Nor does it explain the uncommonly high number of assumptions regarding the
Soviet Union that serve as the basis for US policy and that correlate well with the assump- tions promoted by Soviet deception operations. Needless to say, the CIA and FBI positions involve a measure of self-interest: to the extent that there is a severe deception and disinformation problem, that would reflect badly on US counter-intelligence capabilities, which are centred in the FBI and CIA.
The FBI wrote a follow-up report on Soviet active measures which was placed in the
Congressional Record by Representative C. W. 'Bill' Young (R-FL). The report covered the
1986-87 time period and was considerably less bland. It concluded:
'Although it is often difficult to judge the effectiveness of specific active measures operations, the Soviets believe these operations have a cumulative effect and are detrimental to US foreign policy and national security interests. Furthermore, the Soviets believe that their active measures operations in the
United States do contribute to their overall strategy to advance Soviet foreign policy interests, influence US Government policies, and in general discredit the '38. United States
While the report still failed to reach any conclusion concerning the
the effectiveness of Soviet active measures, it did represent a step in the right direction. US
In 1987, the Leadership Foundation sponsored a book on Soviet deception39. Inde- pendent analyses in different functional areas by seventeen experts were commissioned. One of the principal findings that emerged in nearly every analysis was that the
' views do not correspond with reality and, indeed, were to a disturbing degree aligned with Soviet deception objectives40. Mere coincidence? United States
To what extent might our perception of the drug-trafficking problem have been
influenced by the Soviet Bloc's deception, disinformation and propaganda apparatus? As reported by Jan Sejna41, the Soviet Bloc's disinformation and propaganda apparatus has been working hard for over twenty-five years to mould US perceptions of the drug prob- lem. To what extent has the possibility of finding Soviet and Chinese involvement in inter- national drug-trafficking simply been contrary to
policy? And why? US
Might the Soviets have just 'primed' their drug-trafficking operations and then let them continue as independent, self-sustaining activities? Naturally, anything is possible. But this course of action would seem to be an unlikely possibility. The Soviets sustain a long- range revolutionary view. Their activities are governed, in general, by long-range strategy and by plans that extend for decades, and beyond.
* Editor's Note: For instance, it flies in the face of the fact that for many years, a known Communist occu- pied a senior management position on the staff of one of the leading
newspapers. It also disregards the continuing dissemination of mis- and disinformation over the years by agents of influence in features and reports in newspapers throughout the West, designed to pull the wool over the eyes of policymakers and the
case in point at this Edition's press date was a spate of articles which appeared
in the United Kingdom and the United States that were clearly intended to sustain and reinforce the illusion, intended by Moscow, that the explosion of global drug-related criminality is just an unfortunate circumstance of
modern life - rather than a consequence of a long-term intelligence offensive, as explained here. US
Is what has been happening evidence of a change of tactics, or a strategic adjustment? While there have been domestic 'upheavals' throughout
Eastern Europe, control mechanisms still appear to be in place, and intelligence operations are not known to have been seriously affected, at least not as of March 1990. Why would the Soviets walk away from such an eminently successful, long-term strategic offensive?
One reason might be to avoid getting caught. But the Soviet approach to sensitive strategic operations is to build into the operation good secrecy, counter-intelligence con- trols, and, from the beginning, a strategy that is ready to be implemented if there is a breach in the secrecy, and the enemy begins to recognise what is happening. The ground- work is laid, right from the beginning, to deny any responsibility and to place the blame on someone else. They even have a name for this strategy. It is called 'offensive denial'42.
As their narcotics trafficking strategy developed, the Soviets were careful to watch for any signs of Western awareness. By way of example, in 1964 British and Canadian
del- egations visited
separate occasions. Czechoslovakia was instructed to
query the delegations to learn if British or Canadian counter-intelligence
drug-trafficking with the Soviet or East Bloc intelligence services. The purpose was to
ready their counterattack
case something surfaced. The Czechoslovak
approach was to
indicate casually during informal one-on-one conversations that they had heard that the
opposition party in the Czechoslovakia United Kingdom (or ) was linking the party of the person in
the conversation to drug-trafficking and then see where the conversation went. Canada
This Soviet strategy is also reflected in
's decision, with effect from 1964, to
publicise the drug-trafficking role of Communist China. Advertising Moscow 's role would
attention away from the Soviet operation
and provide a convenient culprit for the West to blame for the escalating drugs scourge. The 1964 article by Ovchinnikov43 (see page 41) tied the opium, morphine, and heroin problem in China Japan, the United States and Southeast Asia to . China Yunnan Province was identified as the main producing area feeding
Southeast Asia. The article also discussed the coordination meeting
held in Peking
1952 and the decision to expand production
which formed part of the 'Great Leap Forward'.
This theme was repeated and expanded in 1969, in Literaturnaya Gazeta.
More details were now provided with the important elaboration that the CIA was also identified as a partici-
pant in the trafficking in Southeast Asia. The article linked the CIA to
the transportation of
100-kilogram bars of opium from the remote regions of
Laos to bases in Thailand and to secret
factories on an
island in the , where the opium was processed. 'From
that factory, the heroin goes to the Mekong River United States, Japan and Western Europe'44.
Reports of foreign nationals trafficking from
are especially curious. As indi-
cated earlier, in a 1984 report to Congress45, the Drug Enforcement Administration indicated
that it had knowledge
foreign nationals who were using Bulgaria as their
base of operations.
The DEA provided Bulgaria with lists of names of such people on at least four different occasions. Some 56 names were apparently provided to Sofia46.
What is interesting is that none of the lists identified Bulgarian citizens. Why? Bulgaria
United States have any names of Bulgarians who were involved,
which for some reason were not disclosed, or did the actually only have the names of non-Bulgarians, as was implied in the DEA report? It is distinctly possible that the latter
situation is the case, and that the process by which the United States United States obtained the names was not the result of poor Bulgarian
security - but that the was intended to learn only the names of non-Bulgarian traffickers. United States
KINTEX is reported to have been set up in 1968, although there are indications that it
was in operation several years earlier and was tied into the provision of morphine base to
Italian and French laboratories during the 'French Connection' era - the mid-1960s47. In
1969, 200 kilograms of heroin were seized in
. Through sophisticated chem-
ical analysis of the drug, the German authorities determined that the heroin had been
manufactured in West Germany Bulgaria, thus directly Unking with the manufacture of heroin used in illicit trafficking. It was after this determination was made that a DEA source Bulgaria
disclosed the Bulgarian plan for enabling foreign nationals to use
as a base for Bulgaria
drug manufacturing and trafficking operations.
This disclosure materialised in June 197048. It would also appear, based on the DEA report, that the names of the non-Bulgarian nationals conducting heroin manufacture and trafficking first started appearing in December 197049. It does not require much imagination to hypothesise the Bulgarian use of KINTEX to manage foreign nationals as part of an operation deliberately designed so that if information were leaked to the United States, presumably due to lack of appropriate care by one of the foreign nationals, there would be a non-Bulgarian explanation for the manufacture and movement of drugs to the West from and through Bulgaria. Such an operation could also be designed as a cover for Bulgarian operations conducted without the participation of any foreign nationals50.
Cuba's role in drug-trafficking was disclosed in the US courts in 1982, the link- ages to the Soviet Union were implicit. It was only a matter of time before questions would
raised about Soviet participation. This event, which was widely publicised in the news
media, must have set off discrete alarms in the Soviet offices responsible for 'Druzhba
Narodov'. Some type of protective response was now urgently needed.
In thinking back over the events of the early 1980s and the Soviet need for a diversion, it is interesting to recall the manner in which reports that the Soviets had a drug problem of their own, began surfacing. For years the Soviets had claimed that they had no drug problem because of their social conditions - full employment, no homelessness, and ample opportunities for young people to obtain a good education or learn a trade. Then, suddenly in 1986, a drug problem emerged in Soviet literature51. Much of the blame was placed upon
'Freedom Fighters' who were selling drugs to the Soviet soldiers. But another report from the Afghanistan Soviet Union was particularly odd. It concerned the theft of poppy seeds, which was portrayed as another indication of the growing drug problem. This
should have raised a red flag. Throughout the Soviet Union there is widespread cultivation of poppies. Poppies
grown for medicinal purposes and for the seeds. Children often
drink the nectar in the buds of the ripening flowers. Poppy-seed cake is a national desert in
the and poppy seeds are widely available. So concern over theft of poppy seeds is hardly worth reporting. Ukraine
According to an analysis by Dr James Inciardi, Professor and Director, Department of Criminal Justice,
, the sudden emergence of a Soviet addiction
problem in 1986 was inconsistent with the facts, which included the easy availability of pop-
pies and hashish and a population known for its alcoholism. Moreover, as he explained, an
important Soviet research study on drug addition published in February 1987 was not
suggestive of a recent problem. Inciardi then pointed out that most of the work on this new University of Delaware
research article was actually done in the late 1960s, and referenced source material dating
as far back as 1955. He showed that the Soviets most probably had extensive clinical exposure to drug abusers as far back as the 1950s52 (which, coincidentally, is precisely when the Soviet analyses of the use of drugs as strategic weapons were intensified). The
obvious question, of course, was: why did the Soviets decide to start publicising their drug problem in 1986?
Two possibilities are worth considering. First, in 1985 the Soviets were in the process of modifying their tactics towards the West. As part of this process, they sent numerous emis- saries to the
United States to talk to prominent 'hardliners', inquiring of them what it was
that the Soviet Union had to do to show that it was changing. In the past, it had been a common practice for the Soviets to adopt a strategy designed to portray this image of
change as part of a programme to obtain increased financial and technical assistance from
the West53. This could very well explain many of the 'changes' that were to appear in the
latter half of the 1980s. It could also help to explain, in part, the sudden publicity
Soviets gave to their drug problems, beginning in 1986.
Additionally, it must have been evident, with effect from at least mid-1983, that measures were needed to offset the growing focus of attention on the role of Soviet surro- gates in drug-trafficking. In 1986-87, descriptions of Sejna's knowledge of the Soviet nar- cotics strategy first began to emerge - initially in a private newsletter in the late summer of
1986, and publicly in
France in December 198654 and in in January 198755. America
The Soviets could easily have been aware, as early as 1985, that this material was being developed. Also, in 1986 and 1987, further indications of Soviet activities surfaced, with reports of seizures of narcotics being transported on Soviet ships. In 1986, Dutch police seized 220 kilos of heroin aboard the Soviet freighter, the Kapitan Tomson. Belgian and Canadian officials seized Soviet containers stashed with illegal drugs in 1987. Also in 1987, Italian customs police seized 880 pounds of hashish concealed in the bottom of a container56. The cat was definitely out of the bag.
While these events were unfolding, news about internal Soviet drug problems continued to grow. This provided an understandable basis for the new Soviet interest in
'working with the West', specifically the British and Americans, to 'stop drug-trafficking'*. In February 1988 the Soviets and British signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the 'fight against drugs'.
Three months later, the Soviets tipped off the British about some drugs that were about to be smuggled into
. On April 29,1988, Tass announced that a joint operation, code named 'Diplomat', conducted by Soviet and British customs agents, had led to the seizure of three-and-a-half tons of hashish with a street value of £10,000,000.
were in transit from Britain Afghanistan via to Tilbury. The Soviets reported that the source of the hashish was Leningrad . One wonders why the Soviets did not seize the drug Pakistan
Afghanistan, or the Soviet Union, as would have been logical if the object of
the exercise had really been to combat drug smuggling. Rather, the announcement by Tass noted that Operation 'Diplomat' was another example of broadening international cooperation. The particular 'broadening' referred to concerned agreements which were then being negotiated with
France and the . United States
Is what the Soviets had in mind 'cooperation'? Or is this 'cooperation' in reality a carefully orchestrated Soviet protection, deception, and penetration operation?
Incidentally, a rather simple test of the Soviets' sincerity on this score comes to mind. Let the authorities in
provide a detailed description of the drug operations that Moscow
* Editor's Note: It also provided the necessary false impression of 'equivalence' between of the drug problems in the
and the West, which was a prerequisite for East-West 'cooperation'
in the 'fight against drugs'. USSR
sought such 'equivalence' in order
be able to neutralise Western anti-drug operations effectively, while obtaining a constant stream of Western drug-related intelligence from inside sources. This 'Bold Bolshevik' approach is typical of Leninist activist revolutionary methodology, to which Western Governments are tragically blind. Moscow
they have had a 'hand' in running from 1955 to the present, complete with the names, details and photographs of everyone they trained and everyone who has assisted them over the years; let them provide copies of all Soviet Bloc intelligence files on non-Soviet narcotics trafficking operations; and let them channel back to the countries of origin, all drug-related profits realised by the Soviet Bloc's intelligence services.
Would the Soviets simply have walked away from their drug operation? Possible, but hardly likely. 'Druzhba Narodov' was eminently successful. It was also a long-term operation involving a substantial commitment of resources. Why would the Soviets suddenly trash the operation, especially considering the reluctance of the West to focus serious attention on either the drug-trafficking problem or on the role of Soviet surrogates in drug-trafficking? While one cannot deny that such a response would have been possible, it certainly would have been inconsistent with Soviet strategy and with
's operational doctrine, one
central principles of which is control. The Soviets go to great lengths to ensure control. The
last situation they want is the emergence of economically independent and uncontrolled splinter operations57. Moscow
Notwithstanding the changes which impressed the whole world under Gorbachev there have been few indications of any favourable changes in Soviet strategic capabilities or intelligence operations. As William H. Webster, the CIA's Director of Central Intelligence at the time, observed in February, 1990, the intelligence services in
Eastern Europe were likely to
remain at work notwithstanding the sweeping changes taking place in those countries; and, they would continue cooperating with the Soviets58. Additionally,
Soviet military support continues to flow into various besieged countries, and the Soviet Union's propaganda
apparatus continues to spread lies about the around the globe59. United States
The offer extended by the Drug Enforcement Administration and US Customs back in
1971 to work with the Bulgarian intelligence services to help them arrest drug-traffickers provided the Soviets with an almost heaven-sent mechanism for taking the pulse of
intelligence. This 'cooperation' is now being expanded to include sharing drug-trafficking
intelligence directly with the Soviets. Naturally, this provides the
Soviets with what might be the ultimate feedback mechanism with which to keep track of US
data and concerns. And, in the light of such 'cooperation', how could US Government US
officials, or officials from other countries similarly involved, ever suspect - let alone pub-
licly charge - the Soviets with masterminding a comprehensive Soviet Bloc intelligence drug-trafficking operation? Even if Western suspicions were to be aroused on this score, as they have been from time to time, any conclusion along those lines would be pigeonholed indefinitely on the basis that it conflicted with 'accepted'
Data provided by the former Secretary of the Czechoslovak Defence Council are extensive and have far-reaching consequences. Drug-trafficking by the Soviet Bloc countries and
just one of the monstrosities revealed in his disclosures. Yet notwithstanding the apparent importance of the data, it continues to be ignored, swept aside, or damned with faint praise. Is the problem one of confirmation? Or, do people in China simply not want
know? Is the force of Soviet disinformation, deception and infiltration too strong to
combat; is current propaganda on the new and 'reformed' Soviet policy of glas-nost so
powerful that all the preceding 'glasnosts'60 and failed promises of reform are now ignored or cast aside as ancient history61? Are the data not given serious attention because they are not believed, or because the instant one gives them serious attention, it becomes
clear at once that the Washington has serious problems, requiring urgent attention? United States