less Soviet and East European newspapers and to write down on index cards the names of any US citizens appearing in the articles. As a secondary activity, he was sent to numerous foreign countries to brief their officials on Soviet strategy. On these visits General Sejna encountered receptive and appreciative audiences.
Other than this, and the abortive attempt to draft the papers described above, the only attempts to tap Sejna's vast knowledge were the debriefings undertaken by British
counter-intelligence, substantial elements of which were ultimately incorporated into his
manuscript. There were no detailed debriefings by the CIA counter-intelligence staff.
It is also relevant in reviewing this matter to recognise that General Sejna is not a unique example of US failure to debrief and handle a key defector properly. The failure of the CIA to make good use of defectors became sufficiently well-known that Congressional hearings were held on the subject, and in 1985 the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board began to look into the matter.
The handling of Yuri Nosenko and of Anatoliy Golitsyn32 are two of the best-known cases, but difficult to deal with because of the serious counter-intelligence implications. Suffice it to say that the CIA failed seriously to debrief a defector whom British intelligence considered to be the most important defector of the time. Vladimir Sakharov33, who was one of the first defectors to 'go public' with his story of mishandling and CIA tradecraft
incompetence, played an important role in drawing attention to the mishandling issue.
Lt. General Ion Pacepa34 is another interesting example which bears certain similarities to Sejna's case. Pacepa was a high-ranking Romanian intelligence official. David B. Funderburk was US Ambassador to Romania from 1981 to 1985. In his book about his tenure as Ambassador35, Funderburk described his attempts to curtail Romania's policy of stealing technology from the West. Evidence on these transfers dated back to the mid-1960s, consistently with Romania's increased ties with the West.
Funderburk explained: 'While I am not at liberty to present the intelligence informa- tion which documents case after case, I can say that Pacepa has publicly reported on many of them. Also, I was told at a CIA briefing during the summer of 1984 that Pacepa was never asked questions about tech transfer by US intelligence when he came out in 1978. This seems like a strange omission'. Strange, because technology theft was one of Pacepa's
principal responsibilities. Funderburk also indicated that when Pacepa began reporting on
Romania's technology theft operations, the State Department initiated a discrediting operation. However, 'the State Department can continue using minute discrepancies to discredit all of Pacepa's revelations, but it will not erase reports he has made which ditto other evidence US intelligence already has'36.
While most of these cases can be dismissed as mishandling or examples of an anti- defector bias, Sejna's case stands apart because of his extensive knowledge and experience at the highest levels throughout the Communist system. My conclusion is that it is totally unreasonable to attempt to excuse what happened to Sejna (and continued happening until his death in 1997 - Ed.) as simply poor tradecraft, sloppy technique, the results of distrust of defectors within US intelligence, or mere incompetence.
On the contrary, it seems clear that Sejna was handled, at least during his formal debriefing in 1968, in an extremely professional manner, albeit not in accordance with the
United States' interests. It seems equally clear that what Sejna had to say was contrary to detente and could have done great damage to Soviet strategy and Soviet intelligence oper- ations - if only someone had listened to him and acted on this vital information.
This is the critical point. Certainly in the beginning, and continuing up to the time
that the CIA terminated their relationship with Sejna in the mid-1970s, the only people who really knew how important Sejna's knowledge was, would seem to have been the Czechoslovak and Soviet Defence Councils.
The detailed nature of General Sejna's knowledge can be deduced from the foregoing chapters. Nor does this material represent the limit of Sejna's knowledge of Soviet Bloc drug operations. I have left out considerable material which was not essential to this story; for example, names of specific individuals who were directing and running different phases of the operations, details on many of the drug-related meetings and plans, and Soviet Bloc operations in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, South Asia and the Far East.
Furthermore, the Soviet Bloc's drugs strategy was not the only area where Sejna could offer detailed knowledge. On the contrary, as a result of his position, Sejna's overall knowledge was known to be encyclopaedic. The narcotics data represented but a small sampling. His knowledge covered a wide variety of Communist military, intelligence, political plans, operations, strategies and tactics37.
It is also important to recognise that what General Sejna had to say has been confirmed
time after time - the material on Soviet training, supply and financing of international terrorists being a typical example.
Another enlightening instance of the accuracy of Sejna's revelations in the public domain was the Czech defector's report on the successful Soviet use of West European news media to discredit Franz Josef Strauss. The details of that operation and the successful efforts of Sir James Goldsmith to confirm Sejna's information are presented in Chapman Pincher's book, Secret Offensive38. Moreover, in discussions with various intelligence officials who have worked with Sejna and studied his data, I have not uncovered a shred of evidence that any of these officials know of any data provided by Sejna that had been shown to be suspect, deliberately misleading or false [see also page 120].
There has been a continuing attempt by CIA professionals over the years to discredit General Sejna. The campaign began almost as soon as his debriefings started and has never really ceased. Among the more important instances were attempts in the early
1980s to discredit Sejna's testimony on the Soviet involvement in international terrorism. A more typical example was the statement by a CIA mid-level official in 1986 to some researchers at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy who were taking Sejna's testi- mony in an oral history project. The official referred to Sejna as only a 'two-bit whore'; in effect, advising them not to pay any attention to what General Sejna had to say
As Sejna's expertise in various areas of strategic importance has surfaced over the years, intelligence specialists ask why he did not tell us about something before - or otherwise discredit the information by suggesting that he became smarter with age. It was clear that, as a general rule, neither the intelligence nor the national security policy community liked what Sejna had to say. He was viewed, not as an expert from whom to learn, but as a threat to entrenched policies and institutional misperceptions about how the Communist system works. But most of all, he was a threat to Communist political subversion strategy.
Thus, the question is not, why did he not tell us these things before? The answer to that question is that no-one asked, no-one wanted to know, and many wanted not to know. The real questions are, why do people not want to know; why was there no attempt to debrief him seriously or even to learn the total spectrum of his knowledge? Why were false rumours spread in a campaign to prevent others from listening to what he had to say? Who was behind the concerted campaign to bury Sejna's knowledge? And, why does this process continue even today?
I repeat: How on earth could a major global Soviet Bloc intelligence offensive, such as the Soviet drugs operation, have been underway for so long without the United States knowing what was happening? This crucial question has a simple answer. No-one in the US Government with the authority or responsibility to take action evidently wanted to know, or wants to know. Indeed, they wanted not to know. This is still true today and knowledge of this reality provides one of my motivations for writing this book.
Are there other important examples where Sejna's knowledge is ignored? Yes, numerous ones: for example, Soviet decision-making; Soviet long-range strategy; Soviet strategic deception practices; Soviet Bloc intelligence operations; Soviet revolutionary war strategy; Soviet penetration and use of organised crime; Soviet penetration and subversion of
political parties, especially the Social Democrats; and Soviet sponsorship of international
terrorism, to mention just a few areas of the defector's expertise. General Sejna's knowledge about these (and other) subjects was not unprecedented in the sense that there are other sources with considerable detailed information about them.
What was unique however, and virtually unprecedented in the case of Sejna, was his high-level perspective. He was able to explain the overall operations and strategy, which then enables the analyst to understand how the various details from other sources and from seemingly independent subject areas relate and fit together. That is, he provided the overall picture which gives meaning to the individual pieces of information provided by the many lower-level sources.
While Sejna defected in 1968, his broad knowledge is especially important now ir understanding the cataclysmic changes that are taking place. His high-level understanding
of how the Communist system handled previous changes and of how organisations are split
apart and reconstituted in different forms, specifically to deceive the West about the nature of the changes, should be most valuable today. One context would be in understanding the alleged 'dismantling' of the various secret intelligence agencies and the mechanisms by which various government agencies in satellite countries are 'controlled' by Moscow.
These disturbing errors of omission bring to mind additional insights provided during a colloquium on intelligence in 1987 by Ken de Graffenreid. De Graffenreid was responsible for intelligence on the National Security Council staff from 1981 to 1987. He identified what was in his view a significant US counter-intelligence problem; namely, that many US officials oppose activities aimed at combating Soviet intelligence operations. 'When I was at the NSC' he explained, 'one example was the insistence of many State Department colleagues that little serious effort, diplomatic or otherwise, should be directed at the KGB
threat within the United States. They argued that doing so would 'upset US-Soviet
Still further, de Graffenreid explained that 'whatever the policy during my years at the White House (1981-1987), the State Department, to my knowledge, opposed at least initially every one of the hundreds of recommendations for dealing with the hostile intelligence threat presented within the government'39. This opposition to action against Soviet Bloc intelligence agents, particularly the KGB and GRU, was a source of contention long before 1981. The FBI continually encountered problems obtaining PNG (persona non grata) action approval. The same is true in the drug business. In his letter of resignation dated July 31, 1989, the outgoing US Customs Commissioner William von Raab wrote:
'For the past eight years, the State Department has objected
to every effort to control foreign drug production, thus earning the title the 'conscientious objectors' in the war on drugs'40.
The second characteristic of US intelligence which helps explain the evident lack of attention directed to Soviet drug-trafficking strategy concerns the perceptions among US decision-makers and advisers about how the Communist system operates - especially the coordination that takes place between Soviet intelligence operations and those of its satellites, and the mechanisms by which the satellite operations are initiated and con- trolled. There are two important questions. The first concerns internal control. When several officials of a Communist country are involved in drug-trafficking, is the government of the country involved? The second concerns external control and the degree to which the Soviet Union is responsible for the actions of its satellites.
Communist systems are noted for their effective internal control mechanisms. This is one of the primary functions of the notorious secret police. People are required to spy on their associates, even on their parents. Additionally there are important organisations the function of which is the organisation of spying on the nation's own citizens. Organi- sations that keep watch over their own citizens include the secret police or civilian counter-intelligence and, in the case of the military, military counter-intelligence, and the Main Political Administration. There are also a variety of lesser-known Party organs, especially with respect to keeping watch over the watchers; that is, a counter-counter- intelligence agency. As Sejna described the situation, every person is watched three ways. So it is inconceivable that any individual would be engaged in significant narcotics trafficking without the knowledge, approval, and participation of the State.
It is quite true that there are corruption and illegal operations in Communist countries. But it is not true that they are not known. Rather, they are known and are tolerated. Indeed, toleration of certain illegal activities is the only way the Communist system is able to survive. Additionally, corruption is, in a sense, desired because people who are corrupted can usually be blackmailed or intimidated, and as such are easier to direct and control. The question of what is tolerated revolves around the furtherance of State policy. Many vices are accepted. The black market is generally tolerated. Indiscriminate use of women by high-ranking officials is tolerated. But corruption that would negatively impinge on State policy, corruption that is regarded as treasonous, is not tolerated. Certainly the large-scale trafficking in drugs and associated money-laundering would not be tolerated because it would place State policy at risk.
To the extent that it is tolerated, it is absorbed into a parent intelligence operation where it can be carefully monitored and controlled. The idea of Cuban officials being involved as they are, or the Bulgarians, or Nicaraguans, or Vietnamese, or North Koreans and so forth, without official direction and control, is simply not a reasonable proposition. These countries do not simply 'facilitate' or 'condone' the trafficking. They authorise, direct and control the trafficking as an official State activity.
Fixing the responsibility for satellite intelligence operations is a more difficult but an equally important task. Indeed, it is essential, and not just because of the drug business. The Soviets habitually use satellites and surrogates as agents in implementing Soviet intelligence operations. This has been pointed out to US officials by numerous defectors from Soviet and Soviet Bloc intelligence services. There are several reasons; some are obvi- ous, some not so obvious. The obvious reason, and one most often provided by defectors in trying to explain what is happening, is to afford the Soviet Union distance and deniability
in potentially embarrassing operations. Certainly, drug-trafficking is an excellent example of such a deniable operation. Assassinations with a high risk of disclosure is another good example. Minimising the associated political risk is also a reason for using Third World country surrogates - as was explained by Janos Kadar, First Secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party, in the proposal he made at the 1962 Moscow meeting (Chapter 4).
Less obvious factors are that in many ways the Soviet satellite services are more imaginative and competent than the Soviet intelligence services themselves. Satellite countries often have skills and knowledge that are lacking or scarce in the Soviet Union. The satellite services also have better ethnic ties into many countries, for example into the Middle East or Latin America. These ties are exploited in setting up intelligence operations. And finally, most countries are inherently suspicious of the Soviets, but not of satellite citizens, who tend to be regarded as victims, not co-conspirators. All these factors led to the development of effective and operationally utilised satellite intelligence services, of which the Czechoslovak intelligence service was an especially good example. This underscores the importance of Sejna's knowledge. As secretary of the Defence Council, Sejna participated in the annual review and approval of the one-year intelligence plans and during the Party Congresses, in the five-year and fifteen-year intelligence plans.
The critical question, then, is, to what extent are these satellite services independent? If
the Bulgarians or Cubans are trafficking in drugs, as they are, are the Soviets tied in or responsible? This type of question had bothered US intelligence early on. As explained by the late James Angleton, the legendary head of US counter-intelligence until his organisa- tion was broken up in December 1974: 'Since 1948, we [the CIA and its sister services in Britain, France and West Germany] found sufficient evidence of coordination [among Soviet, Bulgarian, East German, Libyan, Cuban, Hungarian, Romanian and Polish intelli- gence] over extended periods to satisfy even the sceptics'41.
Angleton then identified the two critical aspects of the continued reluctance of US officials to make the connection. 'It may be politically convenient to assume that Soviet bloc intelligence services act independently of the Soviet Union, especially when it concerns an assassination, but what we don't really know, or perhaps want to know, is what is the
nature of the relationship between the KGB and the other Communist intelligence ser- vices?'42. 'Politically convenient' is an understatement. Many policymakers simply did not (do not) want to know or admit the relationships between the Soviet and the satellite intel- ligence services. Admission would restrict policy options, particularly the release of
strategically important materials and technology.
The actual nature of the relationship is another significant element of information that has been supplied by Sejna. Soviet control over satellite intelligence organisations was formally established, he explained to me, when the satellite intelligence service chiefs met in secret in Moscow on October 3rd, 1964, and signed an agreement establishing a Warsaw Pact 'integrated intelligence system'. Under the terms of the agreement, all satellite intelligence activities would be coordinated by Moscow. All operational plans - the long- range fifteen-year plans, the five-year plans that were coordinated with the five-year
funding budget, and the one-year plans - would be approved by the Soviets. The Soviets
would determine when satellite services would cooperate on operations and would also coordinate all the activities of the satellite Departments of Special Propaganda. All collected intelligence was to be passed immediately to Moscow and the Soviets would then determine all subsequent distribution. Of special importance for drug and narcotics trafficking, in addition to the requirement for all plans to be approved by the Soviets, was
the stipulation that strategic intelligence agents would be trained in the USSR.