I just finished reading Chekisty: A History of the KGB by John J. Dziak. The book was written in 1988, not long before the fall of the Soviet Empire, so it did not have the benefit of the KGB archives which were briefly opened up to researchers a few years later.
Even so, it is a comprehensive and well-researched look into the heart of the Bolshevik imperium. The author carefully sifted the various accounts by refugees and defectors, and combined them with publicly-available intelligence findings to track the development of Soviet state security.
The formidable repressive apparatus had its inception with the Cheka in 1917, mutated successively into the OGPU, the MGB, the NKVD, and all the other shifting acronyms in the alphabet soup of the Soviet bureaucracy, to reach its final form in the late 1950s as the fully mature intelligence and counterintelligence entity known as the KGB.
Dr. Dziak’s thesis is that the Soviet Union was the most sophisticated and completely realized form of what he calls the “counterintelligence state”:
I propose that the twentieth century offers some unique examples of intelligence and security systems that themselves seem to be the impelling drive of the political system they appear to serve. Put another way, certain political systems display an overarching concern with “enemies,” both internal and external. Security and the extirpation of real or presumed threats become the premier enterprises of such systems — and are among the few state enterprises that work with a modicum of efficiency and success. The fixation with enemies and threats to the security of the state involves a very heavy internal commitment of state resources. Further, this fixation demands the creation of a state security service that penetrates and permeates all societal institutions (including the military), but not necessarily the claimant to monopoly power, usually a self-proclaimed “revolutionary” party. This security service is the principal guardian of the party; the two together constitute a permanent counterintelligence enterprise to which all other major political, social, and economic questions are subordinated. Indeed, the commonweal is not the principal objective of such an amalgam of ensconced power and security screen; self-perpetuation is. I would label such a system the counterintelligence state. In such a system foreign activities are an external variant of this security imperative. Hence, foreign intelligence in some respects takes on the dimensions of external counterintelligence. The security service and foreign intelligence tend to be the same organ of the state.
Clearly, the Soviet Union throughout its history, and various of the surrogates and satellites it has spawned, fit this label. Western security and foreign intelligence services are poor models for analyzing these counterintelligence states. [emphasis added]
To create the counterintelligence state, the Bolsheviks drew on the methods of the Tsarist secret police — with which they were intimately familiar, since many of them had been agents or double agents for the Okhrana — and expanded them by at least two orders of magnitude in building the Cheka, the OGPU, and the NKVD. By the time the security services were fully staffed in the 1930s, they comprised hundreds of thousands of agents, officers, troops, and bureaucrats. They were a state within a state, and their mission was to secure the Bolshevik coup by exercising total control within the Soviet empire, all the while sowing confusion, conflict, destabilization, and revolution abroad.
The Cheka was organized in December 1917 under the leadership of Felix Dzerzhinsky, Lenin’s trusted lieutenant. Dzerzhinsky shared Lenin’s single-mindedness and had the same casual, almost thoughtless attitude towards political violence and mass murder.
The Cheka appropriated every tactic utilized by the Okhrana and added many new ones of their own. In their brutality and ruthless efficiency they far exceeded the Tsar’s secret police, and they became an implacable engine that crushed dissent and rooted out any alternatives to the Party within the Soviet Union.
While it was consolidating Bolshevik rule internally, the counterintelligence state extended its activities to countries outside the Soviet Union. Initially focused on the Whites and the Russian émigrés, the scope of the Cheka rapidly extended to the rest of the West, using the Comintern as a front for espionage and direct action. A normal country would have been focused on its own interests, but the ideology of the Soviet Union required it to foment world revolution as well as protect the revolution at home. To that end Soviet state security infiltrated, suborned, bribed, blackmailed, and assassinated its enemies all over the world.
By the time they became the KGB, Moscow’s spymasters were the best in the world, shrewdly manipulating and interfering in the internal affairs of other countries to serve the ends of Socialism. Their expert deceptions repeatedly pulled the wool over the eyes of the Nazis and Western intelligence to great effect, especially during World War Two and the Cold War.
They were brutally effective behind enemy lines among the partisan movements, acting pre-emptively against potential opponents to Communism in operations such as the infamous massacre of 15,000 Polish army officers in the Katyn Forest in 1940. Wherever the Soviets went, the NKVD/KGB went with them, sabotaging and sowing confusion among the enemy and enforcing internal discipline at the point of a gun behind Soviet lines.
From our point of view, it was fortunate that the internal logic of the Communist system was doomed to destroy the economy of any country in which it took root. Otherwise, we might never have won.
The Soviet Union now resides in the dustbin of history, but the ideologies and methodologies it devised are with us still. The counterintelligence state left behind a legacy of subversive foreign counterintelligence that continued to operate even after the Socialist Fatherland collapsed.
Dr. Dziak lists ten principal classes of counterintelligence that were conducted abroad by the Soviet security services:
|5.||agent of influence (agent vliyaniya or agent po vliyaniyu)|
|6.||clandestine work (konspiratsiya)|
|8.||wet affairs (mokrye dela)|
|9.||direct action (aktivnyye akty)|
As I read through this list, I was caught up in a feeling of déjà vu: except for “wet affairs” and “direct action”, these techniques sounded remarkably similar to what was practiced against Counterjihad Brussels by the agitators who infiltrated the comments at LGF two years ago.
– – – – – – – – –
It was a classic KGB-style operation. Undercover agents from Sweden and Belgium dropped into the threads for a while, laid their depth charges, and then disappeared when the damage was done and their mission was accomplished. They knew precisely the best way — the use of “Nazi” and “racist” accusations — to divide and demoralize the anti-jihad forces.
A commenter like Dave from Sweden became in effect an agent of influence parachuted behind enemy lines. He and the others penetrated the lizardoids, fabricated evidence against Vlaams Belang and Sverigedemokraterna, engaged in provocation through their accusations, and used outright disinformation to do so. The entire operation was clandestine work — no way of knowing where any of these lizardoids came from and who they really were — that caused a diversion from the mission of the Counterjihad by igniting internecine warfare among allies who should have been in fundamental agreement with one another.
Pulling all of these off together was a “combination” counterintelligence operation, which means that the perpetrators used eight out of the ten classic techniques from the KGB playbook.
The resulting furor disrupted and fragmented the Counterjihad in the USA and temporarily damaged transatlantic relations within the movement. Not bad for a few days worth of commenting and planting easy-to-fabricate “evidence”.
The LGF penetration operation did not require the complicity of Charles Johnson, merely his credulity. The agents were very shrewd in their choice of target — most of the other major bloggers would never have retailed all their fabrications and disinformation without checking them carefully first. But the infiltrators knew their man — he was already hyper-alert for “neo-Nazis”, especially in Europe, and could be relied upon to take the bait without examining it very closely.
The big question remains: how co-ordinated were the actions of the operatives who carried out their mission at LGF? It’s not as if every plan is still hatched and controlled by Moscow. We know that the leftist groups in Europe are in general communication with one another, and mount simultaneous “anti-fascist” responses whenever right wing or anti-immigration groups hold public events. We also know that these bully-boys enjoy the tacit support of various European governments, especially those that are run by the Social Democrats.
But how much central control is there over EXPO, Yelloman, Blokwatch, UAF, and all the various Antifas and related groups? If they are not being run by controllers in Dzerzhinsky Square, then who is running them?
The same is true of all the Leftists in the United States. The influence of the KGB’s affiliates and front groups did not disappear when the Soviet Union fell; the former appendages simply became autonomous. The old Marxist ideology did not die, but metamorphosed into the new Green/Left alliance that has lately made common cause with Islam against the “imperialism” of Western Civilization.
It’s important to remember that many of the party hacks and corrupt “community organizers” swept into power with Barack Hussein Obama were tutored by the KGB’s front groups and agitprop shops in their youth. And I’m not just talking about the outright Communists like Bill Ayers and Van Jones. Anyone who came of age in a peace organization, or worked for a nuclear freeze, or agitated against coal power stations, or fought for prisoners’ rights — all of them were involved in KGB front groups. The KGB infiltrated every one of them, and funded most of them.
So even though KGB headquarters no longer hands down the orders, seven decades of indoctrination and infiltration have done their work well. True believers who want to deconstruct our society are now in pivotal positions throughout the government, and more are being inserted all the time.
International Socialism was discredited and abandoned in Russia, but it is alive and well in the Obama administration. The KGB’s tried-and-tested techniques — the selective leaks, the shunning of dissident elements, the politicization of the bureaucracy at all levels, the massed propaganda attack from separate sources at the same time, the “hope and change” initiatives mounted simultaneously in local governments, non-profits, and private corporations, etc., etc. — can be observed every day now in the United States.
Moscow is no longer leading it, but the World Revolution keeps chugging along without it.
Then there are the Muslims.
Many Islamist organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood, received funding and training from the KGB at one time or another. But even without Soviet help, Islam lends itself naturally to counterintelligence operations.
In fact, shorn of the nitty-gritty details of their traditions and scriptures, Communism and Islam are quite similar ideologies, or (dare I say it?) religions.
Each is millenarian, looking towards a future time when the triumph of the faithful will create an idyllic society on earth. Each believes that it has an overwhelming moral imperative to spread the faith until the entire world has been converted. Both faiths are parasitic upon wealth-creating societies. Both ideologies sanction any and all methods necessary to achieve their goals: lying, theft, torture, murder, sabotage, subversion, and anything else that might be required.
So it’s no surprise to see Islam acting like the KGB, infiltrating, provoking, bribing, extorting, and fomenting sedition wherever there are enough Muslims in a country to provide cover for such activities. The extent of the penetration of the U.S. government and armed forces is evidence enough that the Muslim Brotherhood is a shrewd and capable counterintelligence operation.
Like the post-Soviet Left, the Muslims are decentralized and require no orders from a command headquarters. Also like the Left, they are skilled at exploiting and widening existing divisions among their enemies. They’ve learned to play the race card, and the Holocaust card, and the multicultural card, all to great effect. They even invented a powerful new card of their own: the Islamophobia card.
The Demonic Convergence — the evil alliance between the far Left and the Islamists — has resulted in a potent counterintelligence entity which has proven extremely effective at confounding and castrating all opposition to it. Occasionally the two allies find themselves at cross-purposes, as exemplified by the recent conflict between Antifa and the “youths” of Malmö. Most of the time, however, Islam and Socialism march side by side, with each faction willing to postpone a final reckoning until Western Civilization has been completely destroyed.
I find myself wishing that the Counterjihad could mount its own counterintelligence operations within the enemy camp. Skilled operatives within Islamic society could exploit divisions between Sunni and Shiite or stir up the oppressed women of Saudi Arabia or Yemen. A well-placed dezinformatsiya operation that planted a credible rumor that Ayman al-Zawahri drinks alcohol would work wonders. Or perhaps a convincing report that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has Jewish ancestors…
Oh, wait — that last one has already been done.
Then there’s the Left. Suppose that documentation emerged at a crucial moment that “proved” a prominent Socialist politician had once privately denied global warming — the horror! Released during a European election campaign, such a diversion could be quite effective, potentially bringing down a Center-Left coalition government.
Perhaps our side is already engaged in such activities, but I see scant evidence of it. The anti-jihad Right is still largely disorganized, and is depressingly prone to suicidal infighting.
And the worst part of this war is yet to come. We haven’t even really begun to fight, and we are marching off to the front wearing lead boots, ready to do battle with both hands tied behind our backs.