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 ‘vladimir tismaneanu’

25 for the 25th Anniversary of the Romanian Revolution: #17 The Role of TVR (Televiziunea Romana, Romanian Television)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on December 24, 2014

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

The Myths of a Revolution: “It is said that these enemy elements, the securisti, have poisoned the water in Sibiu, in Timisoara,…the water must be boiled before being consumed.” (Apa este otravita la Sibiu!)

Oh, how Romanians and Romanianists love to invoke or allude to the televised claim in December 1989 that the water had been posioned in Sibiu!

It precipitates laughter:  ah, the crude manipulation and naivete!

Predictably, this is a favorite of foreign sources on December 1989.

Romanian emigre Andrei Codrescu tells us in his November 1990 article in Harper’s (“Big Chills”) about the wild rumors of December 1989, that the water in Sibiu had allegedly been poisoned, but as he found out at his 25th anniversary high school reunion, he learned how all the rumors had been false: and the water in Sibiu, it was just fine!  http://alina_stefanescu.typepad.com/files/big-chills-my-high-school-reunion-in-romania-by-andrei-codrescu-1.pdf

John Feffer in Shock Waves (1992) invokes Codrescu’s claims that, “Contrary to earlier reports, there were no mass killings, no poisoned water in Sibiu, no terrorists–only the manufacturing of a revolutionary smokescreen to conceal pre-planned machinations that resulted in the creation of the National Salvation Front.” (p. 207)

http://books.google.hu/books?id=u2l7b9gg28YC&pg=PA207&lpg=PA207&dq=romania+ceausescu+1989+water+poisoned+sibiu&source=bl&ots=P0pzR5YrIr&sig=ljCRYy27Lzsvh_HSxETfvz8SAH0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=buxwVNScFvPesASo0IHoAw&ved=0CDcQ6AEwBDhQ#v=onepage&q=romania%20ceausescu%201989%20water%20poisoned%20sibiu&f=false

Peter Siani-Davies quotes BBC journalist John Simpson, who had heard similar stories concerning poisoned water during the Iranian revolution of 1979, as noting that “certain ideas appeal forcibly  to the self-dramatizing mind of the revolutionary,” to which Siani-Davies adds:

“Indeed, in Romania the wild storytelling to a certain extent was just another consequence of the tumult of the revolution.  However, the imagery may have served another purpose….Now, through the tales of horror, they [Romanians] were able to place the evil forces of that [Ceausescu] regime so far beyond the bounds of ‘normal’ society that they were effectively able to distance themselves from the demons of the past.  There was also a sense in which it was necessary for the securitate to be so terrible:  How else could the years of mute suffering under an enfeebled old tyrant such as Ceausescu be explained and condoned?”   (Siani-Davies, The Romanian Revolution of December 1989, p. 160.)

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Underlying all of these interpretations and explanations is the assumption that the water never was poisoned, that it was all a baseless rumor.

Surely, one assumes, the rumor has been run to ground…but the truth is, as with so many things about December 1989, it hasn’t…

report from Sibiu starts at approximately 2:20 (Tagesschau 27.12.1989)

In fact, there was a basis in reality for what Teodor Brates was saying on TV on the afternoon of 22 December 1989 as the following toxicology report by the Belgian Dr. Aubin Heyndrickx makes clear:

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Romania

On December 21, 1989, people drinking from water tank #4 in Sibiu experienced headache, visual disturbances, loss of consciousness, vomiting, etc.  These symptoms are all compatible with organophosphate poisoning.  The analysis of the water (by gas chromatography) and the determination of the cholinesterase activity of the blood was done in the University of Cluj.  The conclusion was that an organophosphate had been used.  Atropine sulfate and toxogonin were advised.

As soon as the symptoms appeared among the population, water tank #4 was shut off, rinsed, and cleaned.  The people received water from army trucks.

A few days later, there was a fight in Timisoara between the army and Securitate over the water tanks.  Poisoning was feared, as had occurred in Sibiu.  According to witnesses, the Securitate possesses “all possible chemical warfare agents.”

Toxicologist Aubin Heyndrickx supervised the chemical tests and interviewed the physicians at Central Hospital who treated the patients.  From the tests and from the very high dose of atropine required to produce a response, he concluded that the tank was poisoned with sarin or VX (Report on the Humanitarian Mission to Romania, December 23-29, 1989, Laboratoria voor Toxicologie Criminalistiek, State University of Ghent).

http://www.physiciansforcivildefense.org/cdp/jan90.htm

Indeed, one can watch a brief discussion of the incident with Dr. Heyndrickx beginning at approximately the 40 second mark from an ITN broadcast of 27 December 1989

http://www.itnsource.com/en/shotlist//ITN/1989/12/27/BSP271289002/?s=romania+sibiu+after+the+revolution+27+1989&st=0&pn=1

ROMANIA: SIBIU AFTER THE REVOLUTION:

}T27128901   ROMANIA: SIBIU AFTER THE REVOLUTION: United Nations medical
27.12.89     relief team arrives in Sibiu with medical supplies and blood
TX           to treat the people who were injured during the fight against
             Securitate (secret police). Toxicologists have found evidence
             that the security police poisoned the water supply. Injured
             Securitate are being treated in hospitals alongside the people
             they shot.
Clip Ref: BSP271289002 0

Clip 1of1

}T27128901   ROMANIA: SIBIU AFTER THE REVOLUTION: United Nations medical
27.12.89     relief team arrives in Sibiu with medical supplies and blood
TX           to treat the ...
  • Duration: 00:01:44 |
  • Timecode – In: 00:00:00:00  Out: 00:01:44:00 |
  • Copyright: ITN / 3rd Party Copyright

I have found evidence of discussion of Heyndrickx and his toxicology report in the Hungarian press of the time, but significantly, to date, I have been unable to find discussion of it in the Romanian press!

Nepszabadsag, 30 December 1989, p. 3 citing a UPI dispatch, apparently P. Green, “French team confirms poison in water supply,” UPI, 29 December 1989.


Nagyszeben – ideggáz

Bukarest, 1989. december 29. péntek (UPI) – A Ceausescu-párti terrorosztagok ideggázt vegyítettek a romániai Nagyszeben víztárólóiba a forradalom első napjaiban – ezt egy francia-belga orvoscsoport egyik tagja mondotta el a UPI hírügynökség tudósítójának. Auvin Heyndrickx szerint a szennyezett ivóvíztól öten súlyos mérgezést szenvedtek.Mikor a felkelés vezetői felfedezték a szabotázst, azonnal
leengedték a mérgezett vizet a tárolóból – mondta a belga orvos, aki
az ,,Orvosok – határok nélkül,, nevű francia segélyszervezet
tagjaként utazott a városba. A toxikológus Heyndrickx
megállapította, hogy a vízkészletbe két súlyosan mérgező, folyékony
állapotú ideggázvegyületet öntöttek még december 20-án. Az orvos
elmondta azt is, hogy az eddig ismert öt sérült agykárosodást is
szenvedett a mérgektől. A megbetegedések ilyen viszonylag alacsony
számát a belga szakértő annnak tulajdonítja, hogy a víztárolóban a
mérgező anyagok szerencsére rendkívüli mértékben felhígultak.+++1989. december 29., péntek 07:57

http://rendszervaltas.mti.hu/Pages/News.aspx?se=1&wo=nagyszeben&sd=19890101&ed=19901231&sp=0&ni=230929&ty=1

http://www.rsis.edu.sg/cens/publications/reports/RSIS_Food%20Defence_170209.pdf See citations in fn#59 page 10.

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It is thus with justification that in my dissertation in 1997 and in a reiteration of the dissertation views in 2007, I defended TVR personnel by pointing out the extent to which they went to intervene and inform the population when it was safe to drink the water again.  (for a glimpse into the eternal “appreciation” I received for pointing out the latter, see https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/raport-final-cpadcr-iiccmer-si-revolutia-din-1989/)

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Excerpt from https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/rewriting-the-revolution-1997-chapter-8-unsolving-december/

In their discussion of the Romanian transition, Linz and Stepan note the “[r]umors of deliberately poisoned water supplies, of 10,000, 60,000, even 100,000 dead, filled the news channels and streets” and conclude that “disinformation played an important role in the events.”[45] They have in mind, however, the idea that this disinformation was disseminated in order to help the Front seize power. This, of course, echoes the dominant view on this theme. As we saw in the preceding chapter, both Securitate and opposition sources maintain that disinformation pervaded the December events, and they uniformly attribute it to the Front and the Front’s supporters at television, and, in some cases, to foreign actors such as the Soviet Union.

Yet there has been very little effort to investigate the context in which particular rumors originated and the relationship between actual events and those rumors. Take, for example, this rumor alleging the poisoning of the water supply which is so frequently invoked by both domestic and foreigner observers. To what are they referring? Around 3 p.m. on the afternoon of 22 December–therefore approximately three hours after the Ceausescus had fled Bucharest–television commentator Teodor Brates began to issue periodic, sometimes frantic reports about fighting between the Army and the Securitate in the city of Sibiu and about rumors that the water supply had been poisoned by the Securitate. Here are some excerpts of what Brates said on television on that afternoon:

One moment, please…from Sibiu it has been communicated to us that the army no longer has ammunition and the Securitate troops continue to attack military units….We want to inform you that in Sibiu, military units are urgently requesting help…We are constantly receiving communications…of course, we do not have the possibility to verify their authenticity…but we ask for your attention…It is said that these enemy elements, the securisti, have poisoned the water in Sibiu, in Timisoara,…the water must be boiled before being consumed.[46]

[45].. Linz and Stepan, “The Effects of Totalitarianism-cum-Sultanism,” 345-346.

[46].. See the text of the transcript, Revolutia Romana in Direct (Bucharest: Televiziunea Romana, 1990), 47, 48, 51.

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2007:  Linked to the allegations of supposedly intentionally hyping the threat posed by the “terrorists” is the certitude with which many Romanians and Romanianists assert that TV personnel (especially Teodor Brates) intentionally spread rumors about the water being poisioned and the army running out of ammunition in Sibiu etc.–rumors that proved to be unsubstantiated. Here is what they likely remember:

“One moment, please…from Sibiu it has been communicated that the army no longer has ammunition and the Securitate troops continue to attack mili tary units….We want to inform you that in Sibiu, military units are urgently requesting help…We are constantly receiving communications…of course, we do not have the possibility to verify their authenticity…but we ask for your attention…It is said that the enemy elements, the securisti, have poisoned the water in Sibiu, in Timisoara…the water must be boiled before being consumed.” (from the transcript of 22 December 1989 in “Revolutia Romana in Direct” (Bucharest: 1990), pp. 47, 48, 51, quoted p. 324, Richard Andrew Hall, 1997, Ph.D. Dissertation, “Rewriting the Revolution: Authoritarian Regime-State Relations and the Triumph of Securitate Revisionism in Post-Ceausescu Romania”)

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What they don’t remember is that Brates returned later to inform the audience a) when the fighting had ceased in Sibiu, b) when supplies of bottled water were on their way to Sibiu, and c) when the competent authorities verified that the water in Bucharest was safe to drink (“Revolutia Romana in Direct,” pp. 71, 72, 75, discussed p. 327 Hall, “Rewriting the Revolution”) This is there…in the transcript of what was said on Television…it is not a matter of a “difference of opinion” as the likes of Tismanenau and others in denial would have us believe. It is the old saw from American baseball: as the famous manager Casey Stengel used to say “You can look it up!” Once again: if your goal is “diversion,” intentional panic and manipulation, is it likely that you would return to the same subjects and say things designed to calm fears? Of course, not.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/raport-final-cpadcr-iiccmer-si-revolutia-din-1989/

Fullscreen capture 12232014 70257 PM

The page from THE Report, a report which in the vision of its chairman–a highly disinterested and objective party, by definition, of course!–must be continuously praised and cannot be legitimately criticized (all criticisms are defined almost by definition as personally-motivated or personal attacks!):  http://www.contributors.ro/global-europa/raportul-final-este-realizarea-mea-de-varf-atat-profesional-cat-si-moral/

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Un Craciun Revolutionar (15 minutes of Previously Unseen Footage from 24 December 1989 by Andrei Iliescu)

This has apparently been around for a few months, but I only discovered it recently:

Pe 24 decembrie 1989, fotograful Andrei Iliescu abia scapase de la Jilava, unde-l bagase militia pentru ca poza protestele, si umbla uimit pe strazile Bucurestiului revolutionar. Nu mai avea buletin, singurul lui act era camera video. El a filmat aceste secvente.

which comes from http://casajurnalistului.ro/revolutie/

I draw attention to the sequence from approximately min. 3:37 to 3:53 in which the young soldier is asked about and discusses those whom they are fighting (this is in the vicinity of the TVR Television station).  (My thanks to Gigga Adrian Tudor, in particular, and Corneliu N. Vaida for clarifying the exchange for me.)

Soldier:  “Au mitraliere, care sunt micute…Cum au astia…americanii” (They have small machine guns…like the Americans.)

Voice off camera:  “Sunt mai bune ca ale voastre?” (Are they better than yours?)

Soldier:  “Da, bine-nteles.”  (Yes, of course.)

Soldier:  “Sunt mai eficiente; consuma mai putin si distrug mai mult, in general asa” (They’re more efficient; they consume less and destroy more, generally speaking.)

That the “terrorists” had weapons different from and in addition to the standard ones the Army rank-and-file were equipped with is and should be beyond dispute by now, and yet another proof of their existence.  We have, of course, multiple similar claims in the same Bucharest neighborhood, elsewhere in Bucharest, and indeed throughout the rest of the country.

Fullscreen capture 10182009 103639 AM

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7rob0_revolutia-romana-22-dec-1989-cd4_shortfilms

From approximately min 0:45 to 1:10, also from the same day, 24 December 1989

Video No. 2: Bucharest, Piata Aviatorilor, near TVR (Romanian state Television) headquarters, “Vidia” Bullets

In the second video (posted by Alexandru2006 (Alexandru Stepanian) at http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7rob0_revolutia-romana-22-dec1989-cd4_shortfilms), a civilian shows how the bullets shot by “the enemy”—i.e. “the terrorists”—are different than the standard ammunition (7.62 mm) he and the others are using.  Based on other video, photos, and accounts, these appear to be “vidia” bullets—there are many testimonies from those who fought in the area near the TV station regarding these bullets.

from https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/december-1989-2009-bullets-lies-and-videotape/  blv 111909tk6

Those who were in the CC building of the PCR during these days also know such weapons:

image-19image-23

In aceea camera am inceput sa stringem toate obietele de valoare gasite prin celelalte incaperi.  Asa a luat nastere primul “tezaur” din C.C.  Inauntru s-a incuiat nea Tarchila cu un pistol mitraliera si sint sigur ca ar fi fost in stare sa impuste pe oricine ar fi incercat sa deschida usa daca n-ar fi fost insotit de noi.  Noroc ca nu a fost cazul.  Intre timp ni se aduceau de peste tot arme si munitii.

Armele erau de toate felurile:  pistolete Carpati, Beretta, Makarov, T.T., Stecikin, unele mici si plate cum nu mai vazusem niciodata, in tocuri de piele special construite cu compartimente aparte pentru box si cutit cu buton, adevarate pumnale cu lama foarte subtire si fina, lunga de 15-20 ce tisnea din miner (nu erau in nici un caz destinate pentru curatatul cartofilor la popota); pistoale mitraliera AKM cu pat de lemn sau cu pat rabatabil…mitraliera, pusti semiautomate cu luneta de tipul celei cu care ma fuduleam eu; mitraliere de campanie, un aruncator de grenade antitanc; grenade de mina, munitie de toate tipurile si calibrele, ce mai nu ne lipsea decit un tun, in rest aveam de toate.

Venit din cabinetul 1, Doru Haraga isi da cu parerea ca ar trebui sa le transportam intr-un colt al incaperii si pentru a le separa de restul camerei incercam sa delimitam spatiul cu o canapea.  Lunga de 2 m nu se lasa umita din loc, parca era batuta in cuie, inciduati, am inceput sa mesterim ia ea.  Am desfacut-o si am ramas perplecsi.  In cabinetul 2, in camera de lucru a tovarasei de viata a celui mai iubit fiu, in lada unei canapele era un adevarat arsenal:  24 pistoale mitraliera cu pat rabatabil si teava scurta, 22 pistolete Carpati, 2 Stecikin, 4 carabine cu luneta, semiautomate, doua pusti mitraliera, grenade de mina si la fund lazi metalice cu munitie de lupta–gloante incendiare, trasoare, perforante, explozive, numai din cele normale–nu. Si deasupra trona ca o culme a ridicolului o prastie cu cracan si linga ea o cutie cu bile de rulment.  Pe capacul interior al canapelei era o list cu denumirea “lada de armament si munitii nr. 2″.  Urma inventarul si continua cu–raspunde plt. adj.–cutare, nu am retinut numele.  Deci lada nr. 2.  Dar unde este nr. 1?  Citiva metri mai incolo–o canapea asemanatoare.  Ne-am repezit asupra ei si am deschis-o.  Continutul era identic, mai putin prastia.  Puteam inarma un regiment.  Oare de ce tinea “savanta” in cabinetul ei atita armament si munitie?  Dar prastia?  Asta chiar ca punea capac la toate!

Mircea Boaba, “Gloante, nestemate si singe.  Ziua I:  Comoara lui Ali Baba,”  Strict Secret, nr. 48 26 martie – 1 aprilie 1991, pp. 4-5.

In timp ce urcam scara, vrind sa incarc carabinaa, am avut surpriza sa descopar ca gloantele din cele doua incarcatoare erau cu virful bont.

nr. 47 18-25 martie 1991, pp. 4-5.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2009/08/12/22-decembrie-1989-ce-s-a-gasit-in-cabinetul-unu-nicolae-ceausescu-si-cabinetul-doi-elena-ceausescu/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/12/21/marturii-intre-1990-si-1992-din-zilele-fierbinte-in-cc-ul-decembrie-1989-doru-teodor-maries-mircea-boaba-sergiu-tanasescu-si-ernest-maftei/

More testimonies:

http://www.romanialibera.ro/special/investigatii/marturii-despre-teatrele-de-razboi-ale-revolutiei-romane–18312

Lt. mr. APOSTOL M. ANTON, fost ofiter in serviciul 1 declara:

In ziua de 29 decembrie 1989 a aflat de la vecinul PIPOI REMUS, care locuieste la etajul 2, sub apartamentul lui, ca a vazut mai multe persoane tragand spre Ministerul Apararii Nationale, despre care era convins ca nu erau romani. I s-a parut ca ar fi arabi. Trageau cu niste pistoale automate mici.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2009/07/27/arabesque-arab-terrorists-in-the-december-1989-romanian-revolution/

Fiecare pluton din aceasta scoala de ofiteri de rezerva, avea alocata cate o sala de clasa, care era ca o sala de laborator-expozitie dotata cu o anumita baza materiala de instructie (in zilele de azi, se cheama training) aferenta unei anumite tematici. De exemplu, sala noastra continea materiale si planse despre armamentul individual de infanterie si balistica aferenta. Exact ca intr-un muzeu, aveam acolo vitrine cu exemplare sectionate de automat Kalashnikov, pusca mitraliera cu incarcator sector si tambur, pusca semiautomata cu luneta, pistolul TT model ’33 aflat in dotarea ofiterilor armatei si pistolul Carpati din dotarea militiei. De asemenea, imi amintesc ca era si un aruncator de grenade antitanc AG7 cu lovitura aferenta, si parca si un model imbunatatit de Kalasnikov cu teava scurta si pat rabatabil aflat in dotarea trupelor de securitate USLA (Unitati Specializate de Lupta Antiterorista)… si bineinteles toata gama de munitie, adica toate calibrele de cartuse complete, mai putin praful de pusca din tub. Era sa uit mitraliera de companie…
Toate armele erau sectionate in asa maniera incat sa se poata intelege principiul complet de functionare… daca puneai un cartus in incarcator si armai, se putea vedea traseul complet al sau din incarcator pana la expulzarea tubului dupa percutare.  http://calinhera.wordpress.com/2010/10/24/servesc-patria-la-multi-ani/

–In afara de modul –interpretat ca suspect–, in care au patruns in dispozitivul dumneavoastra, ce dovezi mai aveti?

–Faptul ca, la teava unuia dintre tancuri, tabla de protectie a fost rupta in doua locuri, trei din pistoalele mitraliera pe care le-am “capturat” (cu teava scurta si incarcator de 20 cartuse)  aveau tevile afumate, turela tancului de comandat de locotenentul maior Vasile Barbu a fost blocata, iar dimineata plutonierul Butoi a gasit pe tancul sau un pistol mitraliera si o lanterna de semnalizare…Cit despre dotare, sa nu-mi zica mie cum am citit intr-un ziar de mare tiraj– ca era jalnica, in nivelul armatei.  A doua zi, am recuperat, din cele doua autoblindate, radiotelefoane Telefunken, veste antiglont, pistoale de 9 mm, pumnale, binoclu cu infrarosu — care pentru noi constituiau noutatii absolute.  Si, pentru ca tot am fost provocati, sa va mai spun ceva.  Dimineata, cind l-am intrebat “de ce ai tras, ma?” unul dintre cei trei supravietuitori, pe care i-am gasit in blocul de vizavi mi-a raspuns:  “Ce p. mati, si eu execut acelasi ordin ca si tine!!!”  E clar ca nu au venit ca prieteni!

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/04/17/crima-cazul-mapn-23-24-decembrie-89-si-sosirea-uslasilor-maior-mihai-floca-armata-poporului-6-iunie-1990-p-3/

Even some military prosecutors have been willing to admit the obvious:

CINE A TRAS ÎN NOI… DUPĂ 22?!

Interviu cu colonelul magistrat Ilina Radu – prim-procuror al Parchetului Militar Timişoara… la 20 de ani de la evenimente
A consemnat Liza Kratochwill

R.I.: – Nu. Ziua eram la serviciu. Ziua – program normal, seara cu familia, cu prietenii… ne reuneam trei, patru familii de vecini şi stăteam pe jos, pe covoare, pentru că se trăgea formidabil, uneori chiar la nivelul ferestrelor noastre, şi nu-ţi ardea să faci balet prin casă.

L.K.: – În blocuri?

R.I.: – În blocuri, da. În blocurile din, relativ, zona centrală a oraşului. A fost urât…

L.K.: – Asta în ce zi ?

R.I.: – Mi-amintesc de acea noapte cruntă de 23 spre 24 când s-a tras, ne găseam câţiva colegi într-un bloc din zona centrală şi s-a tras formidabil. De la nouă seara până la şase dimineaţa, continuu, cred că au fost zeci de mii de cartuşe şi am fost speriat. Şi chiar atunci am spus: dacă Dumnezeu ne iubeşte, vom prinde Ajunul serii următoare, ca să colindăm. Era Ajunul Crăciunului, însă, noaptea aia a fost furibundă. Şi nu eram de competenţă, de aia nu ne-am implicat profesional. Ca procuror civil nu puteai atunci să cercetezi faptele cu arme ale militarilor şi se ştiu foarte puţine lucruri. S-au găsit foarte puţine tuburi de cartuşe din cele care trebuiau să fie. S-au găsit, în schimb, repet, unele dispozitive care, ulterior, ar fi fost analizate şi ar fi putut constitui simulatoare de tragere sau ţinte false.

L.K.: – Dar dumneavoastră, acum, cred că sunteţi cel mai în măsură să-mi spuneţi care au fost tipurile, în afară de calibrul ăla obişnuit, 7,62, care au fost toate tipurile de gloanţe care au fost identificate, folosite în 1989 şi care au cauzat decese şi răni. Deci au fost o dată aceste 7,62, au fost acele dum-dum explozive şi-n afară de…

R.I.: – 7,65-ul a fost, pistoale-mitraliere scurte…

L.K.: – Kalaşnikov, da, din acestea au fost folosite şi la… cred că şi la cazul Jubea…

R.I.: – …un tip care, atunci, erau doar în dotarea forţelor speciale, la acel moment. Pistoale cu pat scurt şi cu ţeavă scurtă. Mai erau pistoale-mitralieră, AKAEM-uri obişnuite. Au fost apoi, s-a tras chiar şi cu aruncător de grenade, cu AG 7 şi cu diverse tipuri de pistoale.s

L.K.: – Pistoale ale forţelor armate sau…?
R.I.: – Pistoale din dotare. E foarte greu de spus.
L.K.: – Păi, ce pistoale avea România, la acea oră?
R.I.: – TT şi Carpaţi-ul.
L.K.: – Carpaţi-ul, care era în dotarea Miliţiei, nu?

R.I.: – De regulă, era la Miliţie, forţe de Securitate… şi TT-urile, care erau, deopotrivă, şi aici şi acolo. La ofiţeri sau la…

L.K.: – Şi aici ce tipuri de calibru de gloanţe erau folosite, la tipurile astea de pistoale?

R.I.: – Păi, discutăm şi de calibru de 9 milimetri, cu tuburi specifice, cam de nouă milimetri.

L.K.: – Dar cele care se foloseau la lunetă, deci ţintă fixă?

R.I.: – Carabine sau puşti-mitralieră cu tambur.
 
About the same area around the TV station during these days (Prosecutor General Ioan Dan):

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https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2011/01/29/pozefotofilmvideo-gloante-dum-dum-si-speciale-i-e-vidia-decembrie-1989/

(Bucuresti, zona TVR) below– individual demonstrates how much smaller they are than Army’s standard 7,62 mm munitions

Video No. 2: Bucharest, Piata Aviatorilor, near TVR (Romanian state Television) headquarters, Vidia Bullets

In the second video
Revolutia Romana 22 Dec.1989 – cd4

(posted by Alexandru2006 at http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7rob0_revolutia-romana-22-dec1989-cd4_shortfilms), a civilian shows how the bullets shot by “the enemy”—i.e. “the terrorists”—are different than the standard ammunition (7.62 mm) he and the others are using.  Based on other video, photos, and accounts, these appear to be “vidia” bullets—there are many testimonies from those who fought in the area near the TV station regarding these bullets.

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Vina de neiertat a TVR: a contribuit decisiv la victoria Revolutiei (I)

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Vina de neiertat a TVR: a contribuit decisiv la victoria Revolutiei (II)

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“Despre existenta simulatoarele, senatorul Sergiu Nicolaescu a adresat o intrebare fostului sef al Departmamentului Securitatii Statului, gl. Vlad Iulian, care a raspuns…”Sigur, tot Securitatea le avea…” (declaratie Iulian Vlad, pag. 75).

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In aceasta perioada, in zona Televiziunii au fost observate semnale luminoase ce prezentau imaginea unei balizari si care marcau inceputul sau incetarea atacurilor.

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Mai mult despre “semnale luminoase”:

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2012/12/19/what-can-we-learn-from-dosarele-revolutiei-de-la-timisoara-ii/

Vina de neiertat a TVR: a contribuit decisiv la victoria Revolutiei (III)

Uzina Sadu-Gorj, august-septembrie 1989,

comanda de fabricatie a gloantelor explozive DUM-DUM

Referitor la existenta cartuselor explozive si perforante, dupa unele informatii rezulta ca in perioada august-septembrie 1989 la uzinele Sadu-Gorj s-a primit o comanda de executare a unor asemenea cartuse explozive.  Comanda a fost ordonata de Conducerea Superioara de partid si executata sub supravegherea stricta a unor ofiteri din fosta Securitate.

Asa cum s-a mai spus, asupra populatiei, dar si asupra militarilor MApN teroristii au folosit cartuse cu glont exploziv.  Cartusele respective de fabricarea carora fostul director al uzinei Constantin Hoara–actualmente deputat PSM Gorj–si ing. Constantin Filip nu sunt straini, au fost realizate sub legenda, potrivit careia, acestea urmai a fi folosite de Nicolae Ceausescu in cadrul partidelor de vanatoare.

Consider ca lt. col. Gridan fost ofiter de Contrainformatii pentru Uzina Sadu–actualmente pensionar ar putea confirma fabricarea unor asemenea cartuse si probabil si unele indicii cu privire la beneficiar.  Daca intr-adevar aceste cartuse au fost fabricate in Romania atunci este limpede ca o mare parte din teroristii din decembrie 1989 au fost autohtoni, iar organele de securitate nu sunt straine de acest lucru.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/12/01/vina-de-neiertat-a-tvr-a-contribui-decisiv-la-victoria-revolutiei-i/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/12/04/vina-de-neiertat-a-tvr-a-contribuit-decisiv-la-victoria-revolutiei-ii/

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https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/08/25/tvr-chirurgi-si-reportaje-despre-gloante-explozive-dum-dum/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/05/16/dosarele-revolutiei-si-expertize-balistice-cine-a-tras-in-voi-cu-gloante-explozive/

Romulus Cristea (ziarist, Romania Libera, 22 decembrie 2005):  – Munitia speciala, gloantele cu cap vidia sau dum-dum, a provocat victime? Presa de la acea vreme a fost plina cu astfel de relatari…

General-magistrat Dan Voinea – Nu exista victime (persoane impuscate) nici de la gloantele cu cap vidia, nici de la dum-dum. Pe durata evenimentelor s-a folosit munitie de razboi, munitie normala care se gasea la vremea respectiva in dotarea Ministerului de Interne si a Ministerului Apararii Nationale. Confuzia si informatiile false au aparut de la faptul ca se foloseau calibre diferite si, deci, zgomotul produs era altfel perceput.  http://www.romanialibera.ro/opinii/interviuri/toti-alergau-dupa-un-inamic-invizibil-58783.html

Vina de neiertat a TVR: a contribuit decisiv la victoria Revolutiei (IV)

Presa romaneasca din anii nouazeci despre cazul lui Silviu Dutu–suspectat de terorism la TVR

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Ioan Itu, “Si ei au luptat in Revolutie.  De partea cui?,” Tinerama, 10-16 septembrie 1993, p. 8.

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Maior Tudor Petrescu, “Unde ne sint teroristii?” Armata Poporului, nr. 22, 30 mai 1990, p. 3.  (S.D. = Silviu Dutu)

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Aura Alexa Ioan (cu Adrian Popescu-Necsesti), “Teroristii Revolutiei au certificat de psihopati!” Tinerama, 8-14 octombrie 1996, p. 8

Presa romaneasca din anii nouazeci despre cazul lui Constantin Vasiliu–suspectat de terorism la TVR

publicat pe internetul pana acum, in schimb apare Lt. Col. Vasiliu Constantin:

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Valentin Gora:  Au fost arestati oameni ai securitatii, teroristi.  Astazi, nimeni nu stie ce s-a intimplat sa ce se intimpla in continuare cu ei.  Dumneavoastra i-ati vazut?  Ii cunoasteti?

Petre Constantin:  Au fost arestati multi oameni, am mai spus-o, care aveau asupra lor arme de toate felurile, pe toti i-a preluat armata si nu stiu ce s-a intimplat mai departe cu ei.  Adjunctul meu, Traian Puscasu, a fost injunghiat in noaptea de 23 spre 24 decembrie, pe hol, la etajul 11.  Agresorul, locotenent-colonelul Vasiliu, il viza pe generalul Tudor sau pe mine.  Eu am lipsit citeva miunte, generalul Tudor s-a ferit in momentul atacului si a fost lovit Puscasu.  Totul se intimpla in usa biroului.  Militarii au sarit si l-au imobilizat imediat.

Valentin Gora cu Petre Constantin, “Petre Constantin:  Cind a dictat decretul de instalare ? de asediu pe intreg teritoriul tarii, in biroul lui Ceausescu se afla si Eugen Florescu,” Cuvintul, nr. 12, 18 aprilie 1990, pp. 4-5.

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http://mariusmioc.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/cercetarile-parchetului-in-dosarul-revolutiei-37-bucuresti-televiziune-raniti-si-ucisi-5/

425. Parte vătămată Puşcaşu Traian (Televiziune-Vol. 110)
Numitul Puşcaşu Traian, fiul lui Gheorghe şi Maria, născut la data de 01.03.1927, în Iaşi, domiciliat în Bucureşti (…) în noaptea de 22/23.12.1989, în timp ce se afla în incinta televiziunii, unde-şi desfăşura activitatea ca director adjunct al TVR, a fost înjunghiat în abdomen cu un cuţit de către lt. col. Vasiliu Cornel, care se afla în dispozitivul de pază al instituţiei respective.
Conform raportului medico-legal nr. A1/3409/1990, numitul Puşcaşu Traian a prezentat la data de 24.12.1989 o plagă abdominală penetrantă cu interesarea splinei şi arterei epigastrice. Leziunea a putut fi produsă prin lovire cu corp tăietor-înţepător (posibil cuţit). A necesitat circa 25 zile de îngrijiri medicale. Leziunea i-a pus viaţa în pericol.
Prin rezoluţia nr. 1411/P/1990, din data de 15.11.1990, Procuratura Militară Bucureşti a dispus neînceperea urmăririi penale faţă de lt. col. Vasiliu Constantin, sub aspectul infr. prev. de art. 20 rap. la art. 174 C.p., reţinându-se că, în urma expertizării sale psihiatrice, s-a stabilit că a acţionat fără discernământ.

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Tinerama 10-16 septembrie 1993. p. 9.

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Cazurile Mihai Stoica si Liliana Brebenea

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https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/08/25/tvr-chirurgi-si-reportaje-despre-gloante-explozive-dum-dum/

Trying to reconstruct the timeline of reporting on the use of exploding dum-dum bullets and other unusual munitions used solely by the Securitate “terrorists” during the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 is not easy.  Unfortunately, we must rely in the public domain on transcripts and diaries from the time, as demonstrated below.  Clearly, it is emerging:  there was discussion at the beginning.  A watershed event that should have then and should now spark great interest and further investigation–a press conference by surgeons (including military doctors) in early March 1990 that as far as I can tell was only ever reported on in depth in French by AFP (see below)–has all but been ignored and forgotten as if it had never taken place.  Highly damning too is the documentary evidence by the wounded themselves, relatives, army officers, and doctors in Timisoara (attesting to the use of these munitions both before and after 22 December 1989).  The overall evidence is overwhelming as to the use of exploding dum-dum bullets and other unusual munitions in December 1989; the alibis and mechanisms of denial are transparent:  just because they existed doesn’t mean they were used; perhaps the army had them too; perhaps the bullets ricocheted and split apart; doctors and army officers (even military doctors) what would they know about dum-dum bullets?; on and on, etc. etc.

http://elenatomaxxl.blogspot.com/2013/06/sorin-m-radulescu-revolutia-ca_24.html

 

Sâmbata 30 decembrie 1989

Reportaj la Spitalul Militar Central: se relateaza despre modul dramatic în care au fost efectuate operatiile (chirurgicale) din ziua de 22 decembrie 1989. „Noapte alba sau zi neagra” spune doctorul pe buna dreptate. Armele teroristilor, a securistilor au împroscat multimea cu gloante explozive, care au avut ca efect plagi si leziuni gigantice.
Emotionant! Dramatic! Dureros!

 

luni, 24 iunie 2013

SORIN M. RĂDULESCU – REVOLUŢIA CA SPECTACOL, Miercuri 27 decembrie, 1989 – Revolutia -3 –

REVOLUŢIA CA SPECTACOL
(ÎNSEMNARILE UNUI SOCIOLOG ÎN PERIOADA SEPTEMBRIE 1988-IULIE 1992)
Miercuri 27 decembrie 1989
Primesc telefon de la Vasilica P., care îmi descrie cu lux de amanunte atmosfera din Centrul de Sociologie, care a devenit un fel de ,,dipecerat” al sociologilor bucuresteni. Ma deplasez imediat acolo ca sa fiu prezent la desfasurarea evenimentelor.

/ Teroriştii .Mărturii (22 27dec.’89 )

22 apr. Notez cu R –revoluţionarii, al căror nume nu-l pot şti

– R 1: Generalul Tudor, pe care aş vrea să nu-l mai văd!

El a eliberat teroriştii suspecţi prinşi de noi!

– R 2: Asupra lor am găsit agende, bancnote însemnate.

Ce a făcut g-ral Tudor cu ei, noi nu ştim!

– R 3 :Eu am păzit camera suspecţilor .Erau 9. Din ordinul g-ralului Tudor li s-a dat drumul

– R 4. Dorobanţu Marin: Un terorist trăgea dintr-o vilă vecină; o maşină cu copertină

din care cca 15 persoane au fugit din vila din faţă; am prins o salvare cu un terorist ;

era şi o maşină inflamabilă pe care am aprins-o; în spatele ei au ieşit 3 terorişti .

A fost un foc foarte puternic.

– Ofiţer paraşutist: aici se lupta, cum s-a spus …

– R 5: Teroriştii au atacat mult TVR. Pe 24 decembrie, din două taburi, cu steag,

au coborît mulţi militari şi au deschis foc asupra noastră .

S-au retras apoi pe străzi, în spatele maşinilor.

– R 6: Pe 24 decembrie s-a zvonit că mîncarea adusă este otrăvită. Am aruncat-o.

Nu aveam nici lumină şi apă .

– R 7: Parola noastră – ” Cine eşti ?”

– Reporter: Cine a tras în voi?

– Ofiţer: G-ral Tudor a eliberat mulţi suspecţi. Nici atunci, nici pe urmă, n-am înţeles

de ce a făcut-o

– R 2: Arestaţii terorişti aveau dolari, staţie de emisie, unul era chiar străin;

au fost eliberaţi – nu ştiu de ce!

– R 6: Au fost şi zvonuri pentru a face panică. Unele au fost false. Altele reale .

Pe 26 sau 27 decembrie a fost prins un civil ( ing. electronist la Tg. Mureş ). La control cpt. Epure i-a găsit o schiţă cu centrul Bucureştiului, pe care era marcat hotelul Modern. Aş vrea să ştiu ce este cu acest terorist?

– Reporter: Da, am vrea să ştim cine a tras în noi?

– Alt reporter ( arătînd la o uşă ): Cum a fost?

– Lct X: teroriştii trăgeau în balamale şi broaşte cu gloanţe cu cap vidia.

Asemenea arme nu sunt în dotarea armatei.

– Lct mj. Diţiu: invită la sediul clubului “TV’22 “, ca să mai afle cum a fost.

http://www.procesulcomunismului.com/marturii/fonduri/cdandara/agende/agenda4/docs/jurnal4_6.htm

In early March 1990, AFP reported the declared findings of surgeons in Bucharest, attesting to the fact that many of those wounded on 21-22 December 1989 in Bucharest had been shot with exploding bullets, DUM-DUM bullets.  This is a critical article (and description of an event that I believe has gotten almost no coverage inside or outside Romania).  Lt. Gnl. Traian Oancea, chief of surgery in part of the Central Military Hospital in Bucharest, and Dr. Nicolae “Nae” Constantinescu, chief of surgery at the Coltea Hospital, discussed this at a meeting of the Society of Surgeons in Bucharest.

This was also discussed by Bucharest medical personnel at a 1994 conference:

AMFITEATRUL FACULTATII DE MEDICINA

“Decembrie 1989, in spitalele din Bucuresti”

Mihail Lechkun, Romania Libera, 10 februarie 1994, p. 2

“In decembrie 1989 a fost o disponsibilitate pentru bestialitate, pe care nu am crezut-o capabila la poporul care fac parte, ” a declarat dl. conf. dr. Nicolae Constantinescu (Spitalul Coltea), in cadrul conferintei care s-a desfasurat marti seara in Amfiteatrul Mare al Facultatii de Medicina din Bucurest, avand ca subiect “Decembrie 1989, in spitalele din Bucuresti”.  Printre invitatii Ligii Studentilor in Medicina, organizatorul acestei conferinte, s-au numarat:  dl. prof. dr. Petre Andronescu, prorector, dl. dr. Constantin Antofie, dl. prof. dr. Marian Ciurel, dl. prof. conf. dr. Dan Niculescu, dl. conf. dr. Nicolae Constantinescu, dl. prof. conf. dr. Ilie Pavelescu, dl. dr. Eduard Geambasu, toti medici chirurgi din Capitala care au fost confruntate cu fluxul de raniti din decembrie 1989.  “Documentatia pe care am avut-o, nu o mai avem,” a spus dl. prof. dr. Marian Ciurel (Spitalul de Urgenta) amintind totusi faptul ca au fost inregistrate date intr-o lucrare de doctorat.  “Putini dintre cei raniti au fost socati psihic,” isi aminteste prof. dr. Petre Andronescu (Spitalul Colentina).  Revolutionari si raniti au primit acelasi tratament, “stim doar ca la o parte din bolnavi s-au schimbat catusi” isi aminteste dl. prof. dr. Marian Ciurel.  Peste 60 la suta din ranitii adusi la Spitalul Coltea erau impuscati lateral sau din spate.  S-a tras si asupra oamenilor care au stat ghemuiti, acestia suferind astfel leziuni complexe.  Pe langa datele statistice prezentate, medicii prezenti au atras atentia asupra naturii leziunilor care, in numar mare, au fost cazate de munitie al carie efect a fost mai mult distrugerea, mutilarea decat scoaterea din lupta.  In acest sens, deosebit de interesante au fost datele prezentate din lucrarea de diploma, a medicului M. Briciu:  “S-a tras cu gloante explozive”. Concluziile ce se pot trage din faptul ca cei adusi in spitale, in intervale de timp distincte, prezentau leziuni corespunzatoare anumitor portiuni din corp, demonstreaza existenta unor ordine asupra locului unde trebuia ochit.  “Cred ca Romania va fi capabila sa constituie acel ecran care sa protejeze de acum inainte natia de asemenea manifestari,” a spus dl. conf. dr. Nicolae Constantinescu, remarcand aspectul benefic al unor astfel de conferinte.

NOR WERE THESE THE ONLY DOCTORS AND MEDICAL PERSONNEL–FOREIGN OR DOMESTIC–WHO ATTESTED TO THE USE OF DUM-DUM EXPLODING AND OTHER ATYPICAL, UNUSUAL MUNITIONS USED DURING THE EVENTS OF DECEMBER 1989

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2011/08/08/doctors-and-dum-dum-bullets-in-romania-in-december-1989-i-dr-manuel-burzaco-medecins-sans-frontieres/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2011/08/10/doctors-and-dum-dum-bullets-in-romania-in-december-1989-ii-trimisi-in-strainatate-italia-franta-austria-anglia-si-germania-pentru-tratament/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2011/08/11/doctors-and-dum-dum-bullets-in-romania-in-december-1989-iii-ce-spun-medici-romani/

Dr. Manuel Burzaco from “Doctors without Borders” was part of a team of doctors from that group who visited hospitals in Bucharest, Ploiesti, Brasov, Buzau and Braila in late December 1989 and early January 1990.  This report from the Madrid daily El Pais touches upon the women and children gravely injured by the exploding “dum dum bullets used by the Securitate.”

Other reports from Bucharest and Timisoara hospitals during the events:

“At Bucharest’s main emergency hospital, doctors said that Securitate snipers, apparently using infra-red telescopic sights and exploding dum-dum bullets, had been firing throughout Saturday night and they shot many civilians, with bullets striking foreheads and hearts.  The morgue at the hospital was stacked with 90 bodies at noon today, almost all of them civilians dead of gunshot wounds.”

Blaine Harden, “In Bucharest, Tears and Prayers for the Fallen,” The Washington Post, 25 December 1989, p. A1; A40.

Other posts with documents from dosarele revolutiei…

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2012/12/16/what-can-we-learn-from-dosarele-revolutiei-de-la-timisoara-i/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2012/12/19/what-can-we-learn-from-dosarele-revolutiei-de-la-timisoara-ii/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2012/12/20/what-can-we-learn-from-dosarele-revolutie-de-la-timisoara-iii/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2012/12/21/what-can-we-learn-from-dosarele-revolutiei-de-la-timisoara-iv/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2012/12/27/what-can-we-learn-from-dosarele-revolutiei-de-la-timisoara-v/

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

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/12/22/revisiting-the-myths-of-the-revolution-part-iv-the-romanian-television-building-is-in-danger-bomba-in-subsolul-televiziunii/

Myth 3:  The Romanian Television building is in danger, danger of an explosion!   (TVR e in pericol–Pericol de explozie!)

This is part IV of a four part series.  For parts I, II, and III see

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/12/21/revisiting-the-myths-of-the-romanian-revolution-part-i-the-hegemony-of-conspiratorial-and-postmodernist-explanations/

Myth 1:  The “Timisoara Syndrome” or the “False Timisoara Grave (the Paupers Cemetery)/Massacre” https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/12/21/revisiting-the-myths-of-the-revolution-part-ii-the-timisoara-syndrome-or-the-false-timisoara-grave-the-paupers-cemeterymassacre/

Myth 2:  The water is posioned!  (Apa este otravita!) https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/12/22/revisiting-the-myths-of-the-revolution-part-iii-the-water-is-poisoned-apa-este-otravita-dr-heyndrickxs-toxicology-report/

Myth 3:  The Romanian Television building is in danger, danger of an explosion!   (TVR e in pericol–Pericol de explozie!)

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Like the “water is poisoned” episode discussed in part III of this series, the claims of TV announcers regarding the threat posed to the Television building is a favorite for Romanians and Romanianists to lampoon:

Once again, Andrei Codrescu captures a widely and wildly popular view of TVR’s alleged role during the December 1989 events:

The Romanian revolution was a complex affair. It was a dramatic triumph that had the whole world for its audience, a world that keeps wondering long after the final curtain how much of what it saw was real. If I hadn’t lost my normally skeptical head to the euphoria of December, I would have questioned the single most evident source of news about the revolution: television. But it was precisely television that seduced me during my visit and made me lose sight of things I already knew….Imagine the shock and dismay of our newsmakers and our idealists–including myself–when most of these horrible events we saw with our own eyes on television turned out not to have happened at all. How could the grizzled, experienced Western journalists who are sworn to hard facts have missed the many clues and glaring contradictions that pointed to artifice? The astounding truth of the matter is that much of the glorious Romanian “revolution” was, in fact, a staged play, a revolution between quotation marks….But it couldn’t have been long after, however, the young revolutionaries (if that’s who they were) started becoming “responsible,” and the “spontaneous” provisional government showed up with its own TV script. The television station then became the headquarters of the new government, which, as far as most people were concerned, was born out of video like Venus out of the seashell. And hats must be off to the producers of the exceedingly realistic docu-drama of the strategic military center from where, in a charged atmosphere reminiscent of Reds or Dr. Zhivago, generals with telephones on both ears shouted orders at troops on vast invisible battlefields in every part of the country. Today I stand abashed by my naivete. Much of that Romanian “spontaneity” was as slick and scripted as a Hollywood movie. If I were in charge of the Emmys, I’d give one to the Romanian directors of December 1989. 

SOURCE: The Hole in the Flag: A Romanian Exile’s Story of Return and Revolution (Avon Books, 1991), by Andrei Codrescu, pp. 204-206. excerpted from http://faroutliers.wordpress.com/2004/12/06/the-romanian-revolution-was-televised/

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As with the “poisoned water” episode, so too with the claimed threats against Television, including the idea that a bomb had been found and disarmed in the basement of the Television building (as can be seen in the above video)…no researcher has attempted to verify the veracity of the claim, until now!

Recently, however, several sources have been unearthed/come to light that clarify what happened.  Here, Corneliu N. Vaida of Timisoara recounts how a Securitate member from Timisoara was convinced to call the Television Station in Bucharest to inform them that, as with many other highly strategic buildings in the country, TVR had been mined and an explosion could be set off.  It appears that the announcement above about a bomb having been disarmed in the basement of the TVR building, was as a result of this information from Timisoara:

Securistul trădat pentru binele TVR

În seara zilei de 22 decembrie şi-a vizitat mama, care locuia pe bulevardul 6 Martie, unde a găsit în apartament un vecin. Era vorba de Gheorghe Toader, un căpitan în rezervă la Securitate, care se refugiase de frică sa nu fie asasinat.

Urmărind programul “Revoluţiei în direct”, de la TVR, au observat la un moment dat o persoana care ţinea în mână un obiect care semăna cu o tastatură.

“Văzând tastatura, securistul a scos o exclamaţie de teamă: <Vor sări toţi în aer acolo! TVR e obiectiv strategic şi este minat, ca în cazuri extreme să poată fi aruncat în aer, tastând un cod pe aşa un detonator!>. A spus că a lucrat la aşa ceva în Bucureşti într-o intreprindere specială. La isistenţele mele a acceptat până la urmă să scrie o declaraţie anonimă pe care am dus-o personal la armată”, a mai declarat Corneliu Vaida.

Ajuns la Garnizoana Timişoara, Vaida a arătat scrisoarea colonelului Zeca, comandantul garnizoanei. “Acesta a pus mâna pe un telefon şi a sunat imediat la Bucureşti la o structură a armatei căreia i-a relatat continutul declaraţiei, dupa care mi-a cerut sa dezvalui identitatea semnatarului argumentând că acesta mai cunoaşte informaţii care ar ajuta la evitarea de victime”, a adaugat Vaida.

Neavând ce face, a trebuit să meargă cu armata să îl predea pe secursitul din casa mamei. “Înspre dimineaţă am văzut la televizor cum a venit cineva şi a declarat că explozibilul cu care era minată televiziunea a fost dezamorsat”, a mai spus timişoreanul.

http://adevarul.ro/locale/timisoara/foto-corneliu-vaida-purtator-cuvant-revolutiei-timisoara-s-au-luptat-grupari-securitate-armata-1_510985f54b62ed5875bbb81f/index.html

The event is also recounted by parachutists in this TVR video from 31 December 1989 that only recently appeared on the internet.

Parasutisti de la R. 64 Pst. Boteni la Televiziunea Romana in 31 decembrie 1989:
Lt. col. Ilie Croitoru, Mr. Chiranescu Ion, Cpt. Radulescu Aurelian, Cpt. Constantin Vlasceanu

Corneliu Vaida has been kind enough to share with me, the following additional confirmation of his actions in the document below:

HP0010

For more about Corneliu Vaida during the Revolution in Timisoara in December 1989, see his interview with ITN correspondent Penny Marshall on 27 December 1989:

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2011/05/11/lets-go-to-the-videotape-i-to-the-army-its-confirmation-that-theyve-been-dealing-with-a-specially-trained-force-because-its-the-type-of-bullet-theyve-never-seen-before-itn-uk-telev/

Corneliu Vaida Timisoara December 1989

More on what transpired in and around the Television Station below:

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Related posts:

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/08/25/tvr-chirurgi-si-reportaje-despre-gloante-explozive-dum-dum/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/12/10/vina-de-neiertat-a-tvr-a-contribuit-decisiv-la-victoria-revolutiei-iv/

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Ioan Itu, “Si ei au luptat in Revolutie.  De partea cui?,” Tinerama, 10-16 septembrie 1993, p. 8.

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Maior Tudor Petrescu, “Unde ne sint teroristii?” Armata Poporului, nr. 22, 30 mai 1990, p. 3.  (S.D. = Silviu Dutu)

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Aura Alexa Ioan (cu Adrian Popescu-Necsesti), “Teroristii Revolutiei au certificat de psihopati!” Tinerama, 8-14 octombrie 1996, p. 8

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Valentin Gora:  Au fost arestati oameni ai securitatii, teroristi.  Astazi, nimeni nu stie ce s-a intimplat sa ce se intimpla in continuare cu ei.  Dumneavoastra i-ati vazut?  Ii cunoasteti?

Petre Constantin:  Au fost arestati multi oameni, am mai spus-o, care aveau asupra lor arme de toate felurile, pe toti i-a preluat armata si nu stiu ce s-a intimplat mai departe cu ei.  Adjunctul meu, Traian Puscasu, a fost injunghiat in noaptea de 23 spre 24 decembrie, pe hol, la etajul 11.  Agresorul, locotenent-colonelul Vasiliu, il viza pe generalul Tudor sau pe mine.  Eu am lipsit citeva miunte, generalul Tudor s-a ferit in momentul atacului si a fost lovit Puscasu.  Totul se intimpla in usa biroului.  Militarii au sarit si l-au imobilizat imediat.

Valentin Gora cu Petre Constantin, “Petre Constantin:  Cind a dictat decretul de instalare ? de asediu pe intreg teritoriul tarii, in biroul lui Ceausescu se afla si Eugen Florescu,” Cuvintul, nr. 12, 18 aprilie 1990, pp. 4-5.

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http://mariusmioc.wordpress.com/2013/11/13/cercetarile-parchetului-in-dosarul-revolutiei-37-bucuresti-televiziune-raniti-si-ucisi-5/

425. Parte vătămată Puşcaşu Traian (Televiziune-Vol. 110)
Numitul Puşcaşu Traian, fiul lui Gheorghe şi Maria, născut la data de 01.03.1927, în Iaşi, domiciliat în Bucureşti (…) în noaptea de 22/23.12.1989, în timp ce se afla în incinta televiziunii, unde-şi desfăşura activitatea ca director adjunct al TVR, a fost înjunghiat în abdomen cu un cuţit de către lt. col. Vasiliu Cornel, care se afla în dispozitivul de pază al instituţiei respective.
Conform raportului medico-legal nr. A1/3409/1990, numitul Puşcaşu Traian a prezentat la data de 24.12.1989 o plagă abdominală penetrantă cu interesarea splinei şi arterei epigastrice. Leziunea a putut fi produsă prin lovire cu corp tăietor-înţepător (posibil cuţit). A necesitat circa 25 zile de îngrijiri medicale. Leziunea i-a pus viaţa în pericol.
Prin rezoluţia nr. 1411/P/1990, din data de 15.11.1990, Procuratura Militară Bucureşti a dispus neînceperea urmăririi penale faţă de lt. col. Vasiliu Constantin, sub aspectul infr. prev. de art. 20 rap. la art. 174 C.p., reţinându-se că, în urma expertizării sale psihiatrice, s-a stabilit că a acţionat fără discernământ.

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25 for the 25th Anniversary of the Romanian Revolution: #1 The Securitate Deny Foreign Instigation of the Timisoara Uprising

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on December 16, 2014

(strictly personal views, based on more than two decades of prior research and publications)

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/a-response-to-watts-ii-preliminary/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/a-response-to-watts-the-pitfalls-of-not-having-any-evidence/

2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the collapse of communism in central and eastern Europe–Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania.  This series looks at 25 things I have learned about the events of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989.  The numbering is not designed to assign importance, but rather–to the extent possible–to progress chronologically through those events.

Looking through the Romanian media’s articles devoted to the 25th anniversary of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 that overthrew the communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, one cannot help but be reminded of Valentin Ceausescu’s 1997 claim according to which (paraphrased),

–“Have you noticed? All the heroes…now are the militia and the Securitate.” “The villains are now the heroes…and the heroes are now the villains!”

Until the documents [screen captures] below were made publicly available and I unearthed the following, we had to rely primarily on arguments emphasizing the Securitate roots of these claims and/or about the implausibility and often absurdity of these claims.  We now have documentary evidence that in the immediate wake of December 1989 not even the Securitate believed in the claims they would make so frequently later on according to which foreign agents were allegedly responsible for the Timisoara uprising.

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Back in 1997, the American novelist and Pulitzer Prize Winner William McPherson wrote of what Valentin Ceausescu, communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s eldest son, told him about the events of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989.  Here are some excerpts:

  • Valentin and I were having coffee in the Vox Maris, the same grand casino where the funeral feast was held. It was morning, two days after the funeral [of Nicu Ceausescu], and the crowds had not yet arrived.
  • “Nicu was never groomed to be the successor. That was [only] the rumor.” He paused for a moment. “But rumors even become the reality.”
  • “Yes. Especially in Romania.”
  • “Maybe others in the party thought it would be a good idea. He could command a lot of sympathy. He always wanted to look tough and act strong, but he wasn’t. He was more like a child than anything else.”
  • “What about the 90 people killed in Sibiu?”
  • “He did not order the shooting. I know when he’s trying to lie, and he wasn’t lying. I knew immediately. That’s why I defended him so strongly.”
  • He paused and lit another Pall Mall. “Have you noticed? All the heroes in Sibiu now are the militia and the Securitate – all the dead people, and now they are the heroes of the revolution.”
  • “So the villains are now the heroes?”
  • “Yes.”
  • And the heroes are now the villains.
  • The official toll of the dead, revised frequently with a final version released three years after the events, is 1,104; only 160 were killed before the dictator fled.
  • Curious – if the figures are accurate – that the majority of them were killed in Sibiu. “A lot of effort,” Valentin once said, “to kill these two old people.”

William McPherson, “A Balkan Comedy,” The Wilson Quarterly, Volume 21, Issue 3 (Summer 1997)

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Thus it is that at Evenimentul Zilei, long hailed by Romania’s westward leaning intelligentsia and Romanianists in North America as the most authentically anti-communist and credible of Romania’s dailies, articles continue their reliance–very selectively–of recent years on the claims of senior former Securitate officers, Iulian Vlad, Emil Macri, Filip Teodorescu, Nicolae Mavru, etc., or on the research of Alex Mihai Stoenescu, whose work is detailed and meticulous and thus deserves to be read, but, who, it turns out, not accidentally, is also an acknowledged former Securitate collaborator.  (Not for nothing, the Evenimentul Zilei series is entitled “25 de ani de la evenimentele din decembrie ’89. Lumini si umbre” thus intentionally or unintentionally conjuring up the name, appropriately enough, of the current preferred vehicle of the former Securitate for discussing December 1989, http://www.acmrr-sri.ro/categorii/19/revista-vitralii–lumini-si-umbre.html )

(See, for example, http://www.evz.ro/document-strict-secret-1989-raportul-generalului-iulian-vlad-catre-nicolae-ceausescu.html or http://www.evz.ro/25de-ani-de-la-evenimentele-din-decembrie-1989-generalul-iulian-vlad-daca-oamenii-nu-erau-nemultumiti-strainatatea-nu-l-putea-rasturna-pe-ceausescu.html; http://www.evz.ro/timisoara-protestul-pentru-laszlo-tokes-si-povestea-agentilor-straini.html; http://www.evz.ro/dec-1989-cum-a-izbucnit-revolutia-romana-revolta-de-la-iasi-si-scanteia-maghiara-de-la-timisoara.html; http://www.evz.ro/25de-ani-de-la-evenimentele-din-decembrie-1989-declaratia-generalului-iulian-vlad-seful-securitatii-din-procesul-revolutiei-de-la-timisoara-daca-oamenii-nu-erau-nemultumiti-strainatatea-nu-l-putea-rasturna-pe-ceausescu.html)

[Oh, but wait, there is good news!  In addition to all these articles furthering the viewpoint, to a lesser or greater extent, of the former Securitate, is the beginning of the chapter on December 1989 in The Greatest Tribute to Truth and Justice in the History of the World!, the so-called Final Report of the Tismaneanu Commission (CPADCR) of December 2006 condemning communism http://www.evz.ro/25de-ani-de-la-evenimentele-din-decembrie-1989-raportul-final-al-comisiei-prezidentiale-de-analiza-a-dictaturii-comuniste-condusa-de-vladimir-tismaneanu.html, which continues the glorious copy-paste tradition of the original, failing to cite that the text used in 2006 and now again in 2014, is from a 1997 chapter by the chair of the commission, Professor Vladimir Tismaneanu–that this is inarguable, see here https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/05/01/the-romanian-revolution-for-dum-dums-by-richard-andrew-hall/ , the xeroxes in fn. 10 in particular)]

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The Timisoara files about December 1989 are now publicly available (when the link works!) on the Internet at http://dosarelerevolutiei.ro/.  What they show is that Securitate, Militia, and other regime officials from Timis County were asked by Bucharest–communicated via the person of Securitate Director, General Iulian Vlad–to investigate the role of foreign elements, specifically tourists, in the Timisoara protests of mid-December 1989.  But they were not the only ones.  General Vlad tasked senior Securitate officials from Bucharest sent to Timisoara to report back to him on this very topic alleging external involvement and manipulation of the Timisoara demonstrations.  What remains unclear is how much of this tasking was General Vlad communicating his own “hypothesis” or how much of it was he relaying Nicolae Ceausescu’s “theory” about what was going on.  This much is clear:  neither those stationed in Timis County, nor those officials sent from Bucharest could find evidence of a foreign hand in the Timisoara uprising, despite being asked to investigate exactly this aspect.  How do we know this?  From their own written confessions immediately after the December 1989 events.  (Below are four of them:  Nicolae Mavru, Liviu Dinulescu, Emil Macri, and Filip Teodorescu.)

Niculae Mavru, fost sef al sectiei ‘Filaj si investigatie’ de la Securitatea Timis, declaratia din 13 ianuarie 1990:  …la ordinul col. Sima Traian, am primit…misiuni de a observa si sesiza aspecte din masa manifestantilor, din diferite zone ale orasului in sensul de a raporta daca sint straini (ceea ce nu prea au fost) care incita la dezordine, acte de violenta sau altfel de acte… 0331 25 iunie 1991 “Desi ne-am straduit nu am putut raporta col. Sima implicarea completa a vreunui cetatean strain in evolutia demonstratiilor cit si fenomenlor care au avut loc la Timisoara,..”

0173

“Sarcina primordiala pe care am primit-o de la col. Sima a fost daca in evenimentele declansate la Timisoara erau implicate elemente straine din afara tarii.  Cu toate eforturile facute nu a rezultat lucru pe linia mea de munca.” 0174

26 iunie 1991, Declaratia lui Liviu Dinulescu, cpt. la Serviciul de Pasapoarte al jud. Timis (in decembrie 1989, lt. maj. ofiter operativ Securitate judetean la Serv. III, care se ocupa de contraspionaj)

“Precizez ca anterior declansarii evenimentelor de la Timisoara din datele ce le detineam serviciul nostru nu rezulta vreun amestec din exterior in zona judetului Timis.”

0197

Generalul Emil Macri (seful Dir. II-a Securitatii, Contrainformatii Economice),

Declaratie 2 ianuarie 1990:

“Rezumind sintetic informatiile obtinute ele nu au pus in evidenta nici lideri si nici amestecul vreunei puteri straine in producerea evenimentelor de la Timisoara.  Raportarea acestor date la esalonul superior respectivi generalului I. Vlad a produs iritare si chiar suparare…”

IMG_1219 IMG_1215 Filip Teodorescu (adj. sef. Dir III Contraspionaj D.S.S.), Declaratie, 12 ianaurie 1990:  Seara [luni, 18 decembrie 1989], dupa 23:00, responsabili (anumiti ?) de generalul-maior Macri Emil pe diferitele linii de munca au inceput sa vina sa-i raporteze informatiile obtinute.  Au fost destul de neconcludente si cu mare dificultate am redat o informare pe care generalul-maior Macri Emil a acceptat-o si am expediat-o prin telex in jurul orei 01:00 [marti, 19 decembrie 1989.  In esenta se refera la: –nu sint date ca ar exista instigatori sau conducatori anume veniti din strainatate… IMG_1453 IMG_1438 https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/04/29/high-time-to-unpack-already-why-the-restless-journey-of-the-soviet-tourists-of-the-romanian-revolution-should-come-to-an-end/

Mai jos, declaratiile lui Petre Pele, Tudor Postelnicu, Gheorghe Diaconescu, si Iulian Vlad Excerpt from Chapter 5 of my Ph.D. Dissertation at Indiana University: Richard Andrew Hall, Rewriting the Revolution: Authoritarian Regime-State Relations and the Triumph of Securitate Revisionism in Post-Ceausescu Romania (defended 16 December 1996). This is the original chapter as it appeared then and thus have not been revised in any form. https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/rewriting-the-revolution-1997/

A Review of the Evidence

Although at first glance the regime’s treatment of Pastor Tokes seems strange and even illogical, within the context of the workings of the Ceausescu regime and the regime’s strategy for dealing with dissent it makes perfect sense. There is simply no convincing evidence to believe that the Securitate–or a faction within it–purposely dragged its feet in enforcing Pastor Tokes’ eviction, or was attempting to spark a demonstration in the hopes of precipitating Ceausescu’s fall. The regime’s decision to evict Tokes was not a last-minute decision. Moreover, the regime exerted tremendous and sometimes brutal pressure to silence Tokes in the months preceding this deadline. Interestingly, according to high-ranking members of the former Securitate, Nicolae Ceausescu’s unwillingness to approve the more definitive measures requested by the Securitate allowed the Tokes case to drag on without resolution (see below). The Tokes case suggests the bureaucratic and byzantine mentalities of the Ceausescu regime, and the clash between a dictator’s instructions and how the institutions charged with defending him interpret their mission. … The suggestion that the Securitate treated Tokes gently prior to his eviction is simply incorrect. On 2 November 1989, four masked men burst through the locked doors of the parochial residence, wielding knives and screaming in a fury. Tokes was slashed on the forehead before his church bodyguards could come to his rescue, causing the four to flee. The numerous Securitate men posted out front of the building had done nothing to intervene in spite of calls for help. Puspoki suggests that these “Mafia-like thugs,” who attacked as if from “an Incan tribe,” were some of Colonel Sima’s “gorillas,” sent to deliver a clear message to Tokes that he should leave immediately.[40] The view of the former Securitate–as expounded by Colonel Sima’s senior deputy, Major Radu Tinu–insinuates a “tourist”-like scenario. According to Tinu, the incident was clearly a “set-up” designed to draw sympathy to Tokes’ cause since the assailants fled away in a car with West German tags.[41] Not for the last time, the Securitate thus appears to attempt to attribute its own actions to foreign agents. A week after the mysterious attack by the masked intruders, all of the windows of the parochial residence and nearby buildings were smashed. Interestingly, the report drawn up for Bucharest by the Timisoara Securitate attempted to argue that “workers” from the Timisoara Mechanical Enterprise, offended by pastor Tokes’ behavior, had broken the windows. According to Puspoki, the use of a propaganda-like description was not accidental: the local Securitate was trying to present the incident as evidence of “the dissatisfaction of the working people of Timisoara” in the hope that it would finally prompt Ceausescu into approving definitive measures against Tokes.[42] Was Ceausescu responsible for the fact that the Tokes case dragged on without resolution? Support for such a conclusion comes from the comments of Securitate officers Colonel Filip Teodorescu and Major Radu Tinu. Teodorescu was dispatched to Timisoara with sixty other Securitate information officers in order to “verify” the request of the local Securitate that proceedings for treason be initiated against Tokes.[43] Teodorescu laments: Unfortunately, as in other situations…Nicolae Ceausescu did not agree because he didn’t want to further muddy relations with Hungary. Moreover, groundlessly, he hoped to avoid the criticisms of “Western democracies” by taking administrative measures against the pastor through the Reformed Church to which [Tokes] belonged.[44] Major Radu Tinu suggests that Ceausescu’s approval was necessary in the case of Securitate arrests and that the local Securitate remained “stupefied” that after having worked so long and hard in gathering information with which to charge Tokes with the crime of treason, Ceausescu rejected the request.[45] Tinu speculates that Ceausescu “did not want to create problems at the international level.” Because former Securitate officers rarely pass up the opportunity to absolve themselves of blame, and it would appear both easier and more advantageous to blame the deceased Ceausescu for being too unyielding in the Tokes affair, these allegations seem plausible. Thus, it would appear that because Nicolae Ceausescu was skittish of further damaging Romania’s already deteriorating relations with the international community, and the Tokes case was a high-profile one, he refrained from approving visible, definitive action against the pastor. The Securitate‘s attempt to goad Ceausescu to bolder action would appear to confirm Ghita Ionescu’s suggestion that where the security apparatus comes to dominate regime affairs it attempts to impose its institutional prerogatives upon political superiors. Ceausescu and the Securitate appear then to have had sometimes conflicting views over how to resolve the Tokes affair in the quickest and most efficient fashion. By December 1989, a huge group of Securitate officers were working on the Tokes case: the entire branch of the First Directorate for Timis county, the special division charged with combatting Hungarian espionage, high-ranking members of the First Directorate and Independent Service “D” (responsible for disinformation) from Bucharest, and members of the division charged with “Surveillance and Investigation.”[46] Puspoki describes Timisoara at this late hour as follows: Day and night, the telex machines on the top floor of the [County Militia] “Inspectorate” incessantly banged out communications, while the telephones never stopped ringing. Minister Postelnicu yelled on the phone, Colonel Sima yelled through the offices and the hallways. The officers ran, as if out of their minds, after information, besieged neighbors of the pastor, and dispatched in his direction–what they call–”informers with possibilities.”[47] Yet the case lingered on. On Sunday, 10 December 1989, Pastor Tokes announced to his congregation that he had received a rejection of his most recent appeal: the regime would make good on its threat to evict him on Friday, 15 December. He termed this an “illegal act” and suggested that the authorities would probably use force since he would not go willingly. He appealed for people to come and attend as “peaceful witnesses.”[48] They came.

[40].. Puspoki, “Piramida Umbrelor (III),” Orizont, no. 11 (16 March 1990), 4.

[41].. Bacescu, Din Nou in Calea, 78.
[42].. Puspoki, “Piramida Umbrelor (III).”
[43].. Teodorescu, Un Risc Asumat, 45-46.
[44].. Ibid., 90.
[45].. Bacescu, Din Nou in Calea, 78.
[46].. Puspoki, “Piramida Umbrelor (II).”
[47].. Ibid.
[48].. Tokes, With God, for the People, 1-4. ————————————————————————————————

Tudor Postelnicu:  “Ceausescu Nicolae facuse o psihoza, mai ales dupa ce s-a intors de la sedinta de la Moscova in toamna lui ’89.  Era convins ca se planuieste si de cei de pe plan extern caderea sa, era convins ca toti sint spioni…” 0160 Petru Pele (Dir I, DSS). Declaratie, 16 ianuarie 1990:  “Printre sarciniile mai importante efectuate de catre acestia in  perioada 17-22.12.1989 s-a numerat (?) constituierea (?) listelor celor retinuti de organele militie cu listele celor predati sau reintorsi din Ungaria, intrucit s-a emis ipoteza ca evenimentele de la Timisoara au fost puse la cale in tara vecina…” 0299 0291 Gheorghe Diaconescu, Declaratie 31 decembrie 1989 “Luni 18 decembrie gl. col.  VLAD IULIAN a avut o convorbire cu colegul meu (local?) RADULESCU EMIL … 0476 Vlad Iulian (continuarea, declaratia lui Gheorghe Diaconescu) “?… foarte dur (?) ca nu (?) ca ‘un grup de turisti isi fac de cap in Timisoara’” 0477 0472 Tocmai Iulian Vlad, el insusi, recunoaste ne-implicarea strainilor in evenimentele de la Timisoara, aici… 0289 0290 Incepind cu noaptea de 16/17 dec. si in continuare pina in data de 20 dec. 1989 organul de securitate local col. Sima cit si gl. Macri si in lipsa lui col. Teodorescu imi comunicau date din care rezulta ca sute de elemente turbulente au devastat orasul, si ca elementul strain nu rezulta a se fi implicate in continuarea fenomenului.” 0291 “Mai exact, cei trimis de mine la Timisoara mi-au raportat ca nu au elemente din care sa rezulte vreum amestec al strainatatii in producerea evenimentelor de la Timisoara.” https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/03/17/o-indicatie-pretioasa-de-pe-malurile-dimbovitei-implicarea-strainilor-in-evenimentele-de-la-timisoara-paranoia-lui-nicolae-ceausescu-sau-confirmarea-lui-iulian-vlad/0292

All this is important to keep in mind when coming across claims about the alleged role of these tourists in the overthrow of the communist regime of Nicolae Ceausescu:  none of the authors purporting such claims have addressed the documents above.  Among the authors who allege such a role and whose work is available on the Internet are the following:

James F. Burke (citing Grigore Corpacescu, General Iulian Vlad, and a well-known article from September 1990 in Democratia) http://www.ceausescu.org/ceausescu_texts/revolution/december_revolt_moscow.htm (I have dealt with these allegations here https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/12/29/presa-din-1990-despre-turistii-rusi-din-decembrie-1989/, and  https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/09/22/the-1989-romanian-revolution-as-geopolitical-parlor-game-brandstatter%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Ccheckmate%E2%80%9D-documentary-and-the-latest-wave-in-a-sea-of-revisionism-part-iii/)

Catherine Durandin (citing Radu Portocala) http://www.diploweb.com/english/romania/durandin1.htm  (I have addressed this allegation here https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2010/09/24/the-1989-romanian-revolution-as-geopolitical-parlor-game-brandstatter%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Ccheckmate%E2%80%9D-documentary-and-the-latest-wave-in-a-sea-of-revisionism-part-four/)

Alexander Ghaleb (fn. 9, citing “police sources”) http://www.sferapoliticii.ro/sfera/165/art03-Ghaleb.php

Jacques Levesque (citing a 1992 book by Filip Teodorescu) http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft4q2nb3h6&chunk.id=d0e6746&toc.id=d0e6638&brand=ucpress

John Simpson (citing Virgil Magureanu and the SRI) http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/ten-days-that-fooled-the-world-1387659.html

Alex Mihai Stoenescu (p. 186 of 340, Petre Roman citing Mihai Caraman) http://www.scribd.com/doc/105257958/Alex-Mihai-Stoenescu-Istoria-Loviturilor-de-Stat-Din-Romania-Vol-4-1

Larry Watts (fn. 90 p. 26, Petre Roman citing Mihai Caraman) http://www.larrylwatts.com/excerpts/with_friends_like_these_excerpts.pdf  (Roman ironically himself undermined such a claim here:  http://adevarul.ro/news/eveniment/petre-roman-ceausescu-acceptat-controlul-psihiatric-proces-putea-scape-1_50ad124a7c42d5a6638e48ab/index.html , Watts’ claim has been televised in the series “Mostenirea Clandestina,” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAPOEu0ebwI start at about 46:10 to 46:60 and then assisted by Cristian Troncota, who discusses the “Soviet tourists,” including Watts’ claim, from 47:05 to 49:50…conveniently not mentioned here or anywhere else where Troncota appears (for example with Grigore Cartianu in Adevarul), Cristian Troncota was a Lt. Maj. in the Securitate:  see the index here from a 1987 issue of the Securitate‘s “strict secret” journal, (page 4 of 46 on the pdf) with a historical article beginning on page 78:  http://www.cnsas.ro/documente/periodicul_securitatea/Securitatea%201987-4-80.pdf  (vol. 80 from 1987).

 

 

Posted in decembrie 1989, raport final | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

The Myths of a Revolution: “It is said that these enemy elements, the securisti, have poisoned the water in Sibiu, in Timisoara,…the water must be boiled before being consumed.” (Apa este otravita la Sibiu!)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on November 22, 2014

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

Oh, how Romanians and Romanianists love to invoke or allude to the televised claim in December 1989 that the water had been posioned in Sibiu!

It precipitates laughter:  ah, the crude manipulation and naivete!

Predictably, this is a favorite of foreign sources on December 1989.

Romanian emigre Andrei Codrescu tells us in his November 1990 article in Harper’s (“Big Chills”) about the wild rumors of December 1989, that the water in Sibiu had allegedly been poisoned, but as he found out at his 25th anniversary high school reunion, he learned how all the rumors had been false: and the water in Sibiu, it was just fine!  http://alina_stefanescu.typepad.com/files/big-chills-my-high-school-reunion-in-romania-by-andrei-codrescu-1.pdf

John Feffer in Shock Waves (1992) invokes Codrescu’s claims that, “Contrary to earlier reports, there were no mass killings, no poisoned water in Sibiu, no terrorists–only the manufacturing of a revolutionary smokescreen to conceal pre-planned machinations that resulted in the creation of the National Salvation Front.” (p. 207)

http://books.google.hu/books?id=u2l7b9gg28YC&pg=PA207&lpg=PA207&dq=romania+ceausescu+1989+water+poisoned+sibiu&source=bl&ots=P0pzR5YrIr&sig=ljCRYy27Lzsvh_HSxETfvz8SAH0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=buxwVNScFvPesASo0IHoAw&ved=0CDcQ6AEwBDhQ#v=onepage&q=romania%20ceausescu%201989%20water%20poisoned%20sibiu&f=false

Peter Siani-Davies quotes BBC journalist John Simpson, who had heard similar stories concerning poisoned water during the Iranian revolution of 1979, as noting that “certain ideas appeal forcibly  to the self-dramatizing mind of the revolutionary,” to which Siani-Davies adds:

“Indeed, in Romania the wild storytelling to a certain extent was just another consequence of the tumult of the revolution.  However, the imagery may have served another purpose….Now, through the tales of horror, they [Romanians] were able to place the evil forces of that [Ceausescu] regime so far beyond the bounds of ‘normal’ society that they were effectively able to distance themselves from the demons of the past.  There was also a sense in which it was necessary for the securitate to be so terrible:  How else could the years of mute suffering under an enfeebled old tyrant such as Ceausescu be explained and condoned?”   (Siani-Davies, The Romanian Revolution of December 1989, p. 160.)

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Underlying all of these interpretations and explanations is the assumption that the water never was poisoned, that it was all a baseless rumor.

Surely, one assumes, the rumor has been run to ground…but the truth is, as with so many things about December 1989, it hasn’t…

report from Sibiu starts at approximately 2:20 (Tagesschau 27.12.1989)

In fact, there was a basis in reality for what Teodor Brates was saying on TV on the afternoon of 22 December 1989 as the following toxicology report by the Belgian Dr. Aubin Heyndrickx makes clear:

Fullscreen capture 11222014 42152 PM

Romania

On December 21, 1989, people drinking from water tank #4 in Sibiu experienced headache, visual disturbances, loss of consciousness, vomiting, etc.  These symptoms are all compatible with organophosphate poisoning.  The analysis of the water (by gas chromatography) and the determination of the cholinesterase activity of the blood was done in the University of Cluj.  The conclusion was that an organophosphate had been used.  Atropine sulfate and toxogonin were advised.

As soon as the symptoms appeared among the population, water tank #4 was shut off, rinsed, and cleaned.  The people received water from army trucks.

A few days later, there was a fight in Timisoara between the army and Securitate over the water tanks.  Poisoning was feared, as had occurred in Sibiu.  According to witnesses, the Securitate possesses “all possible chemical warfare agents.”

Toxicologist Aubin Heyndrickx supervised the chemical tests and interviewed the physicians at Central Hospital who treated the patients.  From the tests and from the very high dose of atropine required to produce a response, he concluded that the tank was poisoned with sarin or VX (Report on the Humanitarian Mission to Romania, December 23-29, 1989, Laboratoria voor Toxicologie Criminalistiek, State University of Ghent).

http://www.physiciansforcivildefense.org/cdp/jan90.htm

Indeed, one can watch a brief discussion of the incident with Dr. Heyndrickx beginning at approximately the 40 second mark from an ITN broadcast of 27 December 1989

http://www.itnsource.com/en/shotlist//ITN/1989/12/27/BSP271289002/?s=romania+sibiu+after+the+revolution+27+1989&st=0&pn=1

ROMANIA: SIBIU AFTER THE REVOLUTION:

}T27128901   ROMANIA: SIBIU AFTER THE REVOLUTION: United Nations medical
27.12.89     relief team arrives in Sibiu with medical supplies and blood
TX           to treat the people who were injured during the fight against
             Securitate (secret police). Toxicologists have found evidence
             that the security police poisoned the water supply. Injured
             Securitate are being treated in hospitals alongside the people
             they shot.
Clip Ref: BSP271289002 0

Clip 1of1

}T27128901   ROMANIA: SIBIU AFTER THE REVOLUTION: United Nations medical
27.12.89     relief team arrives in Sibiu with medical supplies and blood
TX           to treat the ...
  • Duration: 00:01:44 |
  • Timecode – In: 00:00:00:00  Out: 00:01:44:00 |
  • Copyright: ITN / 3rd Party Copyright

I have found evidence of discussion of Heyndrickx and his toxicology report in the Hungarian press of the time, but significantly, to date, I have been unable to find discussion of it in the Romanian press!

Nepszabadsag, 30 December 1989, p. 3 citing a UPI dispatch, apparently P. Green, “French team confirms poison in water supply,” UPI, 29 December 1989.


Nagyszeben – ideggáz

Bukarest, 1989. december 29. péntek (UPI) – A Ceausescu-párti terrorosztagok ideggázt vegyítettek a romániai Nagyszeben víztárólóiba a forradalom első napjaiban – ezt egy francia-belga orvoscsoport egyik tagja mondotta el a UPI hírügynökség tudósítójának. Auvin Heyndrickx szerint a szennyezett ivóvíztól öten súlyos mérgezést szenvedtek.Mikor a felkelés vezetői felfedezték a szabotázst, azonnal
leengedték a mérgezett vizet a tárolóból – mondta a belga orvos, aki
az ,,Orvosok – határok nélkül,, nevű francia segélyszervezet
tagjaként utazott a városba. A toxikológus Heyndrickx
megállapította, hogy a vízkészletbe két súlyosan mérgező, folyékony
állapotú ideggázvegyületet öntöttek még december 20-án. Az orvos
elmondta azt is, hogy az eddig ismert öt sérült agykárosodást is
szenvedett a mérgektől. A megbetegedések ilyen viszonylag alacsony
számát a belga szakértő annnak tulajdonítja, hogy a víztárolóban a
mérgező anyagok szerencsére rendkívüli mértékben felhígultak.+++1989. december 29., péntek 07:57

http://rendszervaltas.mti.hu/Pages/News.aspx?se=1&wo=nagyszeben&sd=19890101&ed=19901231&sp=0&ni=230929&ty=1

http://www.rsis.edu.sg/cens/publications/reports/RSIS_Food%20Defence_170209.pdf See citations in fn#59 page 10.

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It is thus with justification that in my dissertation in 1997 and in a reiteration of the dissertation views in 2007, I defended TVR personnel by pointing out the extent to which they went to intervene and inform the population when it was safe to drink the water again.  (for a glimpse into the eternal “appreciation” I received for pointing out the latter, see https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/raport-final-cpadcr-iiccmer-si-revolutia-din-1989/)

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Excerpt from https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/rewriting-the-revolution-1997-chapter-8-unsolving-december/

In their discussion of the Romanian transition, Linz and Stepan note the “[r]umors of deliberately poisoned water supplies, of 10,000, 60,000, even 100,000 dead, filled the news channels and streets” and conclude that “disinformation played an important role in the events.”[45] They have in mind, however, the idea that this disinformation was disseminated in order to help the Front seize power. This, of course, echoes the dominant view on this theme. As we saw in the preceding chapter, both Securitate and opposition sources maintain that disinformation pervaded the December events, and they uniformly attribute it to the Front and the Front’s supporters at television, and, in some cases, to foreign actors such as the Soviet Union.

Yet there has been very little effort to investigate the context in which particular rumors originated and the relationship between actual events and those rumors. Take, for example, this rumor alleging the poisoning of the water supply which is so frequently invoked by both domestic and foreigner observers. To what are they referring? Around 3 p.m. on the afternoon of 22 December–therefore approximately three hours after the Ceausescus had fled Bucharest–television commentator Teodor Brates began to issue periodic, sometimes frantic reports about fighting between the Army and the Securitate in the city of Sibiu and about rumors that the water supply had been poisoned by the Securitate. Here are some excerpts of what Brates said on television on that afternoon:

One moment, please…from Sibiu it has been communicated to us that the army no longer has ammunition and the Securitate troops continue to attack military units….We want to inform you that in Sibiu, military units are urgently requesting help…We are constantly receiving communications…of course, we do not have the possibility to verify their authenticity…but we ask for your attention…It is said that these enemy elements, the securisti, have poisoned the water in Sibiu, in Timisoara,…the water must be boiled before being consumed.[46]

[45].. Linz and Stepan, “The Effects of Totalitarianism-cum-Sultanism,” 345-346.

[46].. See the text of the transcript, Revolutia Romana in Direct (Bucharest: Televiziunea Romana, 1990), 47, 48, 51.

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2007:  Linked to the allegations of supposedly intentionally hyping the threat posed by the “terrorists” is the certitude with which many Romanians and Romanianists assert that TV personnel (especially Teodor Brates) intentionally spread rumors about the water being poisioned and the army running out of ammunition in Sibiu etc.–rumors that proved to be unsubstantiated. Here is what they likely remember:

“One moment, please…from Sibiu it has been communicated that the army no longer has ammunition and the Securitate troops continue to attack mili tary units….We want to inform you that in Sibiu, military units are urgently requesting help…We are constantly receiving communications…of course, we do not have the possibility to verify their authenticity…but we ask for your attention…It is said that the enemy elements, the securisti, have poisoned the water in Sibiu, in Timisoara…the water must be boiled before being consumed.” (from the transcript of 22 December 1989 in “Revolutia Romana in Direct” (Bucharest: 1990), pp. 47, 48, 51, quoted p. 324, Richard Andrew Hall, 1997, Ph.D. Dissertation, “Rewriting the Revolution: Authoritarian Regime-State Relations and the Triumph of Securitate Revisionism in Post-Ceausescu Romania”)

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What they don’t remember is that Brates returned later to inform the audience a) when the fighting had ceased in Sibiu, b) when supplies of bottled water were on their way to Sibiu, and c) when the competent authorities verified that the water in Bucharest was safe to drink (“Revolutia Romana in Direct,” pp. 71, 72, 75, discussed p. 327 Hall, “Rewriting the Revolution”) This is there…in the transcript of what was said on Television…it is not a matter of a “difference of opinion” as the likes of Tismanenau and others in denial would have us believe. It is the old saw from American baseball: as the famous manager Casey Stengel used to say “You can look it up!” Once again: if your goal is “diversion,” intentional panic and manipulation, is it likely that you would return to the same subjects and say things designed to calm fears? Of course, not.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/raport-final-cpadcr-iiccmer-si-revolutia-din-1989/

Posted in decembrie 1989, raport final | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sorin Rosca Stanescu, the Historiography of December 1989, and Romanianists

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on October 10, 2014

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

I, for one, haven’t forgotten….In recent days, some of those rushing to bury the journalist Sorin Rosca Stanescu–and to argue that they always knew and considered him a bad apple–are exactly the same people who conveniently turned a blind eye to Stanescu’s past as a Securitate collaborator, even after it became public knowledge in 1992.  They did so because it was ideologically and politically convenient.  They never asked at the time how or if that fact had affected his reporting before or after it became public knowledge…and in fact they still never have.  But then again there are always such people who, consciously or unconsciously, engage in the constant revision of their own personal history and selectively remember or forget past doubts, silences, or expressions of support as the situation dictates.

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2014/10/09/redux-decembrie-89-sorin-rosca-stanescu-turisti-sovietici-dezinformare-securista-si-orbirea-partizana-a-intelectualilor-romani/

–One Romanian political analyst, Alina Mungiu, has castigated the political opposition and independent press for their response in cases such as that of Rosca Stanescu.  Mungiu suggests that an opportunistic double standard leads those opposed to the Iliescu regime to “draw an illogical difference between the ‘bad securisti” of those on the other side, whose head they demand, and those [securisti] who are ‘ours’, those of the ‘good’ world, like F.G. Marculescu, Sorin Rosca Stanescu, rehabilitated by Petre Mihai Bacanu [Romania Libera’s senior editor]…” [Richard A. Hall, “The Dynamics of Media Independence in Post-Ceausescu Romania,” Special Issue:  Post-Communism and the Media in Eastern Europe (ed. Patrick H. O’Neil), The Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, Volume 12, no. 4 (December 1996)]

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http://books.google.com/books?id=Yy2aAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA111&lpg=PA111&dq=sorin+rosca+stanescu+securitate&source=bl&ots=tJMuOxvX3o&sig=70fgo29CTHBQ6Te6YCQZcz3yJA0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=nSY3VOWcEMTbsASmq4D4CQ&ved=0CEEQ6AEwBTgK#v=onepage&q=sorin%20rosca%20stanescu%20securitate&f=false

Back in late 1995/early 1996, fellow former Indiana University of Political Science Ph.D. Patrick H. O’Neil (at the time a Hungarianist) asked me if I wanted to participate in a special journal issue on the media in post-communist “Eastern Europe.” (I suppose I should be thankful that he and the publishers allowed me to publish a chapter as narrowly-focused as the one I did:  on coverage of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989 in the Romanian media.)  I could have written an anodyne, predictable Frankenstein-like chapter–Regime press bad; opposition press GOOOOD–that would have been easily accepted and cited by the Romanian studies community.  But by then that was impossible.  My dissertation year of 1993-1994 in Romania had truly undermined my previous views and understandings of many things in post-communist Romania that I had accepted as gospel before that field research.  On the other hand, I probably should have heeded the words of a professor who cautioned several years earlier about not publishing while still writing the dissertation, but I desperately needed a publication to keep any chance of an academic career a possibility (it didn’t work and if anything hurt me!).  Indeed, the years 1994-1996 were years of great confusion for me in working through what I had found to that point and full of false starts.  Therefore, I am not particularly proud of this chapter as it contains ideas and directions (it was written in March-May 1996) that in the face of evidence I was soon to abandon (i.e. yes, I made mistakes and I freely admit so!).  I did, however, get some things right, and one of those was the case of Sorin Rosca Stanescu.

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Senior Romanianists, Vladimir Tismaneanu and Tom Gallagher, two leading authorities on opposite sides of the ocean in the English-speaking world, did not publish a word of dissent or questioning of Sorin Rosca Stanescu until the mid-2000s.  Indeed, Tom Gallagher’s 2005 Modern Romania continued to portray Stanescu in almost heroic terms.  Tismaneanu only seemed to have remembered Stanescu’s Securitate past in 2006 when Stanescu and Stanescu’s daily Ziua bitterly criticized him.  These things are verifiable.  Any doubts they may have had significantly never seem to have made it to print or the Internet until the mid-2000s at the earliest.  In fact, Tismaneanu still seemed to focus on the “good” Stanescu until quite recently, as the following excerpt about June 1990 makes clear:   ” …despre conversatiile cu Sorin Rosca-Stanescu (pe atunci unul dintre cei mai acerbi critici ai fesenismului) dar si cu Florin-Gabriel Marculescu, ziarist de o impresionanta tinuta morala, amandoi inca la Romania Libera,” http://tismaneanu.wordpress.com/2009/06/13/raportul-final-si-mineriada-din-13-15-iunie/

I recall in the mid-90s attempting to relate my doubts and misgivings about Stanescu’s reporting on December 1989 to Tismaneanu.  He neither cared, nor took it seriously.  In the tradition of academic putdowns, Gallagher actually accused me in a review of low standards of professionalism for questioning journalists of the independent press.  Hence, why I was so thankful to come across Alina Mungiu-Pippidi’s  1995 observation–cited above–that crystallized and explained the double standard I had been witnessing (of course, at the time, I hadn’t realized that there was more of a back story to why Mungiu had Rosca Stanescu in her sights, but her analysis was still spot on and a breath of fresh air.)

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

Final Boarding Call for TAROM’s special ROMBAC service from Bucuresti to Sibiu: Would the large party of suspicious “Soviet tourists” please report to the gate immediately! (II)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on August 11, 2013

[not for reproduction without prior author permission; based on multiple publications from earlier research]

Part I https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/08/10/final-boarding-call-for-taroms-special-rombac-service-from-bucuresti-to-sibiu-would-the-large-party-of-suspicious-soviet-tourists-please-report-to-the-gate-immediately-i/

As I alluded to in Part I, the suggestion that dozens of Soviet agents posing as “Soviet tourists” flew unperturbed on a special TAROM ROMBAC flight from Bucuresti Otopeni to Sibiu, the fiefdom of Nicolae Ceausescu’s son, Nicu, on Wednesday 20 December 1989, begs even more basic questions:  how the heck did they get into the country, travel to the capital, and to the capital’s airport in the first place, let alone gain entrance to the airport, pass through security (supposedly with guns in their luggage!), and board the plane?

After all, those who posit a role for the Soviet tourists in the December 1989 events frequently claim that the Soviet tourists were present and involved in the Timisoara unrest of 15-19 December 1989.  A brief search just from just the past few years reveals the (Ro)mania about the “Soviet tourists” in December 1989 has hardly abated:

http://www.historia.ro/exclusiv_web/general/articol/invazia-sovietica-trebuia-sa-inceapa-constanta

http://www.libertatea.ro/detalii/articol/25-000-de-spioni-kgb-au-stapanit-romania-aproape-un-an-428106.html

(invokes Larry Watts claim, which recycles an older claim by Petre Roman from 1994, from With Friends Like These (English edition), p. 26 Footnote #90 )

http://www.exploziv-news.ro/lovitura-de-stat-1989/729-un-american-acuza-lovitura-de-stat-din-decembrie-1989-orchestrata-de-moscova-miza-impiedicarea-unirii-romaniei-cu-basarabia-cotropirea-ardealului-de-catre-ungaria-si-distrugerea-unitatilor-romanesti-anti-kgb.html

http://www.bookiseala.ro/grigore-cartianu-crimele-revolutiei/38586.html

http://www.adevarulshop.ro/crimele-revolutiei-sangeroasa-diversiune-a-kgb-istilor-din-fsn.html

(the last two are Grigore Cartianu’s writings; Cartianu was promoted by Vladimir Tismaneanu and IICCMER here ”).”http://tismaneanu.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/deshumarea-lui-ceausescu-un-pas-spre-adevar/ “ and  http://tismaneanu.wordpress.com/2010/12/15/joi-11-30h-dezbatere-publica-la-iiccmer-armand-gosu-raluca-grosescu-grigore-cartianu-mihail-neamtu/)

http://www.agero-stuttgart.de/REVISTA-AGERO/COMENTARII/Rolul%20turistilor%20straini%20in%20lovitura%20de%20stat%20de%20Brudascu.htm

http://www.evz.ro/detalii/stiri/operatiunea-kgb-decembrie-1989-423201.html

THE FOLLOWING SHOULD, IN A PERFECT WORLD, DEMOLISH THE THESIS ABOUT THE ALLEGED ROLE OF SOVIET TOURISTS IN SPARKING THE TIMISOARA UPRISING!

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2013/04/29/high-time-to-unpack-already-why-the-restless-journey-of-the-soviet-tourists-of-the-romanian-revolution-should-come-to-an-end/

The Timisoara files about December 1989 are now publicly available (when the link works!) on the Internet at http://dosarelerevolutiei.ro/.  What they show is that Securitate, Militia, and other regime officials from Timis County were asked by Bucharest–communicated via the person of Securitate Director, General Iulian Vlad–to investigate the role of foreign elements, specifically tourists, in the Timisoara protests of mid-December 1989.  But they were not the only ones.  General Vlad tasked senior Securitate officials from Bucharest sent to Timisoara to report back to him on this very topic alleging external involvement and manipulation of the Timisoara demonstrations.  What remains unclear is how much of this tasking was General Vlad communicating his own “hypothesis” or how much of it was he relaying Nicolae Ceausescu’s “theory” about what was going on.  This much is clear:  neither those stationed in Timis County, nor those officials sent from Bucharest could find evidence of a foreign hand in the Timisoara uprising, despite being asked to investigate exactly this aspect.  How do we know this?  From their own written confessions immediately after the December 1989 events.  (Below are four of them:  Nicolae Mavru, Liviu Dinulescu, Emil Macri, and Filip Teodorescu.)

Niculae Mavru, fost sef al sectiei ‘Filaj si investigatie’ de la Securitatea Timis, declaratia din 13 ianuarie 1990:  …la ordinul col. Sima Traian, am primit…misiuni de a observa si sesiza aspecte din masa manifestantilor, din diferite zone ale orasului in sensul de a raporta daca sint straini (ceea ce nu prea au fost) care incita la dezordine, acte de violenta sau altfel de acte…

0331

25 iunie 1991

“Desi ne-am straduit nu am putut raporta col. Sima implicarea completa a vreunui cetatean strain in evolutia demonstratiilor cit si fenomenlor care au avut loc la Timisoara,..”

0173

“Sarcina primordiala pe care am primit-o de la col. Sima a fost daca in evenimentele declansate la Timisoara erau implicate elemente straine din afara tarii.  Cu toate eforturile facute nu a rezultat lucru pe linia mea de munca.”

0174

26 iunie 1991, Declaratia lui Liviu Dinulescu, cpt. la Serviciul de Pasapoarte al jud. Timis (in decembrie 1989, lt. maj. ofiter operativ Securitate judetean la Serv. III, care se ocupa de contraspionaj)

“Precizez ca anterior declansarii evenimentelor de la Timisoara din datele ce le detineam serviciul nostru nu rezulta vreun amestec din exterior in zona judetului Timis.”

0197

Generalul Emil Macri (seful Dir. II-a Securitatii, Contrainformatii Economice),

Declaratie 2 ianuarie 1990:

“Rezumind sintetic informatiile obtinute ele nu au pus in evidenta nici lideri si nici amestecul vreunei puteri straine in producerea evenimentelor de la Timisoara.  Raportarea acestor date la esalonul superior respectivi generalului I. Vlad a produs iritare si chiar suparare…”

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Filip Teodorescu (adj. sef. Dir III Contraspionaj D.S.S.), Declaratie, 12 ianaurie 1990: 

Seara [luni, 18 decembrie 1989], dupa 23:00, responsabili (anumiti ?) de generalul-maior Macri Emil pe diferitele linii de munca au inceput sa vina sa-i raporteze informatiile obtinute.  Au fost destul de neconcludente si cu mare dificultate am redat o informare pe care generalul-maior Macri Emil a acceptat-o si am expediat-o prin telex in jurul orei 01:00 [marti, 19 decembrie 1989.  In esenta se refera la:

–nu sint date ca ar exista instigatori sau conducatori anume veniti din strainatate…

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Posted in decembrie 1989 | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

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

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on December 8, 2010

Bullets, Lies, and Videotape:  The Amazing, Disappearing Romanian Counter-Revolution of December 1989[1]

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 19 November 2009; cleared 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.

(PERHAPS) ONLY IN ROMANIA!:  Twenty Years Later Romanianists and Romanians Continue to Deny the Existence of Atypical Munitions in December 1989…Even Though Clear Video Evidence Exists to Confirm Their Presence!

DUM-DUM MUNITIONS OF THE SECURITATE’S ELITE SNIPERS (above); VIDIA BULLETS (below)

Holland & Holland (London) magnum bullets found in Securitate V-a building

VIDIA bullets (Bucuresti, zona TVR) below– individual demonstrates how much smaller they are than Army’s standard 7,62 mm munitions

VIDIA bullet

Possible VIDIA bullets (Brasov) below; doctor describing wounds to the head caused by these munitions

for full PDF file see here:

blv 111909tk6

blv 111909tk6 97 compat (for earlier versions of word)

His name was Ghircoias…Nicolae Ghircoias.

And in Romania in December 1989 and January 1990, Nicolae Ghircoias was a very busy man.

We know, officially, of Nicolae Ghircoias’ actions in the last days leading up to the fall of the regime of communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu on 22 December 1989, as a result of what he and others said at a trial later in January 1990.  In bureaucratic parlance, Colonel Nicolae Ghircoias, was the Director of the Criminalistic Institute of the Militia’s [Police’s] General Inspectorate.   In colloquial terms, in December 1989 it appears that this amounted to being something of a “cleaner,” or “fixer,” the kind of guy who could make unpleasant things—such as corpses—go away, without leaving a trace.

After regime forces opened fire on anti-regime protesters in the western city of Timisoara on 17 and 18 December 1989, Colonel Ghircoias was dispatched to recover the corpses of those with gunshot wounds from the city’s morgue.  The unautopsied cadavers of 43 demonstrators were stolen from the morgue in the dead of night and then transported to the outskirts of the capital Bucharest by refrigerated truck , where they were cremated.[2] Ghircoias was also in charge of collecting and destroying the hospital records and any other incriminating material that might indicate not just the death, but also the life of those who had perished—the official explanation for the disappearance of these citizens was to be that they had fled the country, thus taking their documents with them.  In other words, Colonel Nicolae Ghircoias’ job was primarily, it seems, the destruction of evidence.[3]

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 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]

Romania, December 1989:   a Revolution, a Coup d’etat, AND a Counter-Revolution

This December marks twenty years since the implosion of the communist regimeof Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. [10] It is well-known, but bears repeating:  Romania not only came late in the wave of communist regime collapse in the East European members of the Warsaw Pact in the fall of 1989 (Poland, Hungary, the GDR, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria), it came last—and inevitably that was significant.[11] Despite the more highly personalist (vs. corporate) nature of the Ceausescu regime, the higher level of fear and deprivation that characterized society, and the comparative insulation from the rest of the East European Warsaw Pact states, Romania could not escape the implications of the collapse of the other communist party-states.[12] Despite the differences, there simply were too many institutional and ideological similarities, or as is often most importantly the case, that is how members of both the state and society interpreted matters.   “Going last” [in turn, in show] almost inevitably implies that the opportunities for mimicry, for opportunism, for simulation[13] on the one hand and dissimulation[14] on the other, are greater than for the predecessors…and, indeed, one can argue that some of what we saw in Romania in December 1989 reflects this.

Much of the debate about what happened in December 1989 has revolved around how to define those events…and their consequences.[15] [These can be analytically distinct categories and depending on how one defines things, solely by focusing on the events themselves or the consequences, or some combination thereof, will inevitably shape the answer one gets].  The primary fulcrum or axis of the definitional debate has been between whether December 1989 and its aftermath were/have been a revolution or a coup d’etat.  But Romanian citizens and foreign observers have long since improvised linguistically to capture the hybrid and unclear nature of the events and their consequences.  Perhaps the most neutral, cynical, and fatalistic is the common “evenimentele din decembrie 1989”—the events of December 1989—but it should also be pointed out that the former Securitate and Ceausescu nostalgics have also embraced, incorporated and promoted, such terminology.  More innovative are terms such as rivolutie (an apparent invocation of or allusion to the famous Romanian satirist Ion Luca Caragiale’s 1880 play Conu Leonida fata cu reactiunea[16] , where he used the older colloquial spelling revulutie) or lovilutie (a term apparently coined by the humorists at Academia Catavencu, and combining the Romanian for coup d’etat, lovitura de stat, and the Romanian for revolution, revolutie).

The following characterization of what happened in December 1989 comes from an online poster, Florentin, who was stationed at the Targoviste barracks—the exact location where Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu would be summarily tried and executed on 25 December 1989.  Although his definitions may be too economically-based for my taste—authoritarianism/dictatorship vs. democracy would be preferable—and the picture he presents may be oversimplified at points, the poster’s characterization shows that sometimes the unadorned straighttalk of the plainspoken citizen can cut to the chase better than many an academic tome:

I did my military service, in Targoviste, in fact in the barracks at which the Ceausescu couple were executed…It appears that a coup d’etat was organized and executed to its final step, the proof being how the President of the R.S.R. (Romanian Socialist Republic) died, but in parallel a revolution took place.  Out of this situation has transpired all the confusion.   As far as I know this might be a unique historical case, if I am not mistaken.  People went into the streets, calling not just for the downfall of the president then, but for the change of the political regime, and that is what we call a revolution. This revolution triumphed, because today we have neither communism, nor even neocommunism with a human face.  The European Union would not have accepted a communist state among its ranks.  The organizers of the coup d’etat foresaw only the replacement of the dictator and the maintenance of a communist/neocommunist system, in which they did not succeed, although there are those who still hope that it would have succeeded.  Some talk about the stealing of the revolution, but the reality is that we live in capitalism, even if what we have experienced in these years has been more an attempt at capitalism, orchestrated by an oligarchy with diverse interests…[17]

This is indeed the great and perhaps tragic irony of what happened in December 1989 in Romania:  without the Revolution, the Coup might well have failed,[18] but without the Coup, neither would the Revolution have succeeded.   The latter is particularly difficult for the rigidly ideological and politically partisan to accept; yet it is more than merely a talking point and legitimating alibi of the second-rung nomenklatura who seized power (although it is that too).  The very atomization of Romanian society[19] that had been fueled and exploited by the Ceausescu regime explained why Romania came last in the wave of Fall 1989, but also why it was and would have been virtually impossible for genuine representatives of society—led by dissidents and protesters—to form an alternative governing body on 22 December whose decisions would have been accepted as sufficiently authoritative to be respected and implemented by the rump party-state bureaucracy, especially the armed forces and security and police structures.  The chaos that would have ensued—with likely multiple alternative power centers, including geographically—would have likely led to a far greater death toll and could have enabled those still betting on the return of the Ceausescus to after a time reconquer power or seriously impede the functioning of any new government for an extended period.

The fact that the Revolution enabled the coup plotters to seize power, and that the coup enabled the Revolution to triumph should be identified as yet another version—one particular to the idiosyncracies of the Romanian communist regime—of what Linz and Stepan have identified as the costs or compromises of the transition from authoritarian rule.  In Poland, for example, this meant that 65 percent of the Sejm was elected in non-competitive elections, but given co-equal authority with the Senate implying that “a body with nondemocratic origins was given an important role in the drafting of a democratic constitution”; in fact, Poland’s first completely competitive elections to both houses of Parliament occurred only in October 1991, fully two years after the formation of the first Solidarity government in August 1989.[20] In Romania, this meant that second-rung nomenklaturists—a displaced generation of elites eager to finally have their day in the sun—who to a large extent still harbored only Gorbachevian perestroikist views of the changes in the system as being necessary, were able to consolidate power following the elimination of the ruling Ceausescu couple.

The self-description by senior Front officials (Ion Iliescu) and media promoters (such as Darie Novaceanu in Adevarul) of the FSN (National Salvation Front) as the “emanation of the Revolution” does not seem justified. [21] It seems directly tied to two late January 1990 events—the decision of the Front’s leaders to run as a political party in the first post-Ceausescu elections and the contestation from the street of the Front’s leaders’ legitimacy to rule and to run in those elections.  It also seems difficult to defend objectively as a legitimate description, since even according to their own accounts, senior Front officials had been in contact with one another and discussed overthrowing the Ceausescus prior to the Revolution, since there had existed no real competing non-Ceausescu regime alternative on 22 December 1989 (an argument they themselves make), and since they had clearly not been elected to office.   Moreover, when senior former Front officials, Iliescu among them, point to their winning of two-thirds of the votes for the new parliament in May 1990 and Iliescu’s 85 percent vote for the presidency, the numbers in and of themselves—even beyond the by now pretty obvious and substantiated manipulation, surveillance, and intimidation of opposition parties, candidates, movements and civil society/non-governmental organizations that characterized the election campaign—are a red flag to the tainted and only partly free and fair character of those founding elections.

But if the FSN and Ion Iliescu cannot be accurately and legitimately described as the “emanation of the Revolution,” it also seems reasonable to suggest that the term “stolen revolution”[22] is somewhat unfair.  The term “stolen revolution” inevitably suggests a central, identifiable, and sufficiently coherent ideological character of the revolution and the presence of an alternative non-Ceausescu, non-Front leadership that could have ensured the retreat of Ceausescu forces and been able to govern and administer the country in the days and weeks that followed.  The absence of the latter was pretty clear on 22 December 1989—Iasi, Timisoara, and Arad among others, had local, authentic nuclei leading local movements (for example, the FDR, Frontul Democrat Roman), but no direct presence in Bucharest—and the so-called Dide and Verdet “22 minute” alternative governments were even more heavily compromised by former high-ranking communist dignitary inclusion than the FSN was (the one with the least, headed by Dumitru Mazilu, was rapidly overtaken and incorporated into the FSN).

As to the question of the ideological character of the revolt against Ceausescu, it is once again instructive to turn to what a direct participant, in this case in the Timisoara protests, has to say about it.  Marius Mioc[23], who participated in the defense of Pastor Tokes’ residence and in the street demonstrations that grew out of it, was arrested, interrogated, and beaten from the 16th until his release with other detainees on the 22nd and who has written with longstanding hostility toward former Securitate and party officials, IIiescu, the FSN, and their successors, gives a refreshingly honest account of those demonstrations that is in stark contrast to the often hyperpoliticized, post-facto interpretations of December 1989 prefered by ideologues:

I don’t know if the 1989 revolution was as solidly anticommunist as is the fashion to say today.  Among the declarations from the balcony of the Opera in Timisoara were some such as “we don’t want capitalism, we want democratic socialism,” and at the same time the names of some local PCR [communist] dignitaries were shouted.  These things shouldn’t be generalized, they could have been tactical declarations, and there existed at the same time the slogans “Down with communism!” and flags with the [communist] emblem cut out, which implicitly signified a break from communism.  [But] the Revolution did not have a clear ideological orientation, but rather demanded free elections and the right to free speech.[24]

Romania December 1989 was thus both revolution and coup, but its primary definitive characteristic was that of revolution, as outlined by “Florentin” and Marius Mioc above.  To this must be added what is little talked about or acknowledged as such today:  the counter-revolution of December 1989.  Prior to 22 December 1989, the primary target of this repression was society, peaceful demonstrators—although the Army itself was both perpetrator of this repression but also the target of Securitate forces attempting to ensure their loyalty to the regime and their direct participation and culpabilization in the repression of demonstrators.  After 22 December 1989, the primary target of this violence was the Army and civilians who had picked up weapons, rather than citizens at large.  It is probably justified to say that in terms of tactics, after 22 December 1989, the actions of Ceausist forces were counter-coup in nature, contingencies prepared in the event of an Army defection and the possibility of foreign intervention in support of such a defection.  However, precisely because of what occurred prior to 22 December 1989, the brutal, bloody repression of peaceful demonstrators, and because the success of the coup was necessary for the success of the revolution already underway, it is probably accurate to say that the Ceausescu regime’s actions as a whole constituted a counter-revolution.  If indeed the plotters had not been able to effectively seize power after the Ceausescus fled on 22 December 1989 and Ceausescu or his direct acolytes had been able to recapture power, we would be talking of the success not of a counter-coup, but of the counter-revolution.

A key component of the counter-revolution of December 1989 concerns the, as they were christened at the time, so-called “terrorists,” those who were believed then to be fighting in defense of the Ceausescu couple.  It is indeed true as Siani-Davies has written that the Revolution is about so much more than “the Front” and “the terrorists.”[25] True enough, but the outstanding and most vexing question about December 1989—one that resulted in 942 killed and 2,251 injured after 22 December 1989—is nevertheless the question of “the terrorists.”  Finding out if they existed, who they were, and who they were defending remains the key unclarified question of December 1989 two decades later:  that much is inescapable.

“LOST”…DURING INVESTIGATION:  WHEN ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE IS NOT EVIDENCE OF ABSENCE.[26]

From early in 1990, those who participated in or were directly affected by the December 1989 events have attested to efforts to cover-up what happened.  Significantly, and enhancing the credibility of these accusations, those who claim such things come from diverse backgrounds, different cities, and from across the post-Ceausescu political spectrum.  Further enhancing their credibility, in many cases, they do not attempt to place these incidents into larger narratives about what happened in December 1989, but merely note it as a fact in relating their own personal experiences.

Let’s take the case of Simion Cherla, a participant in the December 1989 events in Timisoara.  Here is how Radu Ciobotea recounted Cherla’s story in May 1991:

Simion Cherlea also arrives, agitated.  He received a death threat, wrapped in a newspaper.  Next to it, in his mailbox, a bullet cartridge was also found.  To suggest to him that that is how he would end up if…

–If I talk.  Or if I have a copy of the file that I removed on 22 December 1989 from the office of the head of the county Securitate.  There was a map of the 8 Interior Ministry formations from Timisoara and “registry-journal of unique ordered operational activities.”  I gave them to Constantin Grecu (since transferred to the reserves), who gave them to Colonel Zeca and General Gheorghe Popescu.  These documents were of great use…in the Army’s fight against the terrorists.

–Do you know what the deal is with such formations?…When I looked at the map, my eyes glazed over.  Their formations were for entire zones where 10 to 12 nests of gunfire were programmed to shoot at a precise hour and minute!  Can you imagine!  And I, because I was trying to help in the fight against the terrorists, I turned it over to them!  So now I asked for it to be used at the trial.  In the registry everything was written:  who ordered, who executed the mission, the place, the hour, how long it last, the impact.  Great, all these documents are now said to have disappeared.  And I am threatened that I too will disappear like them.[27]

The discovery and then disappearances of such maps showing the placement and actions of Interior Ministry units—in particular, the Securitate—was recounted by others in the early 1990s.[28]

Nor, as we saw earlier from Dr. Nicolae Constantinescu’s testimony above, could one count on the military prosecutor’s office.  Jean Constantinescu [no apparent relation], who was shot in the CC building on 23 December 1989, stated the following in a declaration he gave just last year (as recounted by the investigative journalist Romulus Cristea):

I had two encounters with representatives from the prosecutor’s office.  The first prosecutor visited me at home, around two months after the events, he listened and noted my account, and as a conclusion, informally, he said something to me such as “we already know a good part of the shooters, they can be charged and pay civil damages, you can be part of the lawsuit and request appropriate damages.”  After hesitating, I added such a request, at the end of my written declaration, which I signed….

The second prosecutor, who later came to head the institution [the procuracy], invited me after several months to the office near Rosetti Square.  At the end of the conversation, he attempted to convince me that we shot amongst ourselves [ie there was no real enemy, no terrorists].[29]

The second prosecutor’s actions, according to Constantinescu’s recounting, are very familiar.  Already in mid-January 1990, participants in the gunfights of Brasov were telling the press that important evidence was missing and that the former Securitate were attempting to change the story of December 1989:

Florin Crisbasan:  Now the securisti are spreading their version:  “You guys shot into one another like a bunch of idiots.”…About 100 people were arrested as terrorists, but now they tell us they no longer have them…documents are missing, they don’t know how or what type:  a video cassette that I wished to access, with film from the events, can no longer be found….

Emil Ivascu:  If they tell us that “we shot among ourselves,” how the hell do you explain the ammunition with which they [the terrorists] fired? A bullet would rip your foot apart.  We saw for ourselves these type of arms.  Could just average civilians have been in possession of these?[30]

In May 1991, Gheorghe Balasa and Radu Minea described in detail for journalist Dan Badea the atypical ammunitions they found in the headquarters of the Securitate’s Vth Directorate (charged with Ceausescu’s personal security) building, including dum-dum bullets and special bullets (apparently vidia bullets).  They noted the civilians and soldiers who had witnessed this find, and mentioned that a certain Spiru Zeres had filmed the whole sequence, cassettes that were available for the military procuracy.[31]

Journalist and documentary-maker Maria Petrascu, who with her since deceased husband Marius, had for years investigated the Brasov events, also drew attention to the type of ammunition used in December 1989 when she recalled in 2007 that, “For a long time the Brasov Military Procuracy didn’t do anything, although they had evidence, statements, documents, photos and even the atypical bullets brought by the families of those killed or wounded.”[32] A soldier shot on 23 December 1989 in Buzau recently admitted that his doctors changed their declarations regarding the bullet with which he had been hit—identified by another soldier with whom he was interned as a ‘vidia’ bullet—to standard 7.62 mm ammunition.[33] 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 [in Bucharest].  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.[34]

This echoes something that Army Colonel Ion Stoleru was saying back in 1992:  that the “terrorists” had “weapons with silencers, with scopes, for shooting at night time (in ‘infrared’), bullets with a ‘vidia’ tip.  Really modern weapons,” to which he added, significantly, The civilian and military commissions haven’t followed through in investigating this…[35]

And yet, amazingly—despite all these testimonies regarding the existence and use of atypical munitions, or perhaps better put, precisely because of them—as of August 1991, Rasvan Popescu could report that “of the thousands of projectiles shot against the revolutionaries during  December 1989, the Prosecutor’s office has entered into the possession of…four bullets.  A ridiculous harvest.”[36]

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.”[37]

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…”[38]

“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…”[39]

“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.”[40]

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.[41][42] (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 released in January 1990, 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.

VIDEO KILLED THE DICTATOR…AND EXPLODES THE LIES OF HIS  SUBORDINATES:

Four Videos in the Battle against Amnesia and Denial

For years, former Securitate and Militia personnel, and senior former communist party officials—in other words those most vested in the former Ceausescu regime and its legacy—have banked on the fact that the material evidence that could contradict their claims was absent, in fact did not and had never not existed.  As a result of the odd twists, turns, and vagaries of post-Ceausescu politics—combining rigidly partisan political narratives with a remarkable permeability to the arguments and information of “the enemy of my enemy”—it is also the case, ironically, that many on the liberal, anti-communist side of political spectrum, have become vested in this assumption too. [43]

Before the advent in the mid and late 2000s of user-generated content video sites, much of what had been seen of the Revolution came from the studios and cameras of Romanian Television or foreign networks.  The Internet and video sites such as Youtube, Daily Motion, and others have broken down the centralized control of other often individually-recorded images, ultimately challenging the sort of control over information exercised by a state agency such as, in this case, the military procuracy.

Video No. 1:  Bucharest, Securitate Archives in the Central Committee Building, Dum-Dum and Vidia Bullets

In the first video (posted by Alexandru2006 at http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7rojm_revolutia-romana-22-dec-1989-cd5_shortfilms) , the sequence from roughly 1:20 to 2:50 shows civilians in the bowels of the CC building in Bucharest—the focal point of the December events, from where Nicolae Ceausescu gave his famous “final speech” on 21 December and from which Front leaders addressed crowds on 22 December and after—showing the munitions found in the Archives of the PCR’s CC.  The “dum-dum” bullets of “the elite shooters/commandos”—he mentions they are of West German manufacture—are identified for the camera, as are smaller, special bullets—which appear, based on other video, photos, and accounts, to be “vidia” bullets.  [Following the two screen captures below is an article from 31 December 1989, “Cu ce trag teroristii?” (With What are the Terrorists Shooting), in which the journalist discusses having a West German-manufactured (RWS firm) “dum-dum” bullet in his hand, as well as the “unfortunately now-famous small bullets of 5,62 mm caliber” (vidia bullets).]

DUM-DUM MUNITIONS OF THE SECURITATE’S ELITE SNIPERS (above); VIDIA BULLETS (below)

Video No. 2: Bucharest, Piata Aviatorilor, near TVR (Romanian state Television) headquarters, Vidia Bullets

In the second video (posted by Alexandru2006 at http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7rob0_revolutia-romana-22-dec1989-cd4_shortfilms), a civilian shows how the bullets shot by “the enemy”—i.e. “the terrorists”—are different than the standard ammunition (7.62 mm) he and the others are using.  Based on other video, photos, and accounts, these appear to be “vidia” bullets—there are many testimonies from those who fought in the area near the TV station regarding these bullets.  [Below the screen capture:   a photo posted on the Internet by Alexandru Stepanian, that he claims is a photo of one of these vidia bullets]

Imaginea a glontului vidia de 5,6 mm, tras la poarta din Pangrati a sediului TVR, in 22-23 decembrie 1989, de tineri vlajgani, in blugi, prinsi, dar eliberati de tov. General Tudor, activat de tov. Ion Iliescu.

Material primit de la dl. Alexandru Stepanian.

www.portalulrevolutiei.ro, glont vidia, zona TVR, Alexandru Stepanian

Video No. 3:  Bucharest, Soft-nosed (“Dum-Dum”) Bullets Found in the Headquarters of the Securitate’s V-th Directorate

The third video was found by the blogger who goes by the handle “Claude 2.0” (Claude 2.0 Dupa 19 ani – Gloante dum-dum ? postare din 14 aprilie 2009). It shows people going through material including bullets found in the headquarters building of the Securitate’s Fifth Directorate (that charged with the personal protection of the Ceausescus).  An article from March 1990 appended below has a senior arms specialist discussing his being summoned during these days to the zone around the CC building (where the Vth Directorate building was located), where he verified that “soft-nosed” bullets (known colloquially as “dum-dum”) were discovered (he then goes into detail about their properties).  Discussion in the videotape about the box in which the bullets were discovered, as well as the comments of the arms specialist, suggest these were Kynoch-Magnum “soft-nosed” bullets—described in the article as “cartridges for [hunting] elephants.”

Video No. 4:  Brasov, Morgue, Atypical (“Vidia”) Bullets

Video 4 comes from part 7 of Maria Petrascu’s 2005 documentary film “Revolutionary Brasov” (Brasovul Revolutionar PARTEA 7 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9z4wLuma0Q).  It shows both the small, atypical, [“vidia”] bullets with which civilians and soldiers were killed, as well as an unidentified doctor speaking on 23 January 1990 in which he states that four of six soldiers he had looked at had been shot with great precision in the forehead with such bullets (film is also shown of their gruesome injuries).   Maria Petrascu has described elsewhere what she and her husband found on 29-30 December 1989 at the County Morgue:

Even the halls were filled with the dead, there were over 100.  They didn’t have any place to put them all, we walked through pools of blood, we saw the cadavers of children, young people, adults, shot in the forehead, in the heart, in the feet and abdomen with brains and intestines having exploded, nightmarish scenes that I shall never forget.  It was then that we decided we wouldn’t rest until we discovered who fired, because we had begun to understand that many of those killed had been shot by guns with infrared scopes, by some professionals.[44]

Those Who Have Told Us the Truth [45]

As opposed to the aforementioned Vladimir Belis, Pavel Corut, and Dan Voinea, all of whom who have strenuously and repeatedly denied the existence and use in December 1989 of atypical munitions of dum-dum bullets and vidia bullets, there exist those who have told us of the existence and use of these in December 1989.[46] They are essentially, for lack of a better term, former Securitate whistleblowers, who have admitted the Securitate’s role in providing the “terrorists” who caused so much destruction, mayhem, and loss of life in those days.

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 [dum-dum] 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” [emphasis added]—in other words, exploding or dum-dum bullets.[47]

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’.[48] [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.[49]

Those discussed as alternatively “commandos” or “professionals” appear to have been members of the so-called USLAC—Special Unit for Anti-terrorist and Commando Warfare.  In 1991, Dan Badea summarized former USLA Captain Marian Romanescu’s description of the USLAC as follows:

THE USLAC COMMANDOS:

Those who had and have knowledge about the existence and activities of the shock troops subordinated directly to Ceausescu remained quiet and continue to do so out of fear or out of calculation.  Much has been said about individuals in black jumpsuits, with tattoos on their left hand and chest, mercenary fanatics who acted at night, killing with precision and withdrawing when they were encircled to the underground tunnels of Bucharest.  Much was said, then nobody said anything, as if nothing had ever happened.

Traversing the [Securitate’s] Fifth Directorate and the USLA, the USLAC commandos were made up of individuals who ‘worked’ undercover at different posts.  Many were foreign students, doctoral students and thugs committed with heart and soul to the dictator.  Many were Arabs who knew with precision the nooks and crannies of Bucharest, Brasov and other towns in Romania.  For training these had at their disposal several underground centers of instruction:  one was in an area near Brasov, while another—it appears—was right under the former headquarters of the PCR CC [communist party central committee building], a shooting range that was—discovered by accident by several revolutionaries during the events of December .”[50]

We also know from Romanescu and a second source that USLA commander Gheorghe Ardeleanu (Bula Moise) addressed his troops as follows:

“On 25 December at around 8 pm, after the execution of the dictators, Colonel Ardeleanu gathered the unit’s members into an improvised room and said to them:

‘The Dictatorship has fallen!  The Unit’s members are in the service of the people.  The Romanian Communist Party [PCR] is not disbanding!  It is necessary for us to regroup in the democratic circles of the PCR—the inheritor of the noble ideas of the people of which we are a part!…Corpses were found, individuals with USLAC (Special Unit for Antiterrorist and Commando Warfare) identity cards and identifications with the 0620 stamp of the USLA, identity cards that they had no right to be in possession of when they were found…’  He instructed that the identity cards [of members of the unit] had to be turned in within 24 hours, at which time all of them would receive new ones with Defense Ministry markings.” [51] [52]

In other words, a cover-up of a now failed attempt at counter-revolution—having been cut short by the execution of the Ceausescus, the object of their struggle—had begun.  In the days and weeks that were to follow, the Securitate, including people such as the seemingly ubiquitous Colonel Ghircoias discussed in the opening of this article would go about recovering those “terrorists” who were unlucky enough to be captured, injured, or killed.  By 24 January 1990, the “terrorists” of the Romanian Counter-Revolution of December 1989, no longer existed, so-to-speak, and the chances for justice and truth about what had happened in December 1989 would never recover.[53]

THE REVOLUTION WAS TELEVISED. THE COUNTER-REVOLUTION WAS VIDEOTAPED.

Poet, essayist, and NPR contributor Andrei Codrescu memorably turned Gil Scott Heron’s famous social commentary—“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”—on  its head, saying that contrary to what Heron’s song had led them to expect …in Romania, the revolution was televised!  But if you read on or listen to Codrescu closely, it would be more accurate to say that he, like many Romanians and Romanianists, believes that what happened in December 1989 was a coup d’etat—he talks about the“staging of the revolution” and how the coup plotters “seized the means of projection”—and thus what he really seems to intend to say is that “the coup d’etat was televised.”[54]

On the other hand, Vladimir Tismaneanu is quoted as once having memorably said:  ”The VCR killed Ceausescu even before his execution…It was the most important factor in terms of creating a mass consciousness.”[55] It is an important and insightful observation about the power of technology and the challenges it poses to centralized control, especially of the totalitarian state.

Ceausescu’s image and control was damaged by the video-player—to say nothing of, by live television, with the infamous “mirror-shattering” moment of 21 December 1989.  However, as this paper has demonstrated, it is the video-recorder that has undone his final and unfortunately (ever)lasting “Christmas gift” to his Romanian subjects, and that has undone the lies of those—including certain past military prosecutors with roots in the communist era—bent on covering this up.

[1]For some of my previous publications on this topic, see Richard Andrew Hall:

Hall 2008 http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/romrevfordumdums042108tk.html,

Hall 2006 http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/Voineaswar091706.html,

Hall 2005 http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/checkmate040405.html,

Hall 2004 http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/doublespeak%20romania%203-2004.html,

Hall 2002 http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/romania%20securitate%205-2002.html,

Richard Andrew Hall, “Theories of Collective Action and Revolution:  Evidence from the Romanian Transition of December 1989,” Europe-Asia Studies 2000, no. 6 (September 2000).

Richard Andrew Hall, “The Uses of Absurdity:  The ‘Staged-War’ Theory and the Romanian Revolution of December 1989,” East European Politics and Societies vol 13, no. 3 (Fall 1999) (University of California Berkeley Press).

[2] For a good discussion of this in English, which explains how cremation practices were  at odds with Romanian burial traditions, see the article entitled “The Red Mask of Death:  The Evil Politics of Cremation in Romania 1989,” in the journal Mortality, no. 15 (1).

[3]For more information online, see, for example, http://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolae_Ghircoia%C5%9F, http://ro.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opera%C5%A3iunea_Trandafirul, http://www.romanialibera.ro/a51078/cine-a-organizat-furtul-cadavrelor-din-morga-spitalului-judetean.html, http://www.timisoara.com/newmioc/53.htm, http://www.timisoara.com/newmioc/67.htm. Even the 1994 SRI report admits that confusion surrounding the identity of those who were cremated stems from Ghircoias’ burning—after the flight of the Ceausescus on 22 December—of all relevant documents he had seized from the Timisoara county hospital http://www.ceausescu.org/ceausescu_texts/revolution/raportul_sri11.htm.  Thus, it seems appropriate to say Ghircoias’ job involved making things disappear…

[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.

[10]The hyperbolic and popular academic designation of the Ceausescu regime as Stalinist is not particularly helpful.  Totalitarian yes, Stalinist no.  Yes, Nicolae Ceausescu had a Stalinist-like personality cult, and yes he admired Stalin and his economic model, as he told interviewers as late as 1988, and we have been told ad nauseum since.  But this was also a strange regime, which as I have written elsewhere was almost characterized by a policy of “no public statues [of Ceausescu] and no (or at least as few as possible) public martyrs [inside or even outside the party]”—the first at odds with the ubiquity of Nicoale and Elena Ceausescus’ media presence, the second characterized by the “rotation of cadres” policy whereby senior party officials could never build a fiefdom and were sometimes banished to the provinces, but almost were never eliminated physically, and by Ceausescus’ general reluctance to “spoil” his carefully created “image” abroad by openly eliminating high-profile dissidents (one of the reasons Pastor Tokes was harassed and intimidated, but still alive in December 1989)  (see Richard Andrew Hall 2006, “Images of Hungarians and Romanians in Modern American Media and Popular Culture,” at http://homepage.mac.com/khallbobo/RichardHall/pubs/huroimages060207tk6.html). Ken Jowitt has characterized the organizational corruption and political routinization of the communist party as moving from the Stalinist era—whereby even being a high-level party official did not eliminate the fear or reality of imprisonment and death—to what he terms Khrushchev’s de facto maxim of “don’t kill the cadre” to Brezhnev’s of essentially “don’t fire the cadre” (see Ken Jowitt, New World Disorder:  The Leninist Extinction, especially pp. 233-234, and chapter 4 “Neotraditionalism,” p. 142).   The very fact that someone like Ion Iliescu could be around to seize power in December 1989 is fundamentally at odds with a Stalinist system:  being “purged” meant that he fulfilled secondary roles in secondary places, Iasi, Timisoara, the Water Works, a Technical Editing House, but “purged” did not threaten and put an end to his existence, as it did for a Kirov, Bukharin, and sadly a cast of millions of poor public souls caught up in the ideological maelstorm.  Charles King wrote in 2007 that “the Ceausescu era was the continuation of Stalinism by other means, substituting the insinuation of terror for its cruder variants and combining calculated cooptation with vicious attacks on any social actors who might represent a potential threat to the state” (Charles King, “Remembering Romanian Communism,” Slavic Review, vol. 66, no. 4 (Winter 2007), p. 720).  But at a certain point, a sufficient difference in quantity and quality—in this case, of life, fear, imprisonment, and death—translates into a difference of regime-type, and we are left with unhelpful hyperbole.  The level of fear to one’s personal existence in Ceausescu’s Romania—both inside and outside the party-state—simply was not credibly comparable to Stalin’s Soviet Union, or for that matter, even Dej’s Romania of the 1950s.  In the end, Ceausescu’s Romania was “Stalinist in form [personality cult, emphasis on heavy industry], but Brezhnevian in content [“don’t fire the cadres”…merely rotate them…privileges, not prison sentences for the nomenklatura].”

[11] For a recent discussion of the “diffusion” or “demonstration” effect and regime change, see, for example, Valerie Bunce and Sharon Wolchik, “International Diffusion and Postcommunist Electoral Revolutions,”

Communist and Postcommunist Studies, vol. 39, no. 3 (September 2006), pp. 283­304.

[12] For more discussion, see Hall 2000.

[13]For discussion of the term see Michael Shafir, Romania:  Politics, Economics, and Society (Boulder, 1985).

[14]For discussion of the term see Ken  Jowitt, New World Disorder (University of California Berkely Press, 1992).

[15] For earlier discussions of this topic from a theoretical perspective , see, for example, Peter Siani-Davies, “Romanian Revolution of Coup d’etat?” Communist and Post-Communist Studies, vol. 29, no. 4 (December 1996), pp. 453-465; Stephen D. Roper, “The Romanian Revolution from a Theoretical Perspective,” Communist and Post-Communist Studies, vol. 27, no. 4 (December 1994), pp. 401-410; and Peter Siani-Davies, The Romanian Revolution of December 1989, (Ithaca, NY:  Cornell University Press, 2005), pp. 1-52 ff, but especially (chapter 7) pp. 267-286.  For a recent effort to deal with this question more broadly, see Timothy Garton Ash, “Velvet Revolution:  The Prospects, The New York Review of Books, Volume 56, Number 19 (December 3, 2009) at http://www.nybooks.com/articles/23437. For a good comparison and analysis of public opinion polling performed in 2009 and 1999 about classifying what happened in December 1989, see Catalin Augustin Stoica in http://www.jurnalul.ro/stire-special/a-fost-revolutie-sau-lovitura-de-stat-527645.html.

[16] http://ro.wikisource.org/wiki/Conu_Leonida_fa%C5%A3%C4%83_cu_reac%C5%A3iunea

[17] Entry from forum at http://www.gds.ro/Opinii/2007-12-20/Revolutia:+majoratul+rusinii!

[18]This is a point that was first made credibly by Michael Shafir in Michael Shafir, “Preparing for the Future by Revising the Past,” Radio Free Europe Report on Eastern Europe, vol. 1, no. 41 (12 October 1990).  It becomes all the clearer, however, when we consider that the XIV PCR Congress from 20-24 November 1989 went off without the slightest attempt at dissidence within the congress hall—a potential opportunity thereby missed—and that the plotters failed to act during what would have seemed like the golden moment to put an end to the “Golden Era,” the almost 48 hours that Nicolae Ceausescu was out of the country in Iran between 18 and 20 December 1989, after regime forces had already been placed in the position of confronting peaceful demonstrators and after they opened fire in Timisoara.  In other words, an anti-regime revolt was underway, and had the coup been so minutely prepared as critics allege, this would have been the perfect time to seize power, cut off the further anti-system evolution of protests, exile Ceausescu from the country, and cloak themselves in the legitimacy of a popular revolt.  What is significant is that the plotters did not act at this moment.  It took the almost complete collapse of state authority on the morning of 22 December 1989 for them to enter into action.  This is also why characterizations of the Front as the ‘counterstrike of the party-state bureaucracy’ or the like is only so much partisan rubbish, since far from being premised as something in the event of a popular revolt or as a way to counter an uprising, the plotters had assumed—erroneously as it turned out—that Romanian society would not rise up against the dictator, and thus that only they could or had to act.  It is true, however, that once having consolidated power, the plotters did try to slow, redirect, and even stifle the forward momentum of the revolution, and that the revolutionary push from below after December 1989 pushed them into reforms and measures opening politics and economics to competition that they probably would not have initiated on their own.

[19] I remain impressed here by something Linz and Stepan highlighted in 1996:  according to a Radio Free Europe study, as of June 1989 Bulgaria had thirteen independent organizations, all of which had leaders whose names were publicly known, whereas in Romania there were only two independent organizations with bases inside the country, neither of which had publicly known leaders (Juan J. Linz and Alfred Stepan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe, (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), p. 352).  For more discussion of this and related issues, see Hall 2000.

[20] The presidency was also an unelected communist holdover position until fall 1990.  See Linz and Stepan, Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation: Southern Europe, South America, and Post-Communist Europe, pp. 267-274.

[21] For a discussion of the roots and origins of these terms, see Matei Calinescu and Vladimir Tismaneanu, “The 1989 Revolution and Romania’s Future,” Problems of Communism, vol. XL no. 1-2 (January-April 1991), p. 52, especially footnote no. 38.

[22] Stephen Kotkin associates the concept, accurately if incompletely, with Tom Gallagher and Vladimir Tismaneanu in Stephen Kotkin, Uncivil Society:  1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment (Modern Library Chronicles, 2009), pp. 147-148 n. 1.  Similar concepts have taken other names, such as “operetta war” (proposed but not necessarily accepted) by Nestor Ratesh, Romania:  The Entangled Revolution (Praeger, 1991) or “staging of [the] revolution” [advocated] by Andrei Codrescu, The Hole in the Flag (Morrow and Company, 1991).  Dumitru Mazilu’s 1991 book in Romanian was entitled precisely “The Stolen Revolution” [Revolutia Furata].  Charles King stated in 2007 that the CPADCR Report “repeats the common view (at least among western academics) of the revolution as being hijacked,” a term essentially equating to “stolen revolution,” but as Tismaneanu headed the commission and large sections of the Report’s chapter on December 1989 use previous writings by him (albeit without citing where they came from), it is hard to somehow treat the Report’s findings as independent of Tismaneanu’s identical view (for an earlier discussion of all this, see Hall 2008)

[23] Mioc does not talk a great deal about his personal story:  here is one of those few examples, http://www.timisoara.com/newmioc/5.htm.

[24] Quoted from http://mariusmioc.wordpress.com/2009/09/29/o-diferentiere-necesara-comunisti-si-criminali-comunisti/#more-4973

[25]Peter Siani-Davies, The Romanian Revolution of December 1989, (Ithaca, NY:  Cornell University Press, 2005), p. 286.

[26] The origin of this phrase is apparently ascribed to the astronomer and scientist Carl Sagan, and only later became a favorite of former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

[27] Radu Ciobotea, “Spitalul groazei nu are amintiri,” Flacara, nr. 19 (8 mai 1991), p. 4.

[28] See the sources listed in endnote 59, Hall 2006.

[29] http://romuluscristea.wordpress.com/2009/04/21/cautari-dupa-20-de-ani/#more-2603 It would be interesting to say the least to know who the second prosecutor was, although I have my suspicions as to who it could have been.

[30] Mircea Florin Sandru, “Brasov:  Intrebari care asteapta raspuns (II),” Tineretul Liber, 17 ianuarie 1990, p. 1, p. III-a).

[31] I discussed all of this in detail, including a partial English translation of the article, in Hall 2008.

[32] http://www.portalulrevolutiei.ro/forum/index.php?topic=1.msg214 Reply #131.

[33] http://1989.jurnalul.ro/stire-special/baiete-ai-avut-zile-526579.html.

[34] 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.

[35] 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.  Cited in Hall, 2008.

[36] Rasvan Popescu, “Patru gloante dintr-o tragedie,” Expres, nr. 32 (81) 13-19 August 1991, p. 10 (?).

[37] 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.

[38] 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.

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

[40] 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.

[41] 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….”

[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/

[43] See, especially Hall 1999 and Hall 2002 for a discussion.

[44] Reproduced at http://www.portalulrevolutiei.ro/forum/index.php?topic=1.msg214.

[45] This section borrows heavily from Hall 2008 and Hall 2006.

[46] In addition to these videos, I have thus far accumulated 45 mentions/claims of use of dum-dum and/or vidia bullets in December 1989.  These include the testimonies of doctors who treated the wounded, but also military officers—not just recruits—who are familiar with ballistics.  Separately, I also have accumulated 36 mentions/claims of people who were either killed or wounded by such atypical munitions during the events.  Significantly, these include people killed or wounded prior to 22 December 1989 as well as after, and they are from multiple cities and a variety of locations for both periods—suggesting not accident, but a well-executed plan by the repressive forces of the Ceausescu regime, the Securitate and their foreign mercenary allies.  See Hall 2008 for some of these.

[47] 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.

[48] “Dezvaluiri despre implicarea USLA in evenimentele din decembrie ’89,” Romania Libera, 28 December 1994, p.3.

[49] 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 .

[50] Captain Marian Romanescu, with Dan Badea, “USLA, Bula Moise, teroristii si ‘Fratii Musulmani’,” Expres (2-8 July 1991), pp. 8-9.

[51] Captain Marian Romanescu, with Dan Badea, “USLA, Bula Moise, teroristii si ‘Fratii Musulmani’,” Expres (2-8 July 1991), pp. 8-9.

[52] What evidence do we have that the “USLAC”—a reference attributed to Ardeleanu, discussed by Romanescu, and alluded to by Vasilevici (“commandos,” he specified the involvement of Arabs in his book) and the anonymous recruit (the “professionals in black camouflage”)—in fact existed?  To me, the most convincing evidence comes from the comments of Dr. Sergiu Tanasescu, the medical trainer of the Rapid Bucharest soccer team, who was directly involved in the fighting at the Central Committee building.  One has to realize that until his comments in March 1990, the very acronym “USLAC” and its extension does not appear to have appeared in the Romanian media—and has very rarely appeared since.  Here is what he said:

Ion K. Ion (reporter at the weekly Cuvintul):  The idea that there were foreign terrorists has been circulating in the press.

Sergiu Tanasescu (trainer for the Bucharest Rapid soccer club):  I ask that you be so kind as to not ask me about the problem because it is a historical issue.  Are we in agreement?

I.I.:  O.K.

Tanasescu:  I caught a terrorist myself, with my own hands.  He was 26 years old and had two ID cards, one of a student in the fourth year of Law School, and another one of Directorate V-a U.S.L.A.C. Special Unit for Antiterrorist and Commando Warfare [emphasis added].  He was drugged.  I found on him a type of chocolate, “Pasuma” and “Gripha” brands.  It was an extraordinarily powerful drug that gave a state of euphoria encouraging aggression and destruction, and an ability to go without sleep for ten days.  He had a supersophisticated weapon, with nightsights [i.e. lunetisti], with a system for long-distance sound…

Ion K. Ion:  What happened to those terrorists who were caught?

S.T.:  We surrendered them to organs of the military prosecutor.  We caught many in the first days, their identity being confirmed by many, by Colonel Octavian Nae [Dir. V-a], Constantin Dinescu (Mircea’s uncle), [Army Chief of Staff, General] Guse, but especially by [Securitate Director] Vlad who shouted at those caught why they didn’t listen to his order to surrender, they would pretend to be innocent, but the gun barrels of their weapons were still warm from their exploits.  After they would undergo this summary interrogation, most of them were released.

I.I.:  Why?

S.T.:  Because that’s what Vlad ordered.  On 22 December we caught a Securitate major who was disarmed and let go, only to capture him again the next day, when we took his weapon and ammo and again Vlad vouched for him, only to capture him on the third day yet again.  We got annoyed and then arrested all of them, including Vlad and Colonel Nae, especially after a girl of ours on the first basement floor where the heating system is located found him transmitting I don’t know what on a walkie-talkie.

I.I.:  When and how were the bunkers discovered?

S.T.:  Pretty late in the game, in any case only after 24 December.  Some by accident, most thanks to two individuals [with a dog].

Sergiu Tanasescu, interview by Ion K. Ion, “Dinca si Postelnicu au fost prinsi de pantera roz!” Cuvintul, no. 8-9, 28 March 1990, 15.  From Hall, 2006.

[53] For some of the discussion of how the problem was made to “go away,” see Hall 2006 and the section “Foreign Involvement.”

[54] Andrei Codrescu, The Hole in the Flag (Morrow and Company, 1991).  For a discussion of this Codrescu’s sources and arguments, including his allegations of a Yalta-Malta conspiracy, see Hall 2005.

[55] Quoted in Alexander Stille, “Cameras Shoot Where Uzis Can’t,” New York Times, 20 September 20 2003, available at http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/20/arts/cameras-shoot-where-uzis-can-t.html.

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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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“ORWELLIAN…POSITIVELY ORWELLIAN:” PROSECUTOR VOINEA’S CAMPAIGN TO SANITIZE THE ROMANIAN REVOLUTION OF DECEMBER 1989 (Part 10, The Drumbeat of the Myth of the “Heroic” Prosecutor Voinea Grows Nearer)

Posted by romanianrevolutionofdecember1989 on October 6, 2010


“ORWELLIAN…POSITIVELY ORWELLIAN:”

PROSECUTOR VOINEA’S CAMPAIGN TO SANITIZE

THE ROMANIAN REVOLUTION OF DECEMBER 1989

by Richard Andrew Hall

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.

This paper MAY be cited when accompanied by a full, proper citation.  Thank you.


The Drumbeat of the Myth of the “Heroic” Prosecutor Voinea Grows Nearer

The construction of Prosecutor Dan Voinea’s “heroic” image—better yet, myth[175]—is well under way.  No doubt, the story will be ineluctable for the international press (already in June 2006 Le Monde ran an article of the kind)[176] once Voinea “finalizes” the files of the Revolution, perhaps this December, in time for the 17th anniversary of the events (fittingly, a decade since the anti-Iliescu opposition first came to power).  And it undeniably makes for a great story:  the man who was one of the tribunal that sentenced Ceausescu to death “admits to having been duped,” he has since committed himself to a one-man struggle for the “truth”…and finally it is being realized.  Romania’s long nightmare, as Voinea has referred to it, will finally be over. [177]

Or will it?

Even if Voinea were getting things right, it is true the second-guessing, questioning, and reconsideration would continue.  That is simply the nature of human events, especially contentious key historical moments in a modern media age.  But I believe the accumulation through the years of so much convincing countervailing evidence, the continued telling and retelling by participants of accounts that don’t square with Voinea’s forced conclusions—despite the deaf ear much of the Romanian media has shown toward them—and Voinea’s ties to the Ceausescu regime (a military prosecutor since 1982) and his presence and role at the trial of the Ceausescus, will provide more impetus for reinterpretation and challenges to Voinea’s conclusions than a typical historical event does.

At the same time, the “group think” among Romanian journalists and intellectuals that has prevailed on the question of the “terrorists” for so long and the conviction and certainty of so many of them—captured so well in Stejarel Olaru’s wish expressed to Voinea in his open letter quoted earlier:  “…on 17 December 2006 I can enjoy for the rest of my long life that I could see two defendants in the box and not just one:  Nicolae Ceausescu and Ion Iliescu”—will continue to prevent acceptance and serious presentation and discussion of any evidence that does not incriminate Iliescu and other senior Front officials of the time.

So the next stage in this—and one cannot be clear how long this will take or how strong it will be—is likely the argument that the “terrorists” did in fact exist, and that Voinea’s decision to argue otherwise is designed to protect Iliescu and his comrades from even greater embarrassment and punishment.[178] True, that will still leave us a fair distance from what happened, but at least it will bring us a step to closer to admitting the “terrorists” existence and revealing their affiliation with the Securitate.  Small steps are probably the best we can hope for, given the present starting point.

Until then the “terrorists” will remain only a hallucination.  For that feat, the only appropriate response to Prosecutor Voinea and his promoters and embracers at home and abroad is aplauze indelungate.[179]

[175] The terminology of “myth” has been used (and arguably abused) in connection with December 1989, almost from the beginning.  In English, Michael Shafir (1990 in Radio Free Europe Research) and Dennis Deletant (1994 in the Slavonic and East European Review) used it prominently.  Vladimir Tismaneanu’s excellent exegesis about mythological or “magical” thinking in post-communist Romania and the former Eastern Europe is even entitled Fantasies of Salvation—a play on words undoubtedly meant to conjure up and inspired by Iliescu and Co.’s “National Salvation Front”…(all-too-conveniently, of course, those who believe in and advocate myths, according to Tismaneanu, are the opponents and competitors of liberal democratic intellectuals such as Tismaneanu).   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).

[176] See Paul Mirel Bran, “Le parquet militaire promet un ‘rapport explosif’ sur les dessous de la revolution,” Le Monde, 18 May 2006, online edition.

[177] I suspect that as the Voinea myth grows and even garners some minimal international press coverage (a possible precursor can be seen in Le Monde June 2006), glib Romanian émigré academics in North America who have dabbled in the Revolution will be tempted to add their voices to the chorus.  We have an idea of what they might say.  Well-known writer and National Public Radio commentator Andrei Codrescu wrote last year:

“The new President (1996-2000)[Emil Constantinescu] did all he could to stop the thieves and tried also to bring to justice the murderers who created the fake revolution of 1989 in Romania, an event during which more than a thousand people were assassinated at random to give the world the illusion that an actual revolution was taking place. This is a long and sordid story, told in many books, including one by me [The Hole in the Flag], and unresolved to this day. The new President jailed some of the killers (most of them escaped) but none of them did any time when he was voted out of office and the bad old guy came back.”

(Andrei Codrescu, “Humor and Responsibility,” Jewish World Review 26 May 2005 at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0505/codrescu052305.php3 and in The Penny Post Downtown Express Volume 18, Number 1 ( MAY 27 —JUNE 2, 2005) at http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_107/thepennypost.html.

Vladimir Tismaneanu wrote with Peter Gross in the Journal of Democracy in April 2005:

“Many Romanians now hope that the truth about the postcommunist leadership and its policies and actions will be revealed…They expect that there will finally be a dignified and responsible effort to examine the nation’s true communist and postcommunist histories, including the still unresolved questions regarding the December 1989 revolution…[such as] the secret military tribunal, and Ceausescu’s execution.  Who was shooting at the crowds?  Who and what drove the evolution of events?  Was this a series of premeditated events and if so, who was responsible?” (p. 150; emphases added).

If Tismaneanu’s loaded and leading questions aren’t enough to telegraph his understanding of the “truth,” then his approval of Siani-Davies’ grasp of “the myths and realities” of the Revolution and his pronouncement of Andrei Codrescu’s The Hole in the Flag as “impeccably accurate [!!!  …such a characterization speaks volumes]” (Jurnalul National, February 2005) should add clarity.

In Prosecutor Voinea’s conclusions Codrescu and Tismaneanu will no doubt find the discovery of the “truth” for which they have so long been waiting.

[178] The title of a recent article perhaps captures what it might look like:  “Everyone is ‘happy’:  The Revolution had no terrorists, while no one is guilty for the mineriada [of June 1990],” see “Toata lumea –I ‘multumita’:  La Revolutie n-au fost teroristi, iar pentru mineriada nu sunt vinovati,” Cronica Romana, 13 June 2006, online edition.

[179] The “prolonged applause” of a bygone era.

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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

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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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