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Ion Mihai Pacepa
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Ion Mihai Pacepa

Ion Mihai Pacepa (; born 28 October 1928 in Bucharest, Romania) is the highest-ranking intelligence official ever to have defected from the former Eastern Bloc. He is now a United States citizen, a writer, and a columnist.

During July 1978, Pacepa was a three-star Romanian Securitate general who simultaneously had the rank of advisor to President Nicolae Ceau escu, acting chief of his foreign intelligence service and a state secretary of Romania s Ministry of Interior. He defected to the United States after President James Carter's approval of his request for political asylum.

Subsequently, he worked with American intelligence in various operations against the former Eastern Bloc. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) described his cooperation as "an important and unique contribution to the United States".[1]



Pacepa studied industrial chemistry at the University Politehnica of Bucharest, but just months before graduation he was drafted by the Securitate, and got his engineering degree only four years later. Between 1957 and 1960 he served as chief of the Romanian intelligence station in West Germany, and, between 1972 and 1978, he was Ceau escu's adviser for national security and technological development and the deputy chief of the Romanian foreign intelligence service. He claims that during the 1960s he was involved with the establishment of a Romanian automobile industry.[2] Romanian army colonel Titus Simon who directed the military intelligence bureau in West Germany during Pacepa's stint there alleged in his book "Quo Vadis Pacepa" that during those years Pacepa had been recruited by American intelligence.

Pacepa defected during July 1978 by walking into the American Embassy in Bonn while in Germany, where he had been sent by Ceau escu with a message to Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. He was flown secretly to Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C., in a United States military airplane.

During September 1978, Pacepa received two death sentences from Communist Romania, and Ceau escu decreed a bounty of two million US dollars for his death. Yasser Arafat and Muammar al-Gaddafi set one more million dollars reward each.[3] During the 1980s, Romania s political police tasked Carlos the Jackal to assassinate Pacepa in America in exchange for one million dollars.[4] Carlos was unable to find Pacepa, but on February 21, 1980, he bombed a part of Radio Free Europe's headquarters in Munich, which was broadcasting news of Pacepa's defection.

On July 7, 1999, Romania s Supreme Court Decision No. 41/1999 canceled Pacepa s death sentences and ordered that his properties, confiscated by Ceau escu's orders, be returned to him. Romania's government refused to comply. During December 2004, the new government of Romania restored Pacepa s rank of general.

Writings and political views

Pacepa occasionally writes articles for The Wall Street Journal and various American conservative publications, such as National Review Online, The Washington Times, Internet conservative blog site PJ Media, and the online newspaper FrontPage Magazine. During 2010, for an article entitled "The Truth About Illegals", published by Pacepa in the conservative U.S. monthly magazine The American Spectator, he also included a unique recent photograph of himself.[5]

Red Horizons

During 1987, Pacepa published a book, Red Horizons: Chronicles of a Communist Spy Chief, which was serialized on Radio Free Europe, arousing "huge interest among Romanians". On December 25, 1989, during the last part of the Romanian Revolution, Ceau escu and his wife, Elena, were sentenced to death at the end of a trial where most of the accusations had been publicized by Red Horizons.[6]

The next day, the book began being serialized in the new official Romanian newspaper Adev rul, which published that the book had "played an incontestable role in overthrowing Ceau escu" (according to the text on the back cover of the book s second edition, published during 1990). Red Horizons was subsequently republished in 27 countries, and is still in print.

During 1993, Pacepa published The Kremlin's Legacy, in which he tried to wean his native country away from its continued dependency on a Communist-style police state. During 1999, he authored the trilogy The Black Book of the Securitate, which has become a bestseller in Romania.[7]

Alleged assassinations by the KGB

In a 2006 article, Pacepa describes a conversation he had with Nicolae Ceau escu, who told him about "ten international leaders the Kremlin killed or tried to kill": L szl Rajk and Imre Nagy from Hungary; Lucre iu P tr canu and Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej from Romania; Rudolf Sl nsk and Jan Masaryk from Czechoslovakia; Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran; Palmiro Togliatti from Italy; US President John F. Kennedy; and CCP Chairman Mao Zedong. Pacepa provides some additional details, such as an alleged plot to kill Mao Zedong with the help of Lin Biao organized by the KGB.[6]

Pacepa said that "among the leaders of Moscow's satellite intelligence services there was unanimous agreement that the KGB had been involved in the assassination of President Kennedy", and that KGB fingerprints are all over Lee Harvey Oswald and his killer Jack Ruby.[6][8] Pacepa has since had a book published on the topic, "Programmed to Kill: Lee Harvey Oswald, the Soviet KGB, and the Kennedy Assassination," in which he asserts that Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev ordered Kennedy's assassination. Khrushchev is said to have annulled the plan, but Soviet agents were unable to reach Oswald before Khrushchev's annullment order could be executed.

According to author Joseph Goulden in The Washington Times, Pacepa's belated account "rests rather flimsily on circumstantial evidence and supposition."[9] In a review of Pacepa's book published in Human Events, Michael Ledeen, former adviser for terrorism to President Reagan, writes: "A new book from General Ion Mihai Pacepa is cause for celebration, because he is among a tiny handful of people who know a lot about the intelligence services of the Soviet Empire, and because he writes about it with rare lucidity, always with an eye to helping us understand our world. His first book, 'Red Horizons,'is indubitably the most brilliant portrait of a Communist regime I've ever read. 'Programmed to Kill' is equally fascinating. Pacepa painstakingly takes us through the documentary evidence, including invaluable material on Soviet bloc cyphers that throws new light on Oswald's letters to KGB officers in Washington and Mexico City. No novelist could have written a more exciting story, made all the more compelling because of Pacepa's first-hand involvement in the Russians' efforts to hide their Oswald connection."

Alleged Soviet role in Palestinian and Islamic terrorism

In a 2006 article written during the Second Lebanon War, Pacepa says the Soviet Union spread anti-Semitic propaganda across the Middle East to increase hatred for the Jews, and by extension Israel and America. Pacepa writes that Soviet propagandists described America as a "Jewish fiefdom" and spread the idea that Israel planned to make the Islamic Middle East into a "Jewish colony." Furthermore, he describes Russia's alleged role in propagating and funding terrorist groups[10]

Alleged Soviet campaign against the Vatican

Pacepa alleged that the Soviet Union tried to discredit the Papacy. In a 2007 article, he stated "In my other life, when I was at the center of Moscow's foreign-intelligence wars, I myself was caught up in a deliberate Kremlin effort to smear the Vatican, by portraying Pope Pius XII as a coldhearted Nazi sympathizer."[11]

Iraq & WMD

Ion Mihai Pacepa has supported United States military action to disarm Iraq. In opposition, large anti-war demonstrations were held in cities across the world. Pacepa contends that these protests were contrived and "anti-American", which Russia assisted.[12] Pacepa wrote during October 2003 that it was "perfectly obvious to me" that the Russian GRU agency helped Saddam Hussein to destroy, hide, or transfer his chemical weapons prior to the American invasion of Iraq during 2003.[13] To this end, he claims that an operation for the removal of chemical weapons ("Operation Sarindar") was prepared by the Soviet Union for Libya, and that such a plan existed and was implemented in Iraq.[13] Subsequently, the Iraq Survey Group did not find any significant holdings of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that were present in the country decades earlier. It issued its findings in the Duelfer report during September 2004.

Published books

  • Red Horizons: Chronicles of a Communist Spy Chief, 1987. ISBN 0-89526-570-2
  • Red Horizons: the 2nd Book. The True Story of Nicolae and Elena Ceau escu's Crimes, Lifestyle, and Corruption, 1990. ISBN 0-89526-746-2
  • The Kremlin Legacy, 1993
  • Cartea neagr a Securit ii, Editura Omega, Bucharest, 1999. ISBN 973-98745-4-1
  • Programmed to Kill: Lee Harvey Oswald, the Soviet KGB, and the Kennedy Assassination, 2007. ISBN 978-1-56663-761-9

Selected articles

See also


External links

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