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.

Posts Tagged ‘cpadcr’

25 for the 25th Anniversary of the Romanian Revolution: #20 Identifying the Terrorists: Securitate General Iulian Vlad’s Ignored Declaration and other Evidence

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on December 26, 2014

(purely personal views, based on two decades of prior research and publications)

Bullets, Lies, and Videotape:
The Amazing, Disappearing Romanian Counter-Revolution of December 1989
by Richard Andrew Hall, Ph.D.

Standard Disclaimer: All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official positions or views of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or any other U.S. Government agency. Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying U.S. Government authentication of information or CIA endorsement of the author’s views. This material has been reviewed by CIA to prevent the disclosure of classified information.
[Submitted to CIA’s Publications Review Board (PRB) 19 November 2009; cleared without changes by PRB 15 December 2009]
I am an intelligence analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency. I have been a CIA analyst since 2000. Prior to that time, I had no association with CIA outside of the application process.

Bullets Lies and Videotape The Amazing Disappearing Romanian Counter-Revolution of December 1989 by Richard Andrew Hall 103013tk1

Bullets Lies and Videotape The Amazing Disappearing Romanian Counter-Revolution of December 1989 by Richard Andrew Hall 103013tk1

COLONEL GHIRCOIAS MAKES THE ROUNDS OF BUCHAREST’S HOSPITALS

Unofficially, we also know of Colonel Ghircoias’ exploits after the Ceausescu regime collapsed on 22 December 1989, exploits for which he was not charged at his trial and for which he has never been charged.  Of the 1,104 people killed and 3,352 people injured during the December 1989 bloodshed, 942 of them were killed and 2,251 wounded after Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu fled power on 22 December 1989.  At the time, personnel of the communist regime’s secret police—known as the Securitate—and allied foreign mercenaries fighting to restore the Ceausescu regime—collectively christened “the terrorists”—were thought to be the primary source behind the post-22 December bloodshed.

It was in this context, that doctors from Bucharest’s various main hospitals recall Colonel Ghircoias’ sudden, unannounced appearances during the last days of December 1989 and first days of January 1990.  Professor Andrei Firica of the Bucharest “Emergency Hospital” recounted in a 2004 media interview largely the same details he had conveyed to the press in the summer of 1990.  According to Firica, some 15 to 20 suspected terrorists had been interned at the “Emergency Hospital” in varying states of medical distress.  He says he made a small file of the medical situations of these patients.  A Militia colonel, whom he later was to see in [prisoner] stripes on TV as a defendant in the Timisoara trial—i.e. fairly clearly Ghircoias—came one day and counseled him to keep nosy foreign reporters away from the beds of the “terrorists,” stating ominously that “these were just terrorist suspects and he [Dr. Firica] didn’t want to wake up one day on trial for having defamed someone”!   The colonel later came and loaded the wounded terrorist suspects onto a bus and off they went.  Firica maintains the files he kept on the terrorist suspects “of course, disappeared.”  He noted, however, that he asked his son, who had studied theater and film at university, to film the terrorists tied down to the hospital beds, and he claims he gave copies of this cassette to the Procuracy.[4]

[5]

[In viewing these photos, witness what Constantin Fugasin recounted in “Unde ne sint teroristii?” Zig-Zag, in 1990, based in part on an interview with Dr. Andrei Firica:

At the Emergency Hospital 13 suspected of being what we call terrorists were interned.  Among these a few were definitely foreign, even though all had Romanian papers.  Two clearly had ‘Mongoloid’ (‘Asiatic’) features (one stated that his mother was Romanian, while his father was from Laos), while four others were Arabs.  Nevertheless, they spoke Romanian very well.  Doctor Nicolae Staicovici, who worked a time in Egypt and who treated them for a time spoke with them.  At a moment, he formed a question in Arabic.  One of the injured responded to him perfectly.  All were well-built, one was a ‘mountain of a man.’  He said nothing, although he probably had terrible pains.  There were also two terrorists who were not wounded.  One arrived at night, under some pretext.  Those on guard suspecting him, immobilized him.  He had on three layers of clothing and several ids.  They tied him to the stretcher, but although he appeared rather frail, at a given moment he ripped the restraints off.[6]]

 

[7]

[Dr. Andrei Firica, 2004:  From a diagnostic perspective, those who maintain that the terrorists didn’t exist are telling an outrageous lie…In the Emergency Hospital, people were brought who were shot with precision in the forehead, from behind, just a few yards in the crowd of demonstrators, such people who did this can only be called terrorists…[8]]


Dr. Nicolae Constantinescu, chief surgeon at the Coltea Hospital, also was paid the honor of a visit by Colonel Ghircoias during these days:

I remember that on 1 or 2 January ’90 there appeared at the [Coltea] hospital a colonel from the Interior Ministry, who presented himself as Chircoias.  He maintained in violent enough language that he was the chief of I-don’t-know-what “criminalistic” department from the Directorate of State Security [ie. Securitate].  He asked that all of the extracted bullets be turned over to him.  Thus were turned over to him 40 bullets of diverse forms and dimensions, as well as munition fragments.

To the question of whether he informed the Military Procuracy?

Of course, I announced the Prosecutor’s Office, and requested an investigation [of those shot in the revolution].  For example, when I showed them the apartment from where there were was shooting during the revolution, on the fourth floor of the ‘Luceafarul’ cinema, the prosecutors told me that they sought to verify it and uncovered that there was a Securitate ‘safehouse’ there and that was it.

In 1992, I signed along with other doctors, university professors, renowned surgeons, a memorandum [see page 5 (below) for an article apparently linked to the memorandum] addressed to the Prosecutor General in which we requested an investigation regarding the wounded and dead by gunfire.  Not having received any response, after six months I went there to ask what was going on.  They told me they were working on it, and they showed me two or three requests and that was it.  One of the prosecutors took me into the hallway and told me “I have a child, a wife, it is very complicated.”  He asked me what I thought I was doing…I lit back into him, I told him I wasn’t just any kind of person to be blown off.

I showed him the x-rays of those who were shot, I showed him the bullets in the liver.  The x-rays exist, they weren’t my invention, I didn’t just dream all this up to demand an investigation!  I told them that there are some people who wish to find out the truth and they signed a memo to the Procuracy and they aren’t just anybody, but doctors with experience, experts in the field.  In vain, we requested ballistics tests and other research, in vain we presented forms, documents, x-rays, studies.  They did not want to undertake a serious investigation.[9]

[4]Professor Andrei Firica, interview by Florin Condurateanu, “Teroristii din Spitalul de Urgenta,” Jurnalul National, 9 March 2004, online edition, cited in Hall, “Orwellian…Positively Orwellian” http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/Voineaswar091706.html. For similar accounts, see Florin Mircea Corcoz si Mircea Aries, “Terorist ascuns in Apuseni?” Romania Libera, 21 August 1992, p. 1–“Colonelul Ghircoias, former director of the Securitate’s penal investigative unit, brought together the individuals accused of being terrorists and made them disappear”; Andreea Hasnas, “Reportajul unui film cu TERORISTI,” Expres, no. 10 (6-12 aprilie 1990), p. 5; Constantin Fugasin, “Unde ne sint teroristii?” Zig-Zag, 1990.

[5] Screen capture from http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7rp6b_revolutia-romana-2225-dec1989-part_shortfilms posted by Alexandru2006.

[6] Significantly this video is in direct contradiction and contests the claims of the Sorin Iliesiu who maintains that “General Dan Voinea has said clearly:  The terrorists did not exist.  Those who seized power lied to protect the real criminals….The diversion of the ‘terrorists’ has been demonstrated by [the] Justice [System], not a single terrorist being found among the dead, wounded or arrested  (Sorin Iliesiu, “18 ani de la masacrul care a deturnat revoluţia anticomunistă,” 21 December 2007, http://www.romanialibera.com/articole/articol.php?step=articol&id=6709).  For a discussion, see Hall 2008.

[7] Screen capture from http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7rp6b_revolutia-romana-2225-dec1989-part_shortfilms posted by Alexandru2006.

[8] Professor Andrei Firica, interview by Florin Condurateanu, “Teroristii din Spitalul de Urgenta,” Jurnalul National, 9 March 2004, online edition.

[9] Dr. Professor Nicolae Constantinescu, interview by Romulus Cristea, “”Nici acum nu-mi dau seama cum am putut sa operez nonstop timp de trei zile,” Romania Libera, 20 December 2006, online edition.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/09/23/a-tale-of-two-letters-by-securitate-director-general-iulian-vlad-what-the-romanian-press-does-and-does-not-publish/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/11/20/when-a-truth-commission-misses-crucial-evidence-the-romanian-cpadcr-final-report-and-securitate-general-iulian-vlads-declaration/

It is virtually certain that the authors of the Chapter on the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 (pp. 620-627, especially p. 625 http://www.presidency.ro/static/ordine/RAPORT_FINAL_CPADCR.pdf ) had no knowledge of Securitate General Iulian Vlad’s Declaration of 29 January 1990 … with predictable negative consequences for their understanding of what happened in December 1989.

And one wonders why I found (find) mainstream Romanian studies so unhelpful in trying to understand Nicolae Ceausescu’s overthrow and the Romanian Revolution of December 1989?  Read Vladimir Tismaneanu or Tom Gallagher (or in its 2014 variation, see Grigore Pop-Eleches in Bernhard and Kubik) on Romania in the early 1990s and one is presented with a world of good and evil, of angels and demons, with distance from former nomenklaturist and high-ranking communist Ion Iliescu and the core of the National Salvation Front being as being the simple formula for explaining and understanding any event or policy.  As opposed to this highly–one might say blatantly–politically partisan [and bureaucratically ignorant] approach, on the other side stand functional or deconstructionist explanations–the kind favored by Peter Gross, Katherine Verdery, Peter Siani-Davies, or Ruxandra Cesereanu–which would explain the press of the time as the function of market pressures, sensationalist appetites, an anomic readership, poor journalistic training and professionalism, etc.

How then does one explain the following conundrum:  the selective treatment of the letters and declarations of former Securitate Director General Iulian Vlad?  Oh, yes, the text of General Vlad’s letters which allege he was a stooge and victim of Ion Iliescu, etc. can be found in the Romanian press.  No problem!  But what about his declaration of 29 January 1990, where he deftly admits the responsibility of his institution for the bloodshed of December?  What, that not sensationalist enough, different enough to sell papers?  That’s not “anti-communist” enough for publication?  Is it somehow less credible than the other letters whose text has been published without problem?  24 plus years later, the Romanian media has yet to publish this document!  Could it be that the problem with this declaration is that it does not fit with and undermines the other popular narratives of December 1989 that minimize and even absolve the former Securitate of responsibility for the bloodshed of December 1989?

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Ion Cristoiu’s Evenimentul Zilei debuted in June 1992 and was the flagship of opposition to the regime of Ion Iliescu.  In the fall of 1992 it ran a zealous campaign opposed to Iliescu’s reelection.  Here is the exculpatory letter from former Securitate General Iulian Vlad (dated 20 March 1990) that was published on 19 September 1992:

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“Generalul IULIAN VLAD se adreseaza dlui Ion Iliescu:  Am fost arestat pe nedrept (20 March 1990),” Evenimentul Zilei, 19 septembrie 1992, p. 3.  “Intr-adevar pe dictatorul Ceausescu l-am tradat” “M-am integrat total Revolutiei” “Sint convins ca datele nu va erau cunoscute”  I.V. Vlad 20 martie 1990

And, yet, what of General Iulian Vlad’s declaration of 29 January 1990.  As far as I know, in 24 plus years, only this brief allusive mention on the 15th anniversary of the letter (although not mentioned or acknowledged in the article, and possibly accidental) has made its way into the Romanian press.  Below it:  the text of the statement of 29 January 1990!

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https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/text-of-securitate-general-iulian-vlads-29-january-1990-declaration-identifying-the-terrorists/

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It took 22 years for the text of Securitate Director General Iulian Vlad’s handwritten declaration of 29 January 1990 to become public knowledge–thanks to former military prosecutor General Ioan Dan.  (Inevitably, there will no doubt be those who will allege that General Vlad was “forced” to write this declaration to save his skin, etc., that this was the “propaganda of the moment” and all a huge lie.  If that were the case, one would have expected Iliescu, Brucan, Militaru, Voican Voiculescu, etc. to have made every effort for Vlad’s declaration to leak to the media.  Instead, for 22 years it was hidden from public knowledge!)

Of Note:  No “Soviet tourists,” no DIA (Batallion 404) troops of the army’s intelligence wing, no “there were no terrorists:  the Army shot into everyone else and into itself”–in other words, none of the spurious claims that have littered the narrative landscape, fueled by the former Securitate over the past two decades plus.  No, Vlad knew who the terrorists of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 were, because they reported to him!

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General Magistrat (r) Ioan Dan

In aprilie 1990, generalul Gheorghe Diaconescu a fost destituit din functia de conducere in Directia Procuraturilor Militare.  La plecare, mi-a predat cheia de la fisteul sau, cu mentiunea ca acolo au mai ramas cateva hartii fara importanta. Intrucat, la data respectiva, ma aflam in cea mai mare parte a timpului, in procesul cercetarilor de la Timisoara, mult mai tarziu, am dorit sa pun in respectivul fiset o serie de acte.  Am cercetat ce mai ramasese de pe urma generalului Diaconescu si, spre surprinderea mea, am gasit declaratia olografa a generalului Iulian Vlad, data fostului adjunct al procurorului general, fostul meu sef direct, nimeni altul decat generalul Diaconescu, la 29 ianuarie 1990, cand toate evenimentele din decembrie 1989 erau foarte proaspete.  Repet, este vorba despre declaratia olografa, un text scris foarte ingrijit, pe 10 pagini, din care voi reda acum integral doar partea care se refera expres la “actiunile teroriste in Capitala” (formularea apartine generalului Vlad).

“Analizand modul in care au inceput si s-au desfasurat actiunile teroriste in Capitala, pe baza acelor date si informatii ce le-am avut la dispozitie, consider ca acestea ar fi putut fi executate de:

1) Elementele din Directia a V-a, USLA, CTS si din alte unitati de Securitate, inclusiv speciale.

a) Directia a V-a, asa cum am mai spus, avea in responsabilitate paza si securitatea interioara a Palatului Republicii, multe dintre cadrele acestei unitati cunoscand foarte bine cladirea, cu toate detaliile ei.  In situatia creata in ziua de 22.12.1989, puteau sa mearga la Palat, pe langa cei care faceau acolo serviciul si unii dintre ofiterii si subofiterii care se aflau la sediul CC ori la unitate.

Este ca se poate de clar ca numai niste oameni care cunosteanu bine topografia locului ori erau in complicitate cu cei care aveau asemenea cunostinte puteau patrunde in cladire (sau pe acoperisul ei) si transporta armamentul si cantitatile mari de munitie pe care le-au avut la dispozitie.

Tot aceasta Directie dispunea de o baza puternica si in apropierea Televiziunii (la Televiziunea veche).  De asemenea, avea in responsabilitate perimetrul din zona resedintei unde se aflau numeroase case (vile) nelocuite si in care teroristii ar fi putut sa se ascunda ori sa-si faca puncte de sprijin.

Sunt si alte motive care pun pe prim-plan suspiciuni cu privire la aceasta unitate.

b) Elemente din cadrul unitatii speciale de lupta antiterroriste care aveau unele misiuni comune cu Directia a V-a si, ca si o parte a ofiterilor si subofiterilor de la aceasta unitate, dispuneau de o mai buna instruire si de mijloace de lupta mai diversificate.

c) Elemente din Trupele de Securitate care asigurau paza obiectivilor speciale (resedinta, palat etc.) si, impreuna cu Directia a-V-a, Securitatea Capitalei si Militia Capitalei asigurau traseul de deplasare.

d) Ofiteri si subofiteri din Securitatea Capitalei, indeosebi de la Serviciul Trasee, sau dintre cei care au lucrat la Directia a V-a.

e) Elemente din alte unitati de Securitate, inclusiv unitatile speciale 544, 195 si 110, precum si din cele complet acoperite, comandate de col. Maita, col. Valeanu, lt. col. Sirbu, col. Nica, col. Eftimie si lt. col. (Eftimie sau Anghelache) Gelu (asa sta scris in declaratie–n.n.).  Aceste din urma sase unitati, ca si UM 544, in ansamblu, si UM 195 puteau dispune si de armament si munitii de provenienta straina, precum si de conditii de pregatire adecvate.

2) Ofiteri si subofiteri din Militie, atat de la Capitala, cat si de la IGM, cu prioritate cei din Detasamentul special de interventie si cei care asigurau traseul.

3) Cred ca s-ar impune verificarea, prin metode si mijloace specifice, a tragatorilor de elita din toate unitatile din Capitala ale Ministerului de Interne, precum si a celor care au avut in dotare sau au indeplinit misiuni folosind arme cu luneta.  N-ar trebui omisi nici chiar cei de la Dinamo si de la alte cluburi sportive.

4) Unele cadre militare de rezerva ale Securitatii, Militiei si Armatei, precum si actuali (la data respectiva) si fosti activisti de partid sau UTC, persoane apropriate tradatorului si familiei sale ori care poseda arme de foc.

Propun, de asemenea, o atenta investigare a celor care au fost in anturajul lui Nicu Ceausescu.  Acest anturaj, foarte divers, cuprindea inclusive unele elemente de cea mai scazuta conditie morala care puteau fi pretabile la asemenea actiuni.

Ar fi bine sa se acorde atentia cuvenita sub acest aspect si fratilor dictatorului–Ceausescu Ilie si Ceausescu Nicolae–care, prin multiplele posibilitati pe care le aveau, puteau organiza asemenea actiuni.

5) Anumite cadre militare sau luptatori din Garzile Patriotice.

6) Straini:

a. Din randul celor aflati la studii in Romania:

– arabi, in general, si palestinieni, in special, inclusiv cei care sunt la pregatire pe linia Armatei (de exemplu, la Academia Militara);

– alte grupuri de straini la studii (iranieni si altii).

b. Special infiltrati (indeosebi din cei care au urmat diverse cursuri de pregatire pe linia MI sau a MAN);

c. Alti straini aflati in tara cu diverse acoperiri, inclusiv diplomatice;

d. Fosti cetateni romani (care ar fi putut intra in tara si in mod fraudulos).

7) Elemente infractoare de drept comun care au posedat armament ori l-au procurat in chiar primele ore din dupa-amiaza zilei de 22 decembrie 1989, cand, din mai multe unitati de Securitate, intre care Directia a V-a si Securitatea Capitalei, s-a ridicat o cantitate mare si diversa de armament si munitie.”

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/10/04/declaratia-generalului-ion-hortopan-cum-a-vazut-armata-colaborarea-generalului-iulian-vlad/

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Declaratia generalului colonel I. Hortopan, 16.02.1990 (din cate cunosc, pana publicarea cartii lui Dan Ioan, timp de 22 de ani, aceasta declaratie n-a aparut in presa romana)

“Actiunile teroristilor au crescut in intensitate in ziua de 23 decembrie si in seara zilei, la o analiza a Consilului Frontului Salvarii Nationale, Vlad a fost intrebat cine sunt cei care trag asupra Armatei si populatiei, la care acesta — in scopul de ne induce in eroare — a raspuns ca manifestantii patrunzand in anumite obiective importante, printre ei fiind si elemente rauvoitoare, fosti puscariasi de drept comun, au pus mana pe arme, s-au constituit in grupuri si trag asupra noastra.  In timpul actiunii, trupele noastre au prins un numar de teroristi care faceau din unitatile de Securitate, au cerut cuvantul si au prezentat numarul unitatilor din care faceau parte (UM-0672F, UM-0639, UM-0106, UM-0620), la care Vlad, tot pentru inducere in eroare, a afirmat ca acestia s-ar putea sa fie fanatici, care, chipurile, ar actiona pe cont propriu.”

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https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/09/07/former-securitate-officials-who-corroborated-general-iulian-vlads-declaration-on-the-terrorists-liviu-turcu-ion-mihai-pacepa-radu-vasilevici-marian-romanescu-and-others/ 

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/05/14/planul-z-z-ion-mihai-pacepa-si-liviu-turcu-in-decembrie-1989/

I have attempted to trace Pacepa’s public discussion of Plan Z-Z to verify claims made by other actors (see below, Gheorghe Diaconescu, Giani Bucurescu/Virgil Lovescu) in the Romanian Revolution of December 1989.  All of these actors refer to Pacepa’s discussion on Radio Free Europe/Radio Europa Libera sometime apparently between 24 and 26 December 1989.  Unfortunately, although there are a series of audio clips and transcripts from these days on the Europa Libera site http://www.europalibera.org/archive/1989/latest/452/982.html, there is no mention of the Pacepa intervention in question and no indication of record of its existence on the Internet.

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6 februarie 1990

Declaratie.  Subsemnatul Bucurescu Giani, general-maior [D.S.S.]

La data de 28 sau 29 decembrie 1989, col. Lovescu [?] Virgil seful U.M. 0650 mi-a raportat ca…

Col. Lovescu [?] Virgil avea un subordonat a carui sotie-medic a participat la acordarea ajutorului ranitilor in luptele de la Aeroport Otopeni si la transportarea cadavrelor la I.M.L.  Acestea ii relatase sotului ca in buzunarul unui terorist ucis la Otopeni, care era imbracat in trei costume de haine, unul peste altul, s-au gasit cartile de vizita ale lui Emil Bobu si Ion Dinca.

Col. L Virgil mi-a spus ca l-a frapat aceasta informatie si legat de faptul ca la postul de Radio Europa Libera se facuse afirmatie cu Pacepa ar fi precizat ca Ion Dinca se ocupase de pregatirea unor grupuri de teroristi.  Alte date nu pot da intrucit informatia era in curs de clarificare ori la Col. Ratiu [DSS Dir I] ori la Col. Goran [SMB]…

Cunosc [?] faptul ca col. Ardeleanu [sef USLA] era in relatii apropriate cu familia lui Ion Dinca…

Din conducerea USLA atit col. Ardeleanu cit si col Blortz [Bleort] erau apropriatii lui T. Postelnicu

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https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2012/12/28/what-can-we-learn-from-dosarele-revolutiei-de-la-timisoara-vi/

We have two different accounts from Gheorghe Diaconescu, which roughly match:

http://www.banaterra.eu/romana/files/procesul_de_la_timisoara_volumul_VI_continut.pdf

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This also seems to confirm the following (when adjusted for the corrected dates):

Nestor Ratesh quotes one of Ceausescu’s senior party henchman, Ion Dinca, as having stated at his trial in early February 1990:

“During the night of 27-28 [of January 1990] at 12:30 A.M., I was called by several people from the Prosecutor’s Office to tell what I knew about the agreement entitled Z.Z. between Romania and five other states providing for the dispatching of terrorist forces to Romania in order to intervene in case of a military Putsch.  This agreement Z.Z. is entitled ‘the End of the End.’  I stated then, and I am stating now to you, that I have never been involved in this agreement, neither I nor other people.  And I was told:  Only you and two other people know this.  I stated that and a detailed check was made in order to prove that I was not involved in such acts.”[95]

[95] Ratesh, Romania:  The Entangled Revolution, pp. 66-67, quoting Radio Bucharest, 2 February 1990.  I don’t think from the context given it is clear that this alleged incident took place in January 1990, as Ratesh assumes; the reference to 27-28 might have been a reference to December 1989.

But it almost doesn’t matter when Pacepa first discussed this…because almost identical details were disclosed by Liviu Turcu, a DIE officer who had defected earlier in 1989 (thereby being far more knowledgeable of current plans/realities inside the Romanian security state), only without reference to a named plan, such as Plan Z-Z.  It was thus Turcu on 23 December 1989 (within 24 hours of the outbreak of terrorist hostilities in Romania; the interview would have taken place on Saturday the 23rd) who first informed Western media of the existence of such a plan–although it appears Turcu’s disclosures were never relayed by Romanian media or by Radio Europa Libera.

Romanian Army Rankled by Interference;Defector Cites Long-Standing Friction Between Military and State Security Forces

The Washington Post
December 24, 1989 | Dan Morgan

The violence that has erupted in Romania between the army and state security forces loyal to deposed president Nicolae Ceausescu is rooted in long-standing friction between the two institutions that has sharpened dramatically recently, a high-level Romanian defector said yesterday.

Lidiu Turcu, who worked with the foreign intelligence branch of the Department of State Security, known as the Securitate, until his defection in Austria last January, said a special directorate monitored the loyalty of top army officers. As Ceausescu’s paranoia increased, he appointed his brother Ilia as first deputy minister of defense and chief of the political directorate in the army.

The military deeply resented that interference, he said. Also angering the military was the removal several years ago of two high-ranking generals denounced by Securitate informers for cultivating connections at the Soviet Embassy in Bucharest, he said. There have been reports that the two were killed and dumped into the Black Sea from a helicopter, but Turcu said he could not confirm the story.

The well-equipped and dreaded security forces appear to number about 45,000 to 50,000 men, including 25,000 troops who live in barracks on the outskirts of major cities and 20,000 officers, technical personnel, and specialists, he said. That figure is far less than the up to 700,000 reported in recent days in other accounts from the region.

The officers and specialists were drawn from universities until several years ago. But in the 1980s, Turcu said, Ceausescu’s wife, Elena, ordered that recruitment of university students be stopped and that less-educated factory personnel be selected instead.

The uniformed force of fighters includes many young men who were taken from orphanages at an early age. These security soldiers, educated and trained at special schools, have no family loyalties and were indoctrinated to view Ceausescu as a father figure, Turcu said.

As Ceausescu’s fear of an internal threat to his security grew, he reportedly turned to a new “Directorate 5″ in the Securitate that had the responsibility for “defense of the leadership of the party.” Presumably this is the force involved in some of the recent fighting.

Growing evidence of atrocities perpetrated by the security forces against unarmed demonstrators-shooting into crowds in Timisoara and Bucharest-has raised questions about whether foreign mercenaries may be involved. Turcu said the massacres go against Ceausescu’s dictum of “no martyrs,” which was often repeated to his inner circle.

Turcu said he talked yesterday with a friend in Bucharest who reported being forced to evacuate his apartment complex by armed Arab commandos.

The former intelligence official said he was aware of a secret agreement between Ceausescu and Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat that allowed PLO groups to use Romanian territory for “logistical support.” He said Interior Minister Tudor Postelnicu, who oversaw the security forces, was present at a recent meeting between Ceausescu and Arafat.

Romanian cooperation with the PLO began in the late 1960s, Turcu said, but intensified in the past three years. He said rival PLO groups coexist within Romanian territory, but the agreement forbade clashes between these groups and prohibited their possession of arms. One job of the Securitate was to ensure that the PLO factions were obeying the agreement, Turcu said.

In addition to the PLO factions, he said, Syrian, Libyan, Iraqi and Iranian military or special operations units have been trained at a camp near Buzau, in the Carpathian foothills.

Contrary to reports that the security forces lived lavishly, Turcu said that except for higher salaries, most ordinary officials did not have access to special restaurants and stores stocked with Western electronic goods. He suggested that security officials resorted to corruption and abuse of office to satisfy their needs, which exacerbated the public’s hatred and fanned the fury that burst over the past week.

For verification of some of Turcu’s claims (in particular, the less-discussed participation of Iraqis from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, see here:  https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/foreign-intervention/)

“They dress in black berets and black jumpsuits [combinezoane negre, salopete negre] with red silk stripes on their sleeves.  They carry small two-way radios and speak into them in coded language.  They are equipped with automatic rifles with infrared nightscopes for sniping.”

 

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/les-souterrains-de-bucarest-ja2-20h-27121989-01min55s/

Sediul U.S.L.A , pe 25 decembrie 1989 in jurul orelor 18…

Pe 25 decembrie in jurul orelor 18, dupa executarea dictatorilor, col. Ardeleanu Gh. a adunat cadrele unitatii intr-o sala
improvizata si le-a spus: “Dictatura a cazut! Cadrele unitatii se afla in slujba
poporului. Partidul Comunist Roman nu se desfiinteaza! Trebuie sa ne regrupam in
rindul fortelor democratice din P.C.R.–continuatorul idealurilor nobile ale
poporului ai carui fii sintem ! (…) Au fost gasite cadavre, indivizi avind
asupra lor legitimatii de acoperire USLAC (Unitatea Speciala de Lupta
Antiterorista si Comando) si legitimatii cu antetul 0620–USLA, legitimatii care
nu se justifica in posesia celor asupra carora au fost gasite…” A ordonat apoi
sa fie predate in termen de 24 de ore legitmatiile de serviciu, urmind ca
tuturor sa le fie eliberate altele cu antetul M.Ap.N.

(capitanul Romanescu Marian, cu Dan Badea, “USLA, Bula Moise, teroristii si
‘Fratii Musulmani’,” Expres nr. 26 (75), 2-8 iulie 1991, 8-9)

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(Capitanul Romanescu Marian (fost cadru USLA) si Dan Badea, “USLA, Bula Moise, teroristii, si ‘Fratii Musulmani’,” Expres nr. 26 (75), 2-8 iulie 1991, pp. 8-9)

COMANDOURILE USLAC

Cei care au avut si au cunostinta despre existenta si activitatea fortelor de soc subordonate direct lui Ceausescu, au tacut si tac in continuare de frica, sau din calcul.  S-au spus multe despre indivizii imbracati in combinezoane negre, tatuati pe mina stinga si pe piept, fanaticii mercenari care actionau noaptea ucigind cu precizie si retragindu-se cind erau incoltiti in canalele subterane ale Bucurestiului.  S-au spus multe, iar apoi au tacut ca si cind nimic nu s-ar fi intimplat.

Suprapuse Directiei a V-a si USLA comandourile USLAC erau constituite din indivizi care “lucrau” acoperiti in diferite posturi. Erau studenti straini, doctoranzi si bastinasi devotati trup si suflet dictatorului.  Foarte multi erau arabi si cunosteau cu precizie cotloanele Bucurestiului, Brasovului si ale altor orase din Romania.  Pentru antrenament aveau la dispozitie citeva centre de instruire subterane:  unul era in zona Brasovului, iar altul–se pare–chiar sub sediul fostului CC-PCR, poligon care au dat–din intimplare citiva revolutionari in timpul evenimentelor din Decembrie.

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Dezvaluiri despre implicarea USLA in evenimentele din Decembrie ‘89

Un tanar care si-a facut stagiul militar in trupele USLA a declarat
corespondentului A.M. PRESS din Dolj: “Am fost la Timisoara si la Bucuresti in
Decembrie ‘89. Odata cu noi, militarii in termen, au fost dislocati si
profesionistii reangajati, care purau costume negre de camuflaj. Dispozitivele
antitero de militari in termen si profesionisti au primit munitie de razboi. La
Timisoara s-a tras in manifestanti de la distanta mica. Am vazut
cum sareau creierii celor ciuruiti de gloante. Cred ca mascatii, folosind armamentul lor special, au tras cu
gloante explozive.
In ianuarie 1990, toti militarii in termen din trupele USLA
au fost internati pentru dezintoxicare. Fusesaram drogati. Am fost lasati la
vatra cu cinci luni inainte de termen pentru a ne pierde urma. Nu-mi publicati
numele. Ma tem pentru mine si parintii mei. La antranamente si aplicatii eram
impartiti in “amici” si “inamici.” Mascatii erau “inamicii” pe care trebuia sa-i
descoperim si sa-i neutralizam. Cred ca mascatii au
fost acei teroristi.”

(Romania Libera, 28 Decembrie 1994, p. 3)

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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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When a Truth Commission Misses Crucial Evidence: The Romanian CPADCR Final Report and Securitate General Iulian Vlad’s Declaration

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on November 20, 2013

(purely personal views as always)

It is virtually certain that the authors of the Chapter on the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 (pp. 620-627, especially p. 625 http://www.presidency.ro/static/ordine/RAPORT_FINAL_CPADCR.pdf ) had no knowledge of Securitate General Iulian Vlad’s Declaration of 29 January 1990 … with predictable negative consequences for their understanding of what happened in December 1989.

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General Magistrat (r) Ioan Dan

In aprilie 1990, generalul Ghoerghe Diaconescu a fost destituit din functia de conducere in Directia Procuraturilor Militare.  La plecare, mi-a predat cheia de la fisteul sau, cu mentiunea ca acolo au mai ramas cateva hartii fara importanta. Intrucat, la data respectiva, ma aflam in cea mai mare parte a timpului, in procesul cercetarilor de la Timisoara, mult mai tarziu, am dorit sa pun in respectivul fiset o serie de acte.  Am cercetat ce mai ramasese de pe urma generalului Diaconescu si, spre surprinderea mea, am gasit declaratia olografa a generalului Iulian Vlad, data fostului adjunct al procurorului general, fostul meu sef direct, nimeni altul decat generalul Diaconescu, la 29 ianuarie 1990, cand toate evenimentele din decembrie 1989 erau foarte proaspete.  Repet, este vorba despre declaratia olografa, un text scris foarte ingrijit, pe 10 pagini, din care voi reda acum integral doar partea care se refera expres la “actiunile teroriste in Capitala” (formularea apartine generalului Vlad).

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“Analizand modul in care au inceput si s-au desfasurat actiunile teroriste in Capitala, pe baza acelor date si informatii ce le-am avut la dispozitie, consider ca acestea ar fi putut fi executate de:

1) Elementele din Directia a V-a, USLA, CTS si din alte unitati de Securitate, inclusiv speciale.

a) Directia a V-a, asa cum am mai spus, avea in responsabilitate paza si securitatea interioara a Palatului Republicii, multe dintre cadrele acestei unitati cunoscand foarte bine cladirea, cu toate detaliile ei.  In situatia creata in ziua de 22.12.1989, puteau sa mearga la Palat, pe langa cei care faceau acolo serviciul si unii dintre ofiterii si subofiterii care se aflau la sediul CC ori la unitate.

Este ca se poate de clar ca numai niste oameni care cunosteanu bine topografia locului ori erau in complicitate cu cei care aveau asemenea cunostinte puteau patrunde in cladire (sau pe acoperisul ei) si transporta armamentul si cantitatile mari de munitie pe care le-au avut la dispozitie.

Tot aceasta Directie dispunea de o baza puternica si in apropierea Televiziunii (la Televiziunea veche).  De asemenea, avea in responsabilitate perimetrul din zona resedintei unde se aflau numeroase case (vile) nelocuite si in care teroristii ar fi putut sa se ascunda ori sa-si faca puncte de sprijin.

Sunt si alte motive care pun pe prim-plan suspiciuni cu privire la aceasta unitate.

b) Elemente din cadrul unitatii speciale de lupta antiterroriste care aveau unele misiuni comune cu Directia a V-a si, ca si o parte a ofiterilor si subofiterilor de la aceasta unitate, dispuneau de o mai buna instruire si de mijloace de lupta mai diversificate.

c) Elemente din Trupele de Securitate care asigurau paza obiectivilor speciale (resedinta, palat etc.) si, impreuna cu Directia a-V-a, Securitatea Capitalei si Militia Capitalei asigurau traseul de deplasare.

d) Ofiteri si subofiteri din Securitatea Capitalei, indeosebi de la Serviciul Trasee, sau dintre cei care au lucrat la Directia a V-a.

e) Elemente din alte unitati de Securitate, inclusiv unitatile speciale 544, 195 si 110, precum si din cele complet acoperite, comandate de col. Maita, col. Valeanu, lt. col. Sirbu, col. Nica, col. Eftimie si lt. col. (Eftimie sau Anghelache) Gelu (asa sta scris in declaratie–n.n.).  Aceste din urma sase unitati, ca si UM 544, in ansamblu, si UM 195 puteau dispune si de armament si munitii de provenienta straina, precum si de conditii de pregatire adecvate.

2) Ofiteri si subofiteri din Militie, atat de la Capitala, cat si de la IGM, cu prioritate cei din Detasamentul special de interventie si cei care asigurau traseul.

3) Cred ca s-ar impune verificarea, prin metode si mijloace specifice, a tragatorilor de elita din toate unitatile din Capitala ale Ministerului de Interne, precum si a celor care au avut in dotare sau au indeplinit misiuni folosind arme cu luneta.  N-ar trebui omisi nici chiar cei de la Dinamo si de la alte cluburi sportive.

4) Unele cadre militare de rezerva ale Securitatii, Militiei si Armatei, precum si actuali (la data respectiva) si fosti activisti de partid sau UTC, persoane apropriate tradatorului si familiei sale ori care poseda arme de foc.

Propun, de asemenea, o atenta investigare a celor care au fost in anturajul lui Nicu Ceausescu.  Acest anturaj, foarte divers, cuprindea inclusive unele elemente de cea mai scazuta conditie morala care puteau fi pretabile la asemenea actiuni.

Ar fi bine sa se acorde atentia cuvenita sub acest aspect si fratilor dictatorului–Ceausescu Ilie si Ceausescu Nicolae–care, prin multiplele posibilitati pe care le aveau, puteau organiza asemenea actiuni.

5) Anumite cadre militare sau luptatori din Garzile Patriotice.

6) Straini:

a. Din randul celor aflati la studii in Romania:

— arabi, in general, si palestinieni, in special, inclusiv cei care sunt la pregatire pe linia Armatei (de exemplu, la Academia Militara);

— alte grupuri de straini la studii (iranieni si altii).

b. Special infiltrati (indeosebi din cei care au urmat diverse cursuri de pregatire pe linia MI sau a MAN);

c. Alti straini aflati in tara cu diverse acoperiri, inclusiv diplomatice;

d. Fosti cetateni romani (care ar fi putut intra in tara si in mod fraudulos).

7) Elemente infractoare de drept comun care au posedat armament ori l-au procurat in chiar primele ore din dupa-amiaza zilei de 22 decembrie 1989, cand, din mai multe unitati de Securitate, intre care Directia a V-a si Securitatea Capitalei, s-a ridicat o cantitate mare si diversa de armament si munitie.”

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Ceausescu’s Prosecutors, the Cremation of Timisoara Protesters, and the Good Sergeant Schultz!

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on July 2, 2013

[documentary evidence in support of the publication entitled:  Bullets, Lies, and Videotape:  The Amazing, Disappearing Counter-Revolution of December 1989, strictly personal research, not for reproduction without prior author authorization]

The motto of Ceausescu’s Prosecutors about December 1989: 

“I see nothing!  I was not here!  I did not even get up this morning!”

I) From “Bullets, Lies, and Videotape”  (submitted to CIA PRB November 2009, cleared without revisions December 2009)
https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/december-1989-2009-bullets-lies-and-videotape/

[42] According to Sorin Iliesiu, the filmmaker who claims to have edited the chapter on December 1989 in the so-called Tismaneanu Raport Final, the “spirit of Voinea’s findings can be found in the Chapter.”  Indeed, the chapter includes snippets from an interview between Dan Voinea and Andrei Badin (Adevarul , December 2006).  The “indefatigable” Voinea, as Tom Gallagher has referred to him, continues to be defended by Vladimir Tismaneanu who has expressed support for Voinea’s investigations “from both a juridic and historic viewpoint” (see the entries for 21 September 2009 at http://tismaneanu.wordpress.com), avoiding any mention of the reasons for Voinea’s dismissal from the Military Procuracy, mistakes that Prosecutor General Laura Codruta Kovesi says “one wouldn’t expect even from a beginner” (for more on this and background, see Hall 2008):

Ce îi reproşaţi, totuşi, lui Voinea? Punctual, ce greşeli a făcut în instrumentarea cauzelor?

Sunt foarte multe greşeli, o să menţionez însă doar câteva. Spre exemplu, s-a început urmărirea penală faţă de persoane decedate. Poate îmi explică dumnealui cum poţi să faci cercetări faţă de o persoană decedată! Apoi, s-a început urmărirea penală pentru fapte care nu erau prevăzute în Codul Penal. În plus, deşi nu a fost desemnat să lucreze, spre exemplu, într-un dosar privind mineriada (repartizat unui alt procuror), domnul procuror Dan Voinea a luat dosarul, a început urmărirea penală, după care l-a restituit procurorului de caz. Vă imaginaţi cum ar fi dacă eu, ca procuror general, aş lua dosarul unui coleg din subordine, aş începe urmărirea penală după care i l-aş înapoia. Cam aşa ceva s-a întâmplat şi aici.

Mai mult, a început urmărirea penală într-o cauză, deşi, potrivit unei decizii a Înaltei Curţi de Casaţie şi Justiţie, era incompatibil să mai facă asta. E vorba despre dosarul 74/p/1998 (dosar în care Voinea l-a acuzat pe fostul preşedinte Ion Iliescu că, în iunie 1990, a determinat cu intenţie intervenţia în forţă a militarilor împotriva manifestanţilor din Capitală – n.r.).

Apoi au fost situaţii în care s-a început urmărirea penală prin acte scrise de mână, care nu au fost înregistrate în registrul special de începere a urmăririi penale. Aceste documente, spre exemplu, nu prevedeau în ce constau faptele comise de presupuşii învinuiţi, nu conţin datele personale ale acestora. De exemplu, avem rezoluţii de începere a urmăririi penale care-l privesc pe Radu Ion sau pe Gheorghe Dumitru, ori nu ştim cine este Gheorghe Dumitru, nu ştim cine este Radu Ion.

„Parchetul să-şi asume tergiversarea anchetelor”

Credeţi că, în cazul lui Voinea, au fost doar greşeli sau că a fost vorba de intenţie, ştiind că acuzaţii vor scăpa?

Nu cunosc motivele care au stat la baza acestor decizii şi, prin urmare, nu le pot comenta.

Poate fi vorba şi despre complexitatea acestor dosare?

Când ai asemenea dosare în lucru, nu faci astfel de greşeli, de începător. Eşti mult mai atent când ai cauze de o asemenea importanţă pentru societatea românească.

Excerpted from http://www.evz.ro/articole/detalii-articol/868918/Kovesi-despre-revolutia-ratata-a-lui-Voinea-A-gresit-ca-un-incepator/

II) https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/12/26/decembrie-1989-cc-ul-si-sibiu-dan-voinea-corneliu-pircalabescu-si-ilie-ceausescu-v-aurel-dragomir-si-victor-stanculescu/

III) The most significant revelation of Ion Baciu’s 23 January 1990 confession may not actually be his claim that he saw Dan Voinea at the Cenusa Crematorium on the morning of 20 December 1989, but that he recognized Voinea precisely because Voinea had previously worked for Directorate VI (“Department of Corrections” essentially) of the Securitate.

[On 20 December 1989 at 1010 at the Cenusa Crematorium arrived Lt. Col. Dan Voinea, a prosecutor from DPM, whom I knew because before that post he had worked in the Department of State Security (i.e Securitate), in the Directorate of Penal Investigations (Penitentiaries/Prisons, Directorate VI of the Securitate)].”

http://dosarelerevolutiei.ro/volumul-203/

23.01.1990 Declaratie:  Colonel Ion Baciu, șef al Direcției Economice din IGM,

(my thanks to researcher Mircea Munteanu, formerly of the CWIHP at the Woodrow Wilson Center, for helping me with the following transcription)

Pe 20.12.89 la orele 1010 la crematoriu a venit Lt. Col. Voinea Dan [[proc mil — procuror militar]] din D.P.M., pe care-l cunosc intrucit inainte de activare, a lucrat la Departmentul Securitatii Statului, directia cercetari penale.

Era imbracat civil, insotit de un procuror militar in uniforma.  Au discutat cu o femeie, Geta, nu-i stiu numele care i-a spus:  “[[Bine]] ca ati venit.  Toata noaptea au ars aici si [[oamenilor]] le este teama.”  Nu am auzit alte vorbe.  Au discutat cu aceia femeie [[ca. –circa]] 15 minute dupa care au plecat.

Cred ca au fost trimisi acolo fie de Popovici, fie de Diaconescu, pentru a vedea cum decurge incinerarea.

Solicit sa fie audiati Popovici Nicolae, fost procuror general, Diaconescu Gh, adjunctul acestuia si cei doi procurori militari…

IV) Ion Baciu’s 12 March 1990 courtroom testimony saw him cutoff by the prosecutor who refused to allow in the official record that it was Voinea Baciu claimed to see on 20 December 1989 at the Cenusa Crematorium, but also, in particular, when Baciu attempted (and seemed) to state that Voinea essentially admitted as much to him during his later questioning by Voinea:  (p. 406) “…pe domnul colonel Voinea care de altfel si cu ocazia anchetei mi s-a spus, de fapt…”

image0

image0-001

from Ion Baciu’s hearing 12 March 1990 http://www.banaterra.eu/romana/files/procesul_de_la_timisoara_volumul_II.pdf

Baciu’s courtroom testimony (no reference made to his 23 January 1990 handwritten testimony above) was discussed by Vasile Surcel in the following article:

http://www.curentul.ro/2012/index.php/2012122081426/Actualitate/Ion-Baciu-in-procesul-Timisoara-procurorul-Dan-Voinea-a-verificat-personal-pe-20-decembrie-1989-incinerarea-mortilor-la-Crematoriul-Cenusa.html

V) As the statements and testimony of other officials involved in the cremation of the Timisoara protesters make clear:  Voinea is clearly dissembling and crafting a false narrative of how and when officials became aware of the cremation of the Timisoara protesters.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/06/15/oh-what-a-tangled-web-we-weave-secretele-din-crematoriul-cenusa/

VI) Of course, Voinea has critical “top cover” for his denial that he was at the Cenusa Crematorium on 20 December 1989.  His chief/boss, Ceausescu’s last Prosecutor General Nicolae Popovici denies that he knew anything until after 22 December 1989 about the cremation of protesters, even though multiple confessions by other officials make such a claim seem virtually impossible.  Thus, as his declaration below demonstrates, he was clearly asked if he dispatched a military prosecutor and civilian prosecutor to Cenusa Crematorium on 20 December 1989.  But to admit that he did would be to admit that he had known at the time about the burning of the corpses of Timisoara protesters…and therefore undermined the larger lie…

from http://www.scribd.com/doc/52568421/ORWELLIAN (Submitted to CIA’s PRB July 2006, cleared without redactions September 2006)

But my use of the term “Orwellian” in the title of this paper is not only designed to capture Voinea’s uncanny ability to make definitive statements that are demonstrably wrong, to argue that black is white and white is black—from his denial of the use of gunfire simulators in December 1989, to his claim that the only “lunetisti” who acted after 22 December were from the Army, to his denial of the existence of weapons and (especially “vidia”) bullets not in the arsenal of the Army, to his denial of the existence of “terrorists,” to his denial that any military unit was attacked during the events, to his denial of the role of foreigners in the events….

I use the term “Orwellian” here as much to describe the ease with which he has gotten and gets away with errors, misunderstandings, and falsehoods that could easily be challenged, if not combated by his interlocutors in the Romanian media and intelligentsia.  For it is the fact that he has been able and is able to get away with all this that is truly “Orwellian” and that is indeed a tragedy for Romania’s citizens.  The tragedy is thus less the predictable “supply side” of the post-authoritarian lie, than the enthusiastic consumption and appetite for it.  This is why I believe, accurately I would argue, that “December 1989” long ago became more about post-Ceausescu Romania than about what happened in December 1989.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/10/05/%E2%80%9Corwellian%E2%80%A6positively-orwellian%E2%80%9D-prosecutor-voinea%E2%80%99s-campaign-to-sanitize-the-romanian-revolution-of-december-1989-part-9-orwellian-sanitywont-get-fooled-again/

Posted in decembrie 1989 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Let’s Go to the Videotape (IV) “Instead of denying access to the rest of the tunnels…the authorities now deny their very existence” (Ted Koppel, Bucharest, Romania, March 1990)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on June 24, 2011

[ca intotdeauna e vorba de un punct de vedere STRICT PERSONAL]

I know of no better metaphor for what has happened to research on the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 than Ted Koppel’s surreal experience in Bucharest in early 1990 recounted below.

from 2 April 1990, ABC News Special.  The Koppel Report:  Death of a Dictator.

Monday, March 5 (1990). 

Bucharest.  Among the many art forms that have atrophied during the past 45 years in Romania, is that of dissembling.  Confronted by questions they don’t like, a number of military officers and officials whom we encountered, simply lied.  Stupid lies; the kind that speak of a society in which no one ever dared to question an official pronouncement.

We had requested a tour of the complex of tunnels that radiate out from beneath the old Communist Party Central Committee building in Bucharest.  An army colonel escorted us along perhaps 50 yards of tunnel one level beneath the ground and the pronounced the tour over.  I asked to be shown the second and third levels, videotape of which had already been provided us by some local entrepreneurs.  “There is no second or third level,” said the colonel.  I assured him that I had videotape of one of his own subordinates, who had escorted us on this tour, lifting a toilet that concealed the entrance to a ladder down to the next level of tunnels.  The colonel went off to consult with his man.  When he came back he said, “my officer says he’s never seen you before.”  “True,” I replied, but then I’d never said he had, only that we were in possession of the videotape I’d described.  “There are no other tunnels,” said the colonel.

Ted Koppel, “Romanian Notebook.  The week Lenin got the hook.” The Washington Post, 13 March 1990, A25.

The former military prosecutor, General Dan Voinea, claims no unusual munitions were used in December 1989–most certainly not explosive dum-dum bullets–and yet when told that videotape exists to the contrary Let’s Go to the Videotape! (I) “To the Army it’s confirmation that they’ve been dealing with a specially-trained force…because it’s the type of bullet they’ve never seen before” (ITN UK Television, Timisoara Romania, December 1989) (plus Irish Television, The Tragic Fate of Florica Sava)


Romania’s intellectuals and journalists–not to mention Romanianists abroad–repeat Voinea’s claim:  “there were no unusual munitions, no explosive dum-dum bullets used in December 1989.”

The former military prosecutor, General Dan Voinea, claims there were no “terrorists” in December 1989–most certainly not “foreign terrorists”–and yet when told that videotape exists to the contrary Let’s Go to the Videotape! (II) (Romania December 1989) Was the Press of the Time Really So Wrong (about the “terrorists”)?

Romania’s intellectuals and journalists–not to mention Romanianists abroad–repeat Voinea’s claim:  “there were no terrorists and definitely no foreign terrorists in December 1989.”

The former military prosecutor, General Dan Voinea, claims there was nothing unusual about the tunnels beneath Bucharest in December 1989–just what you would normally find, tunnels for sewage, water supply, and electricity and thus they couldn’t have been used by the non-existent “terrorists”–and yet when told that videotape exists to the contrary Let’s Go to the Videotape! (III) (BBC1 December 1989) A Labyrinth of Lies

Romania’s intellectuals and journalists–not to mention Romanianists abroad–repeat Voinea’s claim:  “there were no secret tunnels beneath Bucharest, just the normal tunnels you would find under any large city, and so they couldn’t have been used by the “terrorists” because the “terrorists” didn’t exist.”

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So can you imagine what Romania’s intellectuals and journalists–not to mention Romanianists abroad–would say about the claims made in an article from 1990 talking about a secret underground river in one tunnel and inflatable boatsoh what cheap disinformation put out by TVR, by Ion Iliescu and those who seized power, how ridiculous, how gullible, how manipulative…of course, since the beginning of time the strategy of those thirsting for power is to create an imaginary enemy, then say he operates at night and operates beneath the earth, the epitome of evil…so would go the “sophisticated” postmodern deconstruction of such a claim…without any apparent need to confirm whether or not there was any basis to this “rumor”…instead just eliminate it out of hand…

After all, what had Dan Voinea said about such things:  He had inspected the tunnels himself and could assure people that what was in question was a simple canal for drinking water!  He thus could state unambiguously that other claims are a lie.

Dan Voinea despre “tunelurile secrete ale mincinosilor”  (un extras dintr-un interviu luat de catre Romulus Cristea in decembrie 1005)  http://rcristea.blogspot.com/2007/11/nici-simulatoare-de-tragere-nici.html:

Tunelurile secrete ale mincinosilor
– Ani de zile s-a tot vorbit despre tunelurile secrete pline de teroristi care ieseau si ucideau oamenii de pe strada sau din diverse institutii… Exista vreo marturie credibila, vreun document?
– Nu putem califica aceste informatii nici macar ca tinand de domeniul legendei. E o minciuna! O alta minciuna! Bucurestiul, ca de altfel toate marile orase, e brazdat subteran de tot felul de tuneluri, unele pentru canalizare, gospodarirea apei, electricitate si alte scopuri. De altfel, Capitala are in subteran tuneluri realizate in urma cu sute de ani. Aceste tuneluri nu au constituit adaposturi pentru teroristi. Recent, am participat la o reconstituire pe teren, la asemenea asa-zise tuneluri secrete folosite de teroristi. Era un simplu canal pentru distribuirea apei potabile. Deci am constatat ca a fost vorba de o minciuna.
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Let us return to the revelations of the group that explored those tunnels in December 1989, however:

Cai de navigatie secrete sub Bucuresti

La 12 metri sub platoul Pietei Revolutiei exista o retea de catacombe prin care se circula cu barca

La 12 metri sub platoul Pietei Revolutiei exista o retea de catacombe prin care se circula cu barca. E vorba de culoare betonate, cu latimea de aproximativ doi metri, prin care curge un rau subteran adanc de un metru. Cu apa curata. Debitul raului secret e aproximat la 1,5 metri cubi pe secunda. La intrare, aceste cai navigabile care stabat Capitala sunt utilate cu barci pneumatice. Informatiile ne-au fost furnizate de Dan Falcan, seful sectiei de istorie a Muzeului Municipiului Bucuresti. Istoricul a cules toate datele existente despre catacombele Bucurestilor, mai vechi si mai noi, si le-a pus cap la cap pentru a-si face o imagine asupra istoriei orasului.

(IMG:http://news.softpedia.com/images//news/1913_6.jpg)

Capitala Romaniei are o traditie de secole in materie de tainite si coridoare secrete. Din datele pe care le detin istoricii, primele coridoare subterane demne de luat in seama au fost beciurile producatorilor de vinuri. Acestea aveau zeci de metri si erau atat de largi incat se circula cu carele. In secolul al XIX-lea au aparut edificiile care aveau tuneluri de refugiu, cum e tunelul care leaga Palatul Ghica Tei de Manastirea Plumbuita, lung de mai bine de un kilometru. In nordul Parcului Cismigiu, Biserica Schitu Magureanu e legata prin subterane de Palatul Cretzulescu .

Sub Palatul Golescu, situat langa stadionul Giulesti, a fost depistat un coridor subteran care da inspre lunca Dambovitei . Coridorul a fost folosit si de Tudor Vladimirescu. “De pe la 1826 ne-au ramas
cateva relatari care ne dau o imagine asupra catacombelor de sub capitala Tarii Romanesti. La acea vreme haiduceau in zona vestitii Tunsu si Grozea. Timp de multi ani, ei au bagat spaima in boierii din Bucuresti, in special in cei care aveau casele in zona actualei sosele Panduri. Ii calcau mereu, iar poterele nu puteau face nimic. Desi reuseau sa ii localizeze si sa-i incercuiasca, cand sa puna mana pe ei haiducii dispareau “intrand in pamant”, adica coborau in subteran. Astazi putem afirma ca sub aceasta sosea erau o multime de coridoare subterane, late de trei metri si inalte de doi metri. Dar toate datele acestea au palit atunci cand am intrat in contact cu alte informatii recente. Labirintul subteran vechi al orasului pare neinsemnat pe langa cel construit din ordinul lui Ceausescu. Datele mi-au parvenit de la militarii care au intrat in subteranele fostului Comitet Central, actualul Senat la Romaniei, respectiv de la maiorul Gheorghe Grigoras si capitanul Nicolae Grigoras, de la unitatea speciala de lupta antiterorista. Ei au intrat in aceste catacombe chiar pe 25 decembrie 1989, impreuna cu un grup de genisti si pirotehnisti”, explica muzeograful Dan Falcan.

Conform relatarii militarilor, la subsolul cladirii au gasit un tunel, nu prea lung, care coboara intr-un fel de cazarma. Opt camere cu paturi pliante. Din aceste camere pornesc mai multe culoare, unul ducand chiar pana la etajul II al cladirii. Pe un alt culoar se poate ajunge la un buncar mai larg, la 7 metri adancime. Se trece apoi de o usa blindata si se ajunge la un apartament spatios, la adancimea de 9 metri. Militarii au cautat apoi camera in care se afla sistemul de ventilatie si s-au trezit pe un nou culoar. Dupa ce au strabatut aproximativ 30 de metri au gasit o nisa cu o lada mare, in care erau 16 barci din cauciuc, cu pompe de umflare.

from 2 April 1990, ABC News Special.  The Koppel Report:  Death of a Dictator.


Dupa alti 20 de metri militarii au observat ca peretii tunelului au alta culoare, sunt mai noi si sunt acoperiti cu un fel de rasina sintetica. Dupa inca 10 metri culoarul se infunda. Chiar la capat se afla un piedestal din lemn pe care era asezat un capac de WC. Au ridicat capacul iar sub el au gasit un chepeng de fier. L-au ridicat si au gasit… un rau cu apa curata, care curge intr-o matca artificiala din beton. Are latimea de circa 1,5 metri si adancimea de aproximativ un metru. Raul se afla la aproximativ 12 metri sub platforma Pietei Revolutiei . Cele 16 barci erau folosite de fapt pentru acesta cale de navigatie.

from 2 April 1990, ABC News Special.  The Koppel Report:  Death of a Dictator.

Albia amenajata are pe lateral bare metalice facute pentru oprirea sau impulsionarea barcilor. “In opinia militarilor, raul secret duce catre un lacurile din afara orasului, in nord, si Dambovita, in sud-est” , subliniaza Falcan. Ofiterii au vorbit insa de existenta unui alt canal similar, la capatul unui alt tunel, precum si de un sistem de inundare a labirintului, pe sectiuni. In cazul in care un eventual fugar e urmarit, el poate inunda portiuni de tunel in spatele lui pentru a opri urmaritorii. A mai fost gasita o gura de iesire din labirint in curtea interioara a fostului CC, de unde, printr-o retea de canale, se poate intra in canalizarea orasului, de unde se poate iesi catre Dambovita. Reteaua are guri de iesire in Palatul Regal, Biserica Cretzulescu si magazinul Muzica. “In urma unor cercetari ulterioare a reiesit ca ramificatiile subterane au corespondenta cu circa 80 de obiective din Bucuresti, cum ar fi cladirea ASE, Casa Enescu, Opera Romana etc. Subliniez, relatari sunt ale unor ofiteri din cadrul armatei. Lucru foarte interesant, nimeni nu neaga existenta acestor cai de navigatie secrete, dar cand am incercat sa le exploram, nu ni s-a permis pe motiv ca… nu se poate”. Despre aceste galerii ale lui Ceausescu ne-a vorbit si Radulescu Dobrogea, presedintele asociatiei Ecocivica, fost inspector de mediu in Primaria Capitalei, omul care s-a ocupat multi ani de panza freatica a orasului. El sustine ca stie de aceste galerii ale lui Ceausescu si ca apa limpede care curge prin ele este panza freatica de sub oras.

Administratorii Senatului au vazut numai intrarea in catacombe

“Pot sa va spun ca am auzit despre aceste lucruri, dar nu le-am vazut. Exista o cale de comunicatie subterana care pleaca din Senat catre Piata Revolutiei, o cale care pleaca de la Palatul Regal catre Piata si inca una, tot din Palatul Regal, catre Biserica Cretzulescu. Intrarile in aceste cai de acces le-am vazut, dar unde se opresc, nu stiu, nu este treaba noastra sa cotrobaim pe acolo”, ne-a declarat inginer Constantin Bratu, directorul tehnic al administratiai cladirii Senatului Romaniei.

Sorin Golea (Libertatea 2005)

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Voinea’s conclusions have been enshrined, in fact sacralized, as the centerpiece of the Chapter on December 1989 of the Final Report of the Presidential Commission for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania, also known as the Tismaneanu commission after its chairman, Vladimir Tismaneanu.

(Dan Voinea este slavit de catre Sorin Iliesiu asa: Justiţia română a dovedit diversiunea “teroriştii” şi nu a găsit nici un terorist printre morţi, răniţi sau arestaţi. D-l gen. Dan Voinea spune clar: “Teroriştii nu au existat. S-a minţit pentru a-i ascunde pe adevăraţii criminali”….Rechizitoriul Justiţiei române, spiritul acestora regăsindu-se în Raportul [Raport Final CPADCR]…)

http://www.acum.tv/articol/7423/

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 morţişi mii de răniţi. Majoritatea au fost ucişişi răniţi pe străzile din centrul capitaleişi al altor oraşe martirizate ca urmare a acestei diversiuni. Ulterior nu a fost acuzatşi judecat nici un terorist. (p. 625)

http://www.scribd.com/doc/35934916/Raport-Final-Cpadcr

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Vladimir Tismaneanu wrote on 18 May:  “I remember the documentary of Ted Koppel perfectly”

Vladimir Tismaneanuspune:

Imi amintesc perfect documentarul lui Ted Koppel

http://www.contributors.ro/politica-doctrine/scoala-falsificarii-ion-iliescu-si-spiritul-revolutiei-din-1989/

Related topics…no doubt “perfectly recalled”:

decembrie 1989, CC-ul, si Sibiu: Dan Voinea, Corneliu Pircalabescu, si Ilie Ceausescu v. Aurel Dragomir si Victor Stanculescu

Timisoara si Mostenitorii Revizionismului Securist (despre Grigore Cartianu la IICCMER)

Marturii (intre 1990 si 1992) din zilele fierbinte in CC-ul (decembrie 1989): Doru Teodor Maries, Mircea Boaba, Sergiu Tanasescu, si Ernest Maftei  (Teodor Maries)

Constantin Isac intre 14 si 22 decembrie: dinamovist de judo la Iasi, prezent in zona “Crematoriului Cenusa,” si martor in Piata Universitatii…

Cine este Constantin Isac (“martor la moartea lui Trosca”)?

To understand how it is that Tismaneanu, who warns or criticizes others about consuming former Securitate disinformation, nevertheless praises Grigore Cartianu’s writings on December 1989 (strongly influenced by the previous work of Alex Mihai Stoenescu), is oblivious to the fact that Dan Voinea has erased the Securitate’s primary responsibility for the post-22 December bloodshed, and ignores (or is ignorant of) the fact that Doru Maries testified on behalf of the former head of the Securitate at Iulian Vlad’s trial in 1991 and gave an interview to the Securitate mouthpiece Europa absolving the Securitate of responsibility for the post-22 December bloodshed, praising Ceausescu as “A GREAT PATRIOT,” and claiming foreign agents were responsible for Ceausescu’s overthrow, or that one of the star members of Asociatia 21 decembrie, Constantin Isac, claims to have been present in Iasi, outside the Cenusa crematorium, and in University Square between 14-22 December (!) and also gave interviews to Angela Bacescu of Europa in 1991 absolving the former Securitate of responsibility for the post 22 December bloodshed, please refer to my Fall 1999 East European Politics and Societies article “The Uses of Absurdity” which explains how it happened (and continues to happen!) and gives numerous examples:   https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.wordpress.com/the-uses-of-absurdity-romania-1989-1999/

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Posted in decembrie 1989, raport final, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Bullets, Lies, and Videotape: The Amazing, Disappearing Romanian Counter-Revolution of December 1989 (Part IV: The Good ‘Sergeant Schultz’ or ‘They Know Nothing’) by Richard Andrew Hall

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on October 25, 2010

for Part I see PART I: His Name Was Ghircoias…Nicolae Ghircoias

for Part II see Part II: A Revolution, A Coup d\’etat, AND a Counter-Revolution

for Part III see Part III: Lost…during Investigation

Bullets, Lies, and Videotape:

The Amazing, Disappearing Romanian Counter-Revolution of December 1989

by Richard Andrew Hall, Ph.D.

Standard Disclaimer:  All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official positions or views of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or any other U.S. Government agency.  Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying U.S. Government authentication of information or CIA endorsement of the author’s views.  This material has been reviewed by CIA to prevent the disclosure of classified information.  [Submitted for clearance 19 November 2009; PRB approved 15 December 2009]

I am an intelligence analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency.  I have been a CIA analyst since 2000.  Prior to that time, I had no association with CIA outside of the application process.


BANKING ON THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE…

If Rasvan Popescu’s account is correct, it is understandable why functionaries of the Ceausescu regime have long banked on an absence of evidence.  For example, when asked if other than the standard 7.62 mm caliber weapons belonging to the Army were used in December 1989, Dr. Vladimir Belis, the head of the Institute of Forensic Medicine (IML) at the time, claims he doesn’t know and can’t say, because he claims no autopsies were ever performed—leading journalists to conclude that “therefore the tales of terrorists who shot with ‘dum-dum’ bullets, ‘bullets with vidia tips’ or bullets of large caliber, atypical for Romanian military units, will remain just stories that can neither be confirmed nor denied.”[1]

Former Securitate officer-turned journalist, novelist, and celebrity, Pavel Corut, has written alternatively derisively and sarcastically—well-nigh tauntingly—about the existence of such atypical ammunition and its use in December 1989:

“…Later I read fantastical and pathetic accounts according to which this [Army] officer died by being ‘hit by vidia and explosive [dum-dum] bullets.’  It isn’t the only case of a solider killed accidentally in warfare…”[2]

“Now we know that all the information…was false:  there did not exist a special guard unit that pledged an oath of (legionary-like) fealty to the dictator, there did not exist snipers with infrared sighting systems, no one shot vidia bullets…”[3]

“Vidia bullets don’t exist anywhere in the world.  And yet even the Army believed that the ‘Securitate-terrorists’ used vidia bullets….All this information was designed to create [the impression of] terrorists.  To show the people and the whole world fanatical terrorists.”[4]

Last, but hardly least, military prosecutors with roots in the Ceausescu era, have assimilated or mirror such arguments.  General Dan Voinea who headed the investigations from 1997-2001 and 2004-2008 said as much:

Romulus Cristea (journalist):  “Did special ammunition, bullets with a vidia tip or dum-dum bullets, claim [any] victims?  The press of the time was filled with such claims…”

Dan Voinea:  There were no victims (people who were shot) from either vidia bullets or dum-dum bullets.  During the entire period of the events war munitions were used, normal munitions that were found at the time in the arsenal of the Interior Ministry and the Defense Ministry. The confusion and false information were the product of the fact that different caliber weapons were used, and therefore, the resulting sound was perceived differently.[5][6] (Emphasis added)

The wonderful legalistic (alibi-bestowing) logic for Voinea and his colleagues then goes something like this:   there exist victims requesting damages for injuries, loss of life, livelihood or property sustained during the violence of December 1989, their loss was real and deserves to be compensated by the Romanian state; but those initially considered guilty of causing much of this injury, loss of life, and damage and taken into custody in December 1989—the”terrorist” suspects—were (either) released in January 1990 (or were never captured in the first place), and so juridically there do not exist defendants; nor does there appear to still exist in the hands of the military procuracy much of the material evidence presented in 1990-1991—maps, videos, etc.—and, apparently, only four bullets; and no autopsies were officially performed on those shot in December 1989.  So in essence, the only things left are the crimes themselves and the testimonies of those interviewed over the past two decades:  no autopsy records, little material evidence, and the original suspects have gone missing…Conclusion:  no atypical munitions existed, were used, or maimed or killed anybody, and there were no terrorists, everyone shot into everyone else in the chaos of the moment—or in other words, the exact argument which as we have seen has been with us since Florin Crisbasan and Emil Ivascu of Brasov related the former Securitate’s “line of reasoning” in mid-January 1990.

 

[1] Laura Toma, Toma Roman Jr. , and Roxana Ioana Ancuta, “Belis nu a vazut cadavrele Ceausestilor,” Jurnalul National, 25 October 2005, http://www.jurnalul.ro/articole/34668/belis-nu-a-vazut-cadavrele-ceausestilor, discussed in Hall 2008.

[2] Paul Cernescu (aka Pavel Corut), “Cine a tras in noi?” Expres Magazin, nr. 66 (43) 30 October-5 November 1991, p. 12.  Paul Cernescu is Pavel Corut’s acknowledged alias.  During his journalistic career at Ion Cristoiu’s Expres Magazin, he began by writing under this pseudonym.

[3] Paul Cernescu (aka Pavel Corut), “Cine a tras in noi?” Expres Magazin, nr. 65 (42) 23-29 October 1991, p. 12.

[4] Pavel Corut, Fulgerul Albastru (Bucuresti:  Editura Miracol, 1993), p. 177.  For background in English on Corut, see Michael Shafir, “Best Selling Spy Novels Seek To Rehabilitate Romanian ‘Securitate,'” in Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Report, Vol. 2, no. 45, pp. 14-18.

[5] General Dan Voinea, interview by Romulus Cristea, “Toti alergau dupa un inamic invizibil,” Romania Libera, 22 December 2005, online edition.  Reproduced at, for example, http://asociatia21decembrie.ro/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=31&sid=f9403c7a52a7ac9c8b53b8042226f135.

See also the claims of former military prosecutor Teodor Ungureanu (Facultatea de Drept, 1978) also in December 2005, at, for example, http://www.piatauniversitatii.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3912&sid=c76d79333718bc7fdfad0eb8e22eb913

and

http://www.piatauniversitatii.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=202&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0. Nor does Teodoru Ungureanu believe in terrorists, vidia bullets, dum-dum bullets, or atypical ammunition:

“La cele de mai sus va trebui să adăugăm fabulaţiile cu privire la celebrele “gloanţe-widia”. Prin lansarea acestei aberaţii, cei mai de seamă reprezentanţi ai Armatei s-au compromis lamentabil. Ceea ce prezentau în emisiuni tv ori în paginile unor ziare ca fiind teribilele instrumente ale morţii, nu erau nimic altceva decât miezurile din oţel care intrau în alcătuirea internă a proiectilului cal. 7,62 mm-scurt destinat armelor tip AKM. Tot aşa aveau să fie făcute speculaţii asupra folosirii muniţiei explozive (de tip dum-dum), de către persoane care erau fie străine de efectele povocate asupra corpului uman de proiectile cu diverse energii cinetice (la momentul străpungerii), ori de fragmente din proiectile dezmembrate la un anterior impact cu un corp dur, fie de cei angajaţi într-o reală acţiune de dezinformare….”

[6] According to Sorin Iliesiu, the filmmaker who claims to have edited the chapter on December 1989 in the so-called Tismaneanu Raport Final, the “spirit of Voinea’s findings can be found in the Chapter.”  Indeed, the chapter includes snippets from an interview between Dan Voinea and Andrei Badin (Adevarul , December 2006).  The “indefatigable” Voinea, as Tom Gallagher has referred to him, continues to be defended by Vladimir Tismaneanu who has expressed support for Voinea’s investigations “from both a juridic and historic viewpoint” (see his post on his blog from 21 September 2009 Important este ca actiunea sa nu fie inchisa, nici juridic, nici istoric), avoiding any mention of the reasons for Voinea’s dismissal from the Military Procuracy, mistakes that Prosecutor General Laura Codruta Kovesi says “one wouldn’t expect even from a beginner” (for more on this and background, see Hall 2008):

Ce îi reproşaţi, totuşi, lui Voinea? Punctual, ce greşeli a făcut în instrumentarea cauzelor?

Sunt foarte multe greşeli, o să menţionez însă doar câteva. Spre exemplu, s-a început urmărirea penală faţă de persoane decedate. Poate îmi explică dumnealui cum poţi să faci cercetări faţă de o persoană decedată! Apoi, s-a început urmărirea penală pentru fapte care nu erau prevăzute în Codul Penal. În plus

, deşi nu a fost desemnat să lucreze, spre exemplu, într-un dosar privind mineriada (repartizat unui alt procuror), domnul procuror Dan Voinea a luat dosarul, a început urmărirea penală, după care l-a restituit procurorului de caz. Vă imaginaţi cum ar fi dacă eu, ca procuror general, aş lua dosarul unui coleg din subordine, aş începe urmărirea penală după care i l-aş înapoia. Cam aşa ceva s-a întâmplat şi aici.

Mai mult, a început urmărirea penală într-o cauză, deşi, potrivit unei decizii a Înaltei Curţi de Casaţie şi Justiţie, era incompatibil să mai facă asta. E vorba despre dosarul 74/p/1998 (dosar în care Voinea l-a acuzat pe fostul preşedinte Ion Iliescu că, în iunie 1990, a determinat cu intenţie intervenţia în forţă a militarilor împotriva manifestanţilor din Capitală – n.r.).

Apoi au fost situaţii în care s-a început urmărirea penală prin acte scrise de mână, care nu au fost înregistrate în registrul special de începere a urmăririi penale. Aceste documente, spre exemplu, nu prevedeau în ce constau faptele comise de presupuşii învinuiţi, nu conţin datele personale ale acestora. De exemplu, avem rezoluţii de începere a urmăririi penale care-l privesc pe Radu Ion sau pe Gheorghe Dumitru, ori nu ştim cine este Gheorghe Dumitru, nu ştim cine este Radu Ion.

„Parchetul să-şi asume tergiversarea anchetelor”

Credeţi că, în cazul lui Voinea, au fost doar greşeli sau că a fost vorba de intenţie, ştiind că acuzaţii vor scăpa?

Nu cunosc motivele care au stat la baza acestor decizii şi, prin urmare, nu le pot comenta.

Poate fi vorba şi despre complexitatea acestor dosare?

Când ai asemenea dosare în lucru, nu faci astfel de greşeli, de începător. Eşti mult mai atent când ai cauze de o asemenea importanţă pentru societatea românească.

Excerpted from http://www.evz.ro/articole/detalii-articol/868918/Kovesi-despre-revolutia-ratata-a-lui-Voinea-A-gresit-ca-un-incepator/

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Romania December 1989. ‘Mos G(h)erila’: Nicolae Ceausescu’s Final and Lasting ‘Christmas Gift’ to His Romanian Subjects

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on May 1, 2010

THE ROMANIAN REVOLUTION FOR DUM-DUMS:

(like me…and perhaps even you)

by Richard Andrew Hall, Ph.D.

Standard Disclaimer: All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official positions or views of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or any other U.S. Government agency. Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying U.S. Government authentication of information or CIA endorsement of the author’s views. This material has been reviewed by CIA to prevent the disclosure of classified information.

I am an intelligence analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency. I have been a CIA analyst since 2000. Prior to that time, I had no association with CIA outside of the application process. [Submitted for clearance 22 April 2008, approved 22 May 2008]


I have been researching the Revolution for the better part of the past 18 years. I first visited Romania in 1987 while backpacking through Europe, and I spent a total of about 20 months in the country during the years 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993-1994, and 1997, when I conducted pre-dissertation, dissertation, and post-dissertation research on the Revolution.

I have written on the topic of the Revolution, voluminously some might say, publishing in 1996, 1999, and 2000 before joining the Agency, and since I entered the Agency in 2002, 2004, 2005, and 2006.

It will and should be hard to believe for the outsider to this problem, but my work has been essentially the only systematic, ongoing investigation of the ballistics evidence—such are the shortcomings of small “communities of interest” investigating a peripheral historical topic and the perils of “group think.”

This article is, for lack of a better description, about “connecting the dots.”


–The story of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 since December 1989 has been the struggle of disparate voices who share their memories, often with great frustration and a sense of resignation. They are hardly a unified chorus.

The accounts of ideologues seek to suggest to us that “the truth” miraculously is the province of people of this or that particular political persuasion in post-communist Romania. That is morality play and fairy tale; it is not the work of the serious historian. Would that history were so neat and tidy! It is not.

Instead, what one finds is that the people with the details that matter most are spread across the ideological and political spectrum—including people with what many of us might term distasteful, illiberal, ultranationalist, and nostalgic views.

There are those who relate these details in a narrative consistent with where those details lead.

There are those who relate these details even though it contradicts their narrative and ultimate conclusions about December 1989.

Finally, there are those—and there are many of them—who just know they experienced what they experienced. They aren’t sure exactly how it fits in with a larger narrative: they merely want to tell their story.

Together, they relate these details in the face of cynicism, indifference, and an often stunning intellectual conceit and deaf ear.

Theirs, however, and not the ideologues’, is the story of December 1989.


There was a lot of talk during the crimes of December ’89 about the special bullets with which the young and old alike were killed, bullets which—it is said were not in the arsenal of our military units. There was so much talk that there was no more to say and after there was no more to say for a sufficient amount of time the discussion was reopened with the line “such things don’t exist!” The special bullets didn’t exist!—our highest authorities hurried to tell us…In order to search for proof a little work is necessary by our legal organs that they are not terribly inclined to take….

[Dan Badea, “Gloante speciale sau ce s-a mai gasit in cladirea Directiei a V-a,” Expres, 16-22 April 1991]

image-8

image-7

The Internet allows the researcher to piece together history as never before. That’s a pretty bland statement, but the reality of it never ceases to amaze me. Take the case of those killed in the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 (officially 1,104 people perished in those events). Scroll through the list of those killed on the procesulcomunismului (“the trial of communism”) and portalulrevolutiei (“the portal to the revolution”) websites. For most, there is only limited information about the circumstances in which they died. For others, however, there is greater detail. As one scrolls through the names and photos, one of the similarities that begins to become apparent is that in cases where there is more information about the circumstances of the death, dum-dum bullets are mentioned. Thus, for example, we find the following five cases:

BUTIRI Florin, born in Joia Mare, 11 April 1969, he was living in Bucharest and was employed by the Bucharest Metro. He played rugby. On 22 December he participated in the demonstration at Sala Dalles [next to University Square]. On 23 December he went to defend the Radio Broadcast center on str. Nuferilor, and while he was saving some old people from a burning building he was shot. Brought to the Military Hospital because of a wound to his hip, caused by a dum-dum cartridge, they tried to ampute a leg. His stomach was also ravaged by a bullet. On 26 December 1989 he died. (http://www.procesulcomunismului.com/marturii/fonduri/ioanitoiu/aeroi/docs/album_2.htm)

FILOTI Claudiu
Profession: Lieutenant major UM 01171 Buzau, post-mortem Captain
Born: 30 July 1964
Birthplace: Vaslui
Date of death: 22 December 1989
Place of death: Bucharest, in the area of the Defense Ministry
Cause of death: Shot in the chest with dum-dum bullets (http://www.portalulrevolutiei.ro/index.php?menu=1&jud=53)

LUPEA Ion- Gabriel from Hunedoara, born in 1970…In 1989 he was sent from Bucharest to Anina [Resita], then to UM 01929. On 9 December 1989, he went on leave, but he was recalled. On the evening of 23 December he was on duty defending the unit [Anina-Resita], at the checkpoint, when around 11 pm they were attacked from the front and from the left flank. While crawling on hands and knees to bring more ammunition he was hit by a dum-dum bullet that entered above his left leg and exited through his left hand. Brought to the hospital he died Christmas Eve, making him the unit’s first hero; he was posthumously awarded the rank of sub-lieutenant. (http://www.procesulcomunismului.com/marturii/fonduri/ioanitoiu/aeroi/docs/album_5.htm)

MANESCU Dan, born 25 March 1964, a student in the Transportation Department, he joined with the other young people on 21 December and participated in the demonstrations in the center of the town [Bucharest]. Friday morning he went with his brother to the demonstrations and he returned after the flight of the dictator. He changed his clothes and returned for good, when on the night of 22/23 December a dum-dum bullet punctured his stomach in Palace Square. Brought to the Emergency hospital, he could not be saved. (http://www.procesulcomunismului.com/marturii/fonduri/ioanitoiu/aeroi/docs/album_5.htm)

POPTEAN Petre, born 27 December 1965, in Margau near Huedin, living in Bucharest…he worked as a driver for the Bucharest Transportation Department. On 21 December he went into town to protect his sister on her way home from work. The two of them left on Calea Victoriei and arrived at [Sala] Dalles, where in horror they watched…Petre called to his sister to aid the wounded. While on the ground, he was hit in the abdomen and left hip by dum-dum cartridges that caused him major wounds. His sister, Monica, was able to stop an ambulance with a Targoviste license number, but he didn’t make it to Hospital 9. At around 6 pm Petre passed away. (http://www.procesulcomunismului.com/marturii/fonduri/ioanitoiu/aeroi/docs/album_7.htm)

Let me draw the attention of the reader to two important details here. First, the use of dum-dum munitions was not confined to Bucharest (multiple locations), but includes the southwestern city of Resita (the case of Ion Lupea). Second, the use of dum-dum munitions occurred not just after communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu fled at midday on 22 December 1989, but also before, on the evening of 21 December (the case of Petre Poptean).

Dum-dum bullets—which fragment and cause substantially more and more lethal damage to the organs of those who are hit—are outlawed by international convention (see more below). Moreover—or perhaps better-put, officially—no Romanian institution had them in their arsenal in December 1989. Yet, as we can see, almost two decades after the events, the obituaries of those gunned down in December 1989 include references to those munitions as having played a role not only in the wounding of people, but also in their deaths.

Despite the claims above attesting to not just the wounding, but the death of several people (civilians and soldiers) over several days in several locations from dum-dum bullets in December 1989, what did General Dan Voinea—removed from his post in December 2007 by Attorney General Laura Codruta Kovesi for violating basic judicial norms in another case[1]—who headed the investigations into December 1989 for well over a decade, have to say about them in late 2005? “Such things didn’t exist!”:

Romulus Cristea: “Did special ammunition, bullets with a vidia tip or dum-dum bullets, claim [any] victims? The press of the time was filled with such claims…”

Dan Voinea: There were no victims (people who were shot) from either vidia bullets or dum-dum bullets. During the entire period of the events war munitions were used, normal munitions that were found at the time in the arsenal of the Interior Ministry and the Defense Ministry. The confusion and false information were the product of the fact that different caliber weapons were used, and therefore, the resulting sound was perceived differently.[2] (Emphasis added)

So, there is no wiggle room here, no room for misinterpretation: according to Prosecutor Voinea , nobody was killed by dum-dum bullets in December 1989.

That’s a common claim among officials of the former communist regime—Voinea was a military prosecutor since 1982 and he was directly involved in the trial of the Ceausescus. Such conclusions were also repeated in late 2005 by Dr. Vladimir Belis, who was the head of the Medical Forensics Institute (IML) in Bucharest in December 1989: asked if other than the standard 7.62 mm caliber weapons belonging to the Army were used, he did not know and couldn’t say because he claimed no autopsies were ever performed.[3] The apparent official disinterest in munitions and autopsies is—ahem—shall we say “interesting” given the comments attributed to Belis’ subordinates and to doctors at Bucharest’s main hospitals—comments made in the early 1990s, but also made well over a decade later, in the mid 2000s.[4]

General Dan Voinea spoke in late 2005. Voinea’s argument that there were no dum-dum bullets, that there were no atypical munitions used, is directly linked to his contention that there were therefore “no terrorists” in December 1989. It has been routinely repeated in various forms by the media for well over a decade and by his supporters in intellectual circles at home and abroad. The encomia for General Voinea before and since that December 2005 interview by noted Romanian intellectuals and Romanianists are breathtaking. Tom Gallagher refers to him as the “indefatigable General Voinea”[5] and Western journalists have described him as “a one-man mission to uncover the truth about exactly what happened during those days.”[6] Sorin Iliesiu justifies his claims about the Revolution squarely on Voinea’s words:

General Dan Voinea has said clearly: The terrorists did not exist. Those who seized power lied to protect the real criminals….The diversion of the ‘terrorists’ has been demonstrated by [the] Justice [System], not a single terrorist being found among the dead[7], wounded[8] or arrested[9].”[10][11]

Highly problematic and damning for General Dan Voinea, Dr. Vladimir Belis, and fellow deniers are the following, detailed written testimonies of Gheorghe Balasa and Radu Minea presented by Dan Badea in April 1991, attesting to what they had found in December 1989 in the headquarters of the Securitate’s Fifth Directorate:

Balasa Gheorghe: From [Securitate] Directorate V-a, from the weapons depot, on 23-24 December 1989, DUM-DUM cartridges, special cartridges that did not fit any arm in the arsenal of the Defense Ministry were retrieved. Three or four boxes with these kinds of cartridges were found. The special bullets were 5-6 cm. in length and less thick than a pencil. Such a cartridge had a white stone tip that was transparent. All of these cartridges I personally presented to be filmed by Mr. Spiru Zeres. All the special cartridges, other than the DUM-DUM [ones] were of West German [FRG] make. From Directorate V-a we brought these to the former CC building, and on 23-24 December ’89 they were surrendered to U.M. 01305. Captain Dr. Panait, who told us that he had never seen such ammunition before, Major Puiu and Captain Visinescu know about [what was turned over].

In the former CC of the PCR, all of those shot on the night of 23-24 December ’89 were shot with special bullets. It is absurd to search for the bullet in a corpse that can penetrate a wall…

[of course, V-a worked hand-in-hand with the USLA, or the Securitate’s “special unit for anti-terrorist warfare,” and thus it was not suprising that in Directorate V-a’s headquarters…] Among things we also found were:…the training manual for the USLA. It was about 25 cm thick, and while there, I leafed through about half of it…[and I also came across] a file in which lots of different people under the surveillance of USLA officers were listed…

(Interviewed by Dan Badea, “Gloante speciale sau ce s-a mai gasit in cladirea Directiei a V-a,” Expres, 16-22 April 1991.)

Moreover, we know from the 2005 publication of the testimony of a detained V-th Directorate officer dated 2 February 1990, that he must have been asked to comment specifically on the existence of dum-dum ammunition—since he makes a point of emphasizing that “we didn’t have dum-dum ammunition or weapons with special properties, of foreign origin.”[12] So, in other words, we know from this interrogation document that six weeks after the Revolution, those who had taken power or at least the military prosecutors of the time were still interested in the existence of these munitions—thereby suggesting that they must have had some reason for believing in their existence, say for example the character of the injuries suffered by those shot during the events, as well as perhaps recovered bullet fragments, the testimonies of the doctors who operated on those wounded, etc…

Voinea’s ceaseless interviews and revelations during this period have been reprinted repeatedly since they took place and his conclusions been given wide circulation by journalists and people such as Sorin Iliesiu. Yet those who just relate what happened in December 1989 continue to mention the existence of dum-dum munitions. Thus, if one turns to the tourism site for the western border town of Curtici (near Arad) one can read the following about the history of the city, including the events of December 1989:

The following night [at the train station], the first team of five doctors from the Austrian “Lorenz Bohler” Hospital , who arrived in Curtici with a “hospital-wagon” took 18 people in critical condition to Austria for special treatment that lasted two to three months. That is, they needed organ transplants or special care, because of the monstrous results of dum-dum bullets.[13]

Or take the case of a poster on the 18th anniversary of the Revolution, who begins:

The Romarta (central Bucharest) file? What about the file on those who fired at me at the Astronomical Observatory on Ana Ipatescu Boulevard or those who at 1700 on 24 December fired near Casa Scanteii [press building] where I found a dum-dum cartridge in my bed—us having had to sleep in the bathroom.[14]

Finally, there are the cynical comments of those—no matter what they believe about December 1989—who cannot help but remember the dum-dum munitions and the horrible pain and trauma they caused their victims, many still living with the consequences of those wounds today…and how nobody wishes to remember them; for them, this is essentially a cruel, open secret.[15]

Unfortunately, no one in Romania has tied together such claims and the evidence I present above. I do not know how many of these people are still alive, but if the Romanian media were interested, the names are there for them to contact in order to confirm the claims above: Gheorghe Balasa, Radu Minea, Spiru Zeres, Major Puiu, and Captain Visinescu.

D’oh…Dum-Dum…(Tweedle) Dumb and (Tweedle) Dumber: Dum-Dum=Vidia

image-14

When I first viewed the youtube video “Romanian Revolution USLA attack Dec 23 1989 Revolutia” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlBRSxUVQ5E ), what struck me was: here, finally, after a decade and a half of almost unopposed revisionist denial, here was someone who claims to have been an eyewitness and has photos and details of the incident, and who maintains the now almost heretical idea that the Securitate’s “Special Unit for Anti-terrorist Warfare”(USLA for short) had indeed attempted to attack the heavily-guarded Defense Ministry Headquarters on Drumul Taberei in Bucharest on the night of 23-24 December 1989! But, in fact as we shall see, although important, that is actually not the most important thing about the one and only youtube video posted by “destituirea.”

For me the transcript of the USLA unit claiming to have witnessed army units attacking their own ministry and thus the supposed reason that the USLA men who witnessed it “had to be silenced by being killed”—a transcript leaked to the press in 1993 and which led scholars such as Denis Deletant and Peter Siani-Davies to consider this “case closed” essentially—was always highly problematic. It supplied what was said, but, if we are to believe the words of the USLA Commander Gheorghe Ardeleanu, speaking to the notorious Securitate cheerleader Angela Bacescu, it did not supply the much needed context: Ardeleanu claimed that he had been placed under arrest and that it was he who chose the names of the USLA officers who were to report to the Defense Ministry. The USLA units thus came in a situation in which those who had taken control of the country were in the Defense Ministry holding their commander under arrest.[16]

But more importantly, the transcript could not explain a) the lack of any corroboration since of these supposed Army units attacking the Defense Ministry on the night of 23-24 December 1989—truly hard to believe, given all the young recruits and given their comparative willingness to talk to the media after all these years, in comparison to the former Securitate, and b) the claims in summer 1990 by the Army cadre who had been involved in the firefight with the USLA and the interviews of civilians in the surrounding blocs of flats who had lived through the fighting in December 1989 and related what they had seen.[17] The interviewees had detailed the suspicious actions of the USLA convoy and made it clear that they came with less-than-friendly intentions.

Now, here, 17 years after those famous articles by Mihai Floca and Victor Stoica is a video supporting the claim that the USLA units attempted to force their way into the Defense Ministry. The photos of the inside of the USLA ABI vehicles and of the dead USLA men (wearing black jumpsuits underneath Army clothing) are perhaps the most extensive and detailed seen to date, and the anonymous poster plays coy as to where he got them from (he claims he does not want to reveal the source—something which, given the sensitivity of the issue, I am not surprised by).

But, as I mentioned previously, it is actually not the confirmation of this understanding of the Defense Ministry incident that is the most significant thing about this youtube video. It is at the 2:01-2:05 of 8:50 mark of this silent video that the poster makes the following interesting and critical insight/claim…

USLA’s bullets were called “vidia” or “dum-dum” were usually smaller than the regular army’s bullets…Most of the capital’s residents have found this type of bullets all around the military buildings near by. (at 2:01 of 8:50)[18]

And thus, it becomes clear that the discussion of “vidia” bullets and “dum-dum” bullets is interchangeable (or at least is treated as such)! (Hence, perhaps why Romulus Cristea asked his question of General Voinea as he did in December 2005: “Did special ammunition, bullets with a vidia tip or dum-dum bullets, claim [any] victims? The press of the time was filled with such claims…”) “Vidia” translates as “grooved,” and thus describes the modified feature of the bullets which makes them so lethal, thereby making the treatment of vidia and dumdum as de facto synonyms understandable.

This is critical because as I have previously written in detail, citing interviews and reminiscences in the Romanian press…vidia bullets showed up across the country in December 1989. In “Orwellian…Positively Orwellian: Prosecutor Voinea’s Campaign to Sanitize the Romanian Revolution of December 1989” (http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/Voineaswar091706.html) I detail examples of vidia bullets showing up across the country—Brasov, Sibiu, Bucharest (multiple locations), Braila, Caransebes, Craiova, and Hunedoara—as recounted by civilians and Army personnel, at various times since the events—not just during or right after. Such wide dispersion of the use of officially non-existent munitions is critical too because it infirms the notion that somehow demonstrators or the Army put their hands on such “free floating weapons” and used them during the December 1989 events—that it would have happened in one or two places could be explained, but that the same thing would happen in so many geographic centers is scarcely plausible.

Recall from our earlier extract from Prosecutor Dan Voinea’s December 2005 interview, his unambiguous denial of the use of vidia munitions. Nevertheless, significantly, since that interview we continue to find people who remember what they remember and they remember the use of vidia munitions. I have found yet more references. Alexandru Stepanian, who writes under the motto “Dreptate si Onoare! (Justice and Honor!),” not only claims to still have a vidia bullet from 22-23 December 1989 in the area around the TV Station in Bucharest, but he has placed a photo of it on the portalulrevolutiei website.[19] In fall 2006, the daughter of a priest recalled:

In December ’89, after he arrived from Timisoara, my father stayed with me on Stefan Cel Mare Boulevard. When we returned to our home, on the corner of Admiral Balescu and Rosenthal. I found the cupboard of the dresser pure and simple riddled with bullets, about 8 to 10 of them. Someone who knew about such things told me they were vidia bullets. They were brought to a commission, but I don’t know what happened to them.[20]

In 2007 a book entitled The Tales of the Terrorists was published in Galati. In one section, a Eugen Stoleriu recounts his dispatch to Bucharest as a military recruit during the events and how for the first time in his life he came across vidia bullets that were shot at him.[21]

Another apparent synonym for “vidia” is “crestata” or “notched.” I take it that the reference is to the same type of munitions because the damage caused to those wounded by them was equally catastrophic. In December 2007, Alexandru Tudor, a soccer official famous apparently for his stern, unsmiling demeanor, who was shot on 23 December 1989 around 10 am in the area of Piata Aviatorilor near the TV studio, recounted the episode that ended his career:

They brought me to Colentina Hospital and there I had the great fortune of two great doctors. If they had operated on me, they would have to amputate both my legs beneath the knee, but instead they left the bullets in there 12 days. Their explanation was that the bullets were too close to arteries, and since they were gloante crestate (notched bullets), it was very dangerous. After they were removed, I kept the bullets, I have them at home. I was on crutches for six months, I went through therapy, but I had to give up soccer.[22]

Also on the 18th anniversary of the Revolution, a frustrated poster to another site asked pointedly:

Who in Romania in 1989 had 5.5 mm caliber NATO-type munition, that in addition was “notched”—something outlawed by the Geneva Convention, while it is known that the Romanian Army had only the caliber used by Warsaw Pact nations for their weapons, that is to say 7,62 mm….At that time even the Olympic speed shooting champion, Sorin Babii, expressed his surprise….I had in my hand several samples of this cartridge: small, black, with a spiral on the top, or with 4 cuts (those who know a little bit about ballistics and medical forensics can attest to the devastating role caused by these modifications). I await a response to my questions…perhaps someone will be willing to break the silence. I thank you in advance. [emphases added][23]

In other words, the existence of crestate/vidia/dum-dum bullets is known, and not everyone has so blithely forgotten their existence.

A Dum-Dum by Any Other Name: Gloante explosive (exploding bullets), gloante speciale (special bullets)

Crestate, vidia, dum-dum…by now we know: these are very dangerous munitions…

In the field of firearms, an expanding bullet is a bullet designed to expand on impact. Such bullets are often known as Dum-dum or dumdum bullets. There are several types of dum-dum designs. Two popular designs are the hollow point (made during the manufacturing phase) and X-ing made usually by the user by making two notches perpendicular to each other on the tip of the bullet, commonly with a knife. The effect is that the bullet deforms and sometimes fragments upon impact due to the indentations. This creates a larger wound channel or channels with greater blood loss and trauma.

The hollow-point bullet, and the soft-nosed bullet, are sometimes also referred to as the dum-dum, so named after the British arsenal at Dum-Dum, near Calcutta, India, where it is said that jacketed, expanding bullets were first developed. This term is rare among shooters, but can still be found in use, usually in the news media and sensational popular fiction. Recreational shooters sometimes refer to hollow points as “JHPs”, from the common manufacturer’s abbreviation for “Jacketed Hollow Point”.

To be most correct, the term “Dum Dum Bullet” refers only to soft point bullets, not to hollow points, though it is very common for it to be mistakenly used this way.

The Hague Convention of 1899, Declaration III, prohibits the use in warfare of bullets which easily expand or flatten in the body, and was an expansion of the Declaration of St Petersburg in 1868, which banned exploding projectiles of less than 400 grams. These treaties limited the use of “explosive” bullets in military use, defining illegal rounds as a jacketed bullet with an exposed lead tip (and, by implication, a jacketed base).[24]

Thus, under the synonym for dumdum/vidia/crestate bullets of “exploding bullets,” we find the following on the Internet:

On the evening of 27 December 1989, Eugen Maresi, 20 years old, a military draftee, was sent to organize a checkpoint on soseaua Chitilei, at the entrance to Bucharest….A group of 25 soldiers came under fire from the belltower of a church. Eugen was the first shot…. “The doctors told me my only child was shot with (gloante explosive) exploding bullets. The fragments shattered all of his internal organs,” says Dumitru Maresi, the father of the [Drobeta Turnu] Severin hero. http://2003.informatia.ro/Article42788.phtml

and

Gheorghe Nicolosu, was shot in the leg…After he was operated on, it was established that the bullet with which he was shot did not figure in [the arsenal of] the Romanian Army. Nicolosu was operated on in Hunedoara, then arrived in Italy, where he underwent another surgery…In the same area, on Lipscani, Cristea Valeria, 36 years old, was shot in the stomach by ammunition that did not belong to the army. He died a few hours later, the doctors trying to save his life, but the glontul exploziv (exploding bullet) perforated his intestines. Another youngster, 18 year old Ion Gherasim was shot in the back at the entrance to UM 01933 by munition that did not belong to the army. (Emphases added) http://www.replicahd.ro/images/replica216/special2.htm

Once again, we are speaking here of far-flung locations across the country—Chitila (Bucharest) and Hunedoara—which makes the idea of accident and “free floating weapons” unlikely.

Ammunition…Consistent with the Confessions of Former Securitate Whistleblowers

And so, who was it, who has told us about “exploding bullets” and “special cartridges” like this, and who has it been said possessed them in December 1989?

For years I have been essentially the sole researcher inside or outside the country familiar with and promoting the claims of 1) former Timisoara Securitate Directorate I officer Roland Vasilevici—who published his claims about December 1989 under the byline of Puspoki F. in the Timisoara political-cultural weekly Orizont in March 1990 and under the pseudonym “Romeo Vasiliu”—and 2) an anonymous USLA recruit who told his story to AM Press Dolj (published on the five year anniversary of the events in Romania Libera 28 December 1994…ironically (?) next to a story about how a former Securitate official attempted to interrupt a private television broadcast in which Roland Vasilevici was being interviewed in Timisoara about Libyan involvement in December 1989).

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Vasilevici claimed in those March 1990 articles and in a 140 page book that followed—both the series and the book titled Pyramid of Shadows—that the USLA and Arab commandos were the “terrorists” of December 1989. What is particularly noteworthy in light of the above discussion about “exploding bullets” was his claim that the USLA and the foreign students who supplemented them “used special cartridges which upon hitting their targets caused new explosions.”[25]

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The anonymous USLA recruit stated separately, but similarly:

I was in Timisoara and Bucharest in December ’89. In addition to us [USLA] draftees, recalled professionals, who wore black camouflage outfits, were dispatched. Antiterrorist troop units and these professionals received live ammunition. In Timisoara demonstrators were shot at short distances. I saw how the skulls of those who were shot would explode. I believe the masked ones, using their own special weapons, shot with exploding bullets. In January 1990, all the draftees from the USLA troops were put in detox. We had been drugged. We were discharged five months before our service was due to expire in order to lose any trace of us. Don’t publish my name. I fear for me and my parents. When we trained and practiced we were separated into ‘friends’ and ‘enemies.’ The masked ones were the ‘enemies’ who we had to find and neutralize. I believe the masked ones were the ‘terrorists’. [emphases added]

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As I have pointed out, despite the short shrift given these two revelations by Romanian media and Romanianists, one group has paid close attention: the former Securitate. That is not accidental. [26]

With the advent of the Internet, unverifiable bulletin board postings also pop up. On 23 December 2003, under the name of “kodiak,” the following appeared:

In ’89 I was a major in the USLA…and I know enough things that it would be better I didn’t know…15, 16, 20, 30 years will pass and nothing will be known beyond what you need and have permission to know…” (http://www.cafeneaua.com)[27]

Clearly, the legal constraints of security oaths and fear continue to cast a long shadow, long after the events of December 1989.

Si totusi…se stie [And nevertheless…it is known]

It took over three years into my research on the Revolution—and physically being in the Library of the Romanian Academy—before I came to the realization: oh yeah, that’s a good idea, yeah, I should systematically compare what the former Securitate have to say about December 1989 and compare it with what others are saying. It took a maddening additional half year before I came to the conclusion: oh yeah, and how about what the Army has to say? It may seem ridiculous—and it is in some ways indefensible from the perspective of performing historical research—but you have to understand how Romanian émigrés dominated early investigations of the Revolution, and how they divided the post-communist Romania media into the pro-regime (untrustworthy) press and the opposition (trustworthy) press, and the influence this “research frame” and methodology had at the time upon younger researchers such as myself.[28]

A more systematic mind probably would have come to these revelations long before I did. Instead, it took the accidental, simultaneous ordering of issues from 1990 and 1991 of the vigorous anti-Iliescu regime university publication NU (Cluj), the similarly oppositional Zig-Zag (Bucharest), and the former Securitate mouthpiece Europa to discover this. There I found Radu Nicolae making his way among diametrically opposed publications, saying the same things about December 1989. And it mattered: the source for example of Radu Portocala’s claim that there were “no terrorists” in December 1989 was Radu Nicolae. But more important still, was the discovery of Angela Bacescu revising the Defense Ministry incident, exonerating the USLA, and claiming there were no Securitate terrorists in Sibiu (only victims) in Zig-Zag…only to show up months later in Romania Mare and Europa months later writing the same stuff, and in the case of the Sibiu article republishing it verbatim. Nor was Bacescu alone among the former Securitate at Zig-Zag: she was for example joined by Gheorghe Ionescu Olbojan, the first to pen revisionist articles about the Army’s DIA unit.[29]

But without a broader comparative framework and approach to the Romanian media, all of this eluded the highly partisan Romanian émigré writers on the events. Nestor Ratesh alone among this group did seem puzzled and bothered by the similarity of Romania Libera Petre Mihai Bacanu’s conclusions on the V-th Directorate and those of Bacescu (he only alluded to her dubious reputation, however, and did not name her.) But Bacanu was fallible: memorably, but also upstandingly, in December 1993, he admitted based on what he claimed were new revelations, that his previous three and a half years of exonerating the USLA had been in vain since they were erroneous: they had after all played a significant role in the repression and killing of demonstrators on the night of 21-22 December 1989 in University Square. That alone should have precipitated a rethinking about assumptions and approaches to investigating the December 1989 events and particularly the role of the Securitate and the USLA, but it did not, and has not to this day…

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Romanians and Romanianists like to indulge in the reassuring myth that the “schools” of research on the Revolution were separate from the beginning—that the defining feature was the political orientation of the author and whether he or she viewed the events of December 1989 as a revolution or coup d’etat. To the extent they are willing to admit that discussions of the “terrorists” cross-pollinated and became intertwined across the borders of the political spectrum, they assume that this must have happened later, after views had become consolidated.[30] But such a view is simply ahistorical and wishful-thinking. It is simply impossible to defend honestly when you have Angela Bacescu who “showed up with lots of documents and didn’t need any money” and wrote her revisionist tracts in the oppositional Zig-Zag, when she and Olbojan were the first ones to voice theses that later became staples of the anti-Iliescu opposition—long after they had left its press.

It is indicative that Romanians still have yet to confront this methodological flaw that one of the few studies in the country to read Securitate and Army sources in addition to journalist and participant accounts, still failed to address the key similarities across the political spectrum regarding the existence and identity of the “terrorists.” Smaranda Vultur wrote in a review of Ruxandra Cesereanu’s (otherwise, groundbreaking in comparison to what had appeared before it in Romanian in book form) Decembrie ’89. Deconstructia unei revolutii (Iasi: Polirom 2004):

Beyond this, I would underscore however a deficit that results directly from the choice of the author to classify her sources based on how the source defines the events: as a revolution, a plot, or a hybrid of the two. Because of this one will thus find, contained in the same chapter, Securitate people and political analysts, revolutionaries and politicians of the old and new regimes, and journalists.[31]

In other words, my exact indictment of the approach inside and outside Romania to the study of the Revolution, and the reason why people are simply unable to acknowledge the similarity and even identicality of views of the “terrorists.”

After the aforementioned realizations in 1993-1994 about the need to be more comparative and systematic in investigating accounts of the Revolution, it took yet another two maddening years before I started to realize the significance of the ballistics evidence. It thus came comparatively late in the dissertation process. My timing was fortuitous, however. I wrote a short article in November 1996 that was published in two different forms in 22 and Sfera Politicii in December 1996—the mood in Romania was euphoric as seven years of the Iliescu regime had just come to an end through the ballot box. [32] True, it didn’t spark debate and loosen some lips as I had hoped, but it made my visit to Bucharest the following June —especially my interviews on one particular day with a journalist at Cotidianul and, several hours later, a member of the Gabrielescu Parliamentary Commission investigating the events (Adrian Popescu-Necsesti)—memorable to say the least….

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Of course, not then, or even since, has anybody who has investigated the December 1989 events inside or outside Romania systematically attempted to replicate, test, or expand upon my earlier findings—other than myself. As I have noted elsewhere,[33] in Peter Siani-Davies’ otherwise excellent The Romanian Revolution of December 1989 he devotes essentially a paragraph to the ballistics’ topic in a 300 plus page book—and it is only in the context of addressing my own earlier research. Monica Ciobanu could thus not be more wrong in her declaration that Peter Siani-Davies’ 2005 volume had disproven the “myth of Securitate terrorists.”[34] Siani-Davies has nothing to say about dum-dum/vidia/exploding ammunition: hence why he does not believe in Securitate terrorists!

Since then, I have written on Securitate revisionism, “the terrorists,” and the ballistics evidence of Romanian Revolution of December 1989, in the words of one critic who seems unable to call things by their name “voluminously, although never exhaustively, elsewhere”—publishing in 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, and 2006. [35] Now, more than a decade after those original ballistics’ articles, I return here putting things together I should preferably have put together long before…

The high stakes of what was at play in late December 1989 become all the clearer here. Nicolae Ceausescu’s successors faced not only the dilemma of having foreign citizens arrested for firing at and killing in cold blood Romanian citizens[36], but members of a Romanian state institution—the Securitate—in addition to those foreign citizens, had injured, maimed, and killed Romanian citizens using munitions that were outlawed by international conventions to which Romania was a party. Thus, beyond the culpability of an institution that was key to the ability of the nomenklaturists who had seized power to continue in power—i.e. the Securitate—and who undoubtedly had compromising information on those leaders, the new potentates were faced with a problem of international dimensions and proportions.

Dan Badea’s April 1991 article with which I opened this paper concluded thusly:

There are in these two declarations above[–those of Gheorghe Balasa and Radu Minea–] sufficient elements for an investigation by the Police or Prosecutor’s Office. [Dan Badea, “Gloante speciale sau ce s-a mai gasit in cladirea Directiei a V-a,” Expres, 16-22 April 1991]

That, of course, never appears to have happened. I hope that the information I have supplied above—significantly, much of it new, much of it from the Internet in recent years—should at the very least encourage Romanians and Romanianists to reopen and reexamine the ballistics evidence. Let us hope that on the twentieth anniversary of the Revolution, we may be able to read serious investigations of the ballistics evidence, rather than be subjected to the false and jaded refrain… such things did not exist!



[1] See, for example, Dorin Petrisor, “Procurorul Voinea, acuzat ca a lucrat prost dosarul Iliescu 13 iunie 1990,” Cotidianul, 7 December 2007, online edition. Voinea’s removal generally went unpublicized abroad—it was understandably not a proud day for his supporters. Kovesi claimed to have been taken aback by Voinea’s inexplicable, seemingly incompetent handling of the June 1990 files.

[2] General Dan Voinea, interview by Romulus Cristea, “Toti alergau dupa un inamic invizibil,” Romania Libera, 22 December 2005, online edition. Cristea’s apparent effort/belief—shared by many others—to suggest that it was only “the press of the time”—something I take to mean December 1989 and the immediate months after—that was filled with such claims and accusations is untrue. (The suggestion is to say that civilians with no knowledge of weapons and munitions repeated rumors spread out of fear and fueled by those who had seized power but needed to create an enemy to legitimize themselves and thus exploited those fears…) For examples of such claims “in the press of the time,” see the words of an employee of the Municipal Hospital (“In the room was a boy, very badly wounded by dum-dum bullets that had blown apart his diaphragm, his sacroiliac, and left an exit wound the size of a 5 lei coin,” Expres no. 10 (6-12 April 1990), p. 5) and the discussion of how Bogdan Stan died (“vidia bullets which explode when they hit their ‘target,’ entered into the bone marrow of his spine,” Adevarul, 13 January 1990). But such claims also appear long after the December 1989 events. Two and a half and three years after the December 1989 events, Army Colonel Ion Stoleru maintained in detail that the “terrorists” had “weapons with silencers, with scopes, for shooting at night time (in ‘infrared’), bullets with a ‘vidia’ tip [more on this and the relation to dum-dum munitions below]. Really modern weapons” and added, significantly, “The civilian and military commissions haven’t followed through in investigating this…” (see Army Colonel Ion Stoleru with Mihai Galatanu, “Din Celebra Galerie a Teroristilor,” Expres, no. 151 (22-28 December 1992), p. 4, and “Am vazut trei morti suspecti cu fata intoarsa spre caldarim,” Flacara, no. 29 (22 July 1992), p. 7.) Voinea’s steadfast denials would seem to validate Stoleru’s allegations more than a decade after he made them. Not surprisingly, but highly unfortunate, Cristea’s interview with Voinea forms the basis of conclusions about the terrorists on the Romanian-language Wikipedia webpage on the Revolution: see http://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolu%C5%A3ia_rom%C3%A2n%C4%83_din_1989.

[3] Laura Toma, Toma Roman Jr. , and Roxana Ioana Ancuta, “Belis nu a vazut cadavrele Ceausestilor,” Jurnalul National, 25 October 2005, http://www.jurnalul.ro/articole/34668/belis-nu-a-vazut-cadavrele-ceausestilor. “Frumos (Nice)…” as the Romanians say. Belis may not have interested himself in the ballistics evidence—but some of his employees apparently did (see IML Dr. Florin Stanescu’s comments in Ion Costin Grigore, Cucuveaua cu Pene Rosii (Bucharest: Editura Miracol, 1994), pp. 70-72). Moreover, there were exhumations. (“For a long time the Brasov Military Prosecutor didn’t do anything, even though there existed cases, declarations, documents, photos and even atypical unusual bullets brought in by the families of the deceased and wounded.” http://www.portalulrevolutiei.ro/forum/index.php?topic=1.msg214) On 14 June 1990, General Nicolae Spiroiu, future Defense Minister (1991-1994), appears to have been in the city of Brasov, assisting at the exhumation of people killed there during the December 1989 Revolution. Such a step was a rarity, and apparently followed earlier talks between Spiroiu, five other officers, and the staff of the local newspaper Opinia, who were seeking clarification over who was responsible for the deaths of their fellow citizens. “They found in particular bullets of a 5.6 mm caliber that are not in the Army’s arsenal,” wrote the journalist Romulus Nicolae of the investigation. (Romulus Nicolae, “Au ars dosarele procuraturii despre evenimente din decembrie,” Cuvintul, no. 32 (August 1991), pp. 4-5, cited in Richard Andrew Hall, “Orwellian…Positively Orwellian: Prosecutor Voinea’s Campaign to Sanitize the Romanian Revolution of December 1989,” http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/Voineaswar091706.html.)

[4] Dr. Nicolae Constantinescu, surgeon at Coltea Hospital: “I remember that on 1 or 2 January ’90 there appeared at the [Coltea] hospital a colonel from the Interior Ministry, who presented himself as Chircoias. He maintained in violent enough language that he was the chief of a department from the Directorate of State Security [ie. Securitate]. He asked that all of the extracted bullets be turned over to him. Thus were turned over to him 40 bullets of diverse forms and dimensions, as well as munition fragments. I didn’t hear anything back from Chircoias or any expert. Those who made the evidence disappear neglected the fact that there still exist x-rays and other military documents that I put at the disposition of the [Military] Prosecutor.”

( http://www.romanialibera.ro/a113826/revolutia-5-000-de-victime-nici-un-vinovat.html)

[5] Tom Gallagher, Modern Romania: The End of Communism, the Failure of Democratic Reform, and the Theft of a Nation, (NY: New York University Press, 2005), p. 190.

[6] Jeremy Bransten, “Romania: The Bloody Revolution in 1989: Chaos as the Ceausescus Are Executed,” RFE/RFL, 14 December 1999 at http://www.rferl.org/specials/communism/10years/romania2.asp. This unfortunate comment aside, Brantsen’s series is an excellent journalistic introduction to the December 1989 events.

[7] Iliesiu is dead wrong. See the signed testimony to the contrary by Ion Lungu and Dumitru Refenschi dated 26 December 1989, reproduced in Ioan Itu, “Mostenirea teroristilor,” Tinerama, no. 123 (9-15 April 1993), p. 7. I translated the important parts of this document in Hall, “Orwellian…Positively Orwellian” http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/Voineaswar091706.html. Significantly, according to this document, Dr. Belis had access to the dead terrorists:

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Dead Terrorists. Although their existence is vehemently denied by all official institutions, we are able to prove that they existed and have sufficient details to identify them.…We continue with some excerpts of the declaration of Ion Lungu, head of the group of fighters who guarded the ‘Institute of Legal Medicine’ [IML, the main Bucharest morgue], beginning from the evening of 22 December 1989:

“Starting from the 23rd, there were brought, in succession, more ‘special’ corpses. They were brought only by military vehicles and were accompanied by officers. They were all dressed the same: kaki uniforms, with or without military insignia, fur-lined boots, cotton underwear. All the clothes were new. The established procedure at that point was that when the bodies were unloaded from the trucks, at the ramp to the back of the IML, to be disrobed and inspected. The documents found were released to Prosecutor Vasiliu and criminology officers. The weapons and munitions we found and surrendered—on the basis of a verbal procedure—to the officer on duty from UM 01046. Weapons and ammunition were found only on those ‘special’ corpses. Those who brought them said that they were terrorists. I turned over to this military unit five pistols (three Stecikin and two Makarov—all 9 mm caliber), two commando daggers and hundreds of 9 mm and 7.62 mm cartridges (compatible with the AKM machine gun). They were held separately from the other corpses, in a room—I believe that it used to be the coatroom—with a guard at the door.…

Access to the room with the terrorists was strictly forbidden. Only Prosecutor Vasiliu, criminologist officers, Dr. Belis, and the chief of autopsies could enter. On top of them, next to the arms, there were personal documents, passports (some blank), all types of identity cards—one of them was clearly false, it stated that the dead terrorist was the director at Laromet (at that plant no director died)—identity cards that were brand new, different service stamps in white. All had been shot by rifles (one was severed in two) and showed evidence of gunshots of large caliber. Some had tattoos (they had vultures on their chests), were young (around 30 years old), and were solidly built. I believe that their identity was known, since otherwise I can’t explain why their photographs were attached to those of unidentified corpses. They were brought to us in a single truck. In all, there were around 30 dead terrorists. [The document is signed by Ion Lungu and Dumitru Refenschi on 26 December 1989]”

[8] Once again Iliesiu is wrong. Professor Andrei Firica at the Bucharest “Emergency Hospital” apparently also was paid a visit by Colonel Chircoias (aka Ghircoias), see fn. 4. He claims that he “made a small file of the medical situations of the 15-20 suspected terrorists from [i.e. interned at] the Emergency Hospital,” but as he adds “of course, all these files disappeared.” Firica reports that a Militia colonel, whom he later saw on TV in stripes as a defendant in the Timisoara trial [i.e. Ghircoias], came to the hospital and advised him “not to bring reporters to the beds of the terrorists, because these were just terrorist suspects and I didn’t want to wake up one day on trial for having defamed someone” (!) The colonel later came and loaded the wounded terrorist suspects into a bus and off they went. (Professor Andrei Firica, interview by Florin Condurateanu, “Teroristii din Spitalul de Urgenta,” Jurnalul National, 9 March 2004, online edition.) Cited in Hall, “Orwellian…Positively Orwellian” http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/Voineaswar091706.html.

[9] I don’t even know where to begin on this one. As I have written before, not all of those detained were terrorists, and many of the terrorists seemed to have eluded arrest, but there are so many accounts of people arrested as terrorists who legitimately fit that description that I don’t even know where to begin. See the multiple translations in Hall, “Orwellian…Positively Orwellian” http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/Voineaswar091706.html.

[10] Sorin Iliesiu, “18 ani de la masacrul care a deturnat revoluţia anticomunistă,” 21 December 2007, found at http://www.romanialibera.com/articole/articol.php?step=articol&id=6709 (note: this is NOT the Romania Libera daily newspaper). One will find many well-known names in the West among those who signed this petition: Dragoş Paul Aligică, Matei Călinescu, Ruxandra Cesereanu, Anneli Ute Gabanyi, Tom Gallagher, Gabriel Liiceanu, Norman Manea, Nicolae Manolescu, Mircea Mihaies, Ion Mihai Pacepa, Horia-Roman Patapievici, Radu Portocală, Nestor Ratesh, Lavinia Stan, Stelian Tănase, Alin Teodorescu, and Vladimir Tismăneanu. Sorin Iliesiu, who is a filmmaker and Vice President of the “Civic Alliance” organization, has written that he was part of the “team” that “edited” the seven page chapter on the Romanian Revolution contained in the Report of the Presidential Commission to Analyze the Communist Dictatorship of Romania (PCACDR). He is not a scholar and most certainly not a scholar of the December 1989 events. A textual comparison of the Report’s chapter on the Revolution and Vladimir Tismaneanu’s chapter in a Dawisha and Parrott edited volume from 1997 is unambiguous: the introductory two paragraphs of the Report’s chapter are taken verbatim in translation from p. 414 of Tismaneanu’s 1997 chapter, and other verbatim paragraphs, sentences, and phrases from pp. 414-417 make up parts of the rest of the Report’s Revolution chapter without any reference to the 1997 chapter. As the author(s) of an earlier chapter in the Report cite(s) Tismaneanu’s 1997 chapter (see p. 376 fn. 55) correctly, this leaves really only two possible explanations for the failure of Iliesiu et. al. to cite that they have borrowed wholesale from Tismaneanu’s 1997 chapter: a) an absence of scholarly knowledge, or b) an attempt to mask their dependence upon and deference to Tismaneanu, the Chair of the Commission, since the citations that do appear are the exact citations from the 1997 chapter and claims are translated word-by-word, so much so that Iliesiu et. al. did not even bother to change verb tenses despite the passage of a decade. Iliesiu et. al. can attempt to avoid answering questions and attempt to change the subject, but the textual analysis is unambiguous: Tismaneanu’s unattributed 1997 chapter forms the bulk of the Report’s chapter on the Revolution. The only question that needs to be answered is: why and why are they unwilling to admit the textual identicality?

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[11] All of this eludes Charles King in his Winter 2007 Slavic Review essay “Remembering Romanian Communism.” In his five page essay, he pauses no less than four times to mention the Revolution, despite the fact that its coverage takes up barely one percent of the PCACDR report. He relates the most banal of conclusions—“The report thus repeats the common view (at least among western academics) of the revolution as having been hijacked…”—yet misses or avoids what Iliesiu clearly seems most proud of: having inserted the claim that Nicolae Ceausescu was responsible for “only 162 deaths,” thereby insinuating Ceausescu’s successors bear responsibility for the other 942, and the claim to which such a reckoning is intimately related, namely Voinea’s that there were “no terrorists.” (It is interesting to note how Iliesiu et. al., the eternally suspicious of the state, miraculously become assiduous promoters of “official” and “state” claims once they turn out to be their own, thereby suggesting that their skepticism of the state is primarily situational rather than inherent—these are not equal opportunity skeptical and critical intellectuals.) King’s treatment of the Report is overall insufficiently informed, and as a consequence contextually-wanting and one-sided. He cites a handful of Romanian reviews of the Report, but they are almost uniformly positive accounts, almost as if supplied by the Chair of the Commission himself (see fn. 1, p. 718). He pauses to cite the former head of Radio Free Europe’s Romanian Research Division Michael Shafir’s 1985 book, yet makes no mention of Shafir’s trenchant criticisms (he gave the report a 7 out of 10 and mixed the positive with the negative) in a 1/12/07 interview in Ziua de Cluj, his extended critique “RAPORTUL TISMĂNEANU: NOTE DIN PUBLIC ŞI DIN CULISE” available in spring 2007 at http:// www.eleonardo.tk/ (no. 11), or his “Scrisoare (ultra)deschisa” in Observator Cultural no. 382 (25 July-1 August 2007) [given the timeline of scholarly publication, I am attempting to give King the benefit of the doubt here …He would certainly do well to read Shafir’s most recent discussion in Observator Cultural NR. 148 (406) 17 – 23 ianuarie 2008, “Despre clarificari nebuloase, plagiate, imposturi si careerism,” to see what a venerable critic and serious scholar was subjected to as a result of deigning to not wholeheartedly embrace the Report. Shafir’s treatment by the Report’s zealots has little to do with the liberal democratic view of the open society the Report’s authors ceaselessly profess.] Finally, had Charles King bothered to read Ciprian Siulea’s “Tentatia unui nou absolutism moral: Cu cine si de ce polemizeaza Vladimir Tismaneanu?” (Observator Cultural, nr. 379, 5-11 iulie 2007, once again conceivably within the publishing timeline) he might have refrained from parrotting the polarizing and unhelpful plebiscitary logic applied to the Report when he closed “The question is now whether the commission’s report will be used as yet another opportunity to reject history or as a way of helping Romanians learn, at last, how to own it” (p. 723). This, of course, suggests a certain infallible quality to the Report—which is far from the case—a conclusion only enhanced by King’s willingness to focus on the “hate speech” directed against the Report, but yet failing to cite and discuss any of the Romanian scholarly criticism of it.

[12] “Aghiotantii lui Ceausescu povestesc minut cu minut: O zi din viata dictatorului,” Romania Libera, 2 December 2005, online at http://www.romanialibera.ro/a5040/o-zi-din-viata-dictatorului.html. “Declaratie Subsemnatul TALPEANU ION, fiul lui Marin si Elena, nascut la 27 mai 1947 in comuna Baneasa, judetul Giurgiu, fost aghiotant prezidential cu grad de lt. col. in cadrul Directiei a V-a – Serviciul 1. Cu privire la armamentul din dotare arat ca, noi, aghiotantii aveam pistol “Makarov” cu 12 cartuse, iar sefii de grupa si ofiterii din grupa aveau pistolet “Makarov”, pistolet “Stecikin” si pistol-mitraliera AKM, cu munitie aferenta, care era cea obisnuita, in sensul ca nu aveam gloante dum-dum sau cu proprietati speciale, de provenienta straina.” (Dated 2 February 1990). His denial of dum-dum bullets is, of course, par for the course for former Securitate officers, who remember and thus “know nothing.”

[13] Quoted from http://www.tourismguide.ro/html/orase/Arad/Curtici/istoric_curtici.php. This raises an interesting point: there were foreign doctors who participated in Romania or in their home country in the surgery, treatment, and rehabilitation of those wounded. It would be interesting to hear what they remember and what they have to say regarding the munitions.

[15]Adina Anghelescu-Stancu refers to the “crippled and handicapped by dum-dum bullets” who do not number among Romania’s celebrities and about whom no one wishes to remember in today’s Romania, “Dureri care nu trec! (despre decembrie ‘89),” Gardianul, 18 December 2007, online at http://www.gardianul.ro/2007/12/18/editorial-c27/dureri_care_nu_trec_despre_decembrie_89_-s106259.html.

[16] I have examined the incident in detail several times, for the references to other works, see Richard Andrew Hall, “The Romanian Revolution as Geopolitical Parlor Game,” http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/checkmate040405.pdf, and Hall, “Orwellian…Positively Orwellian,” http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/Voineaswar091706.html.

[17] Once again, see “The Romanian Revolution as Geopolitical Parlor Game,” http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/checkmate040405.pdf, and “Orwellian…Positively Orwellian,” http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/Voineaswar091706.html. The critical articles were authored by Mihai Floca and Victor Stoica, who interviewed the Army cadre who had been involved in the incident and the residents of the surrounding apartment blocs who survived the fighting of those days.

[18] destituirea “Romanian Revolution USLA attack Dec 23 1989 Revolutia,” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlBRSxUVQ5E

[19] For the photo see http://www.portalulrevolutiei.ro/documente/glont.htm; for one of his posts see http://www.portalulrevolutiei.ro/index.php?menu=6&pg=forum_thread.php&lnk=1&pagina=39. I cannot verify that this is indeed a “vidia” munition.

[20] Christian Levant, “Dacă tata nu-l salva pe Tokes, dacă nu salva biserici, tot se întâmpla ceva,” Adevarul, 30 September 2006, online at http://www.adevarul.ro/articole/dac-x103-tata-nu-l-salva-pe-tokes-dac-x103-nu-salva-biserici-tot-se-nt-mpla-ceva/200090.

[21] Cezar-Vladimir Rogoz, Povestirile teroristilor amintiri preluate si prelucrate de Cezar-Vladimir Rogoz, (Alma Print Galati 2007), p. 297, available online at http://www.bvau.ro/docs/e-books/2007/Rogoz,%20Cezar-Vladimir/povestirile_teroristilor.pdf.

[22]“A invatat sa zambeasca, [He learned how to smile],” http://marianmanescu.wordpress.com/2007/12/21/a-invatat-sa-zambeasca.

[25] Puspoki F., “Piramida Umbrelor (III),” Orizont (Timisoara), no. 11 (16 March 1990) p.4, and Roland Vasilevici, Piramida Umbrelor (Timisoara: Editura de Vest, 1991), p. 61.

[26] For the discussion of the former Securitate response to those who have violated the code of silence, see Hall, “Orwellian…Positively Orwellian,” http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/Voineaswar091706.html.

[28] I refer here to, for example, the works of Vladimir Tismaneanu, Matei Calinescu, Andrei Codrescu, Anneli Ute Gabanyi, Radu Portocala, and Nestor Ratesh. Some, like Tismaneanu in a 1993 article in EEPS, “The Quasi-Revolution and its Discontents,” were more explicit about this rather rigid dichotomous approach to the Romanian media, but it also comes through clearly in the sourcing, citations, and footnotes/endnotes of the others. (It continues to haunt the historiography of post-communist Romania, as works such as Tom Gallagher’s aforementioned Modern Romania make clear). To say the least, the issue of ballistics evidence essentially goes unanalyzed in these accounts. Moreover, although as we have seen, these authors have no problem affixing their names to petitions and the like, none of them has published any research on the December 1989 events since the early 1990s. It should tell you something that they continue to rely on and repeat the accounts they wrote in 1990 and 1991…as if nothing had been discovered or written since. In that way, it is almost fitting that the Report of the PCADCR reproduced Tismaneanu’s 1997 Dawisha and Parrott chapter in some places verbatim, down to failing to even change verb tenses when it states that certain questions “remain to be clarified.” I deconstructed the methodological faults in source selection in these émigré accounts in “The Romanian Revolution as Geopolitical Parlor Game” at http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/checkmate040405.html.

[29] For earlier discussions of all of this, see Richard Andrew Hall, “The Uses of Absurdity: The Staged-War Theory of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989,” East European Politics and Societies, vol. 13, no. 3, and Richard Andrew Hall, “The Securitate Roots of a Modern Romanian Fairy Tale,” Radio Free Europe East European Perspectives, April-May 2002, three part series, available at http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/romania%20securitate%205-2002.html.

[30] In “The Romanian Revolution as Geopolitical Parlor Game,” I demonstrated how even the so-called French and German schools (really the schools of Romanian émigrés in those countries) in 1990 were not and could not be independent from accounts in Romania, and that the accounts fed into and reinforced one another. It is simply intellectual myth—and an all too convenient one—to argue the antisceptic separation of these accounts as independent.

[31] Smaranda Vultur, “Revolutia recitita,” 22 no. 787 (9-15 April 2005) online at http://www.revista22.ro.

[32] Richard Andrew Hall, trans. Adrian Bobeica, “Ce demonstreaza probele balistice dupa sapte ani?” 22, no. 51 (17-23 December 1996), p. 10, and Richard Andrew Hall, trans. Corina Ileana Pop, “Dupa 7 ani,” Sfera Politicii no. 44 (1996), pp. 61-63.

[33] See my discussion in “Orwellian…Positively Orwellian,” at http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/Voineaswar091706.html.

[34] Monica Ciobanu’s review of Siani-Davies The Romanian Revolution of December 1989 and Tom Gallagher’s Modern Romania: Theft of a Nation is entitled “The Myth Factory” (found at http://www.tol.cz).

[35] Charles King, “Remembering Romanian Communism,” Slavic Review, Winter 2007, p 719. In King’s short article, he does not hesitate to make occasionally gratuitous citations for things he did not need to cite. Yet in discussing December 1989 and using the term “elsewhere”—which usually prefaces a description of “where else” one might find these things—there are no citations. “Although never exhaustively” is itself a gratuitous choice of words and far from accidental: in my last work on December 1989, I made light of how ridiculous it was for Daniel Chirot to claim that Peter Siani-Davies’ The Romanian Revolution of December 1989, an otherwise excellent work, was “near definitive” when so much was missing from Siani-Davies’ discussion—notably, for our purposes here, the question of dum-dum/vidia/exploding munitions. One could indeed be left with the impression that King intends to deliver a put-down, that some fellow Romanianists will no doubt catch, but yet deny the broader audience references to what he alludes and simultaneously protect his image from having delivered such a “palma” as the Romanians would say. It would appear that at least for readers of this paper, his goals won’t go completely fulfilled.

[36] See my discussion in “Orwellian…Positively Orwellian,” at http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/Voineaswar091706.html.

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The Romanian Revolution for Dum-Dums by Richard Andrew Hall

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on October 25, 2008

THE ROMANIAN REVOLUTION FOR DUM-DUMS:

(like me…and perhaps even you)

by Richard Andrew Hall, Ph.D.

Standard Disclaimer: All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official positions or views of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or any other U.S. Government agency. Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying U.S. Government authentication of information or CIA endorsement of the author’s views. This material has been reviewed by CIA to prevent the disclosure of classified information.

I am an intelligence analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency. I have been a CIA analyst since 2000. Prior to that time, I had no association with CIA outside of the application process.

I have been researching the Revolution for the better part of the past 18 years. I first visited Romania in 1987 while backpacking through Europe, and I spent a total of about 20 months in the country during the years 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993-1994, and 1997, when I conducted pre-dissertation, dissertation, and post-dissertation research on the Revolution.

I have written on the topic of the Revolution, voluminously some might say, publishing in 1996, 1999, and 2000 before joining the Agency, and since I entered the Agency in 2002, 2004, 2005, and 2006.

It will and should be hard to believe for the outsider to this problem, but my work has been essentially the only systematic, ongoing investigation of the ballistics evidence—such are the shortcomings of small “communities of interest” investigating a peripheral historical topic and the perils of “group think.”

This article is, for lack of a better description, about “connecting the dots.”


–The story of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 since December 1989 has been the struggle of disparate voices who share their memories, often with great frustration and a sense of resignation. They are hardly a unified chorus.

The accounts of ideologues seek to suggest to us that “the truth” miraculously is the province of people of this or that particular political persuasion in post-communist Romania. That is morality play and fairy tale; it is not the work of the serious historian. Would that history were so neat and tidy! It is not.

Instead, what one finds is that the people with the details that matter most are spread across the ideological and political spectrum—including people with what many of us might term distasteful, illiberal, ultranationalist, and nostalgic views.

There are those who relate these details in a narrative consistent with where those details lead.

There are those who relate these details even though it contradicts their narrative and ultimate conclusions about December 1989.

Finally, there are those—and there are many of them—who just know they experienced what they experienced. They aren’t sure exactly how it fits in with a larger narrative: they merely want to tell their story.

Together, they relate these details in the face of cynicism, indifference, and an often stunning intellectual conceit and deaf ear.

Theirs, however, and not the ideologues’, is the story of December 1989.


There was a lot of talk during the crimes of December ’89 about the special bullets with which the young and old alike were killed, bullets which—it is said were not in the arsenal of our military units. There was so much talk that there was no more to say and after there was no more to say for a sufficient amount of time the discussion was reopened with the line “such things don’t exist!” The special bullets didn’t exist!—our highest authorities hurried to tell us…In order to search for proof a little work is necessary by our legal organs that they are not terribly inclined to take….

[Dan Badea, “Gloante speciale sau ce s-a mai gasit in cladirea Directiei a V-a,” Expres, 16-22 April 1991]

The Internet allows the researcher to piece together history as never before. That’s a pretty bland statement, but the reality of it never ceases to amaze me. Take the case of those killed in the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 (officially 1,104 people perished in those events). Scroll through the list of those killed on the procesulcomunismului (“the trial of communism”) and portalulrevolutiei (“the portal to the revolution”) websites. For most, there is only limited information about the circumstances in which they died. For others, however, there is greater detail. As one scrolls through the names and photos, one of the similarities that begins to become apparent is that in cases where there is more information about the circumstances of the death, dum-dum bullets are mentioned. Thus, for example, we find the following five cases:

BUTIRI Florin, born in Joia Mare, 11 April 1969, he was living in Bucharest and was employed by the Bucharest Metro. He played rugby. On 22 December he participated in the demonstration at Sala Dalles [next to University Square]. On 23 December he went to defend the Radio Broadcast center on str. Nuferilor, and while he was saving some old people from a burning building he was shot. Brought to the Military Hospital because of a wound to his hip, caused by a dum-dum cartridge, they tried to ampute a leg. His stomach was also ravaged by a bullet. On 26 December 1989 he died. (http://www.procesulcomunismului.com/marturii/fonduri/ioanitoiu/aeroi/docs/album_2.htm)

FILOTI Claudiu
Profession: Lieutenant major UM 01171 Buzau, post-mortem Captain
Born: 30 July 1964
Birthplace: Vaslui
Date of death: 22 December 1989
Place of death: Bucharest, in the area of the Defense Ministry
Cause of death: Shot in the chest with dum-dum bullets (http://www.portalulrevolutiei.ro/index.php?menu=1&jud=53)

LUPEA Ion- Gabriel from Hunedoara, born in 1970…In 1989 he was sent from Bucharest to Anina [Resita], then to UM 01929. On 9 December 1989, he went on leave, but he was recalled. On the evening of 23 December he was on duty defending the unit [Anina-Resita], at the checkpoint, when around 11 pm they were attacked from the front and from the left flank. While crawling on hands and knees to bring more ammunition he was hit by a dum-dum bullet that entered above his left leg and exited through his left hand. Brought to the hospital he died Christmas Eve, making him the unit’s first hero; he was posthumously awarded the rank of sub-lieutenant. (http://www.procesulcomunismului.com/marturii/fonduri/ioanitoiu/aeroi/docs/album_5.htm)

MANESCU Dan, born 25 March 1964, a student in the Transportation Department, he joined with the other young people on 21 December and participated in the demonstrations in the center of the town [Bucharest]. Friday morning he went with his brother to the demonstrations and he returned after the flight of the dictator. He changed his clothes and returned for good, when on the night of 22/23 December a dum-dum bullet punctured his stomach in Palace Square. Brought to the Emergency hospital, he could not be saved. (http://www.procesulcomunismului.com/marturii/fonduri/ioanitoiu/aeroi/docs/album_5.htm)

POPTEAN Petre, born 27 December 1965, in Margau near Huedin, living in Bucharest…he worked as a driver for the Bucharest Transportation Department. On 21 December he went into town to protect his sister on her way home from work. The two of them left on Calea Victoriei and arrived at [Sala] Dalles, where in horror they watched…Petre called to his sister to aid the wounded. While on the ground, he was hit in the abdomen and left hip by dum-dum cartridges that caused him major wounds. His sister, Monica, was able to stop an ambulance with a Targoviste license number, but he didn’t make it to Hospital 9. At around 6 pm Petre passed away. (http://www.procesulcomunismului.com/marturii/fonduri/ioanitoiu/aeroi/docs/album_7.htm)

Let me draw the attention of the reader to two important details here. First, the use of dum-dum munitions was not confined to Bucharest (multiple locations), but includes the southwestern city of Resita (the case of Ion Lupea). Second, the use of dum-dum munitions occurred not just after communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu fled at midday on 22 December 1989, but also before, on the evening of 21 December (the case of Petre Poptean).

Dum-dum bullets—which fragment and cause substantially more and more lethal damage to the organs of those who are hit—are outlawed by international convention (see more below). Moreover—or perhaps better-put, officially—no Romanian institution had them in their arsenal in December 1989. Yet, as we can see, almost two decades after the events, the obituaries of those gunned down in December 1989 include references to those munitions as having played a role not only in the wounding of people, but also in their deaths.

Despite the claims above attesting to not just the wounding, but the death of several people (civilians and soldiers) over several days in several locations from dum-dum bullets in December 1989, what did General Dan Voinea—removed from his post in December 2007 by Attorney General Laura Codruta Kovesi for violating basic judicial norms in another case[1]—who headed the investigations into December 1989 for well over a decade, have to say about them in late 2005? “Such things didn’t exist!”:

Romulus Cristea: “Did special ammunition, bullets with a vidia tip or dum-dum bullets, claim [any] victims? The press of the time was filled with such claims…”

Dan Voinea: There were no victims (people who were shot) from either vidia bullets or dum-dum bullets. During the entire period of the events war munitions were used, normal munitions that were found at the time in the arsenal of the Interior Ministry and the Defense Ministry. The confusion and false information were the product of the fact that different caliber weapons were used, and therefore, the resulting sound was perceived differently.[2] (Emphasis added)

So, there is no wiggle room here, no room for misinterpretation: according to Prosecutor Voinea , nobody was killed by dum-dum bullets in December 1989.

That’s a common claim among officials of the former communist regime—Voinea was a military prosecutor since 1982 and he was directly involved in the trial of the Ceausescus. Such conclusions were also repeated in late 2005 by Dr. Vladimir Belis, who was the head of the Medical Forensics Institute (IML) in Bucharest in December 1989: asked if other than the standard 7.62 mm caliber weapons belonging to the Army were used, he did not know and couldn’t say because he claimed no autopsies were ever performed.[3] The apparent official disinterest in munitions and autopsies is—ahem—shall we say “interesting” given the comments attributed to Belis’ subordinates and to doctors at Bucharest’s main hospitals—comments made in the early 1990s, but also made well over a decade later, in the mid 2000s.[4]

General Dan Voinea spoke in late 2005. Voinea’s argument that there were no dum-dum bullets, that there were no atypical munitions used, is directly linked to his contention that there were therefore “no terrorists” in December 1989. It has been routinely repeated in various forms by the media for well over a decade and by his supporters in intellectual circles at home and abroad. The encomia for General Voinea before and since that December 2005 interview by noted Romanian intellectuals and Romanianists are breathtaking. Tom Gallagher refers to him as the “indefatigable General Voinea”[5] and Western journalists have described him as “a one-man mission to uncover the truth about exactly what happened during those days.”[6] Sorin Iliesiu justifies his claims about the Revolution squarely on Voinea’s words:

General Dan Voinea has said clearly: The terrorists did not exist. Those who seized power lied to protect the real criminals….The diversion of the ‘terrorists’ has been demonstrated by [the] Justice [System], not a single terrorist being found among the dead[7], wounded[8] or arrested[9].”[10][11]

Highly problematic and damning for General Dan Voinea, Dr. Vladimir Belis, and fellow deniers are the following, detailed written testimonies of Gheorghe Balasa and Radu Minea presented by Dan Badea in April 1991, attesting to what they had found in December 1989 in the headquarters of the Securitate’s Fifth Directorate:

Balasa Gheorghe: From [Securitate] Directorate V-a, from the weapons depot, on 23-24 December 1989, DUM-DUM cartridges, special cartridges that did not fit any arm in the arsenal of the Defense Ministry were retrieved. Three or four boxes with these kinds of cartridges were found. The special bullets were 5-6 cm. in length and less thick than a pencil. Such a cartridge had a white stone tip that was transparent. All of these cartridges I personally presented to be filmed by Mr. Spiru Zeres. All the special cartridges, other than the DUM-DUM [ones] were of West German [FRG] make. From Directorate V-a we brought these to the former CC building, and on 23-24 December ’89 they were surrendered to U.M. 01305. Captain Dr. Panait, who told us that he had never seen such ammunition before, Major Puiu and Captain Visinescu know about [what was turned over].

In the former CC of the PCR, all of those shot on the night of 23-24 December ’89 were shot with special bullets. It is absurd to search for the bullet in a corpse that can penetrate a wall…

[of course, V-a worked hand-in-hand with the USLA, or the Securitate’s “special unit for anti-terrorist warfare,” and thus it was not suprising that in Directorate V-a’s headquarters…] Among things we also found were:…the training manual for the USLA. It was about 25 cm thick, and while there, I leafed through about half of it…[and I also came across] a file in which lots of different people under the surveillance of USLA officers were listed…

(Interviewed by Dan Badea, “Gloante speciale sau ce s-a mai gasit in cladirea Directiei a V-a,” Expres, 16-22 April 1991.)

Moreover, we know from the 2005 publication of the testimony of a detained V-th Directorate officer dated 2 February 1990, that he must have been asked to comment specifically on the existence of dum-dum ammunition—since he makes a point of emphasizing that “we didn’t have dum-dum ammunition or weapons with special properties, of foreign origin.”[12] So, in other words, we know from this interrogation document that six weeks after the Revolution, those who had taken power or at least the military prosecutors of the time were still interested in the existence of these munitions—thereby suggesting that they must have had some reason for believing in their existence, say for example the character of the injuries suffered by those shot during the events, as well as perhaps recovered bullet fragments, the testimonies of the doctors who operated on those wounded, etc…

Voinea’s ceaseless interviews and revelations during this period have been reprinted repeatedly since they took place and his conclusions been given wide circulation by journalists and people such as Sorin Iliesiu. Yet those who just relate what happened in December 1989 continue to mention the existence of dum-dum munitions. Thus, if one turns to the tourism site for the western border town of Curtici (near Arad) one can read the following about the history of the city, including the events of December 1989:

The following night [at the train station], the first team of five doctors from the Austrian “Lorenz Bohler” Hospital , who arrived in Curtici with a “hospital-wagon” took 18 people in critical condition to Austria for special treatment that lasted two to three months. That is, they needed organ transplants or special care, because of the monstrous results of dum-dum bullets.[13]

Or take the case of a poster on the 18th anniversary of the Revolution, who begins:

The Romarta (central Bucharest) file? What about the file on those who fired at me at the Astronomical Observatory on Ana Ipatescu Boulevard or those who at 1700 on 24 December fired near Casa Scanteii [press building] where I found a dum-dum cartridge in my bed—us having had to sleep in the bathroom.[14]

Finally, there are the cynical comments of those—no matter what they believe about December 1989—who cannot help but remember the dum-dum munitions and the horrible pain and trauma they caused their victims, many still living with the consequences of those wounds today…and how nobody wishes to remember them; for them, this is essentially a cruel, open secret.[15]

Unfortunately, no one in Romania has tied together such claims and the evidence I present above. I do not know how many of these people are still alive, but if the Romanian media were interested, the names are there for them to contact in order to confirm the claims above: Gheorghe Balasa, Radu Minea, Spiru Zeres, Major Puiu, and Captain Visinescu.

D’oh…Dum-Dum…(Tweedle) Dumb and (Tweedle) Dumber: Dum-Dum=Vidia

When I first viewed the youtube video “Romanian Revolution USLA attack Dec 23 1989 Revolutia” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlBRSxUVQ5E ), what struck me was: here, finally, after a decade and a half of almost unopposed revisionist denial, here was someone who claims to have been an eyewitness and has photos and details of the incident, and who maintains the now almost heretical idea that the Securitate’s “Special Unit for Anti-terrorist Warfare”(USLA for short) had indeed attempted to attack the heavily-guarded Defense Ministry Headquarters on Drumul Taberei in Bucharest on the night of 23-24 December 1989! But, in fact as we shall see, although important, that is actually not the most important thing about the one and only youtube video posted by “destituirea.”

For me the transcript of the USLA unit claiming to have witnessed army units attacking their own ministry and thus the supposed reason that the USLA men who witnessed it “had to be silenced by being killed”—a transcript leaked to the press in 1993 and which led scholars such as Denis Deletant and Peter Siani-Davies to consider this “case closed” essentially—was always highly problematic. It supplied what was said, but, if we are to believe the words of the USLA Commander Gheorghe Ardeleanu, speaking to the notorious Securitate cheerleader Angela Bacescu, it did not supply the much needed context: Ardeleanu claimed that he had been placed under arrest and that it was he who chose the names of the USLA officers who were to report to the Defense Ministry. The USLA units thus came in a situation in which those who had taken control of the country were in the Defense Ministry holding their commander under arrest.[16]

But more importantly, the transcript could not explain a) the lack of any corroboration since of these supposed Army units attacking the Defense Ministry on the night of 23-24 December 1989—truly hard to believe, given all the young recruits and given their comparative willingness to talk to the media after all these years, in comparison to the former Securitate, and b) the claims in summer 1990 by the Army cadre who had been involved in the firefight with the USLA and the interviews of civilians in the surrounding blocs of flats who had lived through the fighting in December 1989 and related what they had seen.[17] The interviewees had detailed the suspicious actions of the USLA convoy and made it clear that they came with less-than-friendly intentions.

Now, here, 17 years after those famous articles by Mihai Floca and Victor Stoica is a video supporting the claim that the USLA units attempted to force their way into the Defense Ministry. The photos of the inside of the USLA ABI vehicles and of the dead USLA men (wearing black jumpsuits underneath Army clothing) are perhaps the most extensive and detailed seen to date, and the anonymous poster plays coy as to where he got them from (he claims he does not want to reveal the source—something which, given the sensitivity of the issue, I am not surprised by).

But, as I mentioned previously, it is actually not the confirmation of this understanding of the Defense Ministry incident that is the most significant thing about this youtube video. It is at the 2:01-2:05 of 8:50 mark of this silent video that the poster makes the following interesting and critical insight/claim…

USLA’s bullets were called “vidia” or “dum-dum” were usually smaller than the regular army’s bullets…Most of the capital’s residents have found this type of bullets all around the military buildings near by. (at 2:01 of 8:50)[18]

And thus, it becomes clear that the discussion of “vidia” bullets and “dum-dum” bullets is interchangeable (or at least is treated as such)! (Hence, perhaps why Romulus Cristea asked his question of General Voinea as he did in December 2005: “Did special ammunition, bullets with a vidia tip or dum-dum bullets, claim [any] victims? The press of the time was filled with such claims…”) “Vidia” translates as “grooved,” and thus describes the modified feature of the bullets which makes them so lethal, thereby making the treatment of vidia and dumdum as de facto synonyms understandable.

This is critical because as I have previously written in detail, citing interviews and reminiscences in the Romanian press…vidia bullets showed up across the country in December 1989. In “Orwellian…Positively Orwellian: Prosecutor Voinea’s Campaign to Sanitize the Romanian Revolution of December 1989” (http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/Voineaswar091706.html) I detail examples of vidia bullets showing up across the country—Brasov, Sibiu, Bucharest (multiple locations), Braila, Caransebes, Craiova, and Hunedoara—as recounted by civilians and Army personnel, at various times since the events—not just during or right after. Such wide dispersion of the use of officially non-existent munitions is critical too because it infirms the notion that somehow demonstrators or the Army put their hands on such “free floating weapons” and used them during the December 1989 events—that it would have happened in one or two places could be explained, but that the same thing would happen in so many geographic centers is scarcely plausible.

Recall from our earlier extract from Prosecutor Dan Voinea’s December 2005 interview, his unambiguous denial of the use of vidia munitions. Nevertheless, significantly, since that interview we continue to find people who remember what they remember and they remember the use of vidia munitions. I have found yet more references. Alexandru Stepanian, who writes under the motto “Dreptate si Onoare! (Justice and Honor!),” not only claims to still have a vidia bullet from 22-23 December 1989 in the area around the TV Station in Bucharest, but he has placed a photo of it on the portalulrevolutiei website.[19] In fall 2006, the daughter of a priest recalled:

In December ’89, after he arrived from Timisoara, my father stayed with me on Stefan Cel Mare Boulevard. When we returned to our home, on the corner of Admiral Balescu and Rosenthal. I found the cupboard of the dresser pure and simple riddled with bullets, about 8 to 10 of them. Someone who knew about such things told me they were vidia bullets. They were brought to a commission, but I don’t know what happened to them.[20]

In 2007 a book entitled The Tales of the Terrorists was published in Galati. In one section, a Eugen Stoleriu recounts his dispatch to Bucharest as a military recruit during the events and how for the first time in his life he came across vidia bullets that were shot at him.[21]

Another apparent synonym for “vidia” is “crestata” or “notched.” I take it that the reference is to the same type of munitions because the damage caused to those wounded by them was equally catastrophic. In December 2007, Alexandru Tudor, a soccer official famous apparently for his stern, unsmiling demeanor, who was shot on 23 December 1989 around 10 am in the area of Piata Aviatorilor near the TV studio, recounted the episode that ended his career:

They brought me to Colentina Hospital and there I had the great fortune of two great doctors. If they had operated on me, they would have to amputate both my legs beneath the knee, but instead they left the bullets in there 12 days. Their explanation was that the bullets were too close to arteries, and since they were gloante crestate (notched bullets), it was very dangerous. After they were removed, I kept the bullets, I have them at home. I was on crutches for six months, I went through therapy, but I had to give up soccer.[22]

Also on the 18th anniversary of the Revolution, a frustrated poster to another site asked pointedly:

Who in Romania in 1989 had 5.5 mm caliber NATO-type munition, that in addition was “notched”—something outlawed by the Geneva Convention, while it is known that the Romanian Army had only the caliber used by Warsaw Pact nations for their weapons, that is to say 7,62 mm….At that time even the Olympic speed shooting champion, Sorin Babii, expressed his surprise….I had in my hand several samples of this cartridge: small, black, with a spiral on the top, or with 4 cuts (those who know a little bit about ballistics and medical forensics can attest to the devastating role caused by these modifications). I await a response to my questions…perhaps someone will be willing to break the silence. I thank you in advance. [emphases added][23]

In other words, the existence of crestate/vidia/dum-dum bullets is known, and not everyone has so blithely forgotten their existence.

A Dum-Dum by Any Other Name: Gloante explosive (exploding bullets), gloante speciale (special bullets)

Crestate, vidia, dum-dum…by now we know: these are very dangerous munitions…

In the field of firearms, an expanding bullet is a bullet designed to expand on impact. Such bullets are often known as Dum-dum or dumdum bullets. There are several types of dum-dum designs. Two popular designs are the hollow point (made during the manufacturing phase) and X-ing made usually by the user by making two notches perpendicular to each other on the tip of the bullet, commonly with a knife. The effect is that the bullet deforms and sometimes fragments upon impact due to the indentations. This creates a larger wound channel or channels with greater blood loss and trauma.

The hollow-point bullet, and the soft-nosed bullet, are sometimes also referred to as the dum-dum, so named after the British arsenal at Dum-Dum, near Calcutta, India, where it is said that jacketed, expanding bullets were first developed. This term is rare among shooters, but can still be found in use, usually in the news media and sensational popular fiction. Recreational shooters sometimes refer to hollow points as “JHPs”, from the common manufacturer’s abbreviation for “Jacketed Hollow Point”.

To be most correct, the term “Dum Dum Bullet” refers only to soft point bullets, not to hollow points, though it is very common for it to be mistakenly used this way.

The Hague Convention of 1899, Declaration III, prohibits the use in warfare of bullets which easily expand or flatten in the body, and was an expansion of the Declaration of St Petersburg in 1868, which banned exploding projectiles of less than 400 grams. These treaties limited the use of “explosive” bullets in military use, defining illegal rounds as a jacketed bullet with an exposed lead tip (and, by implication, a jacketed base).[24]

Thus, under the synonym for dumdum/vidia/crestate bullets of “exploding bullets,” we find the following on the Internet:

On the evening of 27 December 1989, Eugen Maresi, 20 years old, a military draftee, was sent to organize a checkpoint on soseaua Chitilei, at the entrance to Bucharest….A group of 25 soldiers came under fire from the belltower of a church. Eugen was the first shot…. “The doctors told me my only child was shot with (gloante explosive) exploding bullets. The fragments shattered all of his internal organs,” says Dumitru Maresi, the father of the [Drobeta Turnu] Severin hero. http://2003.informatia.ro/Article42788.phtml

and

Gheorghe Nicolosu, was shot in the leg…After he was operated on, it was established that the bullet with which he was shot did not figure in [the arsenal of] the Romanian Army. Nicolosu was operated on in Hunedoara, then arrived in Italy, where he underwent another surgery…In the same area, on Lipscani, Cristea Valeria, 36 years old, was shot in the stomach by ammunition that did not belong to the army. He died a few hours later, the doctors trying to save his life, but the glontul exploziv (exploding bullet) perforated his intestines. Another youngster, 18 year old Ion Gherasim was shot in the back at the entrance to UM 01933 by munition that did not belong to the army. (Emphases added) http://www.replicahd.ro/images/replica216/special2.htm

Once again, we are speaking here of far-flung locations across the country—Chitila (Bucharest) and Hunedoara—which makes the idea of accident and “free floating weapons” unlikely.

Ammunition…Consistent with the Confessions of Former Securitate Whistleblowers

And so, who was it, who has told us about “exploding bullets” and “special cartridges” like this, and who has it been said possessed them in December 1989?

For years I have been essentially the sole researcher inside or outside the country familiar with and promoting the claims of 1) former Timisoara Securitate Directorate I officer Roland Vasilevici—who published his claims about December 1989 under the byline of Puspoki F. in the Timisoara political-cultural weekly Orizont in March 1990 and under the pseudonym “Romeo Vasiliu”—and 2) an anonymous USLA recruit who told his story to AM Press Dolj (published on the five year anniversary of the events in Romania Libera 28 December 1994…ironically (?) next to a story about how a former Securitate official attempted to interrupt a private television broadcast in which Roland Vasilevici was being interviewed in Timisoara about Libyan involvement in December 1989).

Vasilevici claimed in those March 1990 articles and in a 140 page book that followed—both the series and the book titled Pyramid of Shadows—that the USLA and Arab commandos were the “terrorists” of December 1989. What is particularly noteworthy in light of the above discussion about “exploding bullets” was his claim that the USLA and the foreign students who supplemented them “used special cartridges which upon hitting their targets caused new explosions.”[25]

The anonymous USLA recruit stated separately, but similarly:

I was in Timisoara and Bucharest in December ’89. In addition to us [USLA] draftees, recalled professionals, who wore black camouflage outfits, were dispatched. Antiterrorist troop units and these professionals received live ammunition. In Timisoara demonstrators were shot at short distances. I saw how the skulls of those who were shot would explode. I believe the masked ones, using their own special weapons, shot with exploding bullets. In January 1990, all the draftees from the USLA troops were put in detox. We had been drugged. We were discharged five months before our service was due to expire in order to lose any trace of us. Don’t publish my name. I fear for me and my parents. When we trained and practiced we were separated into ‘friends’ and ‘enemies.’ The masked ones were the ‘enemies’ who we had to find and neutralize. I believe the masked ones were the ‘terrorists’. [emphases added]

As I have pointed out, despite the short shrift given these two revelations by Romanian media and Romanianists, one group has paid close attention: the former Securitate. That is not accidental. [26]

With the advent of the Internet, unverifiable bulletin board postings also pop up. On 23 December 2003, under the name of “kodiak,” the following appeared:

In ’89 I was a major in the USLA…and I know enough things that it would be better I didn’t know…15, 16, 20, 30 years will pass and nothing will be known beyond what you need and have permission to know…” (http://www.cafeneaua.com)[27]

Clearly, the legal constraints of security oaths and fear continue to cast a long shadow, long after the events of December 1989.

Si totusi…se stie [And nevertheless…it is known]

It took over three years into my research on the Revolution—and physically being in the Library of the Romanian Academy—before I came to the realization: oh yeah, that’s a good idea, yeah, I should systematically compare what the former Securitate have to say about December 1989 and compare it with what others are saying. It took a maddening additional half year before I came to the conclusion: oh yeah, and how about what the Army has to say? It may seem ridiculous—and it is in some ways indefensible from the perspective of performing historical research—but you have to understand how Romanian émigrés dominated early investigations of the Revolution, and how they divided the post-communist Romania media into the pro-regime (untrustworthy) press and the opposition (trustworthy) press, and the influence this “research frame” and methodology had at the time upon younger researchers such as myself.[28]

A more systematic mind probably would have come to these revelations long before I did. Instead, it took the accidental, simultaneous ordering of issues from 1990 and 1991 of the vigorous anti-Iliescu regime university publication NU (Cluj), the similarly oppositional Zig-Zag (Bucharest), and the former Securitate mouthpiece Europa to discover this. There I found Radu Nicolae making his way among diametrically opposed publications, saying the same things about December 1989. And it mattered: the source for example of Radu Portocala’s claim that there were “no terrorists” in December 1989 was Radu Nicolae. But more important still, was the discovery of Angela Bacescu revising the Defense Ministry incident, exonerating the USLA, and claiming there were no Securitate terrorists in Sibiu (only victims) in Zig-Zag…only to show up months later in Romania Mare and Europa months later writing the same stuff, and in the case of the Sibiu article republishing it verbatim. Nor was Bacescu alone among the former Securitate at Zig-Zag: she was for example joined by Gheorghe Ionescu Olbojan, the first to pen revisionist articles about the Army’s DIA unit.[29]

But without a broader comparative framework and approach to the Romanian media, all of this eluded the highly partisan Romanian émigré writers on the events. Nestor Ratesh alone among this group did seem puzzled and bothered by the similarity of Romania Libera Petre Mihai Bacanu’s conclusions on the V-th Directorate and those of Bacescu (he only alluded to her dubious reputation, however, and did not name her.) But Bacanu was fallible: memorably, but also upstandingly, in December 1993, he admitted based on what he claimed were new revelations, that his previous three and a half years of exonerating the USLA had been in vain since they were erroneous: they had after all played a significant role in the repression and killing of demonstrators on the night of 21-22 December 1989 in University Square. That alone should have precipitated a rethinking about assumptions and approaches to investigating the December 1989 events and particularly the role of the Securitate and the USLA, but it did not, and has not to this day…

Romanians and Romanianists like to indulge in the reassuring myth that the “schools” of research on the Revolution were separate from the beginning—that the defining feature was the political orientation of the author and whether he or she viewed the events of December 1989 as a revolution or coup d’etat. To the extent they are willing to admit that discussions of the “terrorists” cross-pollinated and became intertwined across the borders of the political spectrum, they assume that this must have happened later, after views had become consolidated.[30] But such a view is simply ahistorical and wishful-thinking. It is simply impossible to defend honestly when you have Angela Bacescu who “showed up with lots of documents and didn’t need any money” and wrote her revisionist tracts in the oppositional Zig-Zag, when she and Olbojan were the first ones to voice theses that later became staples of the anti-Iliescu opposition—long after they had left its press.

It is indicative that Romanians still have yet to confront this methodological flaw that one of the few studies in the country to read Securitate and Army sources in addition to journalist and participant accounts, still failed to address the key similarities across the political spectrum regarding the existence and identity of the “terrorists.” Smaranda Vultur wrote in a review of Ruxandra Cesereanu’s (otherwise, groundbreaking in comparison to what had appeared before it in Romanian in book form) Decembrie ’89. Deconstructia unei revolutii (Iasi: Polirom 2004):

Beyond this, I would underscore however a deficit that results directly from the choice of the author to classify her sources based on how the source defines the events: as a revolution, a plot, or a hybrid of the two. Because of this one will thus find, contained in the same chapter, Securitate people and political analysts, revolutionaries and politicians of the old and new regimes, and journalists.[31]

In other words, my exact indictment of the approach inside and outside Romania to the study of the Revolution, and the reason why people are simply unable to acknowledge the similarity and even identicality of views of the “terrorists.”

After the aforementioned realizations in 1993-1994 about the need to be more comparative and systematic in investigating accounts of the Revolution, it took yet another two maddening years before I started to realize the significance of the ballistics evidence. It thus came comparatively late in the dissertation process. My timing was fortuitous, however. I wrote a short article in November 1996 that was published in two different forms in 22 and Sfera Politicii in December 1996—the mood in Romania was euphoric as seven years of the Iliescu regime had just come to an end through the ballot box. [32] True, it didn’t spark debate and loosen some lips as I had hoped, but it made my visit to Bucharest the following June —especially my interviews on one particular day with a journalist at Cotidianul and, several hours later, a member of the Gabrielescu Parliamentary Commission investigating the events (Adrian Popescu-Necsesti)—memorable to say the least….

Of course, not then, or even since, has anybody who has investigated the December 1989 events inside or outside Romania systematically attempted to replicate, test, or expand upon my earlier findings—other than myself. As I have noted elsewhere,[33] in Peter Siani-Davies’ otherwise excellent The Romanian Revolution of December 1989 he devotes essentially a paragraph to the ballistics’ topic in a 300 plus page book—and it is only in the context of addressing my own earlier research. Monica Ciobanu could thus not be more wrong in her declaration that Peter Siani-Davies’ 2005 volume had disproven the “myth of Securitate terrorists.”[34] Siani-Davies has nothing to say about dum-dum/vidia/exploding ammunition: hence why he does not believe in Securitate terrorists!

Since then, I have written on Securitate revisionism, “the terrorists,” and the ballistics evidence of Romanian Revolution of December 1989, in the words of one critic who seems unable to call things by their name “voluminously, although never exhaustively, elsewhere”—publishing in 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, and 2006. [35] Now, more than a decade after those original ballistics’ articles, I return here putting things together I should preferably have put together long before…

The high stakes of what was at play in late December 1989 become all the clearer here. Nicolae Ceausescu’s successors faced not only the dilemma of having foreign citizens arrested for firing at and killing in cold blood Romanian citizens[36], but members of a Romanian state institution—the Securitate—in addition to those foreign citizens, had injured, maimed, and killed Romanian citizens using munitions that were outlawed by international conventions to which Romania was a party. Thus, beyond the culpability of an institution that was key to the ability of the nomenklaturists who had seized power to continue in power—i.e. the Securitate—and who undoubtedly had compromising information on those leaders, the new potentates were faced with a problem of international dimensions and proportions.

Dan Badea’s April 1991 article with which I opened this paper concluded thusly:

There are in these two declarations above[–those of Gheorghe Balasa and Radu Minea–] sufficient elements for an investigation by the Police or Prosecutor’s Office. [Dan Badea, “Gloante speciale sau ce s-a mai gasit in cladirea Directiei a V-a,” Expres, 16-22 April 1991]

That, of course, never appears to have happened. I hope that the information I have supplied above—significantly, much of it new, much of it from the Internet in recent years—should at the very least encourage Romanians and Romanianists to reopen and reexamine the ballistics evidence. Let us hope that on the twentieth anniversary of the Revolution, we may be able to read serious investigations of the ballistics evidence, rather than be subjected to the false and jaded refrain… such things did not exist!



[1] See, for example, Dorin Petrisor, “Procurorul Voinea, acuzat ca a lucrat prost dosarul Iliescu 13 iunie 1990,” Cotidianul, 7 December 2007, online edition. Voinea’s removal generally went unpublicized abroad—it was understandably not a proud day for his supporters. Kovesi claimed to have been taken aback by Voinea’s inexplicable, seemingly incompetent handling of the June 1990 files.

[2] General Dan Voinea, interview by Romulus Cristea, “Toti alergau dupa un inamic invizibil,” Romania Libera, 22 December 2005, online edition. Cristea’s apparent effort/belief—shared by many others—to suggest that it was only “the press of the time”—something I take to mean December 1989 and the immediate months after—that was filled with such claims and accusations is untrue. (The suggestion is to say that civilians with no knowledge of weapons and munitions repeated rumors spread out of fear and fueled by those who had seized power but needed to create an enemy to legitimize themselves and thus exploited those fears…) For examples of such claims “in the press of the time,” see the words of an employee of the Municipal Hospital (“In the room was a boy, very badly wounded by dum-dum bullets that had blown apart his diaphragm, his sacroiliac, and left an exit wound the size of a 5 lei coin,” Expres no. 10 (6-12 April 1990), p. 5) and the discussion of how Bogdan Stan died (“vidia bullets which explode when they hit their ‘target,’ entered into the bone marrow of his spine,” Adevarul, 13 January 1990). But such claims also appear long after the December 1989 events. Two and a half and three years after the December 1989 events, Army Colonel Ion Stoleru maintained in detail that the “terrorists” had “weapons with silencers, with scopes, for shooting at night time (in ‘infrared’), bullets with a ‘vidia’ tip [more on this and the relation to dum-dum munitions below]. Really modern weapons” and added, significantly, “The civilian and military commissions haven’t followed through in investigating this…” (see Army Colonel Ion Stoleru with Mihai Galatanu, “Din Celebra Galerie a Teroristilor,” Expres, no. 151 (22-28 December 1992), p. 4, and “Am vazut trei morti suspecti cu fata intoarsa spre caldarim,” Flacara, no. 29 (22 July 1992), p. 7.) Voinea’s steadfast denials would seem to validate Stoleru’s allegations more than a decade after he made them. Not surprisingly, but highly unfortunate, Cristea’s interview with Voinea forms the basis of conclusions about the terrorists on the Romanian-language Wikipedia webpage on the Revolution: see http://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolu%C5%A3ia_rom%C3%A2n%C4%83_din_1989.

[3] Laura Toma, Toma Roman Jr. , and Roxana Ioana Ancuta, “Belis nu a vazut cadavrele Ceausestilor,” Jurnalul National, 25 October 2005, http://www.jurnalul.ro/articole/34668/belis-nu-a-vazut-cadavrele-ceausestilor. “Frumos (Nice)…” as the Romanians say. Belis may not have interested himself in the ballistics evidence—but some of his employees apparently did (see IML Dr. Florin Stanescu’s comments in Ion Costin Grigore, Cucuveaua cu Pene Rosii (Bucharest: Editura Miracol, 1994), pp. 70-72). Moreover, there were exhumations. (“For a long time the Brasov Military Prosecutor didn’t do anything, even though there existed cases, declarations, documents, photos and even atypical unusual bullets brought in by the families of the deceased and wounded.” http://www.portalulrevolutiei.ro/forum/index.php?topic=1.msg214) On 14 June 1990, General Nicolae Spiroiu, future Defense Minister (1991-1994), appears to have been in the city of Brasov, assisting at the exhumation of people killed there during the December 1989 Revolution. Such a step was a rarity, and apparently followed earlier talks between Spiroiu, five other officers, and the staff of the local newspaper Opinia, who were seeking clarification over who was responsible for the deaths of their fellow citizens. “They found in particular bullets of a 5.6 mm caliber that are not in the Army’s arsenal,” wrote the journalist Romulus Nicolae of the investigation. (Romulus Nicolae, “Au ars dosarele procuraturii despre evenimente din decembrie,” Cuvintul, no. 32 (August 1991), pp. 4-5, cited in Richard Andrew Hall, “Orwellian…Positively Orwellian: Prosecutor Voinea’s Campaign to Sanitize the Romanian Revolution of December 1989,” http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/Voineaswar091706.html.)

[4] Dr. Nicolae Constantinescu, surgeon at Coltea Hospital: “I remember that on 1 or 2 January ’90 there appeared at the [Coltea] hospital a colonel from the Interior Ministry, who presented himself as Chircoias. He maintained in violent enough language that he was the chief of a department from the Directorate of State Security [ie. Securitate]. He asked that all of the extracted bullets be turned over to him. Thus were turned over to him 40 bullets of diverse forms and dimensions, as well as munition fragments. I didn’t hear anything back from Chircoias or any expert. Those who made the evidence disappear neglected the fact that there still exist x-rays and other military documents that I put at the disposition of the [Military] Prosecutor.”

( http://www.romanialibera.ro/a113826/revolutia-5-000-de-victime-nici-un-vinovat.html)

[5] Tom Gallagher, Modern Romania: The End of Communism, the Failure of Democratic Reform, and the Theft of a Nation, (NY: New York University Press, 2005), p. 190.

[6] Jeremy Bransten, “Romania: The Bloody Revolution in 1989: Chaos as the Ceausescus Are Executed,” RFE/RFL, 14 December 1999 at http://www.rferl.org/specials/communism/10years/romania2.asp. This unfortunate comment aside, Brantsen’s series is an excellent journalistic introduction to the December 1989 events.

[7] Iliesiu is dead wrong. See the signed testimony to the contrary by Ion Lungu and Dumitru Refenschi dated 26 December 1989, reproduced in Ioan Itu, “Mostenirea teroristilor,” Tinerama, no. 123 (9-15 April 1993), p. 7. I translated the important parts of this document in Hall, “Orwellian…Positively Orwellian” http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/Voineaswar091706.html. Significantly, according to this document, Dr. Belis had access to the dead terrorists:

Dead Terrorists. Although their existence is vehemently denied by all official institutions, we are able to prove that they existed and have sufficient details to identify them.…We continue with some excerpts of the declaration of Ion Lungu, head of the group of fighters who guarded the ‘Institute of Legal Medicine’ [IML, the main Bucharest morgue], beginning from the evening of 22 December 1989:

“Starting from the 23rd, there were brought, in succession, more ‘special’ corpses. They were brought only by military vehicles and were accompanied by officers. They were all dressed the same: kaki uniforms, with or without military insignia, fur-lined boots, cotton underwear. All the clothes were new. The established procedure at that point was that when the bodies were unloaded from the trucks, at the ramp to the back of the IML, to be disrobed and inspected. The documents found were released to Prosecutor Vasiliu and criminology officers. The weapons and munitions we found and surrendered—on the basis of a verbal procedure—to the officer on duty from UM 01046. Weapons and ammunition were found only on those ‘special’ corpses. Those who brought them said that they were terrorists. I turned over to this military unit five pistols (three Stecikin and two Makarov—all 9 mm caliber), two commando daggers and hundreds of 9 mm and 7.62 mm cartridges (compatible with the AKM machine gun). They were held separately from the other corpses, in a room—I believe that it used to be the coatroom—with a guard at the door.…

Access to the room with the terrorists was strictly forbidden. Only Prosecutor Vasiliu, criminologist officers, Dr. Belis, and the chief of autopsies could enter. On top of them, next to the arms, there were personal documents, passports (some blank), all types of identity cards—one of them was clearly false, it stated that the dead terrorist was the director at Laromet (at that plant no director died)—identity cards that were brand new, different service stamps in white. All had been shot by rifles (one was severed in two) and showed evidence of gunshots of large caliber. Some had tattoos (they had vultures on their chests), were young (around 30 years old), and were solidly built. I believe that their identity was known, since otherwise I can’t explain why their photographs were attached to those of unidentified corpses. They were brought to us in a single truck. In all, there were around 30 dead terrorists. [The document is signed by Ion Lungu and Dumitru Refenschi on 26 December 1989]”

[8] Once again Iliesiu is wrong. Professor Andrei Firica at the Bucharest “Emergency Hospital” apparently also was paid a visit by Colonel Chircoias (aka Ghircoias), see fn. 4. He claims that he “made a small file of the medical situations of the 15-20 suspected terrorists from [i.e. interned at] the Emergency Hospital,” but as he adds “of course, all these files disappeared.” Firica reports that a Militia colonel, whom he later saw on TV in stripes as a defendant in the Timisoara trial [i.e. Ghircoias], came to the hospital and advised him “not to bring reporters to the beds of the terrorists, because these were just terrorist suspects and I didn’t want to wake up one day on trial for having defamed someone” (!) The colonel later came and loaded the wounded terrorist suspects into a bus and off they went. (Professor Andrei Firica, interview by Florin Condurateanu, “Teroristii din Spitalul de Urgenta,” Jurnalul National, 9 March 2004, online edition.) Cited in Hall, “Orwellian…Positively Orwellian” http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/Voineaswar091706.html.

[9] I don’t even know where to begin on this one. As I have written before, not all of those detained were terrorists, and many of the terrorists seemed to have eluded arrest, but there are so many accounts of people arrested as terrorists who legitimately fit that description that I don’t even know where to begin. See the multiple translations in Hall, “Orwellian…Positively Orwellian” http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/Voineaswar091706.html.

[10] Sorin Iliesiu, “18 ani de la masacrul care a deturnat revoluţia anticomunistă,” 21 December 2007, found at http://www.romanialibera.com/articole/articol.php?step=articol&id=6709 (note: this is NOT the Romania Libera daily newspaper). One will find many well-known names in the West among those who signed this petition: Dragoş Paul Aligică, Matei Călinescu, Ruxandra Cesereanu, Anneli Ute Gabanyi, Tom Gallagher, Gabriel Liiceanu, Norman Manea, Nicolae Manolescu, Mircea Mihaies, Ion Mihai Pacepa, Horia-Roman Patapievici, Radu Portocală, Nestor Ratesh, Lavinia Stan, Stelian Tănase, Alin Teodorescu, and Vladimir Tismăneanu. Sorin Iliesiu, who is a filmmaker and Vice President of the “Civic Alliance” organization, has written that he was part of the “team” that “edited” the seven page chapter on the Romanian Revolution contained in the Report of the Presidential Commission to Analyze the Communist Dictatorship of Romania (PCACDR). He is not a scholar and most certainly not a scholar of the December 1989 events. A textual comparison of the Report’s chapter on the Revolution and Vladimir Tismaneanu’s chapter in a Dawisha and Parrott edited volume from 1997 is unambiguous: the introductory two paragraphs of the Report’s chapter are taken verbatim in translation from p. 414 of Tismaneanu’s 1997 chapter, and other verbatim paragraphs, sentences, and phrases from pp. 414-417 make up parts of the rest of the Report’s Revolution chapter without any reference to the 1997 chapter. As the author(s) of an earlier chapter in the Report cite(s) Tismaneanu’s 1997 chapter (see p. 376 fn. 55) correctly, this leaves really only two possible explanations for the failure of Iliesiu et. al. to cite that they have borrowed wholesale from Tismaneanu’s 1997 chapter: a) an absence of scholarly knowledge, or b) an attempt to mask their dependence upon and deference to Tismaneanu, the Chair of the Commission, since the citations that do appear are the exact citations from the 1997 chapter and claims are translated word-by-word, so much so that Iliesiu et. al. did not even bother to change verb tenses despite the passage of a decade. Iliesiu et. al. can attempt to avoid answering questions and attempt to change the subject, but the textual analysis is unambiguous: Tismaneanu’s unattributed 1997 chapter forms the bulk of the Report’s chapter on the Revolution. The only question that needs to be answered is: why and why are they unwilling to admit the textual identicality?

[11] All of this eludes Charles King in his Winter 2007 Slavic Review essay “Remembering Romanian Communism.” In his five page essay, he pauses no less than four times to mention the Revolution, despite the fact that its coverage takes up barely one percent of the PCACDR report. He relates the most banal of conclusions—“The report thus repeats the common view (at least among western academics) of the revolution as having been hijacked…”—yet misses or avoids what Iliesiu clearly seems most proud of: having inserted the claim that Nicolae Ceausescu was responsible for “only 162 deaths,” thereby insinuating Ceausescu’s successors bear responsibility for the other 942, and the claim to which such a reckoning is intimately related, namely Voinea’s that there were “no terrorists.” (It is interesting to note how Iliesiu et. al., the eternally suspicious of the state, miraculously become assiduous promoters of “official” and “state” claims once they turn out to be their own, thereby suggesting that their skepticism of the state is primarily situational rather than inherent—these are not equal opportunity skeptical and critical intellectuals.) King’s treatment of the Report is overall insufficiently informed, and as a consequence contextually-wanting and one-sided. He cites a handful of Romanian reviews of the Report, but they are almost uniformly positive accounts, almost as if supplied by the Chair of the Commission himself (see fn. 1, p. 718). He pauses to cite the former head of Radio Free Europe’s Romanian Research Division Michael Shafir’s 1985 book, yet makes no mention of Shafir’s trenchant criticisms (he gave the report a 7 out of 10 and mixed the positive with the negative) in a 1/12/07 interview in Ziua de Cluj, his extended critique “RAPORTUL TISMĂNEANU: NOTE DIN PUBLIC ŞI DIN CULISE” available in spring 2007 at http:// www.eleonardo.tk/ (no. 11), or his “Scrisoare (ultra)deschisa” in Observator Cultural no. 382 (25 July-1 August 2007) [given the timeline of scholarly publication, I am attempting to give King the benefit of the doubt here …He would certainly do well to read Shafir’s most recent discussion in Observator Cultural NR. 148 (406) 17 – 23 ianuarie 2008, “Despre clarificari nebuloase, plagiate, imposturi si careerism,” to see what a venerable critic and serious scholar was subjected to as a result of deigning to not wholeheartedly embrace the Report. Shafir’s treatment by the Report’s zealots has little to do with the liberal democratic view of the open society the Report’s authors ceaselessly profess.] Finally, had Charles King bothered to read Ciprian Siulea’s “Tentatia unui nou absolutism moral: Cu cine si de ce polemizeaza Vladimir Tismaneanu?” (Observator Cultural, nr. 379, 5-11 iulie 2007, once again conceivably within the publishing timeline) he might have refrained from parrotting the polarizing and unhelpful plebiscitary logic applied to the Report when he closed “The question is now whether the commission’s report will be used as yet another opportunity to reject history or as a way of helping Romanians learn, at last, how to own it” (p. 723). This, of course, suggests a certain infallible quality to the Report—which is far from the case—a conclusion only enhanced by King’s willingness to focus on the “hate speech” directed against the Report, but yet failing to cite and discuss any of the Romanian scholarly criticism of it.

[12] “Aghiotantii lui Ceausescu povestesc minut cu minut: O zi din viata dictatorului,” Romania Libera, 2 December 2005, online at http://www.romanialibera.ro/a5040/o-zi-din-viata-dictatorului.html. “Declaratie Subsemnatul TALPEANU ION, fiul lui Marin si Elena, nascut la 27 mai 1947 in comuna Baneasa, judetul Giurgiu, fost aghiotant prezidential cu grad de lt. col. in cadrul Directiei a V-a – Serviciul 1. Cu privire la armamentul din dotare arat ca, noi, aghiotantii aveam pistol “Makarov” cu 12 cartuse, iar sefii de grupa si ofiterii din grupa aveau pistolet “Makarov”, pistolet “Stecikin” si pistol-mitraliera AKM, cu munitie aferenta, care era cea obisnuita, in sensul ca nu aveam gloante dum-dum sau cu proprietati speciale, de provenienta straina.” (Dated 2 February 1990). His denial of dum-dum bullets is, of course, par for the course for former Securitate officers, who remember and thus “know nothing.”

[13] Quoted from http://www.tourismguide.ro/html/orase/Arad/Curtici/istoric_curtici.php. This raises an interesting point: there were foreign doctors who participated in Romania or in their home country in the surgery, treatment, and rehabilitation of those wounded. It would be interesting to hear what they remember and what they have to say regarding the munitions.

[15]Adina Anghelescu-Stancu refers to the “crippled and handicapped by dum-dum bullets” who do not number among Romania’s celebrities and about whom no one wishes to remember in today’s Romania, “Dureri care nu trec! (despre decembrie ‘89),” Gardianul, 18 December 2007, online at http://www.gardianul.ro/2007/12/18/editorial-c27/dureri_care_nu_trec_despre_decembrie_89_-s106259.html.

[16] I have examined the incident in detail several times, for the references to other works, see Richard Andrew Hall, “The Romanian Revolution as Geopolitical Parlor Game,” http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/checkmate040405.pdf, and Hall, “Orwellian…Positively Orwellian,” http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/Voineaswar091706.html.

[17] Once again, see “The Romanian Revolution as Geopolitical Parlor Game,” http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/checkmate040405.pdf, and “Orwellian…Positively Orwellian,” http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/Voineaswar091706.html. The critical articles were authored by Mihai Floca and Victor Stoica, who interviewed the Army cadre who had been involved in the incident and the residents of the surrounding apartment blocs who survived the fighting of those days.

[18] destituirea “Romanian Revolution USLA attack Dec 23 1989 Revolutia,” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlBRSxUVQ5E

[19] For the photo see http://www.portalulrevolutiei.ro/documente/glont.htm; for one of his posts see http://www.portalulrevolutiei.ro/index.php?menu=6&pg=forum_thread.php&lnk=1&pagina=39. I cannot verify that this is indeed a “vidia” munition.

[20] Christian Levant, “Dacă tata nu-l salva pe Tokes, dacă nu salva biserici, tot se întâmpla ceva,” Adevarul, 30 September 2006, online at http://www.adevarul.ro/articole/dac-x103-tata-nu-l-salva-pe-tokes-dac-x103-nu-salva-biserici-tot-se-nt-mpla-ceva/200090.

[21] Cezar-Vladimir Rogoz, Povestirile teroristilor amintiri preluate si prelucrate de Cezar-Vladimir Rogoz, (Alma Print Galati 2007), p. 297, available online at http://www.bvau.ro/docs/e-books/2007/Rogoz,%20Cezar-Vladimir/povestirile_teroristilor.pdf.

[22]“A invatat sa zambeasca, [He learned how to smile],” http://marianmanescu.wordpress.com/2007/12/21/a-invatat-sa-zambeasca.

[25] Puspoki F., “Piramida Umbrelor (III),” Orizont (Timisoara), no. 11 (16 March 1990) p.4, and Roland Vasilevici, Piramida Umbrelor (Timisoara: Editura de Vest, 1991), p. 61.

[26] For the discussion of the former Securitate response to those who have violated the code of silence, see Hall, “Orwellian…Positively Orwellian,” http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/Voineaswar091706.html.

[28] I refer here to, for example, the works of Vladimir Tismaneanu, Matei Calinescu, Andrei Codrescu, Anneli Ute Gabanyi, Radu Portocala, and Nestor Ratesh. Some, like Tismaneanu in a 1993 article in EEPS, “The Quasi-Revolution and its Discontents,” were more explicit about this rather rigid dichotomous approach to the Romanian media, but it also comes through clearly in the sourcing, citations, and footnotes/endnotes of the others. (It continues to haunt the historiography of post-communist Romania, as works such as Tom Gallagher’s aforementioned Modern Romania make clear). To say the least, the issue of ballistics evidence essentially goes unanalyzed in these accounts. Moreover, although as we have seen, these authors have no problem affixing their names to petitions and the like, none of them has published any research on the December 1989 events since the early 1990s. It should tell you something that they continue to rely on and repeat the accounts they wrote in 1990 and 1991…as if nothing had been discovered or written since. In that way, it is almost fitting that the Report of the PCADCR reproduced Tismaneanu’s 1997 Dawisha and Parrott chapter in some places verbatim, down to failing to even change verb tenses when it states that certain questions “remain to be clarified.” I deconstructed the methodological faults in source selection in these émigré accounts in “The Romanian Revolution as Geopolitical Parlor Game” at http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/checkmate040405.html.

[29] For earlier discussions of all of this, see Richard Andrew Hall, “The Uses of Absurdity: The Staged-War Theory of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989,” East European Politics and Societies, vol. 13, no. 3, and Richard Andrew Hall, “The Securitate Roots of a Modern Romanian Fairy Tale,” Radio Free Europe East European Perspectives, April-May 2002, three part series, available at http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/romania%20securitate%205-2002.html.

[30] In “The Romanian Revolution as Geopolitical Parlor Game,” I demonstrated how even the so-called French and German schools (really the schools of Romanian émigrés in those countries) in 1990 were not and could not be independent from accounts in Romania, and that the accounts fed into and reinforced one another. It is simply intellectual myth—and an all too convenient one—to argue the antisceptic separation of these accounts as independent.

[31] Smaranda Vultur, “Revolutia recitita,” 22 no. 787 (9-15 April 2005) online at http://www.revista22.ro.

[32] Richard Andrew Hall, trans. Adrian Bobeica, “Ce demonstreaza probele balistice dupa sapte ani?” 22, no. 51 (17-23 December 1996), p. 10, and Richard Andrew Hall, trans. Corina Ileana Pop, “Dupa 7 ani,” Sfera Politicii no. 44 (1996), pp. 61-63.

[33] See my discussion in “Orwellian…Positively Orwellian,” at http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/Voineaswar091706.html.

[34] Monica Ciobanu’s review of Siani-Davies The Romanian Revolution of December 1989 and Tom Gallagher’s Modern Romania: Theft of a Nation is entitled “The Myth Factory” (found at http://www.tol.cz).

[35] Charles King, “Remembering Romanian Communism,” Slavic Review, Winter 2007, p 719. In King’s short article, he does not hesitate to make occasionally gratuitous citations for things he did not need to cite. Yet in discussing December 1989 and using the term “elsewhere”—which usually prefaces a description of “where else” one might find these things—there are no citations. “Although never exhaustively” is itself a gratuitous choice of words and far from accidental: in my last work on December 1989, I made light of how ridiculous it was for Daniel Chirot to claim that Peter Siani-Davies’ The Romanian Revolution of December 1989, an otherwise excellent work, was “near definitive” when so much was missing from Siani-Davies’ discussion—notably, for our purposes here, the question of dum-dum/vidia/exploding munitions. One could indeed be left with the impression that King intends to deliver a put-down, that some fellow Romanianists will no doubt catch, but yet deny the broader audience references to what he alludes and simultaneously protect his image from having delivered such a “palma” as the Romanians would say. It would appear that at least for readers of this paper, his goals won’t go completely fulfilled.

[36] See my discussion in “Orwellian…Positively Orwellian,” at http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/Voineaswar091706.html.

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