November 1, 2005


Why the KGB went on a shopping spree: a review of The Mitrokhin Archive II by Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin (Alan Judd, 16/10/2005, Daily Telegraph)

Mitrokhin was passionate for truth; he wanted the Russian people and the world to know the truth about the oppression and deceit practised upon them by the organisation in which he had spent his working life. Essential to his agreement with MI6 was that the truths he had unearthed should not simply be transferred from one secret registry to another but that they should be published for all to see. Mitrokhin is now dead, but MI6 is keeping its bargain. [...]

The KGB had relations with many world leaders but it generally sought to enlist them as "confidential contacts" whom they could support and influence rather than recruit as agents. Relations with President Allende of Chile, for example, began in 1953 and were elevated to "systematic contact" after 1961. During his years of power meetings were often arranged through his favourite mistress, along with sex films and associated cavortings. On one occasion he was personally given $30,000 in order to "solidify trusted relations", on another $400 for "valuable information".

Relations with Castro were more troubled. To start with, he was an affluent landowner who took no interest in Communism until in power (although his brother Raul was more sympathetic). Then, having sided with the Soviet Union, he became embarrassingly supportive, comparing the election of President Reagan with that of Hitler and suggesting the redeployment of Soviet missiles to Cuba if US cruise missiles were sent to Europe. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the coup plotters against Gorbachev.

Meanwhile, KGB Active Measures campaigns flourished throughout the world's media, ranging from the widely-believed CIA-started-Aids story to the alleged kidnapping of Latin American children for US spare part surgery (a story taken up by the Jehovah's Witnesses).

There is much else in this well-written and often ironically amusing work, making it as great a credit to the scholarship of its author as to the dedication and courage of its originator.

Is there no lie about America so heinous that the media won't help spread it.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 1, 2005 11:09 PM

This article is garbage, and it conflicts with a large number of alternate accounts of Allende and the CIA coup that overthrew him.
We can find garbage on every leader. Ever wonder about what Bush did for about 20 years of his life?
I guess its just a coincidence that we every democratically supported leader in Latin American who has been deposed by the CIA has also been in favor of limiting the rape of their country by corrupted leaders (like say, Pinochet) and helping out the poor of their country in every way possible (like say, Chavez).
I would really like to see an honest discussion of Latin American political history with the United States, and see if you sick people can actually justify the policies of the last 100 years with what you claim to be liberal democratic capitalism, which translates south of the United States into death to all who oppose the aims of the propped up dictatorships.

Posted by: Phil at November 2, 2005 10:36 AM


Chile is the healthiest country in Latin America thanks to Pinochet.

Posted by: oj at November 2, 2005 11:33 AM

Amen to that - the healthiest in just about every way. My favorite Latin American country by far.

Posted by: Jason Johnson at November 2, 2005 11:54 AM

The problem with people's understanding of the Allende coup is that most of what is known is:

a) Allende was democratically elected.
b) Pinochet overthrew him.

That's all I remember from my high school history text.

What is not mentioned is that Allende was elected with a pluarlity, not a majority, and was allowed into power only after Chile's congress forced him to swear to defend the consitution; that Allende was destroying Chile's economy; that Allende was arming Marxist groups and undermining existing institutions; that the Chilean Congress repeatedly warned Allende to stop his activities and asked the military to defend the constitution.

The coup was the correct thing to do, and Pinochet saved Chile. The bloodletting was unnecessarily severe and could have been less, but these tragic things happen in war. Certainly worse horrors would have occured had Allende remained in power. Where Pinochet erred was in not allowing democracy to resume much earlier.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at November 2, 2005 12:28 PM

There's no point in engaging in argument with someone who thinks Chavez is "helping out the poor of his country in every way possible", unless he means Chavez is helping them out of prosperity.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at November 2, 2005 12:32 PM

Is there no lie about America so heinous that the media won't help spread it.

And the American Left won't fervently and uncritically believe, as Phil so amply demonstrates.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at November 2, 2005 12:42 PM

there was an article out a few months ago where it was revealed that it was allende's cuban advisors that actually shot him, because he was going to capitulate with pinochet.

chavez will help the poor of his country just like mugabe is helping the poor of his country -- straight into the grave. but at least they both hate america and that makes them tops in phil's book.

Posted by: Stalins Toe at November 2, 2005 1:27 PM