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December 21, 2016
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June 13, 2008
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December 27, 1982
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PDF icon CIA-RDP91B00135R000701270039-4.pdf110.7 KB
11 `~ Approved For Release 2008/06/13: CIA-RDP91 B001 35R000701270039-4 AP.TxCL$ Ari'? 27 DECKER 1982 ?:i T'A,GE WASHINGTON - On Nov. 9, the day before Leonid Brezhnev died, Ital- ian Interior Minister Virginio Rognoni ESSAY this story? Why are we setting our- selves standards of proof that the Soviet bloc will make impossible to meet? One reason is humanly institution- al: most spooks, after the C.I.A.'s flat t rock was flipped over in the post- Watergate era, don't want anybody to think that assassination is part of any nation's "dirty tricks." and so they come to the defense of the K.G.B. in grand le Carre fashion, hinting that the evidence is part of an anti-Andro- pov plot. (An exception is former Di- d hief tLion from the and a s vi c ce- V o l.ll Ha.. V e chief of of station in Rome and a stonier from the U.S., Senate Intelligence Committee. The Americans wanted to know about the Bulgarian connection AT to the shooting of the Pope. 1 Mr. Rognoni explained that All - - Agca, the Turkish gunman, had been ? informed a few months before that Italy could not afford the cost of keep--' ~i ' him in solitary. confinement much' longer. To )Ar. Agca, that meant he would be transferred to an ordinary By William Satire prison and would promptly be mur- dered. That induced him to talk about the Bulgarian Government?officials could be garnered on a covert. Opera- Whohued him to kill the Pope. tion. Nobodwould Yuri Ae forward orwv on "What proof do you have?" asked with a fingerprint the C.IA man. - the gut,, but it was certain that no such The man in charge of Italy's inter-. mission could be undertaken without nal security laid out the facts: that the. the permission of the! K.G.B., then gunman was a cold-blooded killer for beaded by Mr. Andropov. hire, and not a fanatic or ideologue; According to one report of the meet- that be was able to pass into Bulgaria ing, the C.I.A. representative contin- easily on an Indian passport-and take. ued to view with distaste the conclu- up residence in a first-class hotel, sions being reached by the Italian in- which requires secret service knowl- vestigators. Meanwhile, in other capi- edge; that he entered penniless and tals -- and in Washington - .middle-carne out with $ 0.000 from what is level C.I.A, men with journalistic con- hardly a land of opportunity; that he tacts have been pooh-poohing the was able to describe accurately the story. In Rome, U.S. foreign service living quarters of the Bulgarian offi- officers have been telling Italian dip- cia's who were his controls and con- lomats that the investigation is an in- !acts; ant that a flurry of electronic.. ternational embarrassment- carsmunication came out of the Bul- Thus, the Italian Government found. garan Embassy ? Past before the. at. - itself pursuing a case that caused it to tack on the Pope, similar to the ac- strain relations with a Communist tivity that took place before an Ameri- neighbor and profoundly offend the csngeneral wasabducted. - new Soviet leader without the.moral The C.IA man waved that. all .: support of the government of the aside. "You have no proof,,, he said, -United States. The lackadaisical atti- and did his best to convey to the Ital- tude of most of the U.S. press on this ian Government a high degree of skep- subject throughout the early winter- especia 1v after the man who had to rector of Central Intelhgence cud an Helms, who was pointing a finger at this "classic intelligence operation" from the start.) Another reason has to do with the workings of the American press: where does a story of such magnitude', come off being broken in the Readers' -: Digest, and developed in detail by NBC, a mere television network? Such a story needs establishment le- gitimacy; only. a major newspaper can properly provide that. , Then there is the boggiement fac- tor: the story.of the spymaster who gave the order to kill the Pope and thereby saved Poland from Solidarity and rose to the top in the Kremlin - that's a large lump of information to digest. Evil so audacious is unbeliev- able. The central reason for the shameful - reluctance to urge. the Italians on is political: we have to deal with this man Andropov, say our doves, and if the chain of circumstance is drawn too tight we might not be able to trust the Soviets on arms control. That fear -61 not being able to bring back detente motivates most of those who wish this awful trail of circum- stance would vanish. We know enough; they do not want to )wow any ricisrn from the American Govern- have at least guilty knowledge of the more. meat plot was elevated to the top post in the - That is why, -after facts are pre. "What proof do you want?" asked Kremlin - was seen by Italians as. seated which compel common sense Mr. P.ognaad The circumstantial evi- further evidence that the U.S. wanted to lay the crime at the Kremlin door, dente already presented, along with we will bear the faceless, oftic sls some more that the gunman was ea- the investigation shut down. " roof." best that Wiry do we require tongs to touch complain, younave nop petted to reveal, was the _ ?:,:; -- ?- -. ? ... --.: r .. - _ . .... . , .. ? - : _ . Approved For Release 2008/06/13: CIA-RDP91 B001 35R000701270039-4 IF