 30-35 miles wide and 124 miles deep. To hit all the necessary high value targets of the alliance, six corridors were needed and a combination of jamming, chaff, and nuclear weapons would keep those corridors open. These corridors were meant to allow the strike packages of the task groups to cross past the most dangerous air defenses which were expected to be over West Germany. Once exiting the corridor on the western end, strike packages then followed their own routes to targets, protected by the organic SEAD aircraft that were assigned to each task group. Many of these corridors were opened up not just by SEAD aircraft, but also by artillery as mentioned already, and by surface-to-surface battlefield missile systems like the SS-21 "Scarab" which had a range of 45-70 miles and could be fitted with a radar-seeker to hit air defense radars. The SS-21 in particular was expected to be used against the Raytheon Hawk SAM batteries.

The closest that the Soviets and the Warsaw Pact came during the Cold War to using these tactics came during the 1968 Prague Spring in which Alexander Dubcek's reformist government began a series of liberalizing moves in Czechoslovakia that alarmed the Soviet leadership. Following the failure of negotiations through early August to dissuade the Prague government from moving forward, on the night of 20-21 August 1968, over 200,000 Soviet and Warsaw Pact troops invaded the country. Realizing that Czech radars and military units would see the invading forces and supporting aircraft, the Soviet air force initiated an intense, six-hour long barrage jamming effort that blinded the radars while electronic warfare versions of the Antonov An-12 transport sowed an impressive chaff corridor 230 miles long that not only allowed Soviet airborne forces to take Prague, but it also protected the jamming aircraft as well behind curtains of radar-blocking chaff. The corridor was maintained and renewed with more chaff for the six-hour duration of the initial invasion. Other specialist aircraft jammed the Czech communications networks, keeping their own forces from mounting a response to the invasion.


Soviet Wild Weasels: Part Two (Aircraft)


Yakovlev Yak-28PP "Brewer-E"

Last night we took a look at the nuts and bolts of Soviet suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) doctrine and tactics. Tonight we'll continue along that them with a look at the aircraft that filled the role of "Wild Weasels" in the Soviet air forces. Like the United States, the Russians had put into service several specialized aircraft that were used to knock out and/or jam enemy radars and surface-to-air missile sites. These aircraft were based upon established production types much in the same way the USAF Wild Weasels were adaptations of production fighter aircraft. The first aircraft to fill this role was the Yakovlev Yak-28N, an experimental adaptation of the Yak-28 "Brewer" attack aircraft. This version of the Brewer was the first Russian development for a Wild Weasel-class aircraft; work began by OKB Yakovlev in 1964-1965 with a production Yak-28I being set aside in 1965 for conversion to the -28N configuration. The attack Yak-28I had the "I" suffix as it was equipped with the Initsiativa-2 ground-mapping/bombing radar in a ventral radome aft of the nose gear. On the Yak-28N, the Initsiativa-2 radar was replaced by radar pulse detection unit that would seek out and locate enemy radar emissions and provide targeting data to Raduga Kh-28 (NATO code name AS-9 "Kyle") missiles, one each under the outer wings. The Kh-28, which I'll discuss in a subsequent post, was the first Russian anti-radiation missile to be fielded with the first operational examples coming out in 1964.

By the time operational testing of the Yak-28N was completed around 1972, it had been far outclassed by contemporary Russian and American designs and the project was canceled. However, the work that had been put into the Yak-28N wasn't wasted as the Soviet air forces still needed a battlefield electronic warfare aircraft that better performance and was more flexible than the existing design in use, the Tupolev Tu-16PP Badger which clearly by 1972 was too big and too slow to survive in hostile airspace. The Yak-28 was again used as the basis for the Yak-28PP electronic warfare aircraft that crammed the jamming equipment of the Tu-16PP into a much smaller airframe. All of the armament provisions of the Yak-28 were deleted and four different jamming systems were installed in the Yak-28PP, which was marked by a number of dielectric bulges and blisters on the fuselage. The jamming systems generated so much heat that two heat exchangers were installed in the lower aft fuselage ahead of the aft bicycle gear to help cool the avionics. The outer wing pylons were fitted with rocket pods that fired chaff ahead of the aircraft to help sow chaff corridors to protect inbound strike packages. Below each engine nacelle of the Yak-28PP was a system for deploying bundles of fiberglass-based chaff strips in mass quantities. The role of the Yak-28PP was to accompany inbound strike packages with three of the ECM -28PPs sowing a chaff corridor on each side of the strike aircraft formation as well as using its powerful jamming equipment to blind NATO air defense radars. The first Yak-28PPs completed their State acceptance testing just as the Yak-28N was canceled. Most of the Yak-28PPs that were built (NATO code name "Brewer-E") were based with the Soviet forces in East Germany.


MiG-25BM armed with Kh-58 missiles

The cancellation of the Yak-28N in 1972 came about due to the arrival of an aircraft with significantly higher performance that would become the first Russian production Wild Weasel-class aircraft, the Mikoyan MiG-25BM "Foxbat-F" based on the production interceptor version. It was recognized early on in the Foxbat's flight test program that a high-flying, high-speed aircraft would make an ideal SEAD aircraft- as it was proved itself immune to interception during operations over the Sinai prior to the Yom Kippur War, a SEAD Foxbat could out-fly defending fighters, fire its anti-radiation missiles, and streak back with impunity. While early anti-radiation missiles like the Kh-28 mentioned already were heavy, the newer generation of anti-radar missiles like the Raduga Kh-58 (NATO code name AS-11 "Kilter") were much lighter and imposed little performance penalty on the Foxbat.

Mikoyan MiG-25BM Foxbat-F in East Germany

At first the MiG-25BM was to be a dual-role reconnaissance/SEAD aircraft, the concept being that it would use its SEAD capability to allow it to penetrate deep into NATO airspace to complete its reconnaissance mission. By 1977 both the Soviet air forces and Mikoyan realized that the aircraft would be compromised in both roles and different Foxbat variants were developed for each role, with the MiG-25BM being the definitive SEAD variant. The MiG-25BM featured an integrated avionics package called Yaguar (Jaguar) that not only detected and located enemy radars, but it also networked with the Yaguar systems of other MiG-25BMs to allow a "wolf pack" of SEAD Foxbats to operate deep into NATO territory and share data and targeting information with other members of the wolf pack. The Yaguar system included target designation functions that cued the seeker heads of the four Kh-58 missiles that the MiG-25BM carried. In addition to the missiles, nuclear warheads could also be delivered to either knock out SAM missile sites or generate an EMP to short out communications and electronic systems. Several internal active ECM jammers were also carried which not only protected the MiG-25BM from air defense radars but could also counter fighter radars as well. The Foxbat-F was in production from 1982 to 1985, but the complex systems of the aircraft meant that only 40 examples were built. Nearly most were assigned to units stationed in East Germany and were unusual in being the only Foxbats to wear camouflage as the reconnaissance and interceptor variants were gray in color. Despite production ending in 1985, continued technical problems that had to be resolved meant that the first MiG-25BMs weren't operational in East Germany until 1988 with the Group of Soviet Forces Germany (GSFG), which ultimately withdrew from German soil in 1994.


Kh-58 missile on an Su-24M, Fantasmagoria pod below it

The last SEAD aircraft developed for the Soviet air forces was the Sukhoi Su-24M "Fencer-D", but by this time the Fencer-D was less an dedicated SEAD asset and more an attack aircraft that had SEAD capabilities. Unlike the Yak-28N and the MiG-25BM that housed a large amount of equipment internally, technological advances meant that the Fencer-D could carry most of the radar detection and location equipment in a pod mounted on the centerline underfuselage which was called Fantasmagoria, with -A, -B, and possible -C version depending on the internal configuration of the pod. This was similar to the USAF where the Lockheed Martin F-16CJ replaced the specialized F-4G Phantom Wild Weasel. The F-16CJ had a small pod called the HARM Targeting System (HTS) that performed the same role as the Russian Fantasmagoria pod. The Su-24M could carry two kinds of anti-radiation missile, either the Kh-58 as was used by the MiG-25BM or the newer Kh-31 (NATO code name AS-17 "Krypton") missile.


Sukhoi Su-24M Fencer-D, note the Fantasmagoria pod

The closest that Russian SEAD aircraft came to being committed to action came during the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan fron 1979 to 1988. During the war, Tupolev Tu-16 Badgers were used to bomb Mujaheddin positions, but were often tracked by Pakistani air defense and early warning radars. It was proposed to use the Su-24Ms to knock out the Pakistani radars which were providing warning information to Mujaheddin forces, but it was realized that it represented a significant escalation of the conflict and only limited cross-border raids were conducted with SEAD protection. During the Russian-Georgian War of 2008, it is believed that Su-24Ms were used against Georgian air defense positions, but poor tactical coordination resulted in the Georgians shooting down two Fencers.



Soviet Wild Weasels: Part Three (Missiles)


Kh-28 missile being loaded on Vietnamese Sukhoi fighter bombers

I briefly touched upon the subject of anti-radiation (or anti-radar) missiles in the previous blog post on the specialized aircraft designs that were developed in Russia as counterparts to the American Wild Weasels. Despite the introduction of nuclear weapons in Soviet suppression of enemy air defense (SEAD) doctrine in 1959, there were misgivings within the Soviet air forces on the effectiveness of nuclear weapons against targets like early warning radars and air defense sites. The first dedicated anti-radar missile (ARM) was the Kh-28 (NATO code name AS-9 Kyle), work on which began in 1963. Initially the Kh-28 was designed to be used by the proposed Yakovlev Yak-28N I mentioned in the previous blog post. Work on the Kh-28 by the Raduga design bureau proceeded in tandem with the much larger Kh-22 anti-shipping missile- in fact, in many aspects the Kh-28 is a scaled-down version of the larger Kh-22 that was carried only by bomber aircraft.

Like its larger sibling, the Kh-28 used a liquid propellant rocket engine as the technology of the day meant that solid rocket motors, while being easier to handle and employ, didn't have the range that was needed for the Kh-28, which was on the order of 75 miles, considerably more than any American ARM design at the time. Weighing approximately 1,500 lbs, the Kh-28 was not a light missile. When the Yak-28N was canceled in 1972, when the Kh-28 went into service, it was to be carried by the Sukhoi Su-17 Fitter fighter bombers, a single missile on the centerline station with an associated guidance pod carried on the right inboard wing pylon. The targeting system for the Kh-28 was tuned specifically to counter the American Nike-Hercules SAM radars and as well as the British Thunderbird and Bloodhound SAM radar systems. The first production versions of the Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer strike bomber also had provisions to carry the Kh-28 on one wing pylon and the associated guidance pod on the opposite wing pylon. Besides the liquid fuel handling issues, the main drawback of the Kh-28 was that it had to be preset to a given enemy radar frequency on the ground before the mission. Despite this, the Kh-28 remained in production until 1983 and was exported to several client states.

When the Soviet air forces introduced the Mikoyan MiG-27 Flogger strike derivative of the MiG-23 fighter, in th early 1970s, the Kh-28 was simply too large for the MiG-27 to carry. As a result, a smaller ARM had to be developed for use by the Flogger. The Kh-27 was developed by the Zvezda design bureau as a variant of the Kh-23 air-to-surface missile which had the NATO code name AS-7 Kerry. The Kh-23 was roughly in the same class as the American AGM-12 Bullpup missile. The Kh-27 homed in on enemy radar emissions like the Kh-28, but it featured a new solid rocket motor and an onboard autopilot that allowed it to be fired outside the radar range of its target. Being smaller in size, though, the Kh-27 had a much shorter range of approximately 30 miles, just a bit longer than its American contemporary, the AGM-45 Shrike. A MiG-27 carrying the Kh-27 needed a guidance and targeting pod to be carried as well. The Kh-27 entered service in 1977, but was limited in its deployment as it was rapidly superseded in front line service by the improved Kh-25. The numbering seems odd that a lower number is more advanced than the Kh-27, but the Kh-25 (NATO code name AS-10 Karen) is actually a family of missiles with different warheads and seeker heads that was developed from the Kh-23 family of missiles. In the Kh-25 family, the specific ARM variant is designated Kh-25MP which uses the same seeker head as the Kh-27. Both the MiG-27 Flogger and the Sukhoi Su-17 could carry and employ the Kh-25MP. Being a modular family, the Kh-25 family of missiles' closest counterpart in the West would be the AGM-65 Maverick, but having a longer range than the Maverick. The ARM version of the Kh-25, the Kh-25MP, has its own NATO code name, AS-12 Kegler.

Despite the tactical flexibility afforded by the more advanced Kh-27/Kh-25MP missile, there was still a need for a missile with the long range that the older generation Kh-28 possessed. The Raduga design bureau was asked again to develop a successor to the Kh-28 with the same range and performance but having more advanced features and more tactical flexibility. This missile became the Kh-58 (NATO code name AS-11 Kilter) which featured a solid rocket motor to dispense with the handling of corrosive fuels. It was a different design than what the Raduga OKB had been used to, most of its work on cruise missile type weapons, so the Kh-58 was its first design to have cruciform fins. Carried on a specialized pylon adapter that swings the missile downward and away from the launch aircraft before rocket ignition, the Kh-58 was introduced in 1982 just before the Kh-28 ended production. Designed from the outset to counter the radar systems of the Hawk and Patriot SAM missiles, the Kh-58 is a big missile weighing 1,400 lbs with a range of 75 miles. Its carrier aircraft include the MiG-25BM Wild Weasel variant of the Foxbat, the Su-22 Fitter, and the Su-24 Fencer. While the necessary equipment was internally carried on the MiG-25BM (mentioned in the previous blog post), both the Su-22 and the Su-24 needed an external guidance pod. On the Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer this is the Fantasmagoria pod that functions much like the HTS (HARM Targeting System) used on the Lockheed Martin F-16CJ variant of the Falcon. An improved version of the Kh-58 then followed that was designated Kh-58U and it possessed a remarkable range of 155 miles. The Kh-58's closest analog in the West is the Anglo French AS37 Martel missile, but with a much more impressive range than the Martel.

When the United States introduced the AGM-88 HARM (High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile), it was clear that American ARMS were gaining in parity with Soviet designs. The HARM had a speed well in excess of Mach 2 and a range greater than 60 miles. The response from the other side of the Iron Curtain came from the Zvezda design bureau which developed the Kh-31 (NATO code name AS-17 Krypton). The Kh-31 is a scaled-down derivative of the much larger P-270 Moskit ship-launched anti-ship missile (NATO code name SS-N-22 Sunburn). The Moskit was unique at the time in using a ramjet to sustain the rocket engine for long ranges at high speeds. the Kh-31 uses a similar ramjet system that acts as a solid rocket engine at ignition, then switches over to a ramjet once it reaches its high cruise speed of Mach 3.6! In fact, the design team for both missiles was the same. Weighing the same as the Kh-58 missile, the Kh-31 was much faster, more advanced and highly accurate. The Kh-31 entered service in 1988 with an anti-shipping variant becoming operational a year later that targeted the advanced AEGIS radar systems of US Navy surface combatants. Unlike previous Russian ARM designs, the Kh-31 is much more flexible and can be carried by nearly all of the tactical aircraft in Russian service from the MiG-29 Fulcrum, the Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer, and the entire Su-27/Su-30 Flanker family. China has a license built version of the Kh-31 that can be carried by its Su-30 Flankers and its Xian JH-7 strike fighters. The first versions delivered were designated KR-1 and were optimized against Taiwanese radar frequencies, but more recently a version of the Kh-31 with more Chinese-specific avionics has entered service as the YJ-91.

Interestingly, when the US Navy canceled its AQM-127 SLAT (Supersonic Low Altitude Target) in 1991, the remaining funds from the program were used in 1996 to purchase a small number of Kh-31s from Russia for use as MA-31 target drones. The missiles were delivered to Boeing lacking the warheads and military avionics and Boeing (back then the work was being done by McDonnell Douglas before it merged with Boeing) added the necessary equipment to convert it into a supersonic target drone. While a follow-on buy was planned, the MA-31 was really on an interim solution as it didn't meet the requirements fully that were laid down for the SLAT program. In 2000 Orbital Sciences was given the definitive contract for the GQM-163 Coyote target missile.

Sources: Soviet/Russian Aircraft Weapons Since World War II by Yefim Gordon, Midland Publishing 2005.
Wild Weasel Fighter Attack: The Story of the Suppression of Enemy Air Defences by Thomas Withington. Pen and Sword Aviation, 2008





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  • 4 weeks later...

Istorijat razvoja opreme sovjetskih pomorskih diverzanata. 



Naval Spetsnaz in Hybrid Warfare
Tue 02 December 2014
By H I Sutton

Illustrated analysis of near-term Russian maritime Special Forces underwater vehicles and capabilities


The frog and bat symbol is associated with Naval Spetsnaz

With the annexation of the Crimea to the recent submarine scare in Sweden, Russian special forces have come under renewed focus. Irrespective of whether Naval Spetsnaz have been involved in any operations during the ‘Hybrid War’, their capabilities are among those best suited to this kind of operating environment.

Hybrid warfare is an evolution of earlier indirect, proxy and covert wars. It is a way of expanding territory and pushing geopolitical agendas with every means possible up to the point of an overt military action. Inevitably the enemy will be attacked in multiple ways simultaneously creating a complex and often contradictory situation which plays out in he aggressor's favor. Many of these attacks will be obvious and hard to deny, but crucially they will all be denied. It can therefore include substantial troop movements as long as there is some degree of deniability so that it's one power's word against another. In practice it is to attack by a mixture of special forces, information campaigns and back door proxies. And by means of sending an army 'on holiday' to another country.

As people research information about Russian Naval Special Forces much of what is shared is out of date. This article seeks to sort through the chaff and present as up to date view as is practical. It is based on public information (albeit mostly obscure) with a certain amount of deduction thrown in to paint a picture of these forces underwater vehicles.



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Verovatno vrhunac američke megalomanije, Lokid CL-1201 LSA (Logistic Support Aircraft), nuklearni nosač aviona sa rasponom krila od 400+ metara, masom od 5300 tona, posadom od 472 čoveka i nosivošću od 1000+ tona. Trebalo je da u vazduhu ostane do 30 dana, snabdevajući do 5 aviona u klasi Boinga B52 gorivom ili noseći do 20 manjih aviona za različite misije.













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Meni najstrasnije kad citam ovo:




From 1959 onward Soviet doctrine included the early use of nuclear weapons. While tactical and battlefield nuclear weapons were to be used against targets relevant to the land battle- supply depots, troop concentrations, and the like, the SEAD effort called for a series of high-altitude nuclear detonations over Western Europe which would generate a significant amount of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that would short out electronics of alliance weapons systems and wreak havoc with communications.


Jebote, neke cike u vojnim uniformama su sedele tamo i planirale kako ce da se rokna koja nuklearka tu, koja tamo, pa onda napreduju divizije...kao da se prica o bacanju klasicnih avio-bombi iz drugog svetskog rata. Je-zi-vo.

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Jebote, neke cike u vojnim uniformama su sedele tamo i planirale kako ce da se rokna koja nuklearka tu, koja tamo, pa onda napreduju divizije...kao da se prica o bacanju klasicnih avio-bombi iz drugog svetskog rata. Je-zi-vo.





The official nuclear policy of the United States became one of "massive retaliation", as coined by President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, which called for massive attack against the Soviet Union if they were to invade Europe, regardless of whether it was a conventional or a nuclear attack.


Dals je u ofisu bio 1953-59. U uniformama ili u civilu, isti qrac drugo pakovanje i sa druge strane. Samo jos jedan dokaz da su sva vojska i politika ovog sveta bez izuzetka stoka sitnog zuba. MAD indeed.


Sto ono neko rece, onaj ko ima ambicije da se bavi politikom (a ja bih dodao i vojskom i policijom) je verovatno poslednja osoba na svetu kojoj bi trebalo to i dozvoliti.

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Junose na slici su, ni manje, ni vise, nego ekipa bugarskih specijalista i pilota na obuci za rukovanje bombom. Mesto je Voznesensk, sredina sedamdsetih, a radi se o pripadnicima 25. lovacko bombarderskog puka.


Kada je donesena odluka da se Bugarima i Poljacima poveri bacanje bombetrebalo ju je sprovesti u delo pa je odluceno da se probere 12 MiG-21M, poznatih i kao Fishbed-J, obelezavanih i kao Tip 96. Radilo se o avionima koji su Bugarskoj isporuceni 1969. i nalazili se u sastavu 19. lovackog puka, tacnije koji su cinili 2. eskadrilu istog. 1973. i 1974. na avionima su radjene izmene potrebne za novi posao.

Ugradjena je potrebna oprema koja se, uglavnom, sastojala iz sprovodjenja potrebnih zica i ugradnje najvaznijeg dela – specijalnog nosaca smestenog centralno ispod trupa. Svaki avion je tako mogao da ponese po jednu A-bombu tipa RN-28, koja je kod Bugara postala poznata kao Спецбомба.

Tehnicko osoblje 19. lovackog puka je trebalo da prodje potrebnu obuku koja se ticala potrebnog odrzavanja, pripreme i kacenja bombe; zna se da tih prvih dana sva oprema bila skladistena u posebno obezbedjenim skladistima.

Stvar se oduzila utoliko sto je tek dve godine posle obavljenih modifikacija, prva grupa Bugara otputovala u CCCP ne bi li vezbala na pravim stvarima.

Izabrano je 5 visoko ocenjivanih pilota, instruktora, dvojica iz pomenutog 19. lovackog puka i trojica iz 10. mesovitog vazduhoplovnog korpusa cija je baza bila u Plovdivu.

Na kursu na kome je trebalo da se obuce u bacanju bombe bili su gosti 684. Gardijskog lovackog puka koji se nalazio u Tiraspolju u danasnjoj Moldaviji.

Kurs se sastojao u savladjivanju tehnika bacanja bombe, to iz horizontalnog leta i iz takozvanog propinjanja, dakle bez nadletanja cilja. Ideja je bila da ovi piloti prenesu svoja znanja – kako se to onda zvalo – odabranim pilotima kod kuce, u Bugarskoj.

Stefan Popov, general u penziji, inace svojevremeno komandant 19. lovackog puka seca se da je bombardovanje iz propinjanja vezbano u dve varijante: u prvoj je avion u prilazenju u niskom letu ubrzavao na 1,050 km/h, penjao avion pod uglom od 45 stepeni i odbacivao bombu na visini od 3,000 metara imajuci pri tom mogucnost da odmakne 7 kilometara pre detonacije. Drugi uvezbavani manevar je bio zahtevniji, ali – tvrdi se – i precizniji. Avion je nailazio na cilj na visini od 100 metara, ubrzavajuci do brzine od 1,050 km/h, da bi bombu odbacio kada dostigne ugao od preciznih 106 stepeni, dakle neposredno posto bi prakticno usao u luping. Radilo se od sovjetskoj verziji takozvanog bombardovanja preko ramena, a u oba slucaja piloti su trebali da ukljuce naknadno sagorevanje sto im je davalo izmedju minut i dva minuta da se sklone sa mesta dogadjanja.

Bila bugarska prica ovakva ili onakva, tek daje uvid u neke soovjetske norme iz tih vremena, pa je tako od pilota zahtevano koristeci pomenute nacine bombu smeste u krug precnika 500 metara sa ciljem kao centrom naravno.

Popov, inace polaznik Gagarin vazduhoplovne akademije, tvrdi da je sezdesetih godina takozvani Balkanski teatar operacija, ili Balkanski front trebovao 30 atomskih bombi – misli se na avionske bombe, dok je istom podrucju u doktrini i planovima Varsavski pakt namenio do 600 taktickih nuklearnih udara i to u dva talasa. Bugarska teritorija je trebalo da seu slucaju rata i napada na NATO snage u svom rejonu iskoristi protiv Turske i Grcke, s tim sto se su se za primarne ciljeve smatrala, standardno, komandna mesta, aerodromi i kopnene snage, ali i pre svega bilo koja, bilo cija i bilo kakva NATO platforma za nuklearna oruzja.

Bugarske nuklearne snage su kasnije dopunjene sa jos 20 novopristiglih MiG-21MF (Tip 96F) koji su dodeljeni 18. lovackom puku u Dobrislavcima nedaleko od Sofije, da bi ih 1978. preuzeo 19. lovacki puk u Graf Ignatievo.

Kao ljubimci, Bugari su prvi van CCCP dobili lovacko bombardersku verziju aviona MiG-23 koja je uvedena u naoruzanje kao MiG-23BN (Flogger H). Avione je 1976. godine zaduzio 25. lovacko bombarderski puk; 18 primeraka je bilo isporuceno sa opremom za bacanje atomskih bombi.

Kao posledica standardizacije u samom CCCP, svi kasnije isporuceni avioni ovog tipa imali su opremu koja je mogla da nosi i baca i Specbombu i to bez posebnih priprema. Bilo je tu i MiG-23MLA, pa MiG-23DML, dakle izvozna verzija, pa je grupa pazljivo probranih pilota i tehnickog osoblja iz 25. lovacko bombarderskog puka 1980. upucena u CCCP na – za razliku od prve grupe koja nije upoznavana sa karakteristikama samog oruzja – prilicno rigoroznu obuku koja je ukljucivala i upoznavanje sa samom bombom, njenim osobinama i delovanjem.

Ovog puta su bili gosti elitnog 642. lovacko bombarderskog puka smestenog na aerodromu Voznesensk, poznatom i kao Martinovka u danasnjoj Ukrajini.

U ove bugarske NATO dane, iz penzije je iskopan i tadasnji major po imenu – Coko Cokov, jedan od cetvorice odabranih, koji se seca teskih dana zahtevne obuke.

Piloti i osoblje su vezbani odvojeno i pod vec uobicajenim sovjetskim merama stroge bezbednosti. Tehnicari su savladjivali kacenje bombe i rukovanje kontrolnim uredjajima, kao i savladjivanje procedura, dok su piloti na svojim avionima kojima su – interesantno – preleteli direktno iz Bugarske takodje saznavali detalje o bombi RN-28.

Radilo se o bombi za bacanje iz niskog leta, sa mogucnoscu programiranja visine eksplozije: ili na odabranoj visini ili u dodiru sa tlom i koja je imala mogucnost da ugradjenim malim raketnim motorima usporava pad, pored toga sto je imala i padobran. Bombu je detonirao sopstveni radarski visinomer.

Od svega je najzanimljivije da je pilot mogao, u letu, da bombu aktivira ili deaktivira, kao i da se odluci za visinu detonacije; nije mogao da menja preprogramiranu snagu eksplozije.

Sovjetski takticki postupci su predvidjali da avionu na zadatku bacanja takticke atomske bombe prethodi najmanje jedna eskadrila ciji bi zadatak bio da cisti vazdusni prostor avionu nosiocu dok prilazi cilju, kao i da se obracuna sa protivvazdusnom odbranom.

Bacanje bombe se razlikovalo od bacanja uvezbavanog na MiG-21.

MiG-23 je to mogao da radi na tri nacina: iz horizontalnog leta, u poniranju pod uglom od 20 stepeni i u penjanju od 15. Nije bilo posebnih ogranicenja sto se tice visine i brzine prilaza, osim sto je od pilota zahtevano da se u svakom slucaju pobrinu za osam sekundi potrebnih da se pobegne sa lica mesta.

Za bacanje iz niskog leta preporucivana je visina od 200 do 600 metara, ali je vezbano i sa izbacivanjem sa visine od svega 50 metara u horizontalnom letu.

Prema Bugarima, skoro da nije bilo razlike izmedju bombardovanja klasicnim i atomskim bombama. Sam Cokov je na MiG-23UB i sa sovjetskim instruktorom bacao corak bombu P50-75 cije su karakteristike bile skoro identicne sa bombom RN28. Sve je bilo isto, objasnjava Cokov, osim sto se trazilo da motor bude na konstantnom broju obrtaja prilikom nailaska udarnog talasa posle eksplozije i njegovog prelaska preko aviona. Pilot je morao, kada primeti eksploziju, da navuce tamni vizir na slemu i da zatvori oci.

Atomski Bugari su se po zavrsenoj obuci vratili kucama: danas tvrde da je MiG bio dobar avion, sposoban za prodiranje na vrlo malim visinama i ne dovode u sumnju svoje tadasnje sposobnosti da dolinom Marice dosegnu ciljeve u Grckoj ili Turskoj.

1981. godine je jos jedna grupa bugarskih pilota, verovatno za rezervu, prosla obuku, opet u Tiraspolju. Obuka je ovog puta bila ogranicena samo na bacanje bombe, a izvodjena je na presretackoj verziji MiG-23MF.

Tako je Bugarska postala jedan od mogucih realizatora sovjetske doktrine upotrebe atomskog oruzja, doktrine koja je sezdesetih evoluirala od totalnog nuklearnog rata do stepenovanog uvodjenja i koriscenja nuklearnog oruzja u mogucem sukobu sa NATO, u cemu mozda lezi i objasnjenje za pripustanje Bugara i Poljaka u program.

Doktina se, u sustini, sastojala u ideji da se udarom na nuklearna oruzja protivnika spreci ili barem ogranici odgovor.

U samoj Bugarskoj je to trebalo da izvedu rakete zemlja-zemlja tipa R-17 Elbrus, ili, ako neko vise voli SS-1C ili Scud-B, koje su kasnije dopunjene raketama 9K14 Oka (SS-23, Spider); koncept je u svakom slucaju zahtevao prvi udar i to masovni i to u dva talasa, a da bi se to izvelo bilo je potrebno sto bolje izvidjanje i lociranje mogucih ciljeva, pa u tome lezi objasnjenje kako je i zasto Bugarska 1982. dobila 3 izvidjacka MiG-25RBT ili Foxbat-B dodeljenih 26. izvidjackom puku u Tolbuhinu.

Za ono cime su u to vreme raspolagali Turci i Grci, ovaj avion je bio prakticno nedodirljiv.

Tvrdi se da je od pomenutih 600 nuklearnih udara na Balkanskom frontu, u samoj Bugarskoj bilo materijala za 300, dok je ostatak trebalo da u slucaju ratne opasnosti bude dopremljen iz CCCP.

Ne kaze se kako, ali bice da su isporuku i to na lice mesta trebalo da obave sami Sovjeti sa svojih aerodroma oko Odese.

Podrazumeva se da je odgovarajuce komande kao i naredjenje za prelazak sa konvencionalnog na atomsko ratovanje mogao da izda samo veliki brat, odnosno formalno zdruzena komanda Varsavskog ugovora ili kako se to vec zvalo.

Da bi se obezbedio prvi udar, na tri lokacije u samoj Bugarskoj je uskladisteno atomsko naoruzanje: na istoku, zapadu i u centralnom delu zemlje.

Ljubav je ljubav, poverenje je poverenje, ali su te lokacije bile pod potpunom kontrolom sovjetskog osoblja – od straze do tehnicara zaduzenih za odrzavanje i – na srecu – sve je 1990. vraceno odakle je i doslo.

Sta je ocekivalo Grke i Turke, ostale komsije da ne pominjem, a tesko da su bili zaobidjeni u nekom od scenarija, vidi se iz napomene jednog od bugarskih pilota koji tvrdi da je sovjetska norma bila ni manje ni vise nego 16 bombi po diviziji.

S obzirom da je na svom vrhuncu, u doba kada se predvidjao totalni atomski rat, dakle sezdesetih, sovjetska doktrina predvidjala 3 do 4 bombe na pesadijsku diviziju, a jednu ili dve na puk, povecanje do kog je doslo kasnije, i koje je predvidjalo veci broj projektila moze se objasniti usavrsavanjem nuklearnog naoruzanja i njegovom da kazemo specijalizacijom, s tim da, naravno, ne treba zaboraviti da se radi o takozvanom taktickom nuklearnom oruzju, ali i promenama u kopnenoj doktrini i organizaciji NATO-a koje su predvidjale takozvani rastresitiji raspored kopnenih snaga.

Sto se samih Bugara tice, prica se nastavila do u kasne devedesete, dobijanjem od velikog i bratskog saveznika aviona Su-22M4 takodje opremljenim za bacanje bombe; poslednji su bili 6 MiG-29 Fulcrum-A koji su na levom unutrasnjem podvesniku takodje mogli da nose pomenutu RN-28 bombu, ali i njenu naslednicu nazvanu RN-40.

Kraj se nazirao: osim opreme koja je stigla kao standardna za pomenute tipove aviona, nikakva obuka nije izvodjena.

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Dals je u ofisu bio 1953-59. U uniformama ili u civilu, isti qrac drugo pakovanje i sa druge strane. Samo jos jedan dokaz da su sva vojska i politika ovog sveta bez izuzetka stoka sitnog zuba. MAD indeed.


Sto ono neko rece, onaj ko ima ambicije da se bavi politikom (a ja bih dodao i vojskom i policijom) je verovatno poslednja osoba na svetu kojoj bi trebalo to i dozvoliti.

MAD je već nešto drugo - mogućnost da se za par sekundi totalno uništi protivnik i znanje da on to isto može tebi u tih istih par sekundi kao snažna kočnica bilo kakvom međusobnom ratovanju. Da nije bilo MADa, bilo bi trećeg svetskog rata.


MAD postoji da nikada ne bude upotrebljen, zato su mi ovi sovjetski planovi o ,,redovnom" korišćenju nuklearki u frontovskom ratovanju jeziviji.

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Hladni rat je isao u paketu sa tehnoloskim entuzijazmom.

Podvrsta nuklearni mada oko ovog nuklearni i nije imalo mnogo da se tehnologise – principi su, naime, bili savladani – nego je ostalo resiti i resavati problem takozvanih vektora, sto ce reci gadget-a koji ce nuklearno, bilo veliko ili malo, da otpreme odnosno dopreme tamo gde treba.

Davy Crockett Weapon System, kako bese inspirativna vojna M oznaka nije ni vazno, zamisljen je i ostvaren u vreme atomskog entuzijazma, vreme kada se pokusavalo i sebe i druge ubediti da to i nije toliko strasno.

Bilo je to vreme kada su bolje prodavnice obuce u Americi kupcima na raspolaganje stavljale rentgen aparate u kojima su ovi mogli da natenane razgledaju ponasanje svog stopala u obuci koja im se svidja i koju nameravaju da kupe. Polako i natenane.

Racun(i) su poceli da stizu kasnije.

Bolnicki i oni postbolnicki.

Ideja je bila jedna u nizu ideja koje su trebale da rese problem zaustavljanja cuvene lavine sovjetskih tenkova i svega onog sto uz njih i iza njih ide, a koje bi provalile iz Istocne Evrope, severnonemackom ravnicom i juznije gde se to moze, jureci ka atlantskim obalama.

Jula 1962. je u pustinji Mojave opaljen prvi, operacija se zvala Sunbeam, uz prisustvo glavonja, danas se to kaze VIP-ova.

Postojao je samo jedan mali problem: glavonje ni izbliza nisu bile toliko blizu mestu lansiranja ili mestu eksplozije – u slucaju ovog oruzja to je skoro svejedno jer mu je domet bio oko 2 km – koliko je to trebalo da budu pripadnici specijalnog troclanog tima koji je to trebalo da radi u takozvanoj i notornoj stvarnoj ratnoj sutuaciji.

A takozvani troclani atomic squad je trebalo da puca iz obicnog bestrzajnog topa kalibra nekih 105 mm.

Oruzjem koje je bilo tesko nekih 37 kg, veliko kao bostan i koje je imalo domet od 2 km.

Tamo gde padne bilo je zamisljeno da pobije, unisti ili ucini – eto vojnog recnika – neoperativnim sve sto se mice, raste ili se ne mice, i to otprilike ovako: unutar 150 metara od tacke 0 sve, sve, sve, ukljucujuci i tenkovske posade bi bilo mrtvo, koje eksplozijom, koje radijacijom. Unutar kruga od 300 metara radijacija bi ekspresno brzo cinila svoje, pa se izlozenima davalo najvise par dana do bolne (sluzbeni izraz) smrti.

Ukratko, instant smrt u radijusu od nekih petstotinak metara.

Sve to montirano na terensko vozilo ili noseno na ledjima, tegljeno, svejedno i povereno grupi od 3 coveka nivoa odgovornosti prosecnog podoficira. Koji mogu opravdano da budu ljuti, neraspolozeni ili prosto, naprosto – neodgovorni.

Sto nije bio problem da se proizvede, isporuci i u naoruzanje uvede, od 1961. do 1971. ni manje ni vise nego 2,100 ovih sistema.

Nije lako biti Nemac: Atomic Battle Group su bile rasporedjenje duz granice izmedju Istocne i Zapadne Nemacke.

Davy Crockett je bio poslednja americka atomska naprava koja je isprobana u atmosferi, na povrsini tacnije; posle nje je stupila na snagu zabrana atmosferskih proba pa se atomsko pucanje preselilo pod zemlju.

Nisu opisani efekti dejstva na svoje, misli se na ljude koji su imali da ih ispale.

Ili to nije bilo toliko bitno.




Za one kojima su drage tehnika i brojke, ovo se zvalo M-28, krsteno je bilo kao takozvano sub-kilotonsko atomsko oruzje, pa je – prebaceno na stari dobri TNT ekvivalenat – brojalo nekih 10 do 20 tona eksploziva.

Cuvena bojeva gadjanja nisu izvodjena.

I jos – tvrdili su da sve to nije nista strasno i da bi se za nekih 48 sati na zemljiste na kome je ovo eksplodiralo moglo da vrati bez problema; 48 sati bi im, naime, bilo dovoljno da prikupe NATO i krenu da zaustavljaju bujicu.

Poteraju je nazad takoreci; na nisan nekim drugim troclanim (plus politicki rukovodilac) timovima, ups - kolektivima.

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MAD je već nešto drugo - mogućnost da se za par sekundi totalno uništi protivnik i znanje da on to isto može tebi u tih istih par sekundi kao snažna kočnica bilo kakvom međusobnom ratovanju. Da nije bilo MADa, bilo bi trećeg svetskog rata.


MAD postoji da nikada ne bude upotrebljen, zato su mi ovi sovjetski planovi o ,,redovnom" korišćenju nuklearki u frontovskom ratovanju jeziviji.


Jeziviji i od americkog plana za to isto? Ono sto su sovjetski mamlazi uveli kao dokrtinu 1959. su americki mamlazi vec imali ozvaniceno od 1953, znaci svaka vojna akcija VP ka Zapadnoj Evropi - cak i cisto konvencionalna - automatski povlaci za sobom masovni i totalni nuklearni odgovor NATO.


Destilisano ludilo s obe strane.

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New Details on the 1961 Goldsboro Nuclear Accident

Multi-Megaton Bomb Was Virtually "Armed" When It Crashed to Earth in North Carolina, Sandia Lab Report Concluded

Nuclear Stockpile Safety Review from the Mid-1970s Identified Four Weapons Systems that Needed "Time Urgent" Evaluation Because of "Nuclear Detonation Safety Concerns"

1986 Sandia Lab Study Found that, with Respect to "Fully Assembled" and "Combat-Ready" Nuclear Weapons, U.S. Could Not Claim "in an Absolute Sense, that We Take Every Action to Ensure their Safety"

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 475

Posted - June 9, 2014 (UPDATED JUNE 11, 2014)

For more information contact:
William Burr - 202/994-7000 or nsarchiv@gwu.edu

One of the two Mk39 thermonuclear weapons that landed when a B-52 bomber broke up over Goldsboro, North Carolina in February 1961. This was the weapon that came closest to detonation.


The T-249 switch used to arm nuclear bombs on Strategic Air Command bomber aircraft. Photo courtesy of Glenn's Computer Museum

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Safety Issues, 1957-1986

Washington, D.C., June 9, 2014 – A recently declassified report by Sandia National Laboratory, published today by the National Security Archive, provides new details on the 1961 Goldsboro, North Carolina, nuclear weapons accident. Both multi-megaton Mk 39 bombs involved in the mishap were in the "safe" position. Yet the force of the crash initiated mechanical actions that normally required human intervention. In both cases, the "fuzing sequence" had begun: an important step toward arming a nuclear bomb. Weapon 1, the one that came closest to detonation, landed intact, but by the time Weapon 2 hit the ground, it was in the "armed" setting because of the impact of the crash. The arming switch that had prevented Weapon 1 from detonating was in itself highly vulnerable. The Goldsboro incident is an alarming example of the great danger inherent in nuclear accidents.

Since the advent of the nuclear age, the nightmarish possibility of an accidental detonation has made weapons safety a boiler-plate item in the U.S. nuclear weapons program — yet potentially serious errors continue to occur. A series of 2013 reports on the Goldsboro accident provided a fresh reminder of the role of luck in preventing nuclear disaster: the same switch involved in the 1961 event had failed in other incidents.[1]

Eric Schlosser's extraordinary book Command and Control Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety, raises important questions about the record of nuclear weapons safety in the United States during and after the Cold War. Two major studies by Sandia National Laboratory, cited by Schlosser in his book, have been recently released by the Department of Energy in response to National Security Archive Mandatory Declassification Review requests and are included in this publication. Both are demanding studies which require attentive readers. One is a 1959 study of nuclear weapons safety when experts at the national nuclear laboratories were beginning to review the problem more comprehensively. The other is an overview of safety history published in 1987 which reviews the impact of changing weapons design on safety policy, the impact of accidents on policy, and initiatives taken by experts at Sandia to improve safety.

Also included in today's posting are recently declassified Joint Chiefs of Staff documents from early 1958 which address a problem that increased apprehensions about safety: the introduction of sealed-pit nuclear weapons into the arsenal. Embedding plutonium pits or highly-enriched uranium in the bombs or warheads themselves, unlike previous nuclear weapons where fissile material capsules were kept separate until arming occurred, this development made the weapons ready for use but created new vulnerabilities, including greater contamination risk. While the Joint Chiefs of Staff dismissed the risk of an accidental detonation — special features on the weapons allegedly made the probability a "negligible factor" — sealed-pit weapons would figure in the major accidents of the following years, including Jonesboro (1961), Palomares, Spain (1966) and Thule, Greenland (1968), where they would do considerable environmental damage.

Some of the highlights of the documents:
A memorandum of conversation involving President Dwight D. Eisenhower, JCS Chairman Nathan Twining, and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in which the two Americans made optimistic statements about weapons safety. Atomic Energy Commission chairman Lewis Strauss soon asserted that those statements did not address the conditions that would emerge when sealed-pit weapons entered the stockpile. He presciently observed that "In case of [high explosives/HE] detonation on crash there would be plutonium scattered outside of the HE danger area, and this might necessitate evacuation of personnel and even clean-up operations."
A statement in one of the JCS papers laid out the requirement that made future accidents possible by SAC bomber aircraft flying sealed-pit weapons: "A portion of SAC must be kept on continual alert status fully armed and ready for instant implementation of emergency war plans."
A declassified State Department letter from early 1958 indicating a growing risk of accidents in the European Command area because of the eventual "saturation" of nuclear stockpiles.
According to a Sandia Laboratory 1959 study, the Cold War goal of keeping nuclear weapons in a high state of readiness meant that safety was "fundamentally a matter of playing percentages." This meant that "absolute" nuclear safety was illusory and that giving ground "safety-wise" was necessary in order to have "useful" weapons.
According to the same report, one of the dangers of an accidental nuclear detonation was that it could produce "public and diplomatic reactions leading to disastrous curtailment of military readiness and nuclear capability." Even worse, "an accident might be mistaken for the opening round of an unannounced nuclear war."
A safety policy review performed in the late 1960s developed risk criteria for accidental nuclear detonations: in either "normal" or "abnormal" environments (where an accident had occurred) the annual risk of such an accident would be no greater than one in a million for an arsenal of ten thousand weapons or more.
Studies at Sandia Laboratory of stockpile safety in the mid-1970s identified four nuclear weapons systems which needed review on a "time-urgent basis because of nuclear detonation safety concerns."
The author of the 1986 safety policy history asserted that "the perceived need to keep weapons fully assembled and deployed on combat-ready systems … prevents us from claiming, in an absolute sense, that we take every action…. to ensure their safety."

This collection includes a declassified State Department history on two major U.S. overseas nuclear accidents, one near Palomares, Spain in January 1966, the other near Thule, Greenland, two years later, in January 1968. First published on the Archive's Web-log Unredacted, this history, prepared by James Miller, provides a detailed account of how the U.S. government tried to manage the diplomatic furor that both accidents triggered. As the AEC had forecast in 1958, accidents involving sealed-pit weapons posed risks of contamination of radioactive material and the Palomares and Thule incidents required major clean-ups which the United States had to undertake. The recovery operation at Palomares was particularly challenging because one of the hydrogen bombs was lost underwater for several months.


Documents 1A -C: Introduction of Sealed-Pit Weapons

A: Note by the Secretaries to the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the Exercising of Special Munitions, 5 March 1958, J.C.S. 2019/287, with letters, memoranda, and memorandum of conversation attached, Top Secret, Excised Copy

B: Report by the Joint Strategic Plans Committee to the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Custody, Maneuver, and Exercise of Special Munitions, 21 March 1958, J.C.S. 2019/290, Top Secret, Excised Copy

C: "Briefing for the President on SAC Operations with Sealed-Pit Weapons," [29 August 1958], Top Secret, Excised copy

Sources: A and B: National Archives, College Park, Md, Records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Record Group 218, Files of Chairman Admiral Arthur Radford, box 16, file 471.6 (8-15-45) ; C: Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Office of White House Staff Secretary, Defense Department Series, box 1, Defense Department, Vol. II (9), also available on Digital National Security Archive

These reports show how civilian and military officials began to focus on the safety problems raised by sealed-pit weapons. When President Eisenhower and JCS Chairman Twining spoke with British Prime Minister Macmillan about nuclear safety they were not aware that a new nuclear weapons design was being introduced into the arsenal that raised new safety concerns. AEC director Lewis Strauss raised them, including the risk of contamination caused by the detonation of high explosives (HE), which were already being discussed in the military. The Strategic Air Command had plans for routine nuclear-armed airborne alert operations in the works which prompted new safety issues over and above those already raised by air and ground transportation of nuclear weapons.

The Joint Chiefs wrote assuring words that the risks of an inadvertent detonation by sealed-pit weapons were reduced to a "negligible factor" because of the existence of various safety controls and the "four separate control mechanisms" needed to detonate a weapon. Some months later, when President Eisenhower received a briefing on sealed-pit weapons, the briefing officer asserted with great confidence that "the probability of an inadvertent nuclear detonation of a sealed-pit weapon with proper safety controls is extremely remote-in fact, it approaches zero."

The two JCS documents (as well as the sealed-pit briefing) have numerous excisions, some of them describing the safety arrangements (spelled out in detail in documents 2 and 3 below), but also technical terms describing types of nuclear weapons. Some of the excisions are probably references to "two-stage" thermonuclear weapons (the detonation of an atomic bomb "primary" [stage one] ignites the "secondary" [stage two] producing a thermonuclear reaction). For example, document 1A at page 6 of the PDF cites the Mark 39 Mod 1 thermonuclear weapon (hydrogen bomb) as being in the "[excised] configuration." The two-stage Mark 39, which contained highly-enriched uranium in its primary, came dangerously close to detonation during the 1961 Goldsboro incident. A number of the excisions, such as document 1B at page 9 of the PDF, read like, and have enough characters to be, "sealed-pit", but this is a puzzle because the term sealed-pit appears elsewhere in these documents.

Document 2: Letter from George S. Vest, Office of the Political Adviser, U.S. European Command, to B. E. L. Timmons, Bureau of European Affairs, 12 March 1958, Secret

Source: National Archives, College Park, Record Group 59, Department of State Records, Office of European Regional Affairs. Politico-Military Numeric Files, 1953-1962, box 7, Safety

A recent nuclear mishap at the U.S. Air base in Sidi Slimane, Morocco raised consciousness among U.S. officials about the possibility of future incidents. George Vest, a political adviser at the U.S. European Command, noted that as Western Europe "becomes saturated with nuclear stockpiles, the chances of accidents will naturally increase." Most would not occur on U.S. bases but when, for example, an Air Force plane carrying nuclear weapons "overshoots" the base at Rhein-Main. U.S. diplomats must be prepared and so should local officials.

Document 3: Sandia Corporation, with the Advice and Assistance of the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory and the University of California Ernest O. Lawrence Radiation Laboratory, A Survey of Nuclear Weapon Safety Problems and the Possibilities for Increasing Safety in Bomb and Warhead Design , RS3466/26889, February1959, Secret, Excised copy

Source: Mandatory declassification review request

The problem that concerned George Vest — the growing risk of accidents caused by the eventual saturation of nuclear weapons stockpiles — also worried scientists at U.S. nuclear laboratories. Apparently drafted by Carl Carlson, then a young physicist at Sandia, this demanding and highly technical study is a "summary of studies and investigations" that had been conducted partly in response to a Defense Department request but also because of concern about the introduction of sealed-pit weapons into the arsenal.[2] As the author notes, the sealed-pit weapon was a "new species," which "contributed to increased military concern on the safety question." Also making an appraisal of safety policy essential was the fact that growing absolute numbers of nuclear weapons increased the risk of an accidental detonation. A nuclear weapons disaster could produce "public and diplomatic reactions leading to disastrous curtailment of military readiness and nuclear capability." Even worse, "an accident might be mistaken for the opening round of an unannounced nuclear war." Thus, to minimize the "probability of a nuclear disaster," it was necessary to apply "science, art, and intelligence."

Carlson's report shows how nuclear safety policy began to take shape in the late 1950s, when the growing size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal encouraged senior defense officials and lower-level scientific experts to press for more systematic review of safety issues. Carlson reviewed the problem systematically, collecting accident data from recalcitrant armed services and assessing normal and abnormal hazard risks, which he defined in some detail, from risks of a launch of an armed bomb or missile (normal hazard) to detonation by an "overzealous" officer or accidental spontaneous nuclear detonation, both in the category of abnormal hazards. The risk of spontaneous detonation (exclusive of human error), Carlson rated at 10-8, or one in a hundred million.

At the time of this report the idea of one-point safety was beginning to take hold — nuclear yield would not be produced in the event of an accidental detonation at a given point in the weapons' high explosive components — and it eventually became a requirement.[3] But this study shows how much more there was to the problem than one-point safety. An important chapter focuses on the role of electrical systems in preventing the accidental arming and release of nuclear weapons — for example, the T-249 on-off/arming switch, which was then the "almost universal aircraft monitor and control box." Installed on a panel near the weapon, the T-249 played a key role in the Goldsboro NC incident a few years later.[4] According to Carlson, the Air Force had plans underway to make the T-249 more secure by putting it under lock and key, but other fixes were under consideration, including a "war-peace" switch behind a glass barrier (like a fire alarm) and remote-control arming. Through these and other means, Carlson believed it important to make the weapons resistant to human error or "gross human misconduct, sabotage, and impulsive or psychotic actions." To reduce the opportunity for "human activity" around "critical bomb and weapons assemblies," Carlson favored the concept of a "wooden" bomb that was sealed and tamper-proof. Nevertheless, he believed that military readiness requirements meant that absolute safety was impossible and that it was necessary to "play the percentages," as "uncomfortable" as that was.

Carlson made two basic recommendations. One was the establishment by the Pentagon of a "uniform" policy treating the "safety problem in its entirety, in terms of all hazards, their causes their relative likelihood, and the severity of their consequences." The other was that the Defense Department establish a channel that relayed information on all accidents and incidents to the AEC. Whether and when such a channel was created needs to be learned, but the 1987 Sandia historical overview of nuclear safety suggests that a "uniform" policy remained a work in progress for decades after 1959.

Document 4: Letter from Commander-in-Chief Strategic Air Command General Thomas Power to Air Force Chief of Staff Thomas White, 27 February 1959, Secret

Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Thomas D. White Papers, box 27, Command-SAC

In this letter, CINCSAC Power found the possibility of an accidental detonation to be "extremely remote," in part because he was confident of the safety arrangements on SAC bombers, including mechanical and electrical controls in the cockpit and the "Two-Man Policy." Nevertheless, Power was dissatisfied with some of the safety controls, such as lanyards used to extract the safing pins (special pins that have to be pulled from the mechanism as part of the arming process) and proposed arrangements that he believed would be more advantageous operationally. Exemplifying Carlson's point about the relationship between safety and military imperatives, Power highlighted the importance of "a point of balance" between safety and "weapon reliability and quick reaction time."

Document 5: J. M. de Montmollin and W. R. Hoagland, Sandia Corporation, "Analysis of the Safety Aspects of the MK 39 MOD 2 Bombs Involved in B-52G Crash Near Greensboro, North Carolina," SCDR 8-81, February 1961, No classification markings, excised copy

Source: FOIA request

The Goldsboro B-52 crash prompted an investigation by experts from Sandia, Los Alamos, and the AEC's Albuquerque Operations Office (ALO). Subsequently, some of the weapons components were taken to Sandia for further analysis, which led to a detailed report on what happened to both MK 39 bombs during the accident. According to the report, the impact of the aircraft breakup initiated the fuzing sequence for both bombs. For example, on Weapon 1, the crash yanked the safing pins from the Bisch generator which provided electric power to the weapon. Moreover, the lanyards (that General Power had proposed scrapping) actually pulled the safing pins from the weapons. Weapon 1, which landed essentially intact, was in the "safe" position when it dropped, preventing detonation. The T-249 Arm/Safe switch worked exactly as it was supposed to, preventing a nuclear explosion. Nevertheless, the incident deeply worried Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara: a few years later, he observed that "by the slightest margin of chance, literally the failure of two wires to cross, a nuclear explosion was averted."[5]

The report provides significant information on Weapon 2. It landed in a free-fall. Without the parachute operating, the timer did not initiate the bomb's high voltage battery ("trajectory arming"), a step in the arming sequence. While the Arm/Safe switch was in the "safe" position, it had become virtually armed because the impact of the crash had rotated the indicator drum to the "armed" position. But the shock also damaged the switch contacts, which had to be intact for the weapon to detonate. While Weapon 2 was not close to detonation, the fact that the physical impact of a crash could activate the same arming mechanism that had kept Weapon 1 safe showed the danger of such accidents.

The faulty operation of the lanyards worried the analysts. A modification program, ALT 197, was already underway to remove them and the analysts recommended rapid implementation of this change to all weapons in the "MK 15/39 family" involved in the airborne alert program.

Document 6: R. N. Brodie, A Review of the U.S. Nuclear Weapons Safety Program- 1945 to 1986, Sandia National Laboratories, SAND86-2955, February 1987, Secret/Restricted Data, Excised copy

Source: Mandatory declassification review request

This demanding and technical Sandia nuclear safety study focused on the impact of changing weapons design, major accidents, and the weapons systems safety organization at Sandia Laboratory. Before the introduction of sealed-pit weapons, safety was achieved in a "visible and almost absolute manner by ensuring that the fissile material was kept physically separate" from the high explosives. But when sealed-pit weapons entered the arsenal, safety policy did not adequately or immediately address the problems they raised, leading government officials to take "frantic" efforts to remedy some of them.

Several accidents later — Brodie provides an overview of the major episodes of the 1960s, including the Jonesboro accident — a "new" approach was taken and basic criteria for nuclear safety were reconsidered. That review established a new standard: that in either normal or abnormal environments (in the event of an accident), the annual risk of detonation would be no greater than one in a million for an arsenal of ten thousand weapons or more. To mitigate risks, safety experts developed new design safety concepts and techniques to reduce the danger of contamination by using "insensitive high explosives."

Whatever was done after 1968 was not enough because in the mid-1970s Sandia experts identified new problems, notably that some weapons on continuous alert might be unsafe in "abnormal" environments. A formal review of stockpile safety found that for all weapons it was not possible to predict the "probability threshold for a nuclear detonation" in certain "abnormal environments." It was not even possible analytically to show "how 'unsafe' a weapon was." That level of uncertainty could lead to the conclusion that the whole stockpile had to be replaced, but senior officials concluded that because an accidental detonation had not occurred it was acceptable to "do more studies" and gradually improve the situation as better weapons became available. Experts at Sandia found this "laissez-faire" approach disturbing and prepared new studies identifying which weapons should be retired or retrofit and modified because of "nuclear detonation safety concerns." Four weapons — the B-28 bomb, Nike-Hercules, Genie, and the B53 — needed to be addressed on a "time urgent" basis. The Defense Department accepted the recommendations in principle in 1979, which led to changes that put the stockpile in an "improved safety position." Nevertheless, the same four weapons remained a concern.

Among Brodie's conclusions was that as long as the Pentagon found it necessary to deploy nuclear weapons "fully assembled and deployed on combat-ready systems" it could not be claimed that "in an absolute sense, that we take every action… to ensure their safety." Indeed, the existence of assembled nuclear weapons meant the existence of a "nonzero probability that it could be unintentionally detonated." Thus as long as nuclear weapons were "deployed on ready-alert systems," the burden of preventing accidents and incidents would mainly fall on safe weapons design. "Constant vigilance" was essential to prevent nuclear weapons accidents.

Document 7: James Miller, U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian, Nuclear Accidents at Palomares, Spain in 1966 and Thule, Greenland in 1968, Historical Research Project No. 1421, April 1985, Secret, Excised Copy [originally posted on Unredacted]

Source: FOIA request

This study covers two major nuclear accidents and their consequences: the B-52 crash near Palomares, Spain and Thule, Greenland in 1966 and 1968 respectively, which cumulatively triggered the safety review described in Document 6, above. Both involved nuclear armed B-52 bombers on routine airborne alert patrols.[6] In the former accident, a bomber crashed into a KC-135 refueling tanker midair over the coastal village of Palomares. Seven crew members were killed and HE in three of the weapons exploded, causing plutonium contamination. One of weapons went missing in the Mediterranean until divers recovered it. In the Greenland accident, where a B-52 crashed on an ice-covered bay near Thule air base, four nuclear weapons broke up, scattering radioactive debris widely. One crew member was killed while others ejected safely.

Both accidents posed difficult public relations challenges for the U.S. government which followed a strict "neither confirm nor deny" policy on its overseas nuclear deployments. Thus, goaded by inquisitive journalists, but complying with Spanish government requests to avoid the nuclear aspect, Air Force press officers went through contortions to acknowledge that "the thing that is not a bomb" had still not been found.[7]

Prepared in 1985 by James Miller, then with the Office of the Historian at the State Department, this report was commissioned by the Department's Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs, which wanted to know if any lessons could be learned from the accidents. According to Colonel Michael Barrett Seaton, a Bureau official who wrote the foreword, overseas U.S. nuclear deployments were a "fact of life," and the risk of accident was always present. Thus, U.S. officials believed that "the degree of damage to U.S. national security from any future nuclear accident or incident would depend in large part on the quality of U.S. Government and host government management of the emergency." In this connection, Seaton found Miller's study helpful because it provided "insight" into the demands that an accident could make on U.S. embassy staffs.

After a FOIA appeal, a State Department panel declassified most of the previously withheld information, as indicated by gray areas on the document. This included substantial portions of the foreword, information on the post-accident cleanup at Palomares, diplomatic negotiations over U.S. nuclear access, and the supporting documents appended to the history.[8] The appeals review panel left two excisions; both relate to the Thule incident (see PDF page 21). One is of a statement made by a U.S. official to a Danish diplomat a few days after the crash; the other concerns the search and clean-up efforts afterwards. The second deletion may relate to a missing piece of one of the H-bombs — what Danish scholar Svend Aage Christensen calls the bomb's "spark plug," the uranium-235 in the weapon's second stage or "secondary." Despite strenuous underwater search efforts, the "spark plug," around the size of a "marshal's baton," was never found. A BBC story suggested that only three of the four bombs were destroyed and that an entire H-bomb may have gone missing, but Christensten's fascinating study for the Danish Institute of International Affairs convincingly argues otherwise.[9]


[1] For an earlier account of the Goldsboro accident, see Chuck Hansen, Swords of Armageddon at pages 274-276 of PDF, For a useful discussion, see "The Full Story Behind the Goldsboro Incident."

[2] Eric Schlosser, Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety (Penguin, 2013), 172-173 (and sources cited on page 527).

[3] For origins of one-point safety concept and early problems, see Schlosser, Command and Contro, 163-164 and 197-198. See also Alex Wellerstein's blog posting, "Accidents and the Bomb," Restricted Data.

[4] Schlosser, Command and Control, 245-246.

[5] See second page of image. McNamara is quoted by Schlosser at 301, but see also, Wellerstein, "The Final Switch: Goldsboro, 1961," Thanks to Alex Wellerstein for advice on interpreting of the Sandia report.

[6] For useful background on SAC airborne alert and the Palomares and Thule accidents, see Scott Sagan, The Limits of Safety: Organizations, Accidents, and Nuclear Weapons (Princeton, 1993), 156-198. The reason an accident took place at Thule was that SAC had a standing arrangement to fly a B-52 every hour of the day over the ballistic missile early warning station at Thule. In case the station went off-line because of an attack, the bomber could warn headquarters what had happened.

[7] See endnote 17 at pages 21-22.

[8] Apparently, the State Department could not find some of the documents because several items described as appendices in the endnotes do not show up in the attached material.

[9] Svend Aage Christensen, The Marshal's Baton: There Is No bomb, There Was No bomb, They Were Not Looking For A Bomb, (Copenhagen, DIIS, 2009).






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After leaving The Washington Post in 1977, Carl Bernstein spent six months looking at the relationship of the CIA and the press during the Cold War years. His 25,000-word cover story, published in Rolling Stone on October 20, 1977, is reprinted below.




How Americas Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up


In 1953, Joseph Alsop, then one of America’s leading syndicated columnists, went to the Philippines to cover an election. He did not go because he was asked to do so by his syndicate. He did not go because he was asked to do so by the newspapers that printed his column. He went at the request of the CIA.

Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty‑five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters. Some of these journalists’ relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services—from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go‑betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without‑portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring‑do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full‑time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.


To understand the role of most journalist‑operatives, it is necessary to dismiss some myths about undercover work for American intelligence services. Few American agents are “spies” in the popularly accepted sense of the term. “Spying” — the acquisition of secrets from a foreign government—is almost always done by foreign nationals who have been recruited by the CIA and are under CIA control in their own countries. Thus the primary role of an American working undercover abroad is often to aid in the recruitment and “handling” of foreign nationals who are channels of secret information reaching American intelligence.

Many journalists were used by the CIA to assist in this process and they had the reputation of being among the best in the business. The peculiar nature of the job of the foreign correspondent is ideal for such work: he is accorded unusual access by his host country, permitted to travel in areas often off‑limits to other Americans, spends much of his time cultivating sources in governments, academic institutions, the military establishment and the scientific communities. He has the opportunity to form long‑term personal relationships with sources and—perhaps more than any other category of American operative—is in a position to make correct judgments about the susceptibility and availability of foreign nationals for recruitment as spies.

“After a foreigner is recruited, a case officer often has to stay in the background,” explained a CIA official. “So you use a journalist to carry messages to and from both parties”

Journalists in the field generally took their assignments in the same manner as any other undercover operative. If, for instance, a journalist was based in Austria, he ordinarily would be under the general direction of the Vienna station chief and report to a case officer. Some, particularly roving correspondents or U.S.‑based reporters who made frequent trips abroad, reported directly to CIA officials in Langley, Virginia.

The tasks they performed sometimes consisted of little more than serving as “eyes and ears” for the CIA; reporting on what they had seen or overheard in an Eastern European factory, at a diplomatic reception in Bonn, on the perimeter of a military base in Portugal. On other occasions, their assignments were more complex: planting subtly concocted pieces of misinformation; hosting parties or receptions designed to bring together American agents and foreign spies; serving up “black” propaganda to leading foreign journalists at lunch or dinner; providing their hotel rooms or bureau offices as “drops” for highly sensitive information moving to and from foreign agents; conveying instructions and dollars to CIA controlled members of foreign governments.

Often the CIA’s relationship with a journalist might begin informally with a lunch, a drink, a casual exchange of information. An Agency official might then offer a favor—for example, a trip to a country difficult to reach; in return, he would seek nothing more than the opportunity to debrief the reporter afterward. A few more lunches, a few more favors, and only then might there be a mention of a formal arrangement — “That came later,” said a CIA official, “after you had the journalist on a string.”

Another official described a typical example of the way accredited journalists (either paid or unpaid by the CIA) might be used by the Agency: “In return for our giving them information, we’d ask them to do things that fit their roles as journalists but that they wouldn’t have thought of unless we put it in their minds. For instance, a reporter in Vienna would say to our man, ‘I met an interesting second secretary at the Czech Embassy.’ We’d say, ‘Can you get to know him? And after you get to know him, can you assess him? And then, can you put him in touch with us—would you mind us using your apartment?”‘

Formal recruitment of reporters was generally handled at high levels—after the journalist had undergone a thorough background check. The actual approach might even be made by a deputy director or division chief. On some occasions, no discussion would he entered into until the journalist had signed a pledge of secrecy.

“The secrecy agreement was the sort of ritual that got you into the tabernacle,” said a former assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence. “After that you had to play by the rules.” David Attlee Phillips, former Western Hemisphere chief of clandestine services and a former journalist himself, estimated in an interview that at least 200 journalists signed secrecy agreements or employment contracts with the Agency in the past twenty‑five years. Phillips, who owned a small English‑language newspaper in Santiago, Chile, when he was recruited by the CIA in 1950, described the approach: “Somebody from the Agency says, ‘I want you to help me. 1 know you are a true‑blue American, but I want you to sign a piece of paper before I tell you what it’s about.’ I didn’t hesitate to sign, and a lot of newsmen didn’t hesitate over the next twenty years.”

“One of the things we always had going for us in terms of enticing reporters,” observed a CIA official who coordinated some of the arrangements with journalists, “was that we could make them look better with their home offices. A foreign correspondent with ties to the Company [the CIA] stood a much better chance than his competitors of getting the good stories.”

Within the CIA, journalist‑operatives were accorded elite status, a consequence of the common experience journalists shared with high‑level CIA officials. Many had gone to the same schools as their CIA handlers, moved in the same circles, shared fashionably liberal, anti‑Communist political values, and were part of the same “old boy” network that constituted something of an establishment elite in the media, politics and academia of postwar America. The most valued of these lent themselves for reasons of national service, not money.

The Agency’s use of journalists in undercover operations has been most extensive in Western Europe (“That was the big focus, where the threat was,” said one CIA official), Latin America and the Far East. In the 1950s and 1960s journalists were used as intermediaries—spotting, paying, passing instructions—to members of the Christian Democratic party in Italy and the Social Democrats in Germany, both of which covertly received millions of dollars from the CIA. During those years “we had journalists all over Berlin and Vienna just to keep track of who the hell was coming in from the East and what they were up to,” explained a CIA official.

In the Sixties, reporters were used extensively in the CIA offensive against Salvador Allende in Chile; they provided funds to Allende’s opponents and wrote anti‑Allende propaganda for CIA proprietary publications that were distributed in Chile. (CIA officials insist that they make no attempt to influence the content of American newspapers, but some fallout is inevitable: during the Chilean offensive, CIA‑generated black propaganda transmitted on the wire service out of Santiago often turned up in American publications.)

According to CIA officials, the Agency has been particularly sparing in its use of journalist agents in Eastern Europe on grounds that exposure might result in diplomatic sanctions against the United States or in permanent prohibitions against American correspondents serving in some countries. The same officials claim that their use of journalists in the Soviet Union has been even more limited, but they remain extremely guarded in discussing the subject. They are insistent, however, in maintaining that the Moscow correspondents of major news organizations have not been “tasked” or controlled by the Agency.

The Soviets, according to CIA officials, have consistently raised false charges of CIA affiliation against individual American reporters as part of a continuing diplomatic game that often follows the ups and downs of Soviet‑American relations. The latest such charge by the Russians—against Christopher Wren of the New York Times and Alfred Friendly Jr., formerly of Newsweek, has no basis in fact, they insist.

CIA officials acknowledge, however, that such charges will persist as long as the CIA continues to use journalistic cover and maintain covert affiliations with individuals in the profession. But even an absolute prohibition against Agency use of journalists would not free reporters from suspicion, according to many Agency officials. “Look at the Peace Corps,” said one source. “We have had no affiliation there and they [foreign governments] still throw them out”





The history of the CIA’s involvement with the American press continues to be shrouded by an official policy of obfuscation and deception for the following principal reasons:

■ The use of journalists has been among the most productive means of intelligence‑gathering employed by the CIA. Although the Agency has cut back sharply on the use of reporters since 1973 primarily as a result of pressure from the media), some journalist‑operatives are still posted abroad.

■ Further investigation into the matter, CIA officials say, would inevitably reveal a series of embarrassing relationships in the 1950s and 1960s with some of the most powerful organizations and individuals in American journalism.

Among the executives who lent their cooperation to the Agency were Williarn Paley of the Columbia Broadcasting System, Henry Luce of Tirne Inc., Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times, Barry Bingham Sr. of the LouisviIle Courier‑Journal, and James Copley of the Copley News Service. Other organizations which cooperated with the CIA include the American Broadcasting Company, the National Broadcasting Company, the Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps‑Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald‑Tribune.

By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with the New York Times, CBS and Time Inc.

The CIA’s use of the American news media has been much more extensive than Agency officials have acknowledged publicly or in closed sessions with members of Congress. The general outlines of what happened are indisputable; the specifics are harder to come by. CIA sources hint that a particular journalist was trafficking all over Eastern Europe for the Agency; the journalist says no, he just had lunch with the station chief. CIA sources say flatly that a well‑known ABC correspondent worked for the Agency through 1973; they refuse to identify him. A high‑level CIA official with a prodigious memory says that the New York Times provided cover for about ten CIA operatives between 1950 and 1966; he does not know who they were, or who in the newspaper’s management made the arrangements.

The Agency’s special relationships with the so‑called “majors” in publishing and broadcasting enabled the CIA to post some of its most valuable operatives abroad without exposure for more than two decades. In most instances, Agency files show, officials at the highest levels of the CIA usually director or deputy director) dealt personally with a single designated individual in the top management of the cooperating news organization. The aid furnished often took two forms: providing jobs and credentials “journalistic cover” in Agency parlance) for CIA operatives about to be posted in foreign capitals; and lending the Agency the undercover services of reporters already on staff, including some of the best‑known correspondents in the business.

In the field, journalists were used to help recruit and handle foreigners as agents; to acquire and evaluate information, and to plant false information with officials of foreign governments. Many signed secrecy agreements, pledging never to divulge anything about their dealings with the Agency; some signed employment contracts., some were assigned case officers and treated with. unusual deference. Others had less structured relationships with the Agency, even though they performed similar tasks: they were briefed by CIA personnel before trips abroad, debriefed afterward, and used as intermediaries with foreign agents. Appropriately, the CIA uses the term “reporting” to describe much of what cooperating journalists did for the Agency. “We would ask them, ‘Will you do us a favor?’”.said a senior CIA official. “‘We understand you’re going to be in Yugoslavia. Have they paved all the streets? Where did you see planes? Were there any signs of military presence? How many Soviets did you see? If you happen to meet a Soviet, get his name and spell it right .... Can you set up a meeting for is? Or relay a message?’” Many CIA officials regarded these helpful journalists as operatives; the journalists tended to see themselves as trusted friends of the Agency who performed occasional favors—usually without pay—in the national interest.

“I’m proud they asked me and proud to have done it,” said Joseph Alsop who, like his late brother, columnist Stewart Alsop, undertook clandestine tasks for the Agency. “The notion that a newspaperman doesn’t have a duty to his country is perfect balls.”

From the Agency’s perspective, there is nothing untoward in such relationships, and any ethical questions are a matter for the journalistic profession to resolve, not the intelligence community. As Stuart Loory, former Los Angeles Times correspondent, has written in the Columbia Journalism Review: ‘If even one American overseas carrying a press card is a paid informer for the CIA, then all Americans with those credentials are suspect .... If the crisis of confidence faced by the news business—along with the government—is to be overcome, journalists must be willing to focus on themselves the same spotlight they so relentlessly train on others!’ But as Loory also noted: “When it was reported... that newsmen themselves were on the payroll of the CIA, the story caused a brief stir, and then was dropped.”

During the 1976 investigation of the CIA by the Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by Senator Frank Church, the dimensions of the Agency’s involvement with the press became apparent to several members of the panel, as well as to two or three investigators on the staff. But top officials of the CIA, including former directors William Colby and George Bush, persuaded the committee to restrict its inquiry into the matter and to deliberately misrepresent the actual scope of the activities in its final report. The multivolurne report contains nine pages in which the use of journalists is discussed in deliberately vague and sometimes misleading terms. It makes no mention of the actual number of journalists who undertook covert tasks for the CIA. Nor does it adequately describe the role played by newspaper and broadcast executives in cooperating with the Agency.

THE AGENCY’S DEALINGS WITH THE PRESS BEGAN during the earliest stages of the Cold War. Allen Dulles, who became director of the CIA in 1953, sought to establish a recruiting‑and‑cover capability within America’s most prestigious journalistic institutions. By operating under the guise of accredited news correspondents, Dulles believed, CIA operatives abroad would be accorded a degree of access and freedom of movement unobtainable under almost any other type of cover.

American publishers, like so many other corporate and institutional leaders at the time, were willing to commit the resources of their companies to the struggle against “global Communism.” Accordingly, the traditional line separating the American press corps and government was often indistinguishable: rarely was a news agency used to provide cover for CIA operatives abroad without the knowledge and consent of either its principal owner, publisher or senior editor. Thus, contrary to the notion that the CIA insidiously infiltrated the journalistic community, there is ample evidence that America’s leading publishers and news executives allowed themselves and their organizations to become handmaidens to the intelligence services. “Let’s not pick on some poor reporters, for God’s sake,” William Colby exclaimed at one point to the Church committee’s investigators. “Let’s go to the managements. They were witting.” In all, about twenty‑five news organizations including those listed at the beginning of this article) provided cover for the Agency.

In addition to cover capability, Dulles initiated a “debriefing” procedure under which American correspondents returning from abroad routinely emptied their notebooks and offered their impressions to Agency personnel. Such arrangements, continued by Dulles’ successors, to the present day, were made with literally dozens of news organizations. In the 1950s, it was not uncommon for returning reporters to be met at the ship by CIA officers. “There would be these guys from the CIA flashing ID cards and looking like they belonged at the Yale Club,” said Hugh Morrow, a former Saturday Evening Post correspondent who is now press secretary to former vice‑president Nelson Rockefeller. “It got to be so routine that you felt a little miffed if you weren’t asked.”

CIA officials almost always refuse to divulge the names of journalists who have cooperated with the Agency. They say it would be unfair to judge these individuals in a context different from the one that spawned the relationships in the first place. “There was a time when it wasn’t considered a crime to serve your government,” said one high‑level CIA official who makes no secret of his bitterness. “This all has to be considered in the context of the morality of the times, rather than against latter‑day standards—and hypocritical standards at that.”

Many journalists who covered World War II were close to people in the Office of Strategic Services, the wartime predecessor of the CIA; more important, they were all on the same side. When the war ended and many OSS officials went into the CIA, it was only natural that these relationships would continue. Meanwhile, the first postwar generation of journalists entered the profession; they shared the same political and professional values as their mentors. “You had a gang of people who worked together during World War II and never got over it,” said one Agency official. “They were genuinely motivated and highly susceptible to intrigue and being on the inside. Then in the Fifties and Sixties there was a national consensus about a national threat. The Vietnam War tore everything to pieces—shredded the consensus and threw it in the air.” Another Agency official observed: “Many journalists didn’t give a second thought to associating with the Agency. But there was a point when the ethical issues which most people had submerged finally surfaced. Today, a lot of these guys vehemently deny that they had any relationship with the Agency.”

From the outset, the use of journalists was among the CIA’s most sensitive undertakings, with full knowledge restricted to the Director of Central Intelligence and a few of his chosen deputies. Dulles and his successors were fearful of what would happen if a journalist‑operative’s cover was blown, or if details of the Agency’s dealings with the press otherwise became public. As a result, contacts with the heads of news organizations were normally initiated by Dulles and succeeding Directors of Central Intelligence; by the deputy directors and division chiefs in charge of covert operations—Frank Wisner, Cord Meyer Jr., Richard Bissell, Desmond FitzGerald, Tracy Barnes, Thomas Karamessines and Richard Helms himself a former UPI correspondent); and, occasionally, by others in the CIA hierarchy known to have an unusually close social relationship with a particular publisher or broadcast executive.1

James Angleton, who was recently removed as the Agency’s head of counterintelligence operations, ran a completely independent group of journalist‑operatives who performed sensitive and frequently dangerous assignments; little is known about this group for the simple reason that Angleton deliberately kept only the vaguest of files.

The CIA even ran a formal training program in the 1950s to teach its agents to be journalists. Intelligence officers were “taught to make noises like reporters,” explained a high CIA official, and were then placed in major news organizations with help from management. “These were the guys who went through the ranks and were told ‘You’re going to he a journalist,’” the CIA official said. Relatively few of the 400‑some relationships described in Agency files followed that pattern, however; most involved persons who were already bona fide journalists when they began undertaking tasks for the Agency.

The Agency’s relationships with journalists, as described in CIA files, include the following general categories:

■ Legitimate, accredited staff members of news organizations—usually reporters. Some were paid; some worked for the Agency on a purely voluntary basis. This group includes many of the best‑known journalists who carried out tasks for the CIA. The files show that the salaries paid to reporters by newspaper and broadcast networks were sometimes supplemented by nominal payments from the CIA, either in the form of retainers, travel expenses or outlays for specific services performed. Almost all the payments were made in cash. The accredited category also includes photographers, administrative personnel of foreign news bureaus and members of broadcast technical crews.)

Two of the Agency’s most valuable personal relationships in the 1960s, according to CIA officials, were with reporters who covered Latin America—Jerry O’Leary of the Washington Star and Hal Hendrix of the Miami News, a Pulitzer Prize winner who became a high official of the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation. Hendrix was extremely helpful to the Agency in providing information about individuals in Miami’s Cuban exile community. O’Leary was considered a valued asset in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Agency files contain lengthy reports of both men’s activities on behalf of the CIA.

O’Leary maintains that his dealings were limited to the normal give‑and‑take that goes on between reporters abroad and their sources. CIA officials dispute the contention: “There’s no question Jerry reported for us,” said one. “Jerry did assessing and spotting [of prospective agents] but he was better as a reporter for us.” Referring to O’Leary’s denials, the official added: “I don’t know what in the world he’s worried about unless he’s wearing that mantle of integrity the Senate put on you journalists.”

O’Leary attributes the difference of opinion to semantics. “I might call them up and say something like, ‘Papa Doc has the clap, did you know that?’ and they’d put it in the file. I don’t consider that reporting for them.... it’s useful to be friendly to them and, generally, I felt friendly to them. But I think they were more helpful to me than I was to them.” O’Leary took particular exception to being described in the same context as Hendrix. “Hal was really doing work for them,” said O’Leary. “I’m still with the Star. He ended up at ITT.” Hendrix could not be reached for comment. According to Agency officials, neither Hendrix nor O’Leary was paid by the CIA.

■ Stringers2 and freelancers. Most were payrolled by the Agency under standard contractual terms. Their journalistic credentials were often supplied by cooperating news organizations. some filed news stories; others reported only for the CIA. On some occasions, news organizations were not informed by the CIA that their stringers were also working for the Agency.

■ Employees of so‑called CIA “proprietaries.” During the past twenty‑five years, the Agency has secretly bankrolled numerous foreign press services, periodicals and newspapers—both English and foreign language—which provided excellent cover for CIA operatives. One such publication was the Rome Daily American, forty percent of which was owned by the CIA until the 1970s. The Daily American went out of business this year,

■ Editors, publishers and broadcast network executives. The CIAs relationship with most news executives differed fundamentally from those with working reporters and stringers, who were much more subject to direction from the Agency. A few executives—Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times among them—signed secrecy agreements. But such formal understandings were rare: relationships between Agency officials and media executives were usually social—”The P and Q Street axis in Georgetown,” said one source. “You don’t tell Wilharn Paley to sign a piece of paper saying he won’t fink.”

■ Columnists and commentators. There are perhaps a dozen well known columnists and broadcast commentators whose relationships with the CIA go far beyond those normally maintained between reporters and their sources. They are referred to at the Agency as “known assets” and can be counted on to perform a variety of undercover tasks; they are considered receptive to the Agency’s point of view on various subjects. Three of the most widely read columnists who maintained such ties with the Agency are C.L. Sulzberger of the New York Times, Joseph Alsop, and the late Stewart Alsop, whose column appeared in the New York Herald‑Tribune, the Saturday Evening Post and Newsweek. CIA files contain reports of specific tasks all three undertook. Sulzberger is still regarded as an active asset by the Agency. According to a senior CIA official, “Young Cy Sulzberger had some uses.... He signed a secrecy agreement because we gave him classified information.... There was sharing, give and take. We’d say, ‘Wed like to know this; if we tell you this will it help you get access to so‑and‑so?’ Because of his access in Europe he had an Open Sesame. We’d ask him to just report: ‘What did so‑and‑so say, what did he look like, is he healthy?’ He was very eager, he loved to cooperate.” On one occasion, according to several CIA officials, Sulzberger was given a briefing paper by the Agency which ran almost verbatim under the columnist’s byline in the Times. “Cycame out and said, ‘I’m thinking of doing a piece, can you give me some background?’” a CIA officer said. “We gave it to Cy as a background piece and Cy gave it to the printers and put his name on it.” Sulzberger denies that any incident occurred. “A lot of baloney,” he said.

Sulzberger claims that he was never formally “tasked” by the Agency and that he “would never get caught near the spook business. My relations were totally informal—I had a goodmany friends,” he said. “I’m sure they consider me an asset. They can ask me questions. They find out you’re going to Slobovia and they say, ‘Can we talk to you when you get back?’ ... Or they’ll want to know if the head of the Ruritanian government is suffering from psoriasis. But I never took an assignment from one of those guys.... I’ve known Wisner well, and Helms and even McCone [former CIA director John McCone] I used to play golf with. But they’d have had to he awfully subtle to have used me.

Sulzberger says he was asked to sign the secrecy agreement in the 1950s. “A guy came around and said, ‘You are a responsible newsman and we need you to sign this if we are going to show you anything classified.’ I said I didn’t want to get entangled and told them, ‘Go to my uncle [Arthur Hays Sulzberger, then publisher of the New York Times] and if he says to sign it I will.’” His uncle subsequently signed such an agreement, Sulzberger said, and he thinks he did too, though he is unsure. “I don’t know, twenty‑some years is a long time.” He described the whole question as “a bubble in a bathtub.”

Stewart Alsop’s relationship with the Agency was much more extensive than Sulzberger’s. One official who served at the highest levels in the CIA said flatly: “Stew Alsop was a CIA agent.” An equally senior official refused to define Alsop’s relationship with the Agency except to say it was a formal one. Other sources said that Alsop was particularly helpful to the Agency in discussions with, officials of foreign governments—asking questions to which the CIA was seeking answers, planting misinformation advantageous to American policy, assessing opportunities for CIA recruitment of well‑placed foreigners.

“Absolute nonsense,” said Joseph Alsop of the notion that his brother was a CIA agent. “I was closer to the Agency than Stew was, though Stew was very close. I dare say he did perform some tasks—he just did the correct thing as an American.... The Founding Fathers [of the CIA] were close personal friends of ours. Dick Bissell [former CIA deputy director] was my oldest friend, from childhood. It was a social thing, my dear fellow. I never received a dollar, I never signed a secrecy agreement. I didn’t have to.... I’ve done things for them when I thought they were the right thing to do. I call it doing my duty as a citizen.

Alsop is willing to discuss on the record only two of the tasks he undertook: a visit to Laos in 1952 at the behest of Frank Wisner, who felt other American reporters were using anti‑American sources about uprisings there; and a visit to the Phillipines in 1953 when the CIA thought his presence there might affect the outcome of an election. “Des FitzGerald urged me to go,” Alsop recalled. “It would be less likely that the election could be stolen [by the opponents of Ramon Magsaysay] if the eyes of the world were on them. I stayed with the ambassador and wrote about what happened.”

Alsop maintains that he was never manipulated by the Agency. “You can’t get entangled so they have leverage on you,” he said. “But what I wrote was true. My view was to get the facts. If someone in the Agency was wrong, I stopped talking to them—they’d given me phony goods.” On one occasion, Alsop said, Richard Helms authorized the head of the Agency’s analytical branch to provide Alsop with information on Soviet military presence along the Chinese border. “The analytical side of the Agency had been dead wrong about the war in Vietnam—they thought it couldn’t be won,” said Alsop. “And they were wrong on the Soviet buildup. I stopped talking to them.” Today, he says, “People in our business would be outraged at the kinds of suggestions that were made to me. They shouldn’t be. The CIA did not open itself at all to people it did not trust. Stew and I were trusted, and I’m proud of it.”

MURKY DETAILS OF CIA RELATIONSHIPS WITH INDIVIDUALS and news organizations began trickling out in 1973 when it was first disclosed that the CIA had, on occasion, employed journalists. Those reports, combined with new information, serve as casebook studies of the Agency’s use of journalists for intelligence purposes. They include:

■ The New York Times. The Agency’s relationship with the Times was by far its most valuable among newspapers, according to CIA officials. From 1950 to 1966, about ten CIA employees were provided Times cover under arrangements approved by the newspaper’s late publisher, Arthur Hays Sulzberger. The cover arrangements were part of a general Times policy—set by Sulzberger—to provide assistance to the CIA whenever possible.

Sulzberger was especially close to Allen Dulles. “At that level of contact it was the mighty talking to the mighty,” said a high‑level CIA official who was present at some of the discussions. “There was an agreement in principle that, yes indeed, we would help each other. The question of cover came up on several occasions. It was agreed that the actual arrangements would be handled by subordinates.... The mighty didn’t want to know the specifics; they wanted plausible deniability.

A senior CIA official who reviewed a portion of the Agency’s files on journalists for two hours onSeptember 15th, 1977, said he found documentation of five instances in which the Times had provided cover for CIA employees between 1954 and 1962. In each instance he said, the arrangements were handled by executives of the Times; the documents all contained standard Agency language “showing that this had been checked out at higher levels of the New York Times,” said the official. The documents did not mention Sulzberger’s name, however—only those of subordinates whom the official refused to identify.

The CIA employees who received Times credentials posed as stringers for the paper abroad and worked as members of clerical staffs in the Times’ foreign bureaus. Most were American; two or three were foreigners.

CIA officials cite two reasons why the Agency’s working relationship with the Times was closer and more extensive than with any other paper: the fact that the Times maintained the largest foreign news operation in American daily journalism; and the close personal ties between the men who ran both institutions.

Sulzberger informed a number of reporters and editors of his general policy of cooperation with the Agency. “We were in touch with them—they’d talk to us and some cooperated,” said a CIA official. The cooperation usually involved passing on information and “spotting” prospective agents among foreigners.

Arthur Hays Sulzberger signed a secrecy agreement with the CIA in the 1950s, according to CIA officials—a fact confirmed by his nephew, C.L. Sulzberger. However, there are varying interpretations of the purpose of the agreement: C.L. Sulzberger says it represented nothing more than a pledge not to disclose classified information made available to the publisher. That contention is supported by some Agency officials. Others in the Agency maintain that the agreement represented a pledge never to reveal any of the Times’ dealings with the CIA, especially those involving cover. And there are those who note that, because all cover arrangements are classified, a secrecy agreement would automatically apply to them.

Attempts to find out which individuals in the Times organization made the actual arrangements for providing credentials to CIA personnel have been unsuccessful. In a letter to reporter Stuart Loory in 1974, Turner Cadedge, managing editor of the Times from 1951 to 1964, wrote that approaches by the CIA had been rebuffed by the newspaper. “I knew nothing about any involvement with the CIA... of any of our foreign correspondents on the New York Times. I heard many times of overtures to our men by the CIA, seeking to use their privileges, contacts, immunities and, shall we say, superior intelligence in the sordid business of spying and informing. If any one of them succumbed to the blandishments or cash offers, I was not aware of it. Repeatedly, the CIA and other hush‑hush agencies sought to make arrangements for ‘cooperation’ even with Times management, especially during or soon after World War II, but we always resisted. Our motive was to protect our credibility.”

According to Wayne Phillips, a former Timesreporter, the CIA invoked Arthur Hays Sulzberger’s name when it tried to recruit him as an undercover operative in 1952 while he was studying at Columbia University’s Russian Institute. Phillips said an Agency official told him that the CIA had “a working arrangement” with the publisher in which other reporters abroad had been placed on the Agency’s payroll. Phillips, who remained at the Times until 1961, later obtained CIA documents under the Freedom of Information Act which show that the Agency intended to develop him as a clandestine “asset” for use abroad.

On January 31st, 1976, the Times carried a brief story describing the ClAs attempt to recruit Phillips. It quoted Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, the present publisher, as follows: “I never heard of the Times being approached, either in my capacity as publisher or as the son of the late Mr. Sulzberger.” The Times story, written by John M. Crewdson, also reported that Arthur Hays Sulzberger told an unnamed former correspondent that he might he approached by the CIA after arriving at a new post abroad. Sulzberger told him that he was not “under any obligation to agree,” the story said and that the publisher himself would be “happier” if he refused to cooperate. “But he left it sort of up to me,” the Times quoted its former reporter as saying. “The message was if I really wanted to do that, okay, but he didn’t think it appropriate for a Times correspondent”

C.L. Sulzberger, in a telephone interview, said he had no knowledge of any CIA personnel using Times cover or of reporters for the paper working actively for the Agency. He was the paper’s chief of foreign service from 1944 to 1954 and expressed doubt that his uncle would have approved such arrangements. More typical of the late publisher, said Sulzberger, was a promise made to Allen Dulles’ brother, John Foster, then secretary of state, that no Times staff member would be permitted to accept an invitation to visit the People’s Republic of China without John Foster Dulles’ consent. Such an invitation was extended to the publisher’s nephew in the 1950s; Arthur Sulzberger forbade him to accept it. “It was seventeen years before another Times correspondent was invited,” C.L. Sulzberger recalled.

■ The Columbia Broadcasting System. CBS was unquestionably the CIAs most valuable broadcasting asset. CBS President William Paley and Allen Dulles enjoyed an easy working and social relationship. Over the years, the network provided cover for CIA employees, including at least one well‑known foreign correspondent and several stringers; it supplied outtakes of newsfilm to the CIA3; established a formal channel of communication between the Washington bureau chief and the Agency; gave the Agency access to the CBS newsfilm library; and allowed reports by CBS correspondents to the Washington and New York newsrooms to be routinely monitored by the CIA. Once a year during the 1950s and early 1960s, CBS correspondents joined the CIA hierarchy for private dinners and briefings.

The details of the CBS‑CIA arrangements were worked out by subordinates of both Dulles and Paley. “The head of the company doesn’t want to know the fine points, nor does the director,” said a CIA official. “Both designate aides to work that out. It keeps them above the battle.” Dr. Frank Stanton, for 25 years president of the network, was aware of the general arrangements Paley made with Dulles—including those for cover, according to CIA officials. Stanton, in an interview last year, said he could not recall any cover arrangements.) But Paley’s designated contact for the Agency was Sig Mickelson, president of CBS News between 1954 and 1961. On one occasion, Mickelson has said, he complained to Stanton about having to use a pay telephone to call the CIA, and Stanton suggested he install a private line, bypassing the CBS switchboard, for the purpose. According to Mickelson, he did so. Mickelson is now president of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, both of which were associated with the CIA for many years.

In 1976, CBS News president Richard Salant ordered an in‑house investigation of the network's dealings with the CIA. Some of its findings were first disclosed by Robert Scheer in the Los Angeles Times.) But Salant's report makes no mention of some of his own dealings with the Agency, which continued into the 1970s.

Many details about the CBS‑CIA relationship were found in Mickelson's files by two investigators for Salant. Among the documents they found was a September 13th, 1957, memo to Mickelson fromTed Koop, CBS News bureau chief in Washington from 1948 to 1961. It describes a phone call to Koop from Colonel Stanley Grogan of the CIA: "Grogan phoned to say that Reeves [J. B. Love Reeves, another CIA official] is going to New York to be in charge of the CIA contact office there and will call to see you and some of your confreres. Grogan says normal activities will continue to channel through the Washington office of CBS News." The report to Salant also states: "Further investigation of Mickelson's files reveals some details of the relationship between the CIA and CBS News.... Two key administrators of this relationship were Mickelson and Koop.... The main activity appeared to be the delivery of CBS newsfilm to the CIA.... In addition there is evidence that, during 1964 to 1971, film material, including some outtakes, were supplied by the CBS Newsfilm Library to the CIA through and at the direction of Mr. Koop4.... Notes in Mr. Mickelson's files indicate that the CIA used CBS films for training... All of the above Mickelson activities were handled on a confidential basis without mentioning the words Central Intelligence Agency. The films were sent to individuals at post‑office box numbers and were paid for by individual, nor government, checks. ..." Mickelson also regularly sent the CIA an internal CBS newsletter, according to the report.

Salant's investigation led him to conclude that Frank Kearns, a CBS‑TV reporter from 1958 to 1971, "was a CIA guy who got on the payroll somehow through a CIA contact with somebody at CBS." Kearns and Austin Goodrich, a CBS stringer, were undercover CIA employees, hired under arrangements approved by Paley.

Last year a spokesman for Paley denied a report by former CBS correspondent Daniel Schorr that Mickelson and he had discussed Goodrich's CIA status during a meeting with two Agency representatives in 1954. The spokesman claimed Paley had no knowledge that Goodrich had worked for the CIA. "When I moved into the job I was told by Paley that there was an ongoing relationship with the CIA," Mickelson said in a recent interview. "He introduced me to two agents who he said would keep in touch. We all discussed the Goodrich situation and film arrangements. I assumed this was a normal relationship at the time. This was at the height of the Cold War and I assumed the communications media were cooperating—though the Goodrich matter was compromising.

At the headquarters of CBS News in New York, Paley's cooperation with the CIA is taken for granted by many news executives and reporters, despite tile denials. Paley, 76, was not interviewed by Salant's investigators. "It wouldn't do any good," said one CBS executive. "It is the single subject about which his memory has failed."

Salant discussed his own contacts with the CIA, and the fact he continued many of his predecessor's practices, in an interview with this reporter last year. The contacts, he said, began in February 1961, "when I got a phone call from a CIA man who said he had a working relationship with Sig Mickelson. The man said, 'Your bosses know all about it.'" According to Salant, the CIA representative asked that CBS continue to supply the Agency with unedited newstapes and make its correspondents available for debriefingby Agency officials. Said Salant: "I said no on talking to the reporters, and let them see broadcast tapes, but no outtakes. This went on for a number of years—into the early Seventies."

In 1964 and 1965, Salant served on a super-secret CIA task force which explored methods of beaming American propaganda broadcasts to the People's Republic of China. The other members of the four‑man study team were Zbigniew Brzezinski, then a professor at Columbia University; William Griffith, then professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology., and John Haves, then vice‑president of the Washington Post Company for radio‑TV5. The principal government officials associated with the project were Cord Meyer of the CIA; McGeorge Bundy, then special assistant to the president for national security; Leonard Marks, then director of the USIA; and Bill Moyers, then special assistant to President Lyndon Johnson and now a CBS correspondent.

Salant's involvement in the project began with a call from Leonard Marks, "who told me the White House wanted to form a committee of four people to make a study of U.S. overseas broadcasts behind the Iron Curtain." When Salant arrived in Washington for the first meeting he was told that the project was CIA sponsored. "Its purpose," he said, "was to determine how best to set up shortwave broadcasts into Red China." Accompanied by a CIA officer named Paul Henzie, the committee of four subsequently traveled around the world inspecting facilities run by Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty both CIA‑run operations at the time), the Voice of America and Armed Forces Radio. After more than a year of study, they submitted a report to Moyers recommending that the government establish a broadcast service, run by the Voice of America, to be beamed at the People's Republic of China. Salant has served two tours as head of CBS News, from 1961‑64 and 1966‑present. At the time of the China project he was a CBS corporate executive.)

■ Time and Newsweek magazines. According to CIA and Senate sources, Agency files contain written agreements with former foreign correspondents and stringers for both the weekly news magazines. The same sources refused to say whether the CIA has ended all its associations with individuals who work for the two publications. Allen Dulles often interceded with his good friend, the late Henry Luce, founder of Time and Life magazines, who readily allowed certain members of his staff to work for the Agency and agreed to provide jobs and credentials for other CIA operatives who lacked journalistic experience.

For many years, Luce's personal emissary to the CIA was C.D. Jackson, a Time Inc., vice‑president who was publisher of Life magazine from 1960 until his death in 1964.While a Time executive, Jackson coauthored a CIA‑sponsored study recommending the reorganization of the American intelligence services in the early 1950s. Jackson, whose Time‑Life service was interrupted by a one‑year White House tour as an assistant to President Dwight Eisenhower, approved specific arrangements for providing CIA employees with Time‑Life cover. Some of these arrangements were made with the knowledge of Luce's wife, Clare Boothe. Other arrangements for Time cover, according to CIA officials including those who dealt with Luce), were made with the knowledge of Hedley Donovan, now editor‑in‑chief of Time Inc. Donovan, who took over editorial direction of all Time Inc. publications in 1959, denied in a telephone interview that he knew of any such arrangements. "I was never approached and I'd be amazed if Luce approved such arrangements," Donovan said. "Luce had a very scrupulous regard for the difference between journalism and government."

In the 1950s and early 1960s, Time magazine's foreign correspondents attended CIA "briefing" dinners similar to those the CIA held for CBS. And Luce, according to CIA officials, made it a regular practice to brief Dulles or other high Agency officials when he returned from his frequent trips abroad. Luce and the men who ran his magazines in the 1950s and 1960s encouraged their foreign correspondents to provide help to the CIA, particularly information that might be useful to the Agency for intelligence purposes or recruiting foreigners.

At Newsweek, Agency sources reported, the CIA engaged the services of' several foreign correspondents and stringers under arrangements approved by senior editors at the magazine. Newsweek's stringer in Rome in the mid‑Fifties made little secret of the fact that he worked for the CIA. Malcolm Muir, Newsweek's editor from its founding in 1937 until its sale to the Washington Post Company in 1961, said in a recent interview that his dealings with the CIA were limited to private briefings he gave Allen Dulles after trips abroad and arrangements he approved for regular debriefing of Newsweek correspondents by the Agency. He said that he had never provided cover for CIA operatives, but that others high in the Newsweek organization might have done so without his knowledge.

"I would have thought there might have been stringers who were agents, but I didn't know who they were," said Muir. "I do think in those days the CIA kept pretty close touch with all responsible reporters. Whenever I heard something that I thought might be of interest to Allen Dulles, I'd call him up.... At one point he appointed one of his CIA men to keep in regular contact with our reporters, a chap that I knew but whose name I can't remember. I had a number of friends in Alien Dulles' organization." Muir said that Harry Kern, Newsweek's foreign editor from 1945 until 1956, and Ernest K. Lindley, the magazine's Washington bureau chief during the same period "regularly checked in with various fellows in the CIA."

"To the best of my knowledge." said Kern, "nobody at Newsweek worked for the CIA... The informal relationship was there. Why have anybody sign anything? What we knew we told them [the CIA] and the State Department.... When I went to Washington, I would talk to Foster or Allen Dulles about what was going on. ... We thought it was admirable at the time. We were all on the same side." CIA officials say that Kern's dealings with the Agency were extensive. In 1956, he left Newsweek to run Foreign Reports, a Washington‑based newsletter whose subscribers Kern refuses to identify.

Ernest Lindley, who remained at Newsweek until 1961, said in a recent interview that he regularly consulted with Dulles and other high CIA officials before going abroad and briefed them upon his return. "Allen was very helpful to me and I tried to reciprocate when I could," he said. "I'd give him my impressions of people I'd met overseas. Once or twice he asked me to brief a large group of intelligence people; when I came back from the Asian‑African conference in 1955, for example; they mainly wanted to know about various people."

As Washington bureau chief, Lindley said he learned from Malcolm Muir that the magazine's stringer in southeastern Europe was a CIA contract employee—given credentials under arrangements worked out with the management. "I remember it came up—whether it was a good idea to keep this person from the Agency; eventually it was decided to discontinue the association," Lindley said.

When Newsweek waspurchased by the Washington Post Company, publisher Philip L. Graham was informed by Agency officials that the CIA occasionally used the magazine for cover purposes, according to CIA sources. "It was widely known that Phil Graham was somebody you could get help from," said a former deputy director of the Agency. "Frank Wisner dealt with him." Wisner, deputy director of the CIA from 1950 until shortly before his suicide in 1965, was the Agency's premier orchestrator of "black" operations, including many in which journalists were involved. Wisner liked to boast of his "mighty Wurlitzer," a wondrous propaganda instrument he built, and played, with help from the press.) Phil Graham was probably Wisner's closest friend. But Graharn, who committed suicide in 1963, apparently knew little of the specifics of any cover arrangements with Newsweek, CIA sources said.

In 1965‑66, an accredited Newsweek stringer in the Far East was in fact a CIA contract employee earning an annual salary of $10,000 from the Agency, according to Robert T. Wood, then a CIA officer in the Hong Kong station. Some, Newsweek correspondents and stringers continued to maintain covert ties with the Agency into the 1970s, CIA sources said.

Information about Agency dealings with the Washington Post newspaper is extremely sketchy. According to CIA officials, some Post stringers have been CIA employees, but these officials say they do not know if anyone in the Post management was aware of the arrangements.

All editors‑in‑chief and managing editors of the Post since 1950 say they knew of no formal Agency relationship with either stringers or members of the Post staff. “If anything was done it was done by Phil without our knowledge,” said one. Agency officials, meanwhile, make no claim that Post staff members have had covert affiliations with the Agency while working for the paper.6

Katharine Graham, Philip Graham’s widow and the current publisher of the Post, says she has never been informed of any CIA relationships with either Post or Newsweek personnel. In November of 1973, Mrs. Graham called William Colby and asked if any Post stringers or staff members were associated with the CIA. Colby assured her that no staff members were employed by the Agency but refused to discuss the question of stringers.

■ The Louisville Courier‑Journal. From December 1964 until March 1965, a CIA undercover operative named Robert H. Campbell worked on the Courier‑Journal. According to high‑level CIA sources, Campbell was hired by the paper under arrangements the Agency made with Norman E. Isaacs, then executive editor of the Courier‑Journal. Barry Bingham Sr., then publisher of the paper, also had knowledge of the arrangements, the sources said. Both Isaacs and Bingham have denied knowing that Campbell was an intelligence agent when he was hired.

The complex saga of Campbell’s hiring was first revealed in a Courier‑Journal story written by James R Herzog on March 27th, 1976, during the Senate committee’s investigation, Herzog’s account began: “When 28‑year‑old Robert H. Campbell was hired as a Courier‑Journal reporter in December 1964, he couldn’t type and knew little about news writing.” The account then quoted the paper’s former managing editor as saying that Isaacs told him that Campbell was hired as a result of a CIA request: “Norman said, when he was in Washington [in 1964], he had been called to lunch with some friend of his who was with the CIA [and that] he wanted to send this young fellow down to get him a little knowledge of newspapering.” All aspects of Campbell’s hiring were highly unusual. No effort had been made to check his credentials, and his employment records contained the following two notations: “Isaacs has files of correspondence and investigation of this man”; and, “Hired for temporary work—no reference checks completed or needed.”

The level of Campbell’s journalistic abilities apparently remained consistent during his stint at the paper, “The stuff that Campbell turned in was almost unreadable,” said a former assistant city editor. One of Campbell’s major reportorial projects was a feature about wooden Indians. It was never published. During his tenure at the paper, Campbell frequented a bar a few steps from the office where, on occasion, he reportedly confided to fellow drinkers that he was a CIA employee.

According to CIA sources, Campbell’s tour at the Courier‑Journal was arranged to provide him with a record of journalistic experience that would enhance the plausibility of future reportorial cover and teach him something about the newspaper business. The Courier‑Journal’s investigation also turned up the fact that before coming to Louisville he had worked briefly for the Hornell, New York, Evening Tribune, published by Freedom News, Inc. CIA sources said the Agency had made arrangements with that paper’s management to employ Campbell.7

At the Courier‑Journal, Campbell was hired under arrangements made with Isaacs and approved by Bingham, said CIA and Senate sources. “We paid the Courier‑Journal so they could pay his salary,” said an Agency official who was involved in the transaction. Responding by letter to these assertions, Isaacs, who left Louisville to become president and publisher of the Wilmington Delaware) News & Journal, said: “All I can do is repeat the simple truth—that never, under any circumstances, or at any time, have I ever knowingly hired a government agent. I’ve also tried to dredge my memory, but Campbell’s hiring meant so little to me that nothing emerges.... None of this is to say that I couldn’t have been ‘had.’”.Barry Bingham Sr., said last year in a telephone interview that he had no specific memory of Campbell’s hiring and denied that he knew of any arrangements between the newspaper’s management and the CIA. However, CIA officials said that the Courier‑Journal, through contacts with Bingham, provided other unspecified assistance to the Agency in the 1950s and 1960s. The Courier‑Journal’s detailed, front‑page account of Campbell’s hiring was initiated by Barry Bingham Jr., who succeeded his father as editor and publisher of the paper in 1971. The article is the only major piece of self‑investigation by a newspaper that has appeared on this subject.8

■ The American Broadcasting Company and the National Broadcasting Company. According to CIA officials, ABC continued to provide cover for some CIA operatives through the 1960s. One was Sam Jaffe who CIA officials said performed clandestine tasks for the Agency. Jaffe has acknowledged only providing the CIA with information. In addition, another well‑known network correspondent performed covert tasks for the Agency, said CIA sources. At the time of the Senate bearings, Agency officials serving at the highest levels refused to say whether the CIA was still maintaining active relationships with members of the ABC‑News organization. All cover arrangements were made with the knowledge off ABC executives, the sources said.

These same sources professed to know few specifies about the Agency’s relationships with NBC, except that several foreign correspondents of the network undertook some assignments for the Agency in the 1950s and 1960s. “It was a thing people did then,” said Richard Wald, president of NBC News since 1973. “I wouldn’t be surprised if people here—including some of the correspondents in those days—had connections with the Agency.”

■ The Copley Press, and its subsidiary, the Copley News Service. This relationship, first disclosed publicly by reporters Joe Trento and Dave Roman in Penthouse magazine, is said by CIA officials to have been among the Agency’s most productive in terms of getting “outside” cover for its employees. Copley owns nine newspapers in California and Illinois—among them the San Diego Union and Evening Tribune. The Trento‑Roman account, which was financed by a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, asserted that at least twenty‑three Copley News Service employees performed work for the CIA. “The Agency’s involvement with the Copley organization is so extensive that it’s almost impossible to sort out,” said a CIA official who was asked about the relationship late in 1976. Other Agency officials said then that James S. Copley, the chain’s owner until his death in 1973, personally made most of the cover arrangements with the CIA.

According to Trento and Roman, Copley personally volunteered his news service to then‑president Eisenhower to act as “the eyes and ears” against “the Communist threat in Latin and Central America” for “our intelligence services.” James Copley was also the guiding hand behind the Inter‑American Press Association, a CIA‑funded organization with heavy membership among right‑wing Latin American newspaper editors.

■ Other major news organizations. According to Agency officials, CIA files document additional cover arrangements with the following news‑gathering organizations, among others: the New York Herald‑Tribune, the Saturday‑Evening Post, Scripps‑Howard Newspapers, Hearst Newspapers Seymour K. Freidin, Hearst’s current London bureau chief and a former Herald‑Tribune editor and correspondent, has been identified as a CIA operative by Agency sources), Associated Press,9 United Press International, the Mutual Broadcasting System, Reuters and the Miami Herald. Cover arrangements with the Herald, according to CIA officials, were unusual in that they were made “on the ground by the CIA station in Miami, not from CIA headquarters.

“And that’s just a small part of the list,” in the words of one official who served in the CIA hierarchy. Like many sources, this official said that the only way to end the uncertainties about aid furnished the Agency by journalists is to disclose the contents of the CIA files—a course opposed by almost all of the thirty‑five present and former CIA officials interviewed over the course of a year.


THE CIA’S USE OF JOURNALISTS CONTINUED VIRTUALLY unabated until 1973 when, in response to public disclosure that the Agency had secretly employed American reporters, William Colby began scaling down the program. In his public statements, Colby conveyed the impression that the use of journalists had been minimal and of limited importance to the Agency.

He then initiated a series of moves intended to convince the press, Congress and the public that the CIA had gotten out of the news business. But according to Agency officials, Colby had in fact thrown a protective net around his valuable intelligence in the journalistic community. He ordered his deputies to maintain Agency ties with its best journalist contacts while severing formal relationships with many regarded as inactive, relatively unproductive or only marginally important. In reviewing Agency files to comply with Colby’s directive, officials found that many journalists had not performed useful functions for the CIA in years. Such relationships, perhaps as many as a hundred, were terminated between 1973 and 1976.

Meanwhile, important CIA operatives who had been placed on the staffs of some major newspaper and broadcast outlets were told to resign and become stringers or freelancers, thus enabling Colby to assure concerned editors that members of their staffs were not CIA employees. Colby also feared that some valuable stringer‑operatives might find their covers blown if scrutiny of the Agency’s ties with journalists continued. Some of these individuals were reassigned to jobs on so‑called proprietary publications—foreign periodicals and broadcast outlets secretly funded and staffed by the CIA. Other journalists who had signed formal contracts with the CIA—making them employees of the Agency—were released from their contracts, and asked to continue working under less formal arrangements.

In November 1973, after many such shifts had been made, Colby told reporters and editors from the New York Times and the Washington Star that the Agency had “some three dozen” American newsmen “on the CIA payroll,” including five who worked for “general‑circulation news organizations.” Yet even while the Senate Intelligence Committee was holding its hearings in 1976, according to high‑level CIA sources, the CIA continued to maintain ties with seventy‑five to ninety journalists of every description—executives, reporters, stringers, photographers, columnists, bureau clerks and members of broadcast technical crews. More than half of these had been moved off CIA contracts and payrolls but they were still bound by other secret agreements with the Agency. According to an unpublished report by the House Select Committee on Intelligence, chaired by Representative Otis Pike, at least fifteen news organizations were still providing cover for CIA operatives as of 1976.

Colby, who built a reputation as one of the most skilled undercover tacticians in the CIA’s history, had himself run journalists in clandestine operations before becoming director in 1973. But even he was said by his closest associates to have been disturbed at how extensively and, in his view, indiscriminately, the Agency continued to use journalists at the time he took over. “Too prominent,” the director frequently said of some of the individuals and news organizations then working with the CIA. Others in the Agency refer to their best‑known journalistic assets as “brand names.”)

“Colby’s concern was that he might lose the resource altogether unless we became a little more careful about who we used and how we got them,” explained one of the former director’s deputies. The thrust of Colby’s subsequent actions was to move the Agency’s affiliations away from the so‑called “majors” and to concentrate them instead in smaller newspaper chains, broadcasting groups and such specialized publications as trade journals and newsletters.

After Colby left the Agency on January 28th, 1976, and was succeeded by George Bush, the CIA announced a new policy: “Effective immediately, the CIA will not enter into any paid or contractual relationship with any full‑time or part‑time news correspondent accredited by any U.S. news service, newspaper, periodical, radio or television network or station” At the time of the announcement, the Agency acknowledged that the policy would result in termination of less than half of the relationships with the 50 U.S. journalists it said were still affiliated with the Agency. The text of the announcement noted that the CIA would continue to “welcome” the voluntary, unpaid cooperation of journalists. Thus, many relationships were permitted to remain intact.

The Agency’s unwillingness to end its use of journalists and its continued relationships with some news executives is largely the product of two basic facts of the intelligence game: journalistic cover is ideal because of the inquisitive nature of a reporter’s job; and many other sources of institutional cover have been denied the CIA in recent years by businesses, foundations and educational institutions that once cooperated with the Agency.

“It’s tough to run a secret agency in this country,” explained one high‑level CIA official. “We have a curious ambivalence about intelligence. In order to serve overseas we need cover. But we have been fighting a rear‑guard action to try and provide cover. The Peace Corps is off‑limits, so is USIA, the foundations and voluntary organizations have been off‑limits since ‘67, and there is a self‑imposed prohibition on Fulbrights [Fulbright Scholars]. If you take the American community and line up who could work for the CIA and who couldn’t there is a very narrow potential. Even the Foreign Service doesn’t want us. So where the hell do you go? Business is nice, but the press is a natural. One journalist is worth twenty agents. He has access, the ability to ask questions without arousing suspicion.”


DESPITE THE EVIDENCE OF WIDESPREAD CIA USE OF journalists, the Senate Intelligence Committee and its staff decided against questioning any of the reporters, editors, publishers or broadcast executives whose relationships with the Agency are detailed in CIA files.

According to sources in the Senate and the Agency, the use of journalists was one of two areas of inquiry which the CIA went to extraordinary lengths to curtail. The other was the Agency’s continuing and extensive use of academics for recruitment and information gathering purposes.

In both instances, the sources said, former directors Colby and Bush and CIA special counsel Mitchell Rogovin were able to convince key members of the committee that full inquiry or even limited public disclosure of the dimensions of the activities would do irreparable damage to the nation’s intelligence‑gathering apparatus, as well as to the reputations of hundreds of individuals. Colby was reported to have been especially persuasive in arguing that disclosure would bring on a latter‑day “witch hunt” in which the victims would be reporters, publishers and editors.

Walter Elder, deputy to former CIA director McCone and the principal Agency liaison to the Church committee, argued that the committee lacked jurisdiction because there had been no misuse of journalists by the CIA; the relationships had been voluntary. Elder cited as an example the case of the Louisville Courier‑Journal. “Church and other people on the committee were on the chandelier about the Courier‑Journal,” one Agency official said, “until we pointed out that we had gone to the editor to arrange cover, and that the editor had said, ‘Fine.’”

Some members of the Church committee and staff feared that Agency officials had gained control of the inquiry and that they were being hoodwinked. “The Agency was extremely clever about it and the committee played right into its hands,” said one congressional source familiar with all aspects of the inquiry. “Church and some of the other members were much more interested in making headlines than in doing serious, tough investigating. The Agency pretended to be giving up a lot whenever it was asked about the flashy stuff—assassinations and secret weapons and James Bond operations. Then, when it came to things that they didn’t want to give away, that were much more important to the Agency, Colby in particular called in his chits. And the committee bought it.”

The Senate committee’s investigation into the use of journalists was supervised by William B. Bader, a former CIA intelligence officer who returned briefly to the Agency this year as deputy to CIA director Stansfield Turner and is now a high‑level intelligence official at the Defense Department. Bader was assisted by David Aaron, who now serves as the deputy to Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s national security adviser.

According to colleagues on the staff of the Senate inquiry, both Bader and Aaron were disturbed by the information contained in CIA files about journalists; they urged that further investigation he undertaken by the Senate’s new permanent CIA oversight committee. That committee, however, has spent its first year of existence writing a new charter for the CIA, and members say there has been little interest in delving further into the CIA’s use of the press.

Bader’s investigation was conducted under unusually difficult conditions. His first request for specific information on the use of journalists was turned down by the CIA on grounds that there had been no abuse of authority and that current intelligence operations might he compromised. Senators Walter Huddleston, Howard Baker, Gary Hart, Walter Mondale and Charles Mathias—who had expressed interest in the subject of the press and the CIA—shared Bader’s distress at the CIA’s reaction. In a series of phone calls and meetings with CIA director George Bush and other Agency officials, the senators insisted that the committee staff be provided information about the scope of CIA‑press activities. Finally, Bush agreed to order a search of the files and have those records pulled which deals with operations where journalists had been used. But the raw files could not he made available to Bader or the committee, Bush insisted. Instead, the director decided, his deputies would condense the material into one‑paragraph summaries describing in the most general terms the activities of each individual journalist. Most important, Bush decreed, the names of journalists and of the news organizations with which they were affiliated would be omitted from the summaries. However, there might be some indication of the region where the journalist had served and a general description of the type of news organization for which he worked.

Assembling the summaries was difficult, according to CIA officials who supervised the job. There were no “journalist files” per se and information had to be collected from divergent sources that reflect the highly compartmentalized character of the CIA. Case officers who had handled journalists supplied some names. Files were pulled on various undercover operations in which it seemed logical that journalists had been used. Significantly, all work by reporters for the Agency under the category of covert operations, not foreign intelligence.) Old station records were culled. “We really had to scramble,” said one official.

After several weeks, Bader began receiving the summaries, which numbered over 400 by the time the Agency said it had completed searching its files.

The Agency played an intriguing numbers game with the committee. Those who prepared the material say it was physically impossible to produce all of the Agency’s files on the use of journalists. “We gave them a broad, representative picture,” said one agency official. “We never pretended it was a total description of the range of activities over 25 years, or of the number of journalists who have done things for us.” A relatively small number of the summaries described the activities of foreign journalists—including those working as stringers for American publications. Those officials most knowledgeable about the subject say that a figure of 400 American journalists is on the low side of the actual number who maintained covert relationships and undertook clandestine tasks.

Bader and others to whom he described the contents of the summaries immediately reached some general conclusions: the sheer number of covert relationships with journalists was far greater than the CIA had ever hinted; and the Agency’s use of reporters and news executives was an intelligence asset of the first magnitude. Reporters had been involved in almost every conceivable kind of operation. Of the 400‑plus individuals whose activities were summarized, between 200 and 250 were “working journalists” in the usual sense of the term—reporters, editors, correspondents, photographers; the rest were employed at least nominally) by book publishers, trade publications and newsletters.

Still, the summaries were just that: compressed, vague, sketchy, incomplete. They could be subject to ambiguous interpretation. And they contained no suggestion that the CIA had abused its authority by manipulating the editorial content of American newspapers or broadcast reports.

Bader’s unease with what he had found led him to seek advice from several experienced hands in the fields of foreign relations and intelligence. They suggested that he press for more information and give those members of the committee in whom he had the most confidence a general idea of what the summaries revealed. Bader again went to Senators Huddleston, Baker, Hart, Mondale and Mathias. Meanwhile, he told the CIA that he wanted to see more—the full files on perhaps a hundred or so of the individuals whose activities had been summarized. The request was turned down outright. The Agency would provide no more information on the subject. Period.

The CIA’s intransigence led to an extraordinary dinner meeting at Agency headquarters in late March 1976. Those present included Senators Frank Church who had now been briefed by Bader), and John Tower, the vice‑chairman of the committee; Bader; William Miller, director of the committee staff; CIA director Bush; Agency counsel Rogovin; and Seymour Bolten, a high‑level CIA operative who for years had been a station chief in Germany and Willy Brandt’s case officer. Bolten had been deputized by Bush to deal with the committee’s requests for information on journalists and academics. At the dinner, the Agency held to its refusal to provide any full files. Nor would it give the committee the names of any individual journalists described in the 400 summaries or of the news organizations with whom they were affiliated. The discussion, according to participants, grew heated. The committee’s representatives said they could not honor their mandate—to determine if the CIA had abused its authority—without further information. The CIA maintained it could not protect its legitimate intelligence operations or its employees if further disclosures were made to the committee. Many of the journalists were contract employees of the Agency, Bush said at one point, and the CIA was no less obligated to them than to any other agents.

Finally, a highly unusual agreement was hammered out: Bader and Miller would be permitted to examine “sanitized” versions of the full files of twenty‑five journalists selected from the summaries; but the names of the journalists and the news organizations which employed them would be blanked out, as would the identities of other CIA employees mentioned in the files. Church and Tower would be permitted to examine the unsanitizedversions of five of the twenty‑five files—to attest that the CIA was not hiding anything except the names. The whole deal was contingent on an agreement that neither Bader, Miner, Tower nor Church would reveal the contents of the files to other members of the committee or staff.

Bader began reviewing the 400‑some summaries again. His object was to select twenty‑five that, on the basis of the sketchy information they contained, seemed to represent a cross section. Dates of CIA activity, general descriptions of news organizations, types of journalists and undercover operations all figured in his calculations.

From the twenty‑five files he got back, according to Senate sources and CIA officials, an unavoidable conclusion emerged: that to a degree never widely suspected, the CIA in the 1950s, ‘60s and even early ‘70s had concentrated its relationships with journalists in the most prominent sectors of the American press corps, including four or five of the largest newspapers in the country, the broadcast networks and the two major newsweekly magazines. Despite the omission of names and affiliations from the twenty‑five detailed files each was between three and eleven inches thick), the information was usually sufficient to tentatively identify either the newsman, his affiliation or both—particularly because so many of them were prominent in the profession.

“There is quite an incredible spread of relationships,” Bader reported to the senators. “You don’t need to manipulate Time magazine, for example, because there are Agency people at the management level.”

Ironically, one major news organization that set limits on its dealings with the CIA, according to Agency officials, was the one with perhaps the greatest editorial affinity for the Agency’s long‑range goals and policies: U.S. News and World Report. The late David Lawrence, the columnist and founding editor of U.S. News, was a close friend of Allen Dulles. But he repeatedly refused requests by the CIA director to use the magazine for cover purposes, the sources said. At one point, according to a high CIA official, Lawrence issued orders to his sub‑editors in which he threatened to fire any U.S. News employee who was found to have entered into a formal relationship with the Agency. Former editorial executives at the magazine confirmed that such orders had been issued. CIA sources declined to say, however, if the magazine remained off‑limits to the Agency after Lawrence’s death in 1973 or if Lawrence’s orders had been followed.)

Meanwhile, Bader attempted to get more information from the CIA, particularly about the Agency’s current relationships with journalists. He encountered a stone wall. “Bush has done nothing to date,” Bader told associates. “None of the important operations are affected in even a marginal way.” The CIA also refused the staffs requests for more information on the use of academics. Bush began to urge members of the committee to curtail its inquiries in both areas and conceal its findings in the final report. “He kept saying, ‘Don’t fuck these guys in the press and on the campuses,’ pleading that they were the only areas of public life with any credibility left,” reported a Senate source. Colby, Elder and Rogovin also implored individual members of the committee to keep secret what the staff had found. “There were a lot of representations that if this stuff got out some of the biggest names in journalism would get smeared,” said another source. Exposure of the CIA’s relationships with journalists and academics, the Agency feared, would close down two of the few avenues of agent recruitment still open. “The danger of exposure is not the other side,” explained one CIA expert in covert operations. “This is not stuff the other side doesn’t know about. The concern of the Agency is that another area of cover will be denied.”

A senator who was the object of the Agency’s lobbying later said: “From the CIA point of view this was the highest, most sensitive covert program of all.... It was a much larger part of the operational system than has been indicated.” He added, “I had a great compulsion to press the point but it was late .... If we had demanded, they would have gone the legal route to fight it.”

Indeed, time was running out for the committee. In the view of many staff members, it had squandered its resources in the search for CIA assassination plots and poison pen letters. It had undertaken the inquiry into journalists almost as an afterthought. The dimensions of the program and the CIA’s sensitivity to providing information on it had caught the staff and the committee by surprise. The CIA oversight committee that would succeed the Church panel would have the inclination and the time to inquire into the subject methodically; if, as seemed likely, the CIA refused to cooperate further, the mandate of the successor committee would put it in a more advantageous position to wage a protracted fight .... Or so the reasoning went as Church and the few other senators even vaguely familiar with Bader’s findings reached a decision not to pursue the matter further. No journalists would be interviewed about their dealings with the Agency—either by the staff or by the senators, in secret or in open session. The specter, first raised by CIA officials, of a witch hunt in the press corps haunted some members of the staff and the committee. “We weren’t about to bring up guys to the committee and then have everybody say they’ve been traitors to the ideals of their profession,” said a senator.

Bader, according to associates, was satisfied with the decision and believed that the successor committee would pick up the inquiry where he had left it. He was opposed to making public the names of individual journalists. He had been concerned all along that he had entered a “gray area” in which there were no moral absolutes. Had the CIA “manipulated” the press in the classic sense of the term? Probably not, he concluded; the major news organizations and their executives had willingly lent their resources to the Agency; foreign correspondents had regarded work for the CIA as a national service and a way of getting better stories and climbing to the top of their profession. Had the CIA abused its authority? It had dealt with the press almost exactly as it had dealt with other institutions from which it sought cover — the diplomatic service, academia, corporations. There was nothing in the CIA’s charter which declared any of these institutions off‑limits to America’s intelligence service. And, in the case of the press, the Agency had exercised more care in its dealings than with many other institutions; it had gone to considerable lengths to restrict its role to information‑gathering and cover.10

Bader was also said to be concerned that his knowledge was so heavily based on information furnished by the CIA; he hadn’t gotten the other side of the story from those journalists who had associated with the Agency. He could be seeing only “the lantern show,” he told associates. Still, Bader was reasonably sure that he had seen pretty much the full panoply of what was in the files. If the CIA had wanted to deceive him it would have never given away so much, he reasoned. “It was smart of the Agency to cooperate to the extent of showing the material to Bader,” observed a committee source. “That way, if one fine day a file popped up, the Agency would be covered. They could say they had already informed the Congress.”

The dependence on CIA files posed another problem. The CIA’s perception of a relationship with a journalist might be quite different than that of the journalist: a CIA official might think he had exercised control over a journalist; the journalist might think he had simply had a few drinks with a spook. It was possible that CIA case officers had written self‑serving memos for the files about their dealings with journalists, that the CIA was just as subject to common bureaucratic “cover‑your‑ass” paperwork as any other agency of government.

A CIA official who attempted to persuade members of the Senate committee that the Agency’s use of journalists had been innocuous maintained that the files were indeed filled with “puffing” by case officers. “You can’t establish what is puff and what isn’t,” he claimed. Many reporters, he added, “were recruited for finite [specific] undertakings and would be appalled to find that they were listed [in Agency files] as CIA operatives.” This same official estimated that the files contained descriptions of about half a dozen reporters and correspondents who would be considered “famous”—that is, their names would be recognized by most Americans. “The files show that the CIA goes to the press for and just as often that the press comes to the CIA,” he observed. “...There is a tacit agreement in many of these cases that there is going to be a quid pro quo”—i.e., that the reporter is going to get good stories from the Agency and that the CIA will pick up some valuable services from the reporter.

Whatever the interpretation, the findings of the Senate committees inquiry into the use of journalists were deliberately buried—from the full membership of the committee, from the Senate and from the public. “There was a difference of opinion on how to treat the subject,” explained one source. “Some [senators] thought these were abuses which should be exorcized and there were those who said, ‘We don’t know if this is bad or not.’”

Bader’s findings on the subject were never discussed with the full committee, even in executive session. That might have led to leaks—especially in view of the explosive nature of the facts. Since the beginning of the Church committee’s investigation, leaks had been the panel’s biggest collective fear, a real threat to its mission. At the slightest sign of a leak the CIA might cut off the flow of sensitive information as it did, several times in other areas), claiming that the committee could not be trusted with secrets. “It was as if we were on trial—not the CIA,” said a member of the committee staff. To describe in the committee’s final report the true dimensions of the Agency’s use of journalists would cause a furor in the press and on the Senate floor. And it would result in heavy pressure on the CIA to end its use of journalists altogether. “We just weren’t ready to take that step,” said a senator. A similar decision was made to conceal the results of the staff’s inquiry into the use of academics. Bader, who supervised both areas of inquiry, concurred in the decisions and drafted those sections of the committee’s final report. Pages 191 to 201 were entitled “Covert Relationships with the United States Media.” “It hardly reflects what we found,” stated Senator Gary Hart. “There was a prolonged and elaborate negotiation [with the CIA] over what would be said.”

Obscuring the facts was relatively simple. No mention was made of the 400 summaries or what they showed. Instead the report noted blandly that some fifty recent contacts with journalists had been studied by the committee staff—thus conveying the impression that the Agency’s dealings with the press had been limited to those instances. The Agency files, the report noted, contained little evidence that the editorial content of American news reports had been affected by the CIA’s dealings with journalists. Colby’s misleading public statements about the use of journalists were repeated without serious contradiction or elaboration. The role of cooperating news executives was given short shrift. The fact that the Agency had concentrated its relationships in the most prominent sectors of the press went unmentioned. That the CIA continued to regard the press as up for grabs was not even suggested.

Former ‘Washington Post’ reporter CARL BERNSTEIN is now working on a book about the witch hunts of the Cold War.


1 John McCone, director of the Agency from 1961 to 1965, said in a recent interview that he knew about "great deal of debriefing and exchanging help" but nothing about any arrangements for cover the CIA might have made with media organizations. "I wouldn't necessarily have known about it," he said. "Helms would have handled anything like that. It would be unusual for him to come to me and say, 'We're going to use journalists for cover.' He had a job to do. There was no policy during my period that would say, 'Don't go near that water,' nor was there one saying, 'Go to it!'" During the Church committee bearings, McCone testified that his subordinates failed to tell him about domestic surveillance activities or that they were working on plans to assassinate Fidel Castro. Richard Helms was deputy director of the Agency at the time; he became director in 1966.

2 A stringer is a reporter who works for one or several news organizations on a retainer or on a piecework basis.

3 From the CIA point of view, access to newsfilm outtakes and photo libraries is a matter of extreme importance. The Agency's photo archive is probably the greatest on earth; its graphic sources include satellites, photoreconnaissance, planes, miniature cameras ... and the American press. During the 1950s and 1960s, the Agency obtained carte‑blanche borrowing privileges in the photo libraries of literally dozens of American newspapers, magazines and television, outlets. For obvious reasons, the CIA also assigned high priority to the recruitment of photojournalists, particularly foreign‑based members of network camera crews.

4 On April 3rd, 1961, Koop left the Washington bureau to become head of CBS, Inc.’s Government Relations Department — a position he held until his retirement on March 31st, 1972. Koop, who worked as a deputy in the Censorship Office in World War II, continued to deal with the CIA in his new position, according to CBS sources.

5 Hayes, who left the Washington Post Company in 1965 to become U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland, is now chairman of the board of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty — both of which severed their ties with the CIA in 1971. Hayes said he cleared his participation in the China project with the late Frederick S. Beebe, then chairman of the board of the Washington Post Company. Katharine Graham, the Post’s publisher, was unaware of the nature of the assignment, he said. Participants in the project signed secrecy agreements.

6 Philip Geyelin, editor of the Post editorial page, worked for the Agency before joining the Post.

7 Louis Buisch, presidentof the publishing company of the Hornell, New York, Evening Tribune, told the Courier‑Journal in 1976 that he remembered little about the hiring of Robert Campbell. "He wasn't there very long, and he didn't make much of an impression," said Buisch, who has since retired from active management of the newspaper.

8 Probably the most thoughtful article on the subject of the press and the CIA was written by Stuart H. Loory and appeared in the September‑October 1974 issue of Columbia Journalism Review.

9 Wes Gallagher, general manager of the Associated Press from 1962 to 1976, takes vigorous exception to the notion that the Associated Press might have aided the Agency. "We've always stayed clear on the CIA; I would have fired anybody who worked for them. We don't even let our people debrief." At the time of the first disclosures that reporters had worked for the CIA, Gallagher went to Colby. "We tried to find out names. All he would say was that no full‑time staff member of the Associated Press was employed by the Agency. We talked to Bush. He said the same thing." If any Agency personnel were placed in Associated Press bureaus, said Gallagher, it was done without consulting the management of the wire service. But Agency officials insist that they were able to make cover arrangements through someone in the upper management levelsof Associated Press, whom they refuse to identify.

10 Many journalists and some CIA officials dispute the Agency's claim that it has been scrupulous in respecting the editorial integrity of American publications and broadcast outlets.




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Jedna od luđih tvorevina hladnog rata, namenjena ruralnim oblastima bez struje. Nuklearni reaktor na gusenicama. Iz teksta vidim da se razmišljalo i o varijanti na železničkim šinama.







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pre 30 godina i 1 dan

Perestroika in the Soviet Union: 30 Years On
Documents show extraordinary achievements, Spectacular missed opportunities

Newly published records include report on Chernobyl, Gorbachev meetings with Mitterrand and Bush, and Gorbachev appeal for international aid in 1991

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 504
Compiled and edited by Svetlana Savranskaya and Anna Melyakova
Posted March 11, 2015
For more information contact:
202/994-7000, nsarchiv@gwu.edu

Related Links
The Fall of the Berlin Wall, 25th Anniversary
November 9, 2014
The Thatcher-Gorbachev Conversations
April 12, 2013
The End of the USSR, 20 Years Later
November 22, 2011
The August 1991 Coup in Moscow, 20 Years Later
August 19, 2011
The Washington/Camp David Summit 1990
June 13, 2010
Bush and Gorbachev and Malta
December 3, 2009
Reagan, Gorbachev and Bush at Governor's Island
December 8, 2008
The Reykjavik File
October 13, 2006
The Diary of Anatoly Chernyaev
May 25, 2006
Alexander Yakovlev and the Roots of the Soviet Reforms
October 26, 2005


(L to R) Vice President George H. W. Bush, President Ronald Reagan and President Mikhail Gorbachev during the Governor’s Island summit, December 1988. (Credit: Ronald Reagan Presidential Library)
Washington, DC, March 11, 2015 – Thirty years ago today, in the Kremlin, the Soviet Politburo unanimously elected its youngest member, Mikhail Gorbachev, to the pinnacle of Soviet power — General Secretary of the Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. This election ushered in the "perestroika" period of revolutionary change, which led to the end of the Cold War, democratization of the Soviet Union, and ultimately — to the peaceful dissolution of the Soviet empire, as detailed in an extraordinary selection of documents from Soviet, American and other sources published today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University (www.nsarchive.org).
Gorbachev had come to Moscow only a few years earlier, in 1978, to serve as the party secretary for Agriculture. His rise was indeed meteoric. Under General Secretary Yuri Andropov (1982-84), Gorbachev essentially became number two in the party and a perceived successor to Andropov. According to the documents as well as diaries and memoirs, Gorbachev was a straight arrow, not a dissident, but a reformer within the system. His top priorities were to reform the Soviet economy, end the war in Afghanistan, and end the nuclear arms race to direct the peace dividend to domestic reform. It helped him that at the time, the entire Soviet elite was ready for change and saw in him the potential to make the Soviet system stronger and more vibrant. The documents published here show Gorbachev's first efforts to achieve his goals — from the conversation with Afghan Communist leader Babrak Karmal to the launch of the anti-alcohol campaign, to the first conversation with President Ronald Reagan (Document 6).
This selection of documents from all seven years of the perestroika era attempts to give the reader a sense of the scope of this revolutionary transformation, not just of the Soviet Union, but of the world. The documents cover the most important issues that confronted Soviet leaders in this period — the reform of the Warsaw Pact and relations with socialist allies from the beginning and to the crumbling of the Pact (Document 10), arms control and the key U.S.-Soviet interactions, relations with West European countries, and Soviet activities in the Third World.
Domestically, a key theme is the opening of the political system and the first free election of 1989 (Document 20), which preceded free elections in Eastern Europe and the August coup of 1991. Much of the dynamic and changing vision of Soviet domestic reform is presented in Gorbachev's conversations with the Polish leadership (Documents 18 and 25). His views on religious tolerance and his understanding of the role of the church is expressed in the remarkable conversation with Pope John Paul.
In addition to tremendous achievements of perestroika, the documents also shed light on great missed opportunities, such as the last conversation in Reykjavik with President Reagan, coming close but missing the goal of nuclear abolition (Document 12). The selection of mainly Soviet documents is enriched by several U.S. intelligence and diplomatic assessments of the state of Soviet reform and Gorbachev's ultimate predicament (Document 27).
(L to R) Vice President George H. W. Bush, President Ronald Reagan and President Mikhail Gorbachev during the Governor’s Island summit, December 1988. (Credit: Ronald Reagan Presidential Library)
Several of these documents are published here for the first time, such as the first report to the Politburo on the Chernobyl nuclear accident of April 1986 (Document 9), minutes of Gorbachev's conversation with French leader Francois Mitterrand in July 1986, and minutes of Gorbachev's meeting with leaders of the G-7 in London in the summer of 1991 (Document 28), where he appealed to the international community for financial assistance for his reform. Published here also for the first time is the memorandum of conversation with President George H.W. Bush at Gorbachev's last summit in Madrid, where he explains his concerns and hopes for the new Union Treaty and his rival Boris Yeltsin's nationalist rhetoric (Document 30).
These documents are the result of the National Security Archive's 20 years of efforts to collect and study documents on the end of the Cold War. This search produced a multi-national, multi-archival collection that supported many groundbreaking conferences and publications, including the award-winning book, Masterpieces of History: The Peaceful End of the Cold War in Europe, 1989 (Budapest/New York: Central European University Press, 2010) and the forthcoming The Last Superpower Summits (Budapest/New York: Central European University Press, 2015).

Document 1: Minutes of the CC CPSU Politburo Session, Gorbachev's Election, March 11, 1985.
Source: Russian State Archive of Contemporary History, Fond 89
Mikhail Gorbachev was elected General Secretary at a special Politburo session convened less than 24 hours after Konstantin Chernenko's death. The election was pre-decided the day before when he was named the head of the funeral commission. At the Politburo itself, Gorbachev's name was proposed by Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, one of the members of Brezhnev's inner circle. Gromyko praised Gorbachev's human and business-like qualities, and his experience working in the party apparatus, in terms that were less formal than similar speeches at the elections of previous general secretaries. There were no dissenting voices at the session, partly because of Gromyko's firm endorsement, and partly because three potential opponents — First Secretary of Kazakhstan Dinmukhamed Kunaev, First Secretary of Ukraine Vladimir Shcherbitsky, and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Russia Vitaly Vorotnikov — were abroad and could not make it to Moscow on such short notice.
Document 2: Memorandum of Mikhail Gorbachev's Conversation with Babrak Karmal, March 14, 1985
Source: Dmitry Volkogonov Collection
Ending the war in Afghanistan was at the top of Gorbachev's priorities. In his first conversation with the leader of Afghanistan, who was installed by the Soviet troops in December of 1979, Gorbachev underscored two main points: first that "the Soviet troops cannot stay in Afghanistan forever," and second, that the Afghan revolution was presently in its "national-democratic" stage, whereas its socialist stage was only "a course of the future," thus undercutting the theoretical rationale for the occupation. He also encouraged the Afghan leader to expand the base of the regime to unite all the "progressive forces." In no uncertain terms, Karmal was told that Soviet troops would be leaving soon and that his government would have to rely on its own forces.
Document 3: Minutes of Gorbachev's Meeting with CC CPSU Secretaries, March 15, 1985.
Source: Russian State Archive of Contemporary History, Fond 89
In these notes of a conference of Central Committee Secretaries, Gorbachev discusses the results of his meetings with foreign leaders during Konstantin Chernenko's funeral. He notes the speeches made by the socialist allies, especially Czechoslovakia's Gustav Husak; Polish leader Wojtech Jaruzelski's suggestion for the Pact members to meet more often and informally; and Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu's opposition to the renewal of the Warsaw Pact for another 20 years. Among his meetings with Western leaders, Gorbachev speaks very highly about his conversation with Margaret Thatcher, which had "a slightly different character" than his discussions with other Westerners. A two-hour session with Vice President George Bush and Secretary of State George Shultz left only a "mediocre" impression, but an invitation to visit the United States was noted. Describing his meeting with President of Pakistan Zia Ul Haq, Gorbachev for the first time uses a phrase usually dated to the XXVII party congress: he called the war in Afghanistan "a bleeding wound."
Document 4: Minutes of Politburo Session on launching the anti-alcohol campaign, April 4, 1985
Source: Russian State Archive of Contemporary History, Fond 89
Among Gorbachev's earliest domestic priorities was putting an end to what was known as the Russian scourge. This Politburo session discusses the issue of "drunkenness and alcoholism" and adopts one of the most controversial resolutions of all the perestroika period, which when implemented became a source of great public outcry and resulted in significant losses of productivity in wine-producing areas in Southern Russia, Moldavia and Georgia. Vitaly Solomentsev makes the official presentation to the Politburo producing shocking statistics of the level of alcoholism in the Soviet Union. In unprecedented fashion, even though the main presentation was strongly supported by the General Secretary, there was opposition among the other Politburo members. Notably, Deputy Finance Minister Dementsev spoke about how a radical cut in the level of production of alcoholic drinks could affect the Soviet economy, and prophetically stated that "a significant decrease in the production of vodka and alcohol products might lead to the growth of moonshine production, as well as stealing of technological alcohol, and would also cause additional sugar consumption." The discussion reveals the sad state of the Soviet economy, which would be incapable of providing goods for the excess rubles held by the population if vodka production were to be cut.
Document 5: CIA Intelligence Assessment, "Gorbachev's Economic Agenda: Promises, Potentials, and Pitfalls," September 1985
Source: National Security Archive FOIA request to CIA
This U.S. intelligence analysis presents a dire picture of the Soviet economic situation that the new Soviet leader had to face after his election, and calls his new economic agenda "the most aggressive since the Khrushchev era." Gorbachev is expected to show willingness to reduce the Soviet resource commitment to defense, legalize private-sector activity in the sphere of consumer services, and try to break the monopoly of the foreign trade apparatus. However, the assessment is very cautious, suggesting that if Gorbachev continues to rely on "marginal tinkering," it would mean that he "like Brezhnev before him, has succumbed to a politically expedient but economically ineffective approach."
Document 6: Memorandum of Conversation, "Reagan-Gorbachev Meetings in Geneva," November 19, 1985, Secret/Sensitive
Source: Reagan Library FOIA release
In their first private meeting Reagan and Gorbachev both leaders speak about the mistrust and suspicions of the past and of the need to begin a new stage in U.S.-Soviet relations. Gorbachev describes his view of the international situation to Reagan, stressing the need to end the arms race. Reagan expresses his concern with Soviet activity in the Third World — specifically, Soviet aid to socialist revolutions in developing countries. Gorbachev does not challenge the President's assertions actively but replies jokingly that he does not wake up "every day" thinking about "which country he would like to arrange a revolution in."
Document 7: Alexander Yakovlev Memorandum to Mikhail Gorbachev, "The Priority of Political Development," December 25, 1985 [Excerpt]
Source: State Archive of the Russian Federation, Yakovlev Fond
In this memorandum to Gorbachev, Yakovlev outlines his view of the needed transformation of the political system of the Soviet Union. Yakovlev writes in his memoir that he prepared this document in several drafts earlier in the year but hesitated to present it to Gorbachev because he believed his own official standing at the time was still too junior. Yakovlev's approach here is thoroughly based on a perceived need for democratization, starting with the Soviet Communist Party. The memo suggests introducing several truly ground-breaking reforms, including genuine multi-candidate elections, free discussion of political positions, a division of power between the legislative and executive branches, independence of the judicial branch, and real guarantees of human rights and freedoms.
Document 8: Letter from Reagan to Gorbachev, February 22, 1986
Source: Reagan Library FOIA release
This lengthy (almost eight pages) typed letter contains Reagan's formal endorsement of nuclear abolition, in response to Gorbachev's January 15, 1986 proposals. The letter suggests a series of specific steps, starting with the 50 percent cut in warheads the two leaders discussed at Geneva, then getting rid of INF missiles by 1989 (the deal would be done in 1987), then bringing in the other nuclear powers after the U.S. and USSR demonstrate their seriousness by going first, while linking the process of nuclear cuts to reductions in conventional forces in Europe, and so forth. Most interesting is Reagan's explicit endorsement of Gorbachev's January proposals as "significant and positive" — at a time when other U.S. officials are dismissing the abolition initiative as propaganda. But here we see Reagan taking the idea very seriously. Yet the delay between the mid-January proposals and this late-February response left Soviet officials, such as Chernyaev, believing the U.S. was not interested. Some of the delay clearly arose from differences between President Reagan and his bureaucracy over embracing abolition; but part of it also stemmed from the Soviet insistence on including the test ban as part of the abolition program even though that was a non-starter both for Reagan and his bureaucracy. So despite the high-level meeting-of-the-minds on nuclear abolition visible in this letter, any breakthrough towards a summit would not come until September.
Document 9: USSR Ministry of Energy, "Regarding the Accident at Reactor No. 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant," Urgent Report to the CC CPSU Politburo, April 26, 1986
Source: Russian State Archive of Contemporary History, Fond 89
This is the first internal Soviet report about the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which became a tragedy and a watershed in Gorbachev's perestroika. The accident reinforced Gorbachev's beliefs in the necessity of abolishing nuclear weapons and his desire to get to a summit with Reagan. Chernobyl also helped Gorbachev crack open the Soviet system of secrecy. For the first time the Soviet authorities provided information about the accident to foreign governments and international bodies.
Document 10: Memorandum from Mikhail Gorbachev to the CC CPSU Politburo on Topical Questions Regarding Collaboration with Socialist Countries, June 26, 1986
Source: Archive of the Gorbachev Foundation
This rare personal memo from Gorbachev to the Politburo addresses the sore question of what to do with the Warsaw Pact and how the alliance should change along with the Soviet reform. Drafted by Georgy Shakhnazarov, the document candidly admits that "Moscow was viewed as a kind of conservative power that hindered reforms;" that the Pact's integration is "sharply behind" that of Western Europe; and that "we continue to be at the commodity exchange stage" in economic relations. "A genuine turning point in the entire system of collaboration with our allies is needed," Gorbachev believes, including "a radical perestroika of the economic cooperation mechanism." An important point is Gorbachev's statement that the USSR should use the force of example rather than the example of force: "[W]e must fulfill this role not through exhortation and especially not through directives, but through ideological-political influence, constructive initiatives to deepen collaboration, [and] the power of our example."
Document 11: Minutes of Gorbachev's Conversation with Mitterrand, Moscow, July 7, 1986
Source: Archive of the Gorbachev Foundation
This conversation takes place in Moscow during Francois Mitterrand's visit. France was the first Western country Gorbachev visited in 1985. On that visit the two leaders developed a warm relationship and found that their thinking on many international issues was similar. Here Gorbachev is very critical, even harsh, on the policies of the Reagan administration, which he believes are driven by the military-industrial complex. Mitterrand, who since their meeting the year before has tried to be an intermediary between Gorbachev and Reagan, has a more positive assessment of U.S. policy but shares Gorbachev's views on U.S. actions in the Third World. This document shows Gorbachev's still very ideological thinking about the United States and its role in the world. That would change in Reykjavik.
Document 12: Last Conversation between Gorbachev and Reagan in Reykjavik, October 12, 1986
Source: Reagan Library FOIA release
This historic conversation is evidence of probably the greatest missed opportunity in U.S.-Soviet relations in the perestroika period. Reagan and Gorbachev discuss elimination of strategic offensive weapons and make a leap of imagination — to complete elimination of nuclear weapons. This was Gorbachev's ultimate goal for the Reykjavik summit, yet he cannot accept Reagan's position that work on SDI would continue. Reagan pleaded with his Russian counterpart to agree on keeping SDI as a "personal favor," but Gorbachev refused. He later described the interaction at the summit in his memoirs as filled with "Shakesperian passions." The idea of nuclear abolition was not acceptable to most of the U.S. administration or the NATO allies, but the great "what if" remains: what would have happened if Gorbachev had simply accepted Reagan's apparently sincere offer to share SDI technology rather than dismissing this as ridiculous when the U.S. would not even share "milking machines." If Gorbachev had "pocketed" Reagan's offer, then the pressure would have been on the U.S. to deliver, in the face of a probable firestorm of opposition from the U.S. military and foreign policy establishment. Working in the opposite direction in favor of the deal would have been overwhelming public support for these dramatic changes, both in the U.S. and in the Soviet Union, and especially in Europe.
Document 13: USSR CC CPSU Politburo session on results of the Reykjavik Summit, October 14, 1986
Source: Archive of the Gorbachev Foundation
In the first Politburo meeting after Reykjavik, Gorbachev reports on the results, starting with a standard ideological criticism of Reagan as a class enemy who showed "extreme primitivism, a caveman outlook and intellectual impotence." He goes on, however, to describe the summit as a breakthrough, marked by the attainment of a new "higher level from which now we have to begin a struggle for the liquidation of and complete ban on nuclear armaments." The Politburo agrees with the assessment and approves the General Secretary's tough posturing.
Document 14: Politburo Session, November 13, 1986
Source: Russian State Archive of Contemporary History, Fond 89
This is the first detailed Politburo discussion of the process and difficulties of the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, which includes the testimony of Marshal Sergei Akhromeyev. Akhromeyev admits that the war is not winnable militarily, but at the same time the Soviet Army cannot just retreat and leave its southern border vulnerable. Withdrawal of forces should only be done when there is a stable and friendly government in Afghanistan, the leadership concludes.
Document 15: Record of Conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and Margaret Thatcher, March 30, 1987
Source: Archive of the Gorbachev Foundation
Gorbachev and Thatcher enjoyed their conversations greatly, and this one was probably the most expressive of all. Thatcher grills Gorbachev on practically every issue of world politics, accusing him of exporting revolutions in the Third World. Of her many assertive statements, one in particular has a great impact on Gorbachev — when Thatcher speaks of the Soviet invasions of Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan. Looking at Soviet behavior through Thatcher's eyes seems to have made Gorbachev acutely aware of how threatening Soviet actions in Eastern Europe and Afghanistan looked to Western Europe. He mentions this several times in subsequent Politburo sessions.
The March 1987 meeting includes a forceful delineation of positions on arms control and the role of nuclear weapons. Thatcher also speaks about Soviet conventional superiority in Europe, again emphasizing the perception of threat this has created throughout Europe. Gorbachev would later repeat Thatcher's point in a Politburo discussion of deterrence — which in turn would have a significant impact on the development of the new defensive emphasis in Soviet military doctrine.
Document 16: Text of Yakovlev's Presentation at the CC CPSU Politburo Session, September 28, 1987
Source: State Archive of the Russian Federation, Yakovlev Fond
This presentation to the Politburo comes after the January and June Plenums of the Central Committee, which outlined comprehensive programs of reform of the political (January) and economic (June) system. The presentation also comes after Yakovlev himself has been promoted to full Politburo membership (in charge of ideology). This is the first time he unveils his views on democratization — which he considers at the time to be the most important task of perestroika — to the Politburo.
Document 17:Gorbachev's Gameplan: The Long View [by Robert M. Gates, Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency], November 24, 1987
Source: CIA National Security Archive FOIA request
On the eve of the Washington summit, the top U.S. intelligence analyst on the Soviet Union — Robert M. Gates, then the deputy director of CIA — gets Gorbachev almost completely wrong. In this memo (forwarded by CIA Director William Webster to Vice President Bush and other top officials), Gates predicts that the Soviet reforms are aimed merely at creating a "breathing space" before the resumption of the "further increase in Soviet military power and political influence." Gates misses Soviet recognition that the Stalinist economic system has failed; he incorrectly predicts that Gorbachev will only agree to arms reductions that "protect existing Soviet advantages;" he claims the Soviets are still committed to the protection of their Third World clients (only three months later, Gorbachev would announce the pullout from Afghanistan); and he sees any Gorbachev force reductions as a threat to "Alliance cohesion" rather than a gain for security in Europe. This hard-line assessment of Gorbachev is not shared by President Reagan, who would rescind his "evil empire" rhetoric while standing in Red Square in May 1988.
Document 18: Memorandum of conversation between Gorbachev and Polish Politburo memver Jozef Czyrek, September 23, 1988
Source: Archive of the Gorbachev Foundation
This extraordinary conversation provides evidence that Gorbachev changed Moscow's relationship with the Eastern Europeans much earlier than is usually assumed. Here, Polish Politburo member and former Foreign Minister Józef Czyrek has a lengthy discussion with the Soviet leader in Moscow, not asking for his permission but informing him that the Polish communists have decided to start the process of Roundtable negotiations with the opposition, including the Catholic Church and Solidarity. The Polish Politburo discussed opening such negotiations at Czyrek's initiative on August 21, and passed the formal resolution on September 2. According to the Polish transcripts, these discussions did not even mention the Soviet factor, which indicates that by August, probably as the result of Gorbachev's visit to Poland in July, the Polish leadership was not concerned about the possibility that the USSR would resort to force or other outright pressure.
Here, Czyrek respectfully informs Gorbachev about a decision that has already been made. In turn, the Soviet leader treats his visitor not as a supplicant but as a peer. Gorbachev is mainly listening and learning about the situation in Poland. But he also gets involved in the discussion of personnel issues — something he usually avoided — in this case, the consideration of candidates for the position of prime minister. Despite the vice of excessive ambition, Politburo member Mieczysław Rakowski seems to be the best candidate, both agree. (The pattern of this conversation would repeat in Rakowski's own phone call to Gorbachev on August 22, 1989. Contrary to press reports of the time, which would claim that Rakowski had to ask the Soviet leader's permission to allow a Solidarity-led government, the actual discussion would consist of Rakowski informing Gorbachev and the latter agreeing.)
In this conversation, Czyrek tells Gorbachev that the Polish leadership hopes to split the opposition by "co-opt[ing] the banner of Solidarity along with Wałęsa." Thus, the June 1989 elections to the Sejm will allow for opposition candidates while preserving 40 percent of the seats for the ruling party (the PUWP), with the result that the government will be formed with representatives from the opposition. (In fact, after an overwhelming victory, the opposition would form the government.) Gorbachev expresses his full approval for the Roundtable approach and the program of Polish reforms. Czyrek thanks him with the telling phrase, "Poland is your testing ground."
Document 19: Minutes of the CC CPSU Politburo Session, December 27-28, 1988
Source: Russian State Archive of Contemporary History, Fond 89
This December meeting is the first after Gorbachev's return from the United States following his speech to the United Nations, having cut short his travels in order to deal with the results of the disastrous earthquake in Armenia. Gorbachev devotes much time to summaries of the increasingly grave forecasts for his perestroika program by foreign analysts, but then dismisses their seriousness. Part of the context for Gorbachev's lengthy monologues and Shevardnadze's proposals for a "businesslike" withdrawal of Soviet troops from Eastern Europe is the growing bewilderment of certain military and KGB leaders who were not fully informed in advance about the scale and tempo of Gorbachev's announced unilateral arms cuts. Still, there is no trace of real opposition to Gorbachev's course. The Soviet party leader has learned a lesson from the military's lack of reaction to the previous discussions of "sufficiency," and he is now ramming change down their throats. Ever obedient, Defense Minister Dmitry Yazov states, "everyone reacted with understanding," even after Shevardnadze aggressively attacks the military for retrograde thinking, for directly contradicting the U.N. speech, and for proposing only "admissible" openness rather than true glasnost. Ironically, when Shevardnadze and Yegor Ligachev suggest announcing the size of Soviet reductions "publicly," Gorbachev objects: if the Soviet people and party learn how huge the Soviet defense expenditures really are, it will undermine the propaganda effect of his U.N. speech. In yet another call for strategy vis-a-vis Eastern Europe, a conservative Politburo member, Vitaly Vorotnikov, says, "I consider the situation in a number of socialist countries to be so complicated that we should clarify our thinking in one document or another." No such integrated strategy ever appeared.
Document 20: Minutes of CC CPSU Politburo Session "Outcome of the USSR People's Deputies Elections," March 28, 1989
Source: Archive of the Gorbachev Foundation
This weekly Politburo meeting follows the March 26 vote for the USSR's first popularly-elected national Congress of People's Deputies. The discussion features both Gorbachev's positive spin and a thinly veiled sense of shock on the leadership's part. The new super legislature of 2,250 members — elected by 170 million voters — would meet from May 25 through June 9, elect a standing legislature — the new 542-member Supreme Soviet — and become the focus of national and world attention thanks partly to live telecasts spotlighting noted dissidents such as Andrei Sakharov in their extraordinary new roles as elected deputies. At this session, Gorbachev lays claim to achieving the Politburo's goals of advancing democratization and successfully holding free elections. Yet there is a serious discordant note: some 20 per cent of party candidates lost — even with no opposition — including the top party leaders in Moscow and Leningrad. The Leningrad party chief drew only 110,000 votes while 130,000 of his constituents crossed out his name — a practice that would become epidemic in the June Polish elections. And Boris Yeltsin, the reformer bounced by Gorbachev from the Politburo in 1987, won overwhelmingly as Moscow's at-large candidate. As in Poland, the CPSU went into the elections without a sense of how dramatically it had squandered its legitimacy. In the short term, this new reformist Congress would strengthen Gorbachev's agenda; but subsequently it would become a platform for the radical democrats.
Document 21: Gorbachev's address to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, July 6, 1989
Source: Vital Speeches of the Day, vol. 55, Issue 23
This document may be seen as Gorbachev's cri de coeur for Soviet integration into Europe and the strongest expression of his vision of the new Europe. When he charged Zagladin with preparing a draft in early February 1989, he intended this speech to be the equivalent of his December 1988 United Nations address, but aimed at European audiences. In it he lays out the meaning and the intended structure of the "common European home," repeatedly emphasizing that the Soviet Union belongs with the Western democratic community.
Significantly, Gorbachev begins by quoting the French poet and novelist Victor Hugo, who in the 19th century predicted that "all the nations of the continent ... will merge inseparably into a high-level society and form a European brotherhood." The Soviet leader maintains this theme, using phrases such as "European unification" and "co-creation of all nations," which go beyond the simple idea of integration. The speech further links the idea of an integrated Europe with the inadmissibility of the use of force and attempts to limit the sovereignty of states, a vision with wider meaning for the world as Europe should be "seeking to transform international relations in the spirit of humanism, equality and justice by setting an example for democracy and social achievements." Importantly, the transformation of Europe is to be achieved on the basis of European common values and is intended to "make it possible to replace the traditional balance of forces with a balance of interests."
The common European home would be built on four main cornerstones: collective security — ruling out the very possibility of the use or threat of force; economic integration — "the emergence of a vast economic space from the Atlantic to the Urals;" protection of the environment; and humanitarianism — respect for human rights and a community based on laws.
Gorbachev also calls for a summit of signatories of the 1975 Helsinki Accords and hopes to use that model to build a European Community of the 21st century. This summit was eventually held in Paris in November 1990 and produced the Charter of Paris for a New Europe. Gorbachev's passionate dream of Europe was eventually overtaken by events in the heart of the continent — Poland had already had elections which brought about the defeat of the communists, and Hungary had begun its Roundtable negotiations leading to a multi-party system. But Germany had not yet moved toward unification, and thus the vision of a Europe without military blocs and borders still sounded quite realistic to its supporters.
Document 22: Minutes of Yakovlev's Conversation with Brzezinski, October 31, 1989
Source: State Archive of the Russian Federation, Yakovlev Fond
The leading Soviet reformer on the Politburo finds surprising agreement on the German question in this meeting with the Polish-American observer, Zbigniew Brzezinski, whom the Soviets had vilified as an enemy of détente when he served as President Carter's national security adviser in the late 1970s. (Cementing his reputation for iconoclasm, Brzezinski would subsequently endorse Ronald Reagan for re-election in 1984.) In a tribute to glasnost, Brzezinski thanks Yakovlev for permitting a ceremonial visit to Katyń, the site of the World War II massacre of Polish officers by Stalin's NKVD, which Soviet propaganda had long blamed on the Nazis.
This frank discussion of the future of Europe features Yakovlev's repeated notion of the mutual dissolution of NATO and the Warsaw Pact versus Brzezinski's argument that the blocs should remain stable, and even the new governments of Poland and Hungary should remain part of the Warsaw Treaty Organization. Like Gorbachev's quotation of Giscard d'Estaing, Yakovlev foresees a Europe with "a common parliament, common affairs and trade relations," along with open borders. He warns against any intervention by the U.S. or Western Europe in the processes underway in the East; and he declares that the lesson of Afghanistan is that "not one Soviet soldier should be in a foreign country with the purpose of conducting warfare." Yakovlev wants the "same understanding" from the American side.
For his part, Brzezinski makes a number of prescient observations, contrasting the state of reform in the USSR (a "rift" between political and economic reform, with the former much further along) to that of China (economic but not political change), predicting that Czechoslovakia would soon follow the path of Poland and Hungary (this would happen only seven weeks later), and warning that any crumbling of the East German regime would soon lead to German unification — a development that "does not correspond to either your or our interests." Here we see the Polish nationalist worried about "the Prussians" and preferring to keep Europe divided into two blocs rather than deal with "one Germany, united and strong." The next day, Gorbachev would compliment Brzezinski for possessing "global brains."
Document 23: Minutes of CC CPSU Politburo Session, November 9, 1989
Source: Archive of the Gorbachev Foundation
On this historic day featuring the breaching of the Berlin Wall, the Soviet Politburo pays no attention at all to Eastern Europe. The leadership's regular weekly meeting mentions not a word about the changes in East Germany, but the reason becomes understandable when one realizes that the subject is the even more chilling prospect of the dissolution of the USSR itself. There is a sense of fatalism in the air about the inevitability of the Baltic countries seceding, and even Gorbachev can propose only a media strategy to try to convince the Balts that separating from the USSR will "doom their people to a miserable existence." As he often does, Prime Minister Nikolai Ryzhkov plays the role of the panicked Cassandra: "What we should fear is not the Baltics, but Russia and Ukraine. I smell an overall collapse. And then there will be another government, another leadership of the country, already a different country." This time, his prediction would come true.
Document 24: Transcript of Gorbachev-John Paul II Meeting, Vatican City, December 1, 1989
Source: State Archive of the Russian Federation, Yakovlev Fond
On the way to the Malta summit, Mikhail Gorbachev stops in Vatican City for his historic meeting with Pope John Paul II, the Polish pontiff from Krakow who has been such an inspiration to the Solidarity movement. Only the second time a leader of Russia has met with a pope (the first being the meeting between Tsar Nicholas I and Pope Gregory XVI in 1845), here the Soviet leader and his wife Raisa would hear the Vatican band performing the Internationale first and then the Papal Hymn. In this conversation, the Pope raises concerns about religious freedom in the Soviet Union and the Vatican's relations with various Orthodox and Catholic denominations, while the Soviet leader talks about issues that he plans to discuss with President Bush in Malta, such as the concept of universal human values, particularly objecting to the use of the phrase "Western values" as the basis for world order. Gorbachev describes his vision of Europe and the new world where "universal human values should become the primary goal, while the choice of this or that political system should be left up to the people." That vision would also include a gradual change of structures with respect for human rights and freedom of conscience. The Pope responds that he shares Gorbachev's vision, especially as far as values are concerned — "t would be wrong for someone to claim that changes in Europe and the world should follow the Western model. This goes against my deep convictions. Europe, as a participant in world history, should breathe with two lungs."
Document 25: Gorbachev's Conversation with Jaruzelski, April 13, 1990
Source: Archive of the Gorbachev Foundation
This warm conversation between Gorbachev and the East European leader he respects the most, Polish President Wojciech Jaruzelski, provides an epilogue to the process of change in the relations between the Soviet Union and its socialist allies. Here, Jaruzelski thanks Gorbachev for the way Moscow has received Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki, head of the first Solidarity government. The former Polish dictator comments that Mazowiecki is a "realist" who is "pro-West but not anti-Soviet" and that "[h]is positions have solidified as the result of his visit to Moscow. He felt the attention and respect for him from the highest Soviet leadership."
Perhaps the most poignant moment occurs near the end, when Gorbachev summons the specter of the "Romanian version" (the violent overthrow of Ceauşescu) to defend his program. "My innermost aim, the chief strategic goal, is to complete perestroika, the democratization of society, and for once to have a renewal take place in Russia without blood, without civil war." In this conversation, it is clear that Poland has become a testing ground for what would come next in the Soviet Union, just a short while later. By December 1990, Jaruzelski will have lost his position as president and been replaced by Solidarity activist Lech Wałęsa; only a year later, Gorbachev would in turn disappear from the Kremlin along with the red flag of the Soviet Union. But the red stars on the Kremlin towers would remain, likewise the hammer and sickle on the insignia of the Russian airline, Aeroflot; and in Poland, the young — post-communist — politician Aleksander Kwaśniewski, whom Jaruzelski recommends to Gorbachev in this meeting, would replace Wałęsa for his own two terms as president of Poland.
Document 26: Cable from U.S. Embassy Moscow to U.S. Department of State, May 11, 1990
Source: Bush Library FOIA release
This remarkable cable from U.S. Ambassador Jack Matlock in Moscow just weeks before the Washington summit describes for the summit planners in Washington the severe "crisis of political power" facing Gorbachev, who seems "less a man in control and more an embattled leader." The cable details the many signs of crisis, which is "of Gorbachev's making, if not of his design" because "[f]ive years of Gorbachev's perestroika have undermined the key institution of political power in the Soviet Union, the Communist Party" without replacing it with any coherent, legitimate governance system. Full of specifics about "the powerful social forces his reforms have unleashed" and prescient about the various possibilities to come, the Matlock cable implicitly signals that Gorbachev would be coming to Washington on the downward arc of his power and his ability to deliver any of the items on the American agenda. In effect, the arms race in reverse that has been on offer from Gorbachev at the previous summits with Presidents Reagan and Bush now will be slowed to a crawl.
Document 27: Memorandum on the Gorbachev Succession, April 10, 1991
Source: CIA National Security Archive FOIA request
On April 10, 1991, David Gompert and Ed Hewitt, who has just replaced Condoleeza Rice on the National Security Council staff, ask the CIA for an analysis of the Gorbachev succession, the actors involved and likely scenarios. The request was probably inspired by a series of fast moving events in Moscow and on the periphery of the USSR. On March 17, the referendum on the new Union treaty was boycotted by six of the 15 republics, Yeltsin asked the Russian parliament for emergency powers in early April, raising his political profile, and Georgian parliamentarians voted for independence. The report opens quite drastically: "The Gorbachev era is effectively over." The scenarios outlined by the report have an eerie resemblance to the actual coup of August 1991. This might be the most prescient of all the CIA analyses of the perestroika years.
The report finds that Gorbachev is likely to be replaced either by the reformers or by the hard-liners, with the latter scenario being the more likely one. The authors point out that "there is no love between Gorbachev and his current allies and they could well move to try to dump him." Then the report lists possible conspirators for such a move - Vice President Yanaev, KGB Chief Kryuchkov and Defense Minister Yazov, among others. The analysis predicts that the "traditionalists" are likely to find a "legal veneer" to remove Gorbachev: "most likely they would present Gorbachev with an ultimatum to comply or face arrest or death." If he agreed, Yanaev would step in as President, and the conspirators would declare a state of emergency and install "some kind of a National Salvation Committee." However, the report concludes that "time is working against the traditionalists." This turns out to be prescient — the August coup followed the process outlined in this report and foundered because the security forces themselves were fractured and the democratic movements gained strength.
Document 28: G-7 Meeting with President Gorbachev, London, July 17, 1991
Source: Bush Library FOIA Release
As John Major puts it in his opening remarks, this is indeed a "historic meeting - the first of its kind." Speaking as President of the Soviet Union to the top club of industrial capitalist nations, Gorbachev presents a detailed outline of economic reform and describes a "crucial political choice" transitioning from one system of values to another. His ultimate priority and the request to the G-7 leaders is the integration of the USSR into the world economic system. The reform cannot succeed without such integration, he says. He implores his counterparts, "let me be frank: will you be well-wishers, onlookers, or active supporters? I'll answer your questions, but want you to answer mine." At this time the new Union treaty is almost completed with nine republics willing to sign. Gorbachev reaffirms his commitment to paying Soviet debts and does not ask for rescheduling - "We accept the rules of the game, but bear great burdens and need solidarity." Solidarity comes in the words of other speakers but there are very few actual commitments to help the Soviet Union out of its predicament.
Alone among the speakers, Mitterrand reminds his colleagues, "the USSR needs serious, sensible assistance." He advises Gorbachev not to move too radically with privatization, but to choose a "middle path," a "happy synthesis between private enterprise and the role of the state." He concludes: "This is not the moment to refuse your interest in integrating yourself in our common history." Other leaders have more questions for Gorbachev, implying that he should move faster toward a market economy. In his reply, the Soviet leader addresses the speed of reform, citing the social factor: "I would like to speed it up, but can't go any faster. Society could not stand it. … Economists like Leontief or Galbraith will always say, 'why have a ministry to move to a market.' But there is no pure, unregulated market economy." Very soon, Russia will try to move to a pure market economy with disastrous results for the society. At the end of the session, Chairman John Major outlines six ways to help the USSR, but the proposal falls far short of what Gorbachev was trying to achieve.
Document 29: Transcript of the First Extraordinary Session of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation, August 21, 1991
Source: State Archive of the Russian Federation
This document brings the reader into the halls of the legendary Russian White House, to the extraordinary session of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation at the exact moment of the triumph of the democratic resistance to the August coup. The discussions show the resoluteness of the democratic opposition and the decisive role of the Soviet army, of which key units ultimately disobeyed orders and sided with the democratic forces.
Document 30: Record of Conversation between Bush and Gorbachev, October 29, 1991
Source: Bush Library FOIA release
This is the one-on-one conversation that Gorbachev has been so hoping for. The Presidents start with a discussion of the upcoming Madrid conference, which they agree is "unprecedented" in that the two superpowers worked together to bring representatives of all parties in the Middle East conflict to the negotiating table. In the Middle East, in Yugoslavia, in Cyprus, their joint efforts are producing real results. However, the main issue in this meeting is the Soviet domestic situation and Gorbachev's urgent need for financial aid. Bush expresses his concern about Yeltsin's intentions, and asks his Soviet counterpart a very perceptive question — "[d]oes Yeltsin's Russia want to take over the center?" — which shows his keen understanding of Gorbachev's predicament.
The meeting takes place on the day after Yeltsin makes his key speech to the Russian Supreme Soviet asking for emergency powers to implement radical economic reform. Gorbachev points to earlier republics' reactions to Yeltsin's statement about frontiers and that it stirred "separatist movements and talk about Russian empire." Still, Gorbachev is generally positive about cooperating with Yeltsin and even about his speech (or maybe he just tries to make lemonade out of his lemons). Gorbachev desperately asks his U.S. partner for loans, repeating his plea several times during the conversation. He says he needs $10-$15 billion and emphasizes that f the current crisis escalated than we — you and us — will pay much more later." But Bush and Secretary of State James Baker are not focused on later — the President says that the Congress' concern is in Chicago, not in the Soviet Union, referring to the electoral campaign of the following year. The U.S. is willing to provide only $1.5 billion and even that amount would have to go as agricultural and medical assistance.


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First Deputy Minister of Energy and Electrification of the USSR
Regarding the accident at Reactor No. 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant


On April 26, 1986, at 1:21 o’clock, as reactor No. 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was
taken into routine maintenance, an explosion occurred in the upper part of the reactor compartment after it was shut down.
According to the director of the Chernobyl power plant, as the result of the explosion the roof and parts of the reactor
compartment wall panels collapsed, as well as several roof panels of the turbine island and auxiliary systems of the
reactor compartment. The roof also caught on fire.

At 3:30 o’clock the fire was eliminated.

The personnel of the nuclear power plant are taking measures to cool down the reactor core.

It is the opinion of the Third Main Directorate of the Ministry of Health that special measures,
including the evacuation of the city, are not necessary.

Nine members of the operational staff have been hospitalized, as well as 25 members of the paramilitary fire brigade.
Measures are being taken to eliminate the consequences and investigate the incident.

A.N. Makukhin

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There were no dissenting voices at the session, partly because of Gromyko's firm endorsement, and partly because three potential opponents — First Secretary of Kazakhstan Dinmukhamed Kunaev, First Secretary of Ukraine Vladimir Shcherbitsky, and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Russia Vitaly Vorotnikov — were abroad and could not make it to Moscow on such short notice.


hmm, bilo bi interesantno pokušati pretpostaviti kako bi se stvari kretale da je jedan od te trojice bio izabran umesto Gorbačova. Da li bi se raspad desio u istom vremenskom intervalu, mirnije ili gore od par lokalnih ratova u Moldaviji i na Kavkazu? Kakve su karaktere imali ta trojica? 



The idea of nuclear abolition was not acceptable to most of the U.S. administration or the NATO allies, but the great "what if" remains: what would have happened if Gorbachev had simply accepted Reagan's apparently sincere offer to share SDI technology rather than dismissing this as ridiculous when the U.S. would not even share "milking machines." If Gorbachev had "pocketed" Reagan's offer, then the pressure would have been on the U.S. to deliver, in the face of a probable firestorm of opposition from the U.S. military and foreign policy establishment

Ovo mi svakako deluje malo nerealno, čak i da su uspeli da se dogovore. Kojim mehanizmima bi mogli da nateraju Veliku Britaniju, Francusku, Kinu, Indiju, Pakistan i Izrael da postupe isto?



This frank discussion of the future of Europe features Yakovlev's repeated notion of the mutual dissolution of NATO and the Warsaw Pact versus Brzezinski's argument that the blocs should remain stable, and even the new governments of Poland and Hungary should remain part of the Warsaw Treaty Organization.

Meni je potreban ziv neprijatelj,sa lesevima ne umem da radim...  :fantom:

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