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.

Basescu (aka “Petrov”), the Securitate, and the Investigations of December 1989 (I)

(purely personal views as always; not for reproduction or reuse without author’s permission)


I never had much confidence during the Presidency of Traian Basescu (2004-2009; 2009-2014) that progress would be made in clarifying what happened during the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 that overthrew communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. The following clip, in which Basescu browbeats and insults the then Prosecutor General Laura Codruta Kovesi, somehow synthesized so many things that would lead one to such a pessimistic conclusion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVOjboMr7gs

“Vreau să comunicaţi nu numai mie, dar şi opiniei publice, ce se întâmplă cu aceste dosare. Daţi o speranţă că se va continua ancheta şi se va ajunge la sfârşit”, i-a cerut preşedintele procurorului general, în cadrul întâlnirii de la palatul Controceni cu reprezentanţii revoluţionarilor.

Laura Codruţa Kovesi a încercat să explice că dosarele Revoluţiei nu au fost rezolvate  timp de 18 ani şi nu se poate întoarce timpul înapoi, însă justiţia va da dovadă de celeritate.

“Am spus că vom soluţiona cu celeritate, pentru că 18 ani nu am avut soluţii. Eu nu pot să vă promit o soluţie şi nici nu pot să îndrept ceea ce 18 ani nu s-a făcut. O sa dăm o soluţie”, a spus Kovesi.

“Cred că aţi înţeles foarte bine ceea ce v-am spus. Am o rugăminte: nu mă confundaţi cu un ziarist căruia îi faceţi o declaraţie. Vorbiţi cu şeful statului care vă spune aşa: au murit 1.600 de oameni la Revoluţie, iar voi închideţi dosarul. Aveţi soluţie sau nu? Au murit oameni la mineriada din 13-15 iunie. Ce vreţi să spuneţi, că vă impun o soluţie ? Vă impune realitatea să spuneţi dacă s-au împuşcat singuri oamenii sau au fost împuşcaţi de cineva. Nu mă confundaţi cu ziarişti cărora le faceţi declaraţii să fie prinse pe telex”, a întrerupt şeful statului discursul lui Kovesi.

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Basescu, of course, supported the investigations of Military Prosecutor Dan Voinea (he returned to the helm after Basescu came to power)…until he was fired from office by Kovesi for what she termed “the kind of basic mistakes you wouldn’t even expect from a beginner.” The most charitable thing one can say about Voinea is that it was more sheer laziness (ask someone who has worked with him!), incompetence, and cowardice than compromise that likely led him to proceed how miserably he did with the Revolution Files.

It was Dan Voinea’s “investigations” and “findings” which imbued the so-called Tismaneanu Commission’s “Final Report”‘s Chapter on December 1989, as even one of the Commission’s most vocal members (Sorin Iliesiu) said publicly at the time. Voinea, and hence the Report, argued that the “terrorists” were a diversion invented by Ion Iliescu and those who seized power…to cover and legitimate their seizure of power:

Prin televiziune s-au făcut majoritatea diversiunilor, cea mai eficientă fiind reprezentată de „pericolul de moarte” omniprezent întruchipat de „teroriştii fideli dictatorului Ceauşescu”; acesta a fost arestat în 22 decembrie, într-o unitate militară din Târgovişte. Pericolul părea total credibil întrucât în perioada 22-27 decembrie au fost înregistraţi 942 de morţi şi mii de răniţi. Majoritatea au fost ucişi şi răniţi pe străzile din centrul capitalei şi al altor oraşe martirizate ca urmare a acestei diversiuni. Ulterior nu a fost acuzat şi judecat nici un terorist….Potrivit declaraţiilor generalului-magistrat Dan Voinea…„În decembrie 1989 scopul era deturnarea caracterului anticomunist al revoluţiei şi preluarea puterii prin teroarea instalată”17.  [pp. 623-624]

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This is not merely a sidebar or footnote to the Revolution–try as some, in particular the Chair of the Commission (Vladimir Tismaneanu), might strive to have us believe. It concerns who was responsible for the approximately 1,000 deaths and 3,000 plus injuries (many of them left with lifelong disability and pain and living in poverty) of that bloody December. The Chair of the Commission has shown himself completely unable to confront and assimilate the facts revealed by declassified documents on December 1989 from the US (CIA and State Department), UK (British Foreign Office), and Canada (External Affairs).

Fullscreen capture 1252019 85638 AM

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But then again, perhaps this should not should come as such a surprise. Professor Tismaneanu has been wholly unable to come to terms with the official confirmation by CNSAS that Traian Basescu, who appointed him head of the Commission, was a Securitate informer (under the name of “Petrov”) for Directorate IV. When the CNSAS verdict came out, Tismaneanu appeared to play dumb when it came to the Securitate’s Fourth Directorate, Military Counter-Intelligence, inquiring for more information about this, according to him, somehow mysterious, little known unit. (This was, in stark contrast, to a leading specialist in communist archives, who told me unambiguously that such directorates were every bit as “unsavory” as other internal security organs under these regimes). There have predictably followed more attempts at ignoring the revelations, and continued efforts to relativize or minimize (rather than exploring) their significance and implications, none more so than when the Chair of Basescu’s Commission declared, “I don’t hear ‘Petrov’ when Traian Basescu speaks.”

 
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