The Archive of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989

A Catch-22 December 1989, Groundhog-Day Production. Presenting the Personal Research & Scholarship of Richard Andrew Hall, Ph.D.

Fara indoiala…se intimpla ceva. Securitatea nu spune dar sugereaza. “Lasa sa-i scape” mici detalii.

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on August 15, 2014

(purely personal views–to suggest otherwise is to misrepresent me–based on two decades of prior research and publications, not for unauthorized reproduction, thank you)

“Without a doubt…something is going on.  The Securitate doesn’t say but it suggests.  It allows small details to leak out.”

In the seemingly endless discussions of the alleged role of large numbers of Soviet agents (using the cover of being tourists) in the December 1989 overthrow of Nicolae Ceausescu’s communist dictatorship, I am inevitably reminded of this July 1991 quote from Radu Ciobotea that I used in my 2005 article “The Romanian Revolution as Geopolitical Parlor Game.”

(For a recent example, 12 August, of the reappearance of such a claim see: http://cultural.bzi.ro/25-000-de-spioni-kgb-au-stapanit-romania-aproape-un-an-18070 )

from THE 1989 ROMANIAN REVOLUTION AS GEOPOLITICAL PARLOR GAME: BRANDSTATTER’S “CHECKMATE” DOCUMENTARY AND THE LATEST WAVE IN A SEA OF REVISIONISM, Part III (cleared in March 2005)

Reporting in July 1991 on the trial involving many of those involved in the Timisoara repression, Radu Ciobotea noted with what was probably an apt amount of skepticism and cynicism, what was telling in the confessions of those on trial:

Is the End of Amnesia Approaching?…

Without question, something is happening with this trial.  The Securitate doesn’t say, but it suggests.  It let’s small details ‘slip out.’…Increasingly worthy of interest are the reactions of those on trial….Traian Sima (the former head of the county’s Securitate) testifies happily that, finally, the Securitate has been accepted at the trial, after having been rejected by Justice.  Filip Teodorescu utters the magic word ‘diplomats’ and, suddenly, the witness discovers the key to the drawer with surpise and declares, after five hours of amnesia, that in Timisoara, there appeared in the days in question, foreign spies under the cover of being journalists and diplomats, that in a conversation intercepted by a mobile Securitate surveillance unit Tokes was reported as  ‘well,’ and that all these (and other) counterespionage actions that can’t be made public to the mass media can be revealed behind closed doors to the judge….[Timis County party boss] Radu Balan ‘remembers’ that on 18 December at midnight when he was heading toward IAEM, he passed a group of ten soviet cars stopped 100 meters from the county hospital. (It turns out that in this night, in the sight of the Soviets, the corpses were loaded!).” [emphasis in the original] (Flacara, no. 27, 1991, p. 9).

So what is the substance of the most recent popular iteration of the so-called “Soviet tourist” hypothesis as outlined in the 12 August article above?  It is actually from a 23 December 2012 article in the daily Libertatea under the bombastic headline, “25.000 de spioni KGB au stăpânit România aproape un an! Ceauşescu a fost detronat de o armată secretă sovietică, care a stat în ţara noastră în perioada decembrie 1989 – octombrie 1990” (http://www.libertatea.ro/detalii/articol/25-000-de-spioni-kgb-au-stapanit-romania-aproape-un-an-428106.html#ixzz3APp0Eq5v)

“La expunerea clară, concisă a lui Caraman (Mihai Caraman – n.r.), directorul Centralei de Informaţii Externe, am cerut sovieticilor să-şi retragă comandourile. Era vorba despre aproximativ 25.000 – 30.000 de oameni. S-au retras ca urmare a faptului că Gorbaciov modificase strategia şi spusese că URSS nu mai este jandarm în această zonă”. Declaraţia îi aparţine lui Petre Roman, fostul premier al României în perioada decembrie 1989 – septembrie 1991 şi a fost inclusă într-o carte a istoricului Alex Mihai Stoenescu.

In the same article, Larry L. Watt’s 2010 volume Fereşte-mă, Doamne, de prieteni (the English version entitled With Friends Like These) is invoked.  In the English version, Watts wrote on page 16, with a footnote on page 26:

“It is suggestive that more than 25,000 of the 37,000 “extra” Soviet tourists that deemed Romania a desirable place to visit or transit in the two weeks prior to its revolution in December 1989 chose not to leave until almost a year later, in October 1990, after the Romanian government formally insisted on their departure.90”

90. “Ceauşescu protested the sudden influx of Soviet ‘tourists’ to Moscow at the time, none of whom stayed in hotels. See e.g. Mircea Munteanu, New Evidence on the 1989 Crisis in Romania, e-Dossier no. 5, Washington D.C., Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, December 2001, pp. 3-11, CWIHP. The Romanian Senate’s investigation into the events of December 1989 disclosed the extraordinary jump in Soviet ‘tourists’ from 30,000 in 1988 to 67,000 in 1989 as recorded in customs and border statistics, as well as the unexplained delay in their departure. Mention of this glaring anomaly was qualified as unwarranted “conspiracy theory.” See e.g. Depostion of Petre Roman, Transcript no. 90/8.03.1994, Romanian Senate Archive, Bucharest, pp. 44-45. According to ex-Prime Minister Roman, 30,000 Russians ‘tourists’ remained in Romania for almost a year, until officially requested to leave in October 1990. Allegedly, Caraman’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) informed Roman about them only at that time. However, since at least March, Romanian TV had broadcast news stories of the Russian encampments.”]

Marius Mioc reproduced the Romanian version of the passages as follows (Răstălmăcirile lui Larry Watts şi răstălmăcirile altora despre Larry Watts):

Cel mai important fragment din cartea lui Larry Watts care se referă la revoluţie îl găsim la pagina 55, şi este următorul:

Este sugestiv faptul că peste 25000 din cei 37000 de turişti sovietici care au considerat România locul preferat pentru vizite sau tranzit, în cele două săptămînă anterioare revoluţiei din decembrie 1989, au ales să nu mai plece timp de aproape un an, pînă în octombrie 1990, după ce guvernul român le-a cerut oficial şi insistent să părăsească ţara.

Aici se face trimitere la o notă de subsol în care se scrie:

Ceauşescu a protestat împotriva afluxului brusc de turişti de la Moscova, din care nici unul nu stătea la vreun hotel. Vezi Mircea Munteanu, New Evidence on the 1989 Crisis in Romania, e-Dossier nr. 5, Washington D.C., Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, decembrie 2001, pp. 3-11, CWIHP. Ancheta Senatului României asupra evenimentelor din 1989 menţionează un salt de la 30000 turişti sovietici în 1988 la 67000 în 1989, precum şi o întîrziere inexplicabilă în plecarea acestora. Vezi Depoziţia lui Petre Roman, transcript nr. 90/8.03.1994, Arhiva Senatului României, pp. 44-45. Conform prim-ministrului Petre Roman, 30000 de turişti ruşi au rămas în România peste un an, pînă cînd li s-a cerut oficial să plece, în octombrie 1990. Conform lui Roman, şeful SIE, Caraman, l-a informat numai la acea dată despre aceştia. Totuşi încă din martie televiziunea română relata despre taberele sovietice.

But, as it turns out, Watts’ claim is neither new, nor his own.  It indeed appears to belong to Alex Mihai Stoenescu.  Stoenescu wrote the following in a 2004 volume which I found online here, although unfortunately without the endnotes,  http://hot24.weebly.com/uploads/5/2/3/8/5238782/alex_mihai_stoenescu_-_istoria_loviturilor_de_stat_in_romania_vol_4-1.pdf)

...Asadar, coloanele de „turisti” sovietici se prezentau ca fiind în tranzit spre sau din Iugoslavia, dar nu fãceau tranzitul. Ei au rãmas pe teritoriul României în preajma marilor orase pentru a interveni în cazul esecului diversiunilor care trebuiau sã provoace cãderea lui Ceausescu. Au fost pur si simplu dati afarã din tarã abia în octombrie 1990 de cãtre priniul-ministru Petre Roman: „A mai fost un moment foarte delicat, în octombrie 1990, cînd în tarã se aflau 30 000 de rusi! Cu masinile lor! Eu, cînd am aflat de a-ceasta, în calitate de prim-ministru, de la organul competent, adicã S.I. Externe, am fãcut mare tãrãboi si, mã rog, pînã la urmã am reactionat, au fost scosi din tarã. A mai fost o miscare foarte ciudatã înainte de 19 martie 1990 la Tîrgu-Mures”395. într-o discutie particularã, Petre Roman i-a confirmat autorului cã identitatea acestor „turisti” ca luptãtori ai fortelor speciale sovietice fusese deplin documentatã de SIE. Ce fel de tranzit era acela în care 30 000 de turisti (probabil cã nu toti erau luptãtori ai fortelor speciale sovietice, dar ei ofereau acoperirea) rãmîn pe teritoriul unui stat, prin care se presupune cã trec în maximum 48 de ore, si rãmîn un an de zile! (pp. 189-190)

I have through some searching been able to find the sources for Stoenescu’s claim:  Arhiva Senatului României, Stenograma nr.90/8 martie 1994, Audiere Petre Roman, pp.44-45.
http://internationalfreemedia.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/relatiile-romano-americane-de-la-razboiul-absurd-la-fratia-in-nato/#_ftn7 .  The claim from Stoenescu’s 2004 volume appears to have made its way into the press beginning in 2006 in Evenimentul Zilei, ironically (?) on the eve of the presentation to parliament of the Report by the Presidential Commission for the Analysis of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania (CPADCR) on 18 December 2006, despite the fact that Evenimentul Zilei was/is supposedly the hub of opposition to communist and Securitate revisionism in Romania! (it must be, since Vladimir Tismaneanu, head of the CPADCR, published op-eds there at the time and still does!):  http://www.evz.ro/operatiunea-kgb-decembrie-1989-423201.html.

In other words, Watts’ claim is recycled and originates with Alex Mihai Stoenescu.  Watts likes to point out that because Petre Roman was a former Prime Minister and was testifying under oath to a parliamentary committee, and because Roman claims he received the information from the then head of foreign intelligence that this enhances the credibility of the claim (see his comment on the post Mostenirea Clandestina).  Marius Mioc’s observation thus seems appropriate in light of such an interpretation:

Ceilalţi – Comisia Senatorială “Decembrie 1989″, Alex Mihai Stoenescu, Larry Watts, Grigore Cartianu, Sorin Golea – nu fac decît să repete cele spuse de Petre Roman. Remarc că Comisia Senatorială “Decembrie 1989″ n-a făcut nici minima verificare de a-l contacta şi pe Mihai Caraman, pentru a vedea dacă acesta confirmă spusele lui Petre Roman. Despre căutarea unor documente în arhivele Guvernului României sau ale Ministerului Afacerilor Externe care să ateste cererea făcută către sovietici de a-şi retrage agenţii nici nu mai vorbesc.

(from Răstălmăcirile lui Larry Watts şi răstălmăcirile altora despre Larry Watts)

Moreover, what is the background of the people making such allegations or to whom such allegations are ascribed?  Mihai Caraman was a long-time member of the Securitate’s Foreign Intelligence organization, named the CIE in its latter days.  Thus, Petre Roman’s source for this information is a former high-ranking Securitate official.  As I have argued consistently and repeatedly for over two decades in publications, for the purposes of investigating December 1989 three questions are relevant when it comes to what former Securitate personnel argue:

1) Does what they argue absolve the Securitate as an institution of wrongdoing in December 1989–wrongdoing that can be proved as having been committed by Securitate personnel?

2) Is what they argue similar to what other former Securitate personnel argue and can therefore be interpreted as an institutional view?

3) What was their personal relationship with the Securitate:  did they work for the institution?  Were they informers or collaborators of the institution during the communist era?

For example, Mihai Caraman, the alleged source of former PM Petre Roman’s claim was a longtime member of the Securitate’s foreign intelligence organization, and his claim about the alleged presence and role of numerous Soviet agents in the overthrow has been enunciated by numerous other former Securitate personnel (whether internal or external) from 1990 onward, as this site has demonstrated on numerous occasions.

Likewise, Alex Mihai Stoenescu, who first drew attention to the 1994 Petre Roman statement, has been defintively declared by CNSAS as having collaborated with the Securitate in the 1980s (see http://activenews.ro/decizie-definitiva-iccj-istoricul-alex-mihai-stoenescu-colaborat-cu-fosta-securitate_1829506.html or http://www.avocatura.com/stire/10316/istoricul-alex-mihai-stoenescu-verdict-irevocabil-de-colaborator-al-securitatii.html)

Finally, it has to be stressed that, besides sounding absurd–even if we ignore Petre Roman’s supposed earlier clarification to Stoenescu, according to Stoenescu, that all 30,000 of these Soviet tourists were members of Soviet special forces and estimate “conservatively” that “only” 10 percent were actual Soviet agents, that still leaves 3,000 Soviet agents (an incredible devotion of man power) traversing Romania not in Romanian Dacias so as to not draw attention but instead supposedly in Ladas and Moskovici!!!–THERE IS NO RECORD OF A SINGLE “SOVIET TOURIST” HAVING BEEN ARRESTED UPON SUSPICION OF INVOLVEMENT, LET ALONE ARMED INVOLVEMENT, IN THE UPHEAVAL THAT OVERTURNED THE REGIME OF NICOLAE CEAUSESCU BEFORE OR AFTER 22 DECEMBER 1989!  (And specifically with regard to the beginnings of the uprising in Timisoara, Securitate officials themselves, in the immediate aftermath of the events, confessed that despite being tasked from Bucharest to supply evidence of alleged foreign tourist involvement in the demonstrations and riots against Nicolae Ceausescu and his regime, they were unable to do so! See 25 for 2014: 25 Things You Should Know about the Romanian Revolution on the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of Nicolae Ceausescu’s Communist Regime: #1 The Securitate Deny Foreign Instigation of the Timisoara Uprising)

This then is why as Radu Ciobotea wrote, “The Securitate doesn’t say but it suggests.  It allows small details to leak out.”–precisely because it has no tactical proof of Soviet tourist responsibility for the December 1989 events, its former personnel must appeal to broad, structural, and unverifiable claims, such as the overall number of Soviet tourists in 1989, to suggest that by the mere presence of so many Soviet tourists they must have been involved.

 

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One Response to “Fara indoiala…se intimpla ceva. Securitatea nu spune dar sugereaza. “Lasa sa-i scape” mici detalii.”

  1. […] https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/08/15/fara-indoiala-se-intimpla-ceva-securitatea-nu… […]

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