Rogue Agents - 1977-1980 - Election Fever
Rogue Agents: The Cercle and the 6I in the Private Cold War 1951 - 1991 is a book by David Teacher. It is reproduced here by permission of the author.
- 1 Rogue Agents - 1977-1980 - Election Fever
- 2 Notes
Rogue Agents - 1977-1980 - Election Fever
A shield for the Iron Lady
The late 1970s would be a period of intense activity for the London end of the Cercle complex. During this period, Crozier and his associates concentrated on two main projects: setting up Shield, the advisory group on subversion which personally counselled Margaret Thatcher, and the creation of an international private intelligence service which came to be known as the 6I (six-eye), misprinted in Crozier's memoirs as the "61".
As we have seen, Shield was created in March 1976 by the inner core of NAFF members: Crozier, Moss, McWhirter, Gouriet and Lord De l'Isle, all present at the March 1976 dinner with Margaret Thatcher. Crozier records:
- "Thereafter we had many meetings, either at the Thatchers' London home [...] or in her room in the House [of Commons]. Later they continued, usually at Chequers, but sometimes at Downing Street. Mostly we met alone. In the early days, however, I was often accompanied by a well-known (some would say notorious) ex-senior man in Britain's Secret Intelligence Service [MI6], Nicholas Elliott" (296).
Elliott was indeed notorious; the son of a former headmaster of Eton and an MI6 officer from 1939 to 1968, Elliott had been completely duped by the upper-class background of Kim Philby, as had been three other intelligence veterans who counted Philby amongst their closest friends, MI6's G. K. Young and the CIA's James Jesus Angleton and Miles Copeland.
Elliott together with Young was one of the "Robber Barons", MI6 hawks who preferred covert action to the more mundane activity of intelligence-gathering; Elliott had run MI6's London station during the disastrous and unauthorised 1956 'Buster' Crabb operation. When MI5's suspicions of Philby hardened in 1955, it was Elliott and Young who defended him and, without telling the CIA, put him back on the MI6 payroll, sending him to Beirut as a journalist for the Observer and the Economist. There, Elliott and Philby would soon meet again, remaining in frequent contact during Elliott's tour of duty as MI6 Lebanon station chief from 1960-62.
In January 1963, three months after Elliott's return to London, the suspicions about Philby could no longer be avoided but the Old Boys' network would still function; it was Elliott, Philby's most devoted friend, who was sent back to Beirut to confront him. Elliott's inept questioning alerted Philby to the imminent threat of arrest, precipitating his flight to the Soviet Union (297)*. As described in later chapters, Elliott would go on to play a key role not only in Shield, but also in the 6I, Crozier's international private intelligence service created in 1977.
As for Shield's structure, Crozier records that Shield's providers were made up of Crozier, former MI6 officers Elliott and Hastings, and Harry Sporborg, a Norwegian-born former Deputy Head of the wartime Special Operations Executive then working for Hambro's Bank; with Tennant and Amery, Sporborg was the third SOE veteran within the Cercle.
- "With the resources of the Institute for the Study of Conflict at our disposal, we produced some twenty papers on various aspects of subversion. The researchers were Peter Shipley and Douglas Eden. The papers were made available immediately to Margaret Thatcher and, on request, to other members of the committee on the 'receiving' side. Apart from Mrs Thatcher, there were three of them, all members of her shadow cabinet: Lord Carrington, William (later Lord) Whitelaw, and Sir Keith Joseph [responsible for foreign, domestic and economic affairs respectively]" (298)*.
Thatcher's Shadow Minister for Northern Ireland – and intended intelligence supremo - Airey Neave and his deputy John Biggs-Davison were of course other shadow cabinet members intimately linked to Shield.
- "The work of the Shield committee fell into two broad categories. One was strategic: it concerned the state of Britain's existing counter-subversion machinery, proposals for fundamental change, and contingency planning for a major crisis - a widespread paralysis caused by political strikes and riots [...] The other category was tactical: to provide short, factual and accurate research papers on the Communist connections of Labour MPs and trades unionists in the increasingly critical industrial scene, especially in late 1978 and early 1979" (299).
As regards the latter category for Shield actions, the initiator of Shield, former MI6 officer and Tory MP Stephen Hastings provided a parliamentary platform - immune from domestic libel laws - for the counter-subversion lobby's charges concerning Labour MPs' Communist connections. In 1977, Hastings relaunched the 1969 Frolik allegations that Labour MPs had spied for the Czech intelligence service. In 1976, veteran espionage journalist and MI5 friend Chapman Pincher had sent Hastings tape recordings of interviews with Frolik reiterating his charges. This contact between Pincher and Hastings was not surprising; Pincher had been the guest speaker at a NAFF seminar on subversion organised in August 1975 before NAFF's formal creation. In December 1977, under Parliamentary privilege, Hastings named the Labour MPs whom Frolik accused of having worked for the Czech intelligence service; in January 1978, Hastings stepped up the pressure by sending to Prime Minister Callaghan a copy of a letter from Frolik to Josef Josten (a member of NAFF like Hastings), in which Frolik said he was afraid to visit Britain because the Czech intelligence service had British friends in high places (300)*.
As for the first category for Shield actions, "Shield's first move was to commission an extensive report on the current state of subversion and on the existing official agencies that were supposed to handle the problem. The report, which ran to about 100 pages, was drafted by a former senior member of the Secret Intelligence Service: an old and trusted friend of Stephen Hastings and myself. After revisions by Stephen, Nicholas and me, the final draft was ready in May 1977" (301). The most likely candidate for this anonymous author is either Elliott himself or G. K. Young, former Deputy Director of MI6 and NAFF National Council member. Having failed to take over the Monday Club in 1973, Young had begun organising the private army Unison in 1974 with Ross McWhirter and two former MI6 colleagues, Anthony Cavendish and Colonel Ronnie Waring, the latter joining the FARI Council with Crozier, Moss et al in 1976.
The direct line to Mrs Thatcher that Shield provided allowed disgruntled former MI5 or MI6 officers to condemn what they saw as the previous fatal weakening of Britain's counter-subversion effort. The IRD had been cut back in the late 1960s; the ISC would step into the breach following its creation in 1969-70. The completion in May 1977 of this first Shield report on the need for a reorganisation and reinforcement of the official counter-subversion effort coincided with the decision of Labour Foreign Secretary David Owen to finally close down the IRD. According to Crozier, this was at least in part motivated by the close links between the IRD and the ISC which had hit the headlines a year previously. In the eyes of the counter-subversion lobby, the decision smacked of treachery: "Thus, the Labour Government had destroyed the only active instrument of counter-subversion in the United Kingdom [...] as a sop to the Left. The KGB had won, possibly when it least expected victory" (302).
The radical tone of Shield's report can be judged from Crozier's analysis of the challenge Shield sought to combat:
- "The problem was subversion: the deliberate undermining of the State and society. Subversion is an insidious man-made disease, a creeping paralysis in which the State's defensive organs are invaded and neutralized, until they cease to function: the political equivalent to AIDS. In Britain, as in other affected countries, the ultimate aim was to turn the country into a 'people's democracy' on the East European model. [...] In Britain in particular the problem had become more threatening. The main reason was simply that the trades unions and the Labour Party had been largely taken over by the subversive Left. Many other areas of life were affected: the schools and universities, the media, the Churches" (303)*.
Crozier further states that Shield's actions were "a question of survival in a nation in which the dominant role, increasingly, was played by extreme Left Labour MPs and constituency managers and by trades unions whose long-term goal [...] was to transform Britain into another East Germany or Czechoslovakia" (304). The Shield report concluded that MI6 was "basically in good shape" but that MI5 was not, due to its charter restricting surveillance (officially) to threats of "the overthrow of the government by unlawful means" under MI5's 1952 Maxwell-Fyfe directive, i.e. that lawful peaceful public dissent was not to be monitored. Not content with these official strictures, Crozier urged a more proactive role to counter Communist subversion:
- "In that initial paper, therefore, we had proposed an urgent redefinition of the terms of reference of MI5, along with fresh directives to both the Services enabling them not merely to report on subversion, but to go over to the counter-offensive. For MI6, too, the counter-offensive angle was emphasized" (305).
Whilst work progressed on the review of Britain's counter-subversion effort, Shield also turned its attention to reporting on current subversive threats.
- "Between May 1977 and July 1979, Shield produced no fewer than fifteen strategic papers, recommending counter-action to meet the subversive challenge and defeat it" (306). "One, dated April 1978, gave details of joint Labour-Communist activity [...] in November of that year, we identified fortyeight Labour Party prospective parliamentary candidates with extreme Left views and connections [...] on 15 January , a Shield paper traced the origin of the [lorry drivers'] strike to Alex Kitson, General Secretary of the Scottish Commercial Motormen's Union [...] well known for his pro-Soviet sympathies [...] on 17 January, a further paper analysed the potential consequences, which included the possible use of troops for essential services [...] In a further paper, on 29 January, Shield dwelt on the extremist influences within the National Union of Public Employees [...] In a longer paper dated 12 February 1979, Shield looked at the strike policy of the Communist Party [...] In another paper, dated 26 February 1979, we gave details of various Labour groups which had been campaigning for the overthrow of the Shah of Iran" (307).
Crozier also felt that Thatcher's confidence needed strengthening so as to "cultivate and consolidate a public image of clear-headedness and resolution. To this end, at one of our private Flood Street meetings, I handed her a programme of 'Psychological Action' [...] a practical technique originally formalized by my close French friend, Maître Jean Violet [...] What I had done was to borrow Violet's tried and tested principles, and adapt them to current British needs". This programme of 'Psychological Action' focused on identifying people's needs and fears, and on that basis developing questions to be inserted into political speeches. Crozier notes that "many, though not all, of the points made surfaced in her speeches and those of her followers in the run-up to the next elections" (308).
As the industrial action of the "winter of discontent" under Wilson's successor James Callaghan intensified, Shield revised their initial paper on the British countersubversion effort and in a "Mechanism Paper" dated May 1978 proposed the creation of a "Counter-Subversion Executive" "not only to counter anti-British subversive activity both in the United Kingdom and in other parts of the world, by clandestine means both offensive and defensive, but also actively to conduct a clandestine offensive against Soviet power" (309).
Several weeks later, Crozier, Elliott, Hastings and Sporborg met with Thatcher, Whitelaw, Joseph and Carrington to discuss the Counter-Subversion Executive. Difficulties arose as to the administrative accountability of the proposed CSE; Lord Carrington objected to Crozier's suggestion of housing it within the Foreign Office and to Thatcher's suggestion of accommodating it within the Cabinet Office or in Downing Street. Sporborg then wrote to Hastings, Crozier and Elliott to suggest that the CSE should be a secret appendage of MI6, thus ensuring the necessary confidentiality for the proposed new body.
Shield's view of the necessity for such a body was reiterated in a Shield strategic paper written in June 1979 "by a senior officer of MI5 who had just retired" who gave "a penetrating dissection of the Security Service, and specifically where it had gone wrong. The picture that emerged was of an intellectually weakened organisation no longer prepared to take Marxist-Leninist influences seriously. Too much time and resources were devoted to the trailing of foreign spies [...] and too little to domestic subversion".
This unnamed former MI5 man is clearly Charles Elwell, who had retired the previous month as Assistant Director of MI5 and head of F1 Branch (CPGB and other subversive groups); Elwell would work closely with Crozier over the next decade, as detailed below (310)*.
The perspectives for the creation of the proposed CSE as a remedy to such perceived failings of MI5 had been given a boost by Thatcher's election victory in May 1979, but ultimately Lord Carrington's hostility to the counter-subversion lobby could not be overcome, and in a July 1979 meeting at Chequers with the new Prime Minister, the Shield team was informed that Shield's efforts were no longer necessary and that the CSE would not be created. Although the rejection of the CSE was a blow to the Shield group, it was not fatal: since early 1977, Crozier had been running an international private secret service called the 6I or Sixth International; as Crozier records, "the London end of the 6I simply took over Shield's work" (311).
Six-Eye - Private Spy
The initiative for formalising Cercle contacts into an international private secret service came in early 1977, a year or so into Shield's operations. As Crozier records: "Something bigger than Shield was needed to deal with the wider threat from the Soviet Union and its worldwide subversive network" (312). At the time, the Western counter-subversion effort was in disarray: the IRD would be formally closed down in April-May 1977, and the American intelligence community was still reeling from the exposure of the Watergate scandal and the four hundred posts shed by the CIA after the appointment of Admiral Stansfield Turner. Crozier voiced the counter-subversion lobby's point of view in saying: "This catastrophic decision completed the self emasculation of American intelligence" (313).
- "The question was whether something could be done in the private sector - not only in Britain, but in the United States and other countries of the Western Alliance. A few of us had been exchanging views, and decided that action was indeed possible. I took the initiative by convening a very small and very secret meeting in London. We met in the luxurious executive suite of a leading City of London bank on the morning of Sunday 13 February 1977. Our host, a leading figure in the bank, took the chair. Three of us were British, four were American, with one German. Ill health prevented a French associate from joining us; Jean Violet was with us in spirit" (314).
Crozier does not identify the host of the first 6I meeting, although the most likely candidate is SOE veteran Sir Peter Tennant of Barclays', the co-Chairman of the Cercle who, only two months before this first 6I meeting, had attended the November 1976 CEDI Congress in Madrid with the full Cercle crew: Crozier, Moss and Amery from Britain, Pinay, Violet and Vallet from France, Damman and Vankerkhoven of the AESP, de Bonvoisin and Bougerol of PIO, Vigneau and Leguèbe from Le Monde Moderne and Adolph W. Schmidt from the US Committee for the ISC.
Other possible hosts for the 6I could be either Harry Sporborg of Hambro's Bank or G. K. Young of investment bankers Kleinwort Benson. Crozier goes on to identify the third Briton as Nicholas Elliott, but conceals the German's identity with the following words: "The German was a very active member of the Bundestag, whose career had started in diplomacy. He had a very wide understanding of Soviet strategy,on which he wrote several first-rate books" - all of which is a perfect fit for Count Hans Huyn, who had also attended the 1976 CEDI Congress.
As for the Americans, the most notable participant at the 6I meeting was Lieutenant-General Vernon 'Dick' Walters, who served as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (under William Colby, himself a Cercle guest) from May 1972 to July 1976, retiring six months before this first 6I meeting. Fluent in six European languages as a result of his childhood in the UK and France, Walters would become a veteran coupmaster involved in most of the CIA's dirtiest operations – Iran, Italy, Vietnam, Chile, Angola, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Fiji, often working with other Cercle contacts. As American Military Attaché in Teheran, Walters had worked with Kermit Roosevelt and G. K. Young in the 1953 Operation Ajax to overthrow Iranian Prime Minister Mossadegh. From 1967 to 1972, when the Cercle's Belgian base of the AESP was being set up, Walters was Military Attaché in Paris responsible for the Benelux region.
The three remaining American participants at the 1977 founding meeting of the 6I were "two able and diligent Congressional staffers, and the Viennese born representative of a big Belgian company". Although no definite identification of this trio has yet been possible, two probable contenders for the 6I's anonymous Congressional founding members emerge from Crozier's later contacts in the Reagan Administration. Both men had Congressional positions around the time of the 6I's creation and would work alongside Crozier in the early 1990s within the International Freedom Foundation (IFF), a South African military intelligence front group which included Huyn, Horchem and other 6I members, described in detail below.
After wartime military service, Herbert Romerstein worked as a research analyst for American Business Consultants, publishers of the anti-Communist newsletter Counterattack. He testified before the Senate Sub-Committee on Internal Security on Communist Infiltration of Youth Organizations in 1951 and before the Subversive Activities Control Board in 1954, 1955 and 1962. He was an investigator on Communism for a New York State Joint Legislative Committee from 1954-56 and for a New York State Senate Committee in 1964. In 1965, Romerstein entered government service, working as an Investigator for the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC, 1965-1971), Minority Chief Investigator for the House Committee on Internal Security (1971-75), and Professional Staff Member for the House Intelligence Committee (1978-1983). In his 1993 memoirs, Crozier recalls that Romerstein was "one of the leading American official specialists on the Soviet intelligence system, whom I have known for many years" (315).
Crozier's second contact and later IFF companion was Sven Kraemer who had worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 1963 to 1967 before serving as an arms control expert on the National Security Council from 1967 to 1976 under Presidents Johnson, Nixon and Ford. After nearly fifteen years in the executive branch, Kraemer then became "Senior Staff Member for Defense and Foreign Policy, US Senate (1978-1981)", holding "senior staff positions in the Congressional branch of government, working with Senator John Tower (R-Tex) and the Republican Policy Committee of the US Senate (1979-80)" (316)*.
At the inaugural 6I meeting, Crozier proposed to Elliott, Huyn, Walters and the other participants to create "a Private Sector Operational Intelligence agency, beholden to no government, but at the disposal of allied or friendly governments for certain tasks which, for one reason or another, they were no longer able to tackle. I must make it clear that 'these tasks did not include any acts of armed force or physical coercion' "(317).
The tasks of the 6I would rather be in the field of intelligence-gathering, psychological warfare and covert funding; Crozier summarises the tasks of the 6I as follows:
- "to provide reliable intelligence in areas which governments were barred from investigating, either through recent legislation (as in the US) or because political circumstances made such inquiries difficult or potentially embarrassing; to conduct secret counter-subversion operations in any country in which such actions were deemed feasible" (318).
The future role of the 6I in circumventing domestic restrictions on intelligence operations and in coordinating private sector counter-subversion efforts is stressed by Crozier:
- "We planned both to initiate secret operations in our various countries, and to coordinate the existing overt actions of the many private groups involved in the resistance to Soviet propaganda and Active measures [...] Unlike existing agencies, we would not be hampered by prohibitions on functioning in our own or Allied countries" (319).
Crozier records that the name of the Sixth International or "six-eye" (following the five Communist or Trotskyist internationals) was suggested some months later by "a distinguished Argentine associate of ours, a former Justice Minister (and anti-Perónist) named Jacques Perriaux" (320)*. Elliott and Crozier undertook to find the funding necessary for the 6I's operations from industrial sponsors; an initial estimate of $5 million a year was suggested, although as Crozier notes: "our initial estimate of financial needs was too high: not for the requirements, but for the realistic limits of generosity on the part of the necessarily small number of sources we approached" (321). "At the height of the 6I's activities in the mid-1980s, we were spending around $1 million a year" (322).
As for the 6I's members, Crozier records that its network of agents and informants grew swiftly.
- "The main requirement for recruitment was "access". We needed well-placed men and women, with access to leaders, to intelligence and security services, to selected politicians, to editors of potentially useful publications. All that was needed was for those selected from the contacts each had built up before and after the birth of the 6I, to be conscious of our existence and our goals. [...] In addition to our own network, we gained access to a number of existing networks, both private and official. In Germany, we had three prime sources. One was the ex-diplomat turned politician, Count Hans Huyn, a close friend of the Bavarian leader Franz Josef Strauss [...] Another was the ebullient, ever cheerful Hans Josef 'Jupp' Horchem [...] The third source was one of the senior intelligence officials who had resigned in disgust when Chancellor Brandt emasculated the former Gehlen office (323)*. I shall call him Hans von Machtenberg. With him, into early retirement, he took a substantial network of agents, whose identities he had refused to disclose to his new political masters. Hans lived near Pullach, in Bavaria, headquarters of the BND. There, with the approval and backing of Strauss, he secured financial backing to continue his work, in the private sector [...] I invited him to join our directing committee (which we called our 'Politburo'). Thereafter, he received our bulletin and a selection of our secret reports. In return, I received his regular intelligence reports in German, with full discretion to use them, unattributably" (324).
Hans Christoph Schenk Freiherr von Stauffenberg had been an Intelligence Analyst with the BND before leaving in 1969 to set up a private intelligence service working for the CDU and Strauß's CSU. Stauffenberg's network liaised closely with the Bavarian Interior Ministry's State Protection Department headed by former BND special operative Hans Langemann, Strauß's top link man for the security and intelligence services. The technical advisor for Stauffenberg's secret service was Langemann's former boss in the Strategic Service of the BND, retired Brigadier-General Wolfgang Langkau, who had resigned in 1968 when Wessel abolished Langkau's Strategic Service due to its over-reaching influence and right-wing sympathies. Much of Stauffenberg's information came from Langemann, who received over DM 300,000 from Stauffenberg between 1977 and 1982. Langemann in turn used an intelligence slush fund, "Positive Protection of the Constitution", to finance a registered charity, the Arbeitskreis für das Studium internationaler Fragen [Working Group for the Study of International Issues] which supported Stauffenberg's group. 100 copies of each Stauffenberg report were printed: recipients included Strauß and Gerold Tandler, Bavarian Interior Minister - Langemann's political bosses (325)*.
The CSU not only received private intelligence reports from Stauffenberg's "little service", but also used the CSU's political foundation, the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung, as its external covert action arm. The Chairman of the Board of Directors since 1975 and Director of the International Department was Archduke Otto. HSS operations were truly international: active in pro-Contra fundraising and propaganda, exporting intelligence equipment to Idi Amin, supporting Mobutu in Africa, diverting state development aid from Germany into right-wing party coffers in Ecuador. HSS activities notably accelerated after 1977 when the foundation obtained a massive increase in funding from the State: its grant from tax-payers' money went from DM 1.9 million in 1977 to DM 13 million in 1980 (326)*. The scale of HSS parapolitical operations can be judged by a report, circulated amongst the CSU leadership and believed by them to stem from the BND, on the CIA's operative interest in the HSS:
- "23rd March 1979.
- Personal and confidential: recipient's eyes only.
- CIA operative interest in the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung.
- 1. Initially unconnected indications of CIA focuses for intelligence-gathering on the Federal Republic of Germany have confirmed that the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung [CDU foundation] and above all the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung are of operative interest to the American agency. Up until now the Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung [FDP foundation] and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung [SPD foundation] have not been mentioned.
- 2. The interest in the HSS is due to indications that have led the CIA management to believe that the HSS is active directly on behalf of the Bavarian Prime Minister both for foreign intelligence-gathering as well as for the execution of quasi-diplomatic or clandestine measures (covert action*) [*in English in the original]. It appears that the CIA believes that some of the HSS representatives abroad are "private intelligence gatherers for the CSU" who "can only be distinguished from the BND residents by their lower level of typical intelligence tradecraft". The CIA attributes these "para-intelligence service" and "covert action" activities (political and financial exertion of influence, "business mediation useful for the party including arms trading") to the HSS in the following countries: first Namibia, Zaire and Nigeria, then Morocco, Togo, Greece, Portugal, Turkey, Manila, Hong Kong/Peking, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, finally the United States itself and "South America". For the business mediation, alleged HSS links to Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohn, Krauss-Maffei, Airbus Industries and companies in the foodstuffs and pharmaceutical sectors are supposed.
- 3. According to all appearances, the CIA reckons on systematic intelligence tasking by the MfS [East German intelligence] and the KGB against HSS representatives (and their offices) abroad, and [the CIA] sees here a potentially rich source for tips for their own counter-intelligence service working against the Eastern Bloc agencies" (327)*.
Human Rights and Religion
A major activity for the Cercle complex from 1975 onwards was a relaunch of the Cercle/AESP's 1973 'Peace without Frontiers' appeal to collect prominent signatures on the theme of free movement of persons and ideas. Damman details the uses for the thousand signatories to the Academy's appeal in his Note 229:
- "This group of a thousand people can constitute a force if we manage to use it wisely. The organisation and the use of this force should be studied by a brain-trust like the one organised at Mr. Vallet's house which dealt with the problems facing South Africa [...] Europe must convince America that beyond the nuclear strike-force, the ideological weapon is more powerful if we have the
means to use it [...] The funding for an ideological campaign represents one tenth of a percent of the enormous budget allocated to nuclear and conventional weapons [...] A spiritual alliance between Europe and America must find means more powerful than those available for the Soviet strategy of propaganda. We must make ourselves masters of the media in the free world" (328).
The negotiations in Helsinki which included Basket III, the human rights chapter, had culminated in July 1975 with the signature of the Final Act. Nonetheless, the Cercle complex was sceptical about the Soviet Union's willingness to respect its commitments. Crozier records that a senior KGB officer felt that the Helsinki Agreements were "one of the Soviet Union's greatest triumphs since World War II" (329). The complex therefore pursued the issue of human rights in the mid to late 1970s. In a cassette message to Damman dated 16th October 1975, Violet referred to the campaign as part of the Academy's programme for the coming year:
- "The Soviet Union had tried to hurl a spear at the heart of Western Europe, but, whilst it was in the air, the West succeeded in changing the spear into a boomerang [...] if, by 1977, the Soviet Union does not want to liberalise its regime, it will have to confront a growing pile of dossiers on human rights violations. And all of this is due to the active campaign for free movement [...]
we must talk of the release of political prisoners [...] that is an outline of the programme for the Academy for the beginning of 1976" (330).
In 1977-78, the Cercle intensified its campaign against the Soviet Union on the theme of human rights violations, coordinating its actions as in the past between the four main pillars of the Cercle's European network - Belgium, Britain, France and Germany; indeed, the coordinated campaign may well have been one of the first operations of Crozier's newly founded 6I. The first indication of this relaunch of the AESP 1973 Appeal is given in a notation in Damman's diary dated 6th January 1977 which reads:
- "7.19 am: Quartier Leopold station, departure for Zürich. Arrival 1.59 pm - Hôtel Baur au Lac. 5 pm: meeting with Jean Violet and Alain de Villegas. Dolder Dinner - plan prepared for Operation H2 [Helsinki 2]" (331)*.
This meeting came just before the conference in Belgrade that was to study the implementation of human rights under the Helsinki II treaty. Habsburg addressed the Belgian members of MAUE on the subject on 1st March 1977, and then the Academy launched a mailshot campaign attacking the Soviet Union for human rights abuses: on 3rd April 1977, Damman noted in his diary: "Start of Operation H2, the first letters have been sent". Damman's diary also records that part of the campaign involved the AESP buying full-page advertising space in Le Figaro for its appeal. The AESP Appeal was given front-page coverage by the Bulletin Européen in April, and the following month the ISC relayed the AESP campaign with the publication of a Conflict Study entitled Human Rights - Soviet Theory and Practice (332)*.
Another angle to the complex's human rights attack on the Soviet Union was to mobilise right-wing Christian groups on the issue of the repression of religious worship in the Soviet Union. This was of course familiar territory for Violet and Dubois who had worked with Catholic networks behind the Iron Curtain in the 1950s and 1960s for the SDECE. The complex's activity was both intense and influential: Damman's diary for 1st October 1977 records that AESP representative Jacques Jonet was received by the Pope, no doubt in connection with the complex's campaigns. Besides the Helsinki II operation, the Cercle also ran a specific religious campaign called the "Bible-prisoners" action, referred to in Violet's note of 31st March 1976 about the Cercle's cash crisis, quoted above. Further details of this campaign emerge from another entry in Damman's diary dated 31st October 1977:
- "Vincent van den Bosch has announced a demonstration for Saturday, 10th December at 2pm, to be held in front of the Soviet Embassy. Free circulation of the Bible, freedom of religion and thought, re-opening of churches, release of prisoners - organised by Solidarité Chrétienne Internationale (international committee for freedom of conscience and religion)" (333)*.
Besides running SCI, Vincent van den Bosch, Secretary-General of CEDI, was a central figure in Damman's complex of groups, serving as a member of the AESP Permanent Delegation and as Secretary-General of MAUE - and also having met Crozier twice in 1976 at the February AESP Chapter Assembly and again at the November CEDI Congress. The campaign for religious freedom in the Soviet Union, like the general human rights campaign, was coordinated between three of the main pillars of the complex: Belgium, Britain and Germany. To support the demonstrations and mailing actions undertaken by the AESP in late 1977, the ISC brought out a Conflict Study on the Prague-based Christian Peace Conference in January 1978, The CPC - Human Rights and Religion in the USSR.
The AESP and the ISC were not the only Cercle associates to support these campaigns; the Cercle's German friends also contributed. As we have seen, the German pillars of the Cercle throughout the 1970s had been Strauß's CSU, represented by Cercle/6I member Count Hans Huyn, and the Swiss group ISP, run by AESP partner Karl Friedrich Grau. In 1977, the Cercle's German friends set up a specialised group to support the campaigns on religious freedom being run by the ISC and the AESP – a German equivalent to the earlier British-based CSRC/Keston College.
This new group was the Brüsewitz Centre, a "Christian" group whose aim was to "publicise human rights violations and particularly the violations of the freedom of worship in the so-called German Democratic Republic". The Brüsewitz Centre was named after Oskar Brüsewitz, an East German priest who burned himself alive in August 1976; the priest's widow tried in vain to prevent the group using his name. The founding body for the Brüsewitz Centre was the Christlich- Paneuropäische Studienwerk [Christian Paneuropean Study Group], founded in July 1977 and chaired by Otto von Habsburg's teenage daughter, Walburga von Habsburg (334)*. The Brüsewitz Centre's Board included several well-known faces: Habsburg, Huyn and Merkatz, all three CEDI members and early associates of the AESP. On the Board of the Brüsewitz Centre, we also find the Czech exile Ludek Pachmann, whom we have already met as a speaker for Grau's ISP in 1975-76 along with Habsburg and Huyn. Habsburg, Merkatz and Pachmann of the Brüsewitz Board would all also serve on the Board of Amnesty International's right-wing rival, the IGfM.
The Brüsewitz Centre's Board also included five other Germans who would crop up in later Cercle operations in the 1980s. The first of these was Hans Filbinger, member of the PEU Council and CDU Regional Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg from 1966 to 1978, when he was forced to resign following a scandal about his past as a military judge in Hitler's Navy. In July 1977, four months before the creation of the Brüsewitz Centre, Filbinger had been one of the founding members of the Ludwig-Frank-Stiftung, a far-right pressure group of German politicians and businessmen that organised conferences together with fascist parties such as the German NPD and Italian MSI.
Based in Munich, the LFS set as its aim "to resist the dangers of a Popular Front and Eurocommunism". LFS activities concentrated on right-wing trades unions, and it had close links to the far Right including the Comitato Tricolore degli Italiani nel Mondo, a PEU affiliate close to the Italian MSI. The LFS journal was another channel for anti-Socialist disinformation, e.g. "There are people in Bonn who are financed by the East. One of them is Mr. Brandt". Many German associates of the Cercle complex would be Board members of the LFS, amongst them Habsburg. The LFS's inaugural international conference in February 1978 was attended by representatives of several groups close to the Cercle complex: the Paneuropean Union, the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung, the Brüsewitz Centre, the IGfM and the IfD (described below).
The second of the five new faces on the Brüsewitz Board was also a co-founder of the LFS, the Bavarian Heinrich Aigner. A CSU MP in the Bundestag from 1957 to 1980, Aigner was also an appointed Member of the European Parliament from 1961 on and served alongside Habsburg as an elected MEP from 1979 until his death in 1988. A Chairman of the Bavarian PEU section, Aigner also served as Board member and later Vice-President of the German PEU section. In 1982, Aigner would visit Paraguay with Filbinger as part of an LFS delegation paid for by the German Foreign Office. In 1983, Heinrich Aigner's son Heinz, a CSU member and intimate of Strauß, founded the Institute for German-Paraguayan Relations for the Promotion of Trade and Culture, a pro-Stroessner propaganda group, which organised a planned visit by Stroessner to Germany in 1985. With Löwenthal, Heinz Aigner attended the 1981 joint WACL/CAUSA congress in Asuncion, hosted by Stroessner and Pinochet.
The third Brüsewitz Board member of note was Dr. Lothar Bossle, a member of the Central Committee of German Catholics, President of the Katholische Deutsche Akademikerschaft [Catholic German Academic Society] and one of the most vocal opponents of liberation theology. Having been a socialist student activist in his youth, Bossle would switch to the CDU in 1959; from 1960 to 1963, he worked at the German Army School in Koblenz before being assisted by Filbinger in becoming Professor at the Pedagogical High School in Lörrach. In 1972, Bossle was active within the Aktion der Mitte group which used industry millions from Axel Springer and others to publish election propaganda against the socialist-liberal coalition ("One dose of socialism – from 1933 to 1945 – was quite enough!"); in 1974, he was a cofounder of the pro-CSU campaign group KDK. In 1975, he courted controversy in calling Allende a "socialist Hitler" and then applying the same treatment to Willy Brandt and Olof Palme. Bossle would become one of Pinochet's most fervent supporters in Germany ("Chile is on the path to true democracy") and a key contact person for Colonia Dignidad, the German group in Chile linked to the Chilean secret service DINA, which Bossle visited at least four times (335)*.
Bossle's big break would come in 1977 when Strauß intervened with Culture Minister Hans Maier to override the Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg's Academic Senate, Nomination Committee and Faculty Council and have Bossle appointed as Professor of Sociology. His inauguration would be marred by massive faculty protests, and Bossle's Sociology Department would later become notorious as a 'degree mill', handing out doctorates to those who had the money and who shared Bossle's world-view. In 1977, the year of his university appointment, Bossle joined Filbinger and Aigner within the Ludwig-Frank-Stiftung and the Brüsewitz Centre. Like fellow Brüsewitz Board members Habsburg, Merkatz and Pachmann, Bossle would serve in the IGfM, sitting on its Honorary Presidium. The Sociology Professor would also sit on the Scientific Council of the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung and frequently attend seminars organised by the International Conference for the Unification of the Sciences, the Moonies' scientific front group (336)*.
More significantly, whilst at Würzburg, Bossle would act as Director and later President of the Institut für Demokratieforschung [IfD, Institute for Democracy Research], one of whose Vice-Presidents was Cercle member Count Hans Huyn. In 1977, the IfD published Huyn's contribution to the Cercle's post-Helsinki human rights campaign, Menschenrechte und Selbstbestimmung (Human rights and selfdetermination); in 1974, Huyn had been a co-founder of the Swiss-based Europäische Konferenz für Menschenrechte und Selbstbestimmung [EKMS, European Conference for Human Rights and Self-Determination], another forum for the Cercle complex which would work closely with Sager's SOI throughout the 1980s. In 1977, the IfD would also support the fledgling Brüsewitz Centre, publishing the report Oskar Brüsewitz: Sein Protest – sein Tod – seine Mahnung [Oskar Brüsewitz: his protest – his death – his warning]. In 1979, the IfD would publish a German version of Crozier's February 1978 Conflict Study Surrogate Forces of the Soviet Union, and Bossle would organise a 1979 conference by Crozier at the Sociological Institute of Würzburg University (337)*.
Bossle's IfD had extensive intelligence contacts - the IfD's scientific director was prominent CDU MP and later Brüsewitz Board member Heinrich Lummer, whose numerous Libyan trips were financed by the BND; the deputy scientific director was former Major-General Gerd Helmut Komossa, from 1977 to 1980 head of Germany's military security service, the MAD.
Bossle's close associate on the Board of the IfD was Prof. Dieter Blumenwitz. Professor of International and Constitutional Law at Würzburg University from 1976 on, Blumenwitz had represented Bavaria before the Federal Constitutional Court in summer 1973 in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to prevent the conclusion of the Basic Treaty governing relations between East and West Germany. Blumenwitz shared Bossle's close links with Chile and reportedly visited Colonia Dignidad with Bossle. In 1979, Blumenwitz was one of the co-authors with Crozier of Pinochet's Chilean Constitution; in 1980, Blumenwitz intervened on behalf of Colonia Dignidad in legal proceedings seeking to block Amnesty International's German section from publishing allegations that the colony had served as a secret DINA torture centre (338)*. Like many of the Cercle's German friends, Blumenwitz was also a Board Member of the IGfM and an advisor to and author for the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung.
Another of Bossle's partners was Dr. Günter Rohrmoser, a frequent speaker for both the LFS and the IfD, with Bossle a member of the 1974 group KDK, and one of the most active Board members of the IGfM. An Honorary Professor of Philosophy at Cologne University in the 1960s, Rohrmoser like Bossle would be assisted in his academic career by Filbinger, who secured his appointment as Professor of Social Philosophy at Hohenheim University in 1976 where he would serve for twenty years until becoming Professor Emeritus in 1996. With connections like these, it is not surprising that the IfD attracted notoriety; Bavarian SPD MP Dr. Heinz Kaiser tried unsuccessfully to raise questions about the IfD in the Bavarian Parliament, speculating that it might be a covert BND training centre.
To return to the Brüsewitz Centre, the fourth new face on the Board was CSU MP Hans Hugo Klein, a former Development Minister (therefore in charge of government grants to the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung), and a member with Grau and Huyn of the Deutschland-Stiftung. In 1977, the same year the Brüsewitz Centre was founded, Klein led a parliamentary delegation from the CDU/CSU on a trip to South Africa; their conclusions, reported in Deutschland-Magazin, were that "South Africa must not fall". Klein would serve as the CSU's election manager for the 1980 Chancellorship candidacy of Strauß. He was also a member of the Bilderberg Group, later attending their 1986 conference in Gleneagles. He would later serve as Vice- President of the Bundestag from 1990 to 1994 and died in 1996.
The final new face on the Brüsewitz Board that we will meet again in the 1980s was Professor Nikolaus Lobkowicz, a Czech aristocrat and exile who acquired American nationality in 1967. From 1967 on, Lobkowicz taught as Professor then Dean of Faculty at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, rising to become rector magnificus from 1971-76 and then University President until 1982. From 1984 to 1996, he served as President of the Catholic University of Eichstätt bei München and worked from 1994 on as the Director of the University's Central Institute for Central and Eastern European Studies. From 1978 on, he was a member of the Western European Advisory Committee of Munich-based Radio Free Europe; he would become its Chairman in 1994, serving until 2001. Together with Rohrmoser, Lobkowicz was one of the most active Board Members of the IGfM where he was responsible for links with the "freedom fighters" group Resistance International, of which he was a Member of Honour (339)*; he also served as a member of the prize jury of the CSU's Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung.
Amongst the speakers for the Brüsewitz Centre, we find the television presenter Gerhard Löwenthal, inseparable team-mate of Ludek Pachmann. In 1977, the year the Brüsewitz Centre was founded, Löwenthal became President of the Deutschland-Stiftung. That year, the Deutschland-Stiftung's Adenauer prize was awarded to Otto von Habsburg; the guest speaker was Franz Josef Strauß. In 1980, Crozier, Löwenthal, Pachmann and Huyn would work together in one of the Cercle's most ambitious operations: the attempt to ensure "Victory for Strauß" in the 1980 Chancellorship elections. Another speaker for the Brüsewitz Centre was former Brigadier-General Heinz Karst, Löwenthal's predecessor as President of the Deutschland-Stiftung from 1973 to 1977 and a speaker for the Swiss ISP in 1975-76 together with Habsburg, Huyn and Pachmann of the Brüsewitz Board.
The AESP in 1977-78
As we have seen, the danger that the AESP would be forced to close its doors as a result of the 1976 cash crisis was soon averted thanks to the provision of minimum financing by Violet. By 1977, the Academy's finances were again healthy: Damman's diaries from 1977 to 1979 make frequent mention of large cash transfers from de Villegas to Damman. At this time, Elf was paying the bulk of the enormous sums that would change hands for the sniffer plane project. As with the last-minute rescue of the Academy, it is not possible to prove that the considerable funds passing through Damman's hands from Violet and de Villegas came from the sniffer plane project. The only evidence we have is Damman's diary; it is however eloquent (340). On 7th January 1977, Damman's diary records the payment from de Villegas of "one million plus two hundred thousand"; the next day, Damman received FS 4,000 from Jonet and 100,000 from Violet. The payments from de Villegas to Damman would continue: in November, 200,000, in December, 50,000, in January 1978 75,000 and in March 20,000. Aldo-Michel Mungo, Damman's deputy and later author of an exposé on the AESP, claims that the unspecified currency was in fact Swiss francs. In July and August 1978, de Villegas' contribution would be enormous: 315,000.
De Villegas' generosity in July and August 1978 may well have been connected with the signature of a second contract between Elf and de Villegas' sniffer plane company Fisalma on the 24th June 1978. The new contract stipulated that Elf would pay Fisalma a further 500 million Swiss francs, half of which was due upon signature. The contract gave Elf the right to inspect the internal workings of the sniffer plane technology which would allow them finally to detect the fraud in May 1979 after warnings from Alexandre de Marenches that the sniffer plane deal had been set up by an "international swindler".
However, before the house of cards came crashing down, de Villegas provided the total funding for a new central secretariat for the AESP and all of its satellite groups. The Cercle Charlemagne, as the new offices were called, was equipped with its own printing press and a central file of the 10,000 AESP contacts. However, the Cercle Charlemagne would not last; inaugurated in April 1978 by Habsburg in the presence of Damman, de Villegas, de Bonvoisin and many leading lights of the European Right, the centre burnt down only five months later.
Despite this setback, the AESP would continue to expand throughout 1978. On the 12th May that year, the AESP's earlier contacts with the International Society of Wilton Park via its President, René-Louis Picard, were formalised by the creation in Rome of CLEW, the European Liaison Committee of Associations of Friends of Wilton Park. According to CLEW's statutes, four of the nine founding members were members of the AESP: Violet, Sánchez Bella, Jonet and Picard, the latter being appointed President of CLEW for a three year term (341)*.
Two internal AESP documents give us a clear picture of the Academy's international outreach in 1977-78: a typed, undated AESP membership list from sometime in 1977 and a second AESP membership list from the month of June 1978, headed "Strictly confidential document for the exclusive use of H.E. the Ambassador of H.M. the King of Morocco" (342)*. The interconnection between the sniffer plane project and the AESP are clearly demonstrated by this mention. On 29th May 1978, the King of Morocco was informed by Elf that "a new detection procedure" had located two oil fields near Fez and Taza. On 21st June 1978, Damman's diary records that a dossier had been prepared for the Moroccan Ambassador; the membership list undoubtedly stems from this dossier. From 19th to 30th August 1978, de Villegas' sniffer planes carried out a comprehensive oil prospection programme in Morocco.
The membership lists shows that by 1977-78 the AESP had become a major nexus point for the Cercle complex. The Academy's aim of absorbing the members of CEDI and PEU had been achieved, as most of the international and national leaderships of both organisations figured on the AESP list. Another recurring theme was the Atlantic Alliance - the AESP now included the Presidents of the Atlantic Committees in Italy, France, Germany and Belgium, and spokesmen from NATO and Radio Free Europe. Former Allied combatants were represented by their international and European associations, alongside Lieutenant-Colonel Dr. Jean-Victor Marique, the President of the Brussels Reserve Officers Club and President of the AESP Military Committee since at least November 1974 - interesting in the light of Bougerol's work with reserve officers in the Brussels region from 1974 on.
The AESP's executive body, the Permanent Delegation, had also grown to now include Huyn, Vallet, Valori and Van den Heuvel, an indication of the closer international ties the AESP now possessed. At this time, Van den Heuvel was busy transferring the activities of the Oost-West Instituut (East-West Institute] to another group he had created, the Centrum voor Europese Veiligheid en Samenwerken [Centre for European Security and Cooperation]; the AESP could no doubt be of assistance. Besides this broadening of organisational contacts, the AESP's Life Members also expanded to include several prominent politicians, a reflection of the political influence the AESP wielded by 1978. Joining the previous core of Life Members composed of Habsburg, Pinay, Violet, Father Dubois, Sánchez Bella, Fraga Iribarne, Andreotti, Pesenti, Lombardo, Merkatz and Vanden Boeynants were politicians such as Jacques Soustelle of OAS fame, longstanding PEU Central Council member Sir John Biggs-Davison, also of the Monday Club and SIF, and two former International Presidents of CEDI, Sir Peter Agnew and Sir John Rodgers, the latter a former President of SIF.
The German presence in the AESP in 1977-78 would illustrate a future major forum for the CSU, PEU and Cercle – the European Parliament, for which the first direct elections were held in June 1979. Having controversially acquired dual German nationality in 1978, Habsburg himself would be elected as a CSU MEP in 1979 and would serve twenty years in the EP, sitting on the Political Affairs Committee from 1979 to 1992, chairing or co-chairing the Delegation on Relations with Hungary from 1989 to 1999 and sitting on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Security and Defence Policy from 1992 to 1999. From 1979 on, Habsburg would be assisted by CSU MEP Heinrich Aigner, who held the powerful post of Chairman of the EP Committee on Budgetary Control continuously until his death in 1988.
Two new German Life Members of the AESP in 1977-78 would later join Habsburg and Aigner in the EP. The first was former Bavarian Minister and regional MP Dr. Fritz Pirkl, Chairman of the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung from its creation in 1967 until his death in 1993; two years before joining the AESP, Pirkl had attended the 1976 CEDI Congress. The second new AESP Life Member and future MEP was the German Count Franz Ludwig Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, a Vice President of the German PEU section and CSU MP in the Bundestag from 1972 to 1984 – from 1973 to 1991, Stauffenberg would chair the CSU's Working Party on Germany and Foreign Policy. Both Pirkl and Stauffenberg would sit in the European Parliament from 1984 to 1992 and serve with Habsburg on the Bureau of the European People's Party group within the EP. Stauffenberg would sit on the key EP Committee on Legal Affairs and Citizens' Rights from 1984 to 1987 before becoming its Chairman from 1989 to 1992. Pirkl would function as Chairman or Deputy Chairman of the Delegation for Relations with Austria from 1985 to 1993; Austria applied for membership of the EU in July 1989 and would formally accede to the EU on 1st January 1995 (343)*.
A third significant German Life Member of the AESP in 1977-78 was Dr. Heinrich Böx, former Ambassador, Deputy Secretary-General of the CDU and head of the CDU's Bureau for Foreign Relations, who died in 2004. In 1949, Böx had been appointed by Adenauer to a short-lived post as Secretary of State in the Chancellor's Office before acting as the top government Press spokesman in 1951. By 1961, he worked as German trade representative in Finland and then served as German Ambassador in Norway from 1964 to 1966 and in Poland from 1966 to 1970. Böx had been in contact with Damman and the AESP since at least 1972. In 1976, whilst working as Head of the CDU's Bureau for Foreign Relations, Böx was suspected of espionage activities for a foreign power. Böx was presumably cleared by the investigation, as the 1978 AESP membership list still referred to him as Head of the CDU's Bureau for Foreign Relations. Böx would complete the Cercle complex's networking of German conservative foreign policy spokesmen - the CDU's Dr. Marx and the CSU's Count Huyn had served within Habsburg's CEDI since 1972, and both men had been close allies of Grau's Frankfurt and Swiss groups throughout the 1970s.
The AESP Study Groups also encompassed new members such as Swiss Colonel Fernard Thiebaud Schneider, a LIL contact since at least 1971 and speaker ROGUE AGENTS 164 for Grau's ISP from 1975 onwards, bringing the total of ISP speakers within the AESP to four: Grau himself, Habsburg, Huyn and Schneider. A new Italian member of the AESP's study groups with parapolitical links was Professor Leo Magnino, an official in the Ministry of Public Education and listed by the AESP as President of the University of the Mediterranean. The University started life as the International Academy of the Mediterranean, founded in Palermo in 1951; Magnino was its Chancellor from 1971 to 1974. The President of the Academy was Gianfranco Alliata di Montereale, a major figure in Italian parapolitics. A right-wing monarchist prince and mason, Alliata was a member of P2 and close associate of Gelli's with links to American intelligence dating back to the Second World War. At Alliata's initiative, an American Academy of the Mediterranean was founded in Mexico City in 1958, the same year that would see the creation of the Tecos, the Mexican branch of WACL which, perhaps more than any other branch, was responsible for WACL's opening-up to fascism. Other sponsors of the American Academy were Salazar and Andreotti. In a meeting held on 26th October 1968 at Palazzo Barbarini, plans were drawn up to establish the International University of the Mediterranean, no doubt the organisation headed by Magnino in 1978. In the 1968 meeting, it was decided that the pro-rector was to be Monsignor Antonio de Angelis, previously pro-rector of the University for Social Studies Pro Deo, Pro Deo being the right-wing Catholic organisation subsidised by American intelligence and run by the Belgian priest Felix Morlion. On the domestic (Belgian) front, the AESP had been continuing close cooperation with the PIO counter-subversion group. Contacts between Bougerol, Damman and PIO's political master Benoît de Bonvoisin intensified in the late 1970s. Having visited the AESP Chapter Assembly in February 1976 and the CEDI Congress in the following November, both times accompanied by de Bonvoisin and both times meeting Brian Crozier, Major Bougerol remained in touch with the AESP throughout 1977. In the September/October 1977 issue of the MAUE/AESP journal Europe Information which also circulated the Cercle’s post-Helsinki "Appeal for Freedom", Florimond Damman announced: "December 1977, date yet to be fixed: a lecture by Major Bougerol at the Université Libre de Bruxelles on the theme "Subversion, the ultimate weapon?" with slideshow on the events of May 1968". Entries in Damman's diary confirm that Bougerol gave his lecture for MAUE members on 13th December 1977, and a further entry in Damman's diary dated 30th December 1977 makes reference to a meeting with Bougerol to discuss Inforep. The close cooperation between the AESP and de Bonvoisin was formalised by the latter's inclusion on the 1977 AESP membership list as a member of the AESP's Study Groups. A MAUE circular produced for the European elections in June 1979 shows that by then de Bonvoisin had also been taken up as an Advisory Board member of MAUE. In 1978, de Bonvoisin was at the height of his official power, serving as advisor to Defence Minister Vanden Boeynants as well as providing ROGUE AGENTS 165 considerable financial and logistical backing for PIO. Indeed, since 1976, de Bonvoisin's company PDG had been subsidising PIO to the tune of over one million Belgian francs a year. As would later become apparent, de Bonvoisin and VdB had also continued funding for the NEM Clubs implicated with Bougerol in the rumours of a coup d'état in 1973. By 1978, the fascists funded by these two CEPIC/AESP members were setting up a network of cells within the Gendarmerie who would later be the main suspects in the wave of destabilisation in Belgium in the early 1980s. However, de Bonvoisin's support for PIO and Bougerol's ambitious expansion of PIO activities was not without risk. In a 1978 letter, Bougerol's partner Commissioner Fagnart of the SDRA military security service warned him of growing concern within the Belgian military and intelligence community about his apparently limitless horizons for PIO: "I don't want to give details of the defects of your ship, as you know them as well as I do, if not better. However, offhand, I quote: a) the discretion of your "network" is insufficient (whether this be your fault or not); b) the infiltration of this network must be considered not as possible but as probable, if not certain; c) you are invading other people's turf - don't yell! You want examples: - how would you, or can you, justify your role in the occasional missions of people going to Zaire or elsewhere? - are you sure that all you ask of your correspondents is justified within the strict framework of your activities? d) what do your correspondents in the official services - Gendarmerie, Sûreté, etc - think of you, and what role do they think you are playing? But .. I don't think I have to convince you! We could imagine another danger: a) if a "plumber" [burglar] visited the avenue d'Auderghem [PIO military branch] or perhaps the rue Belliard [PIO civilian offices in a building shared with CEPIC, PDG and later MAUE]; b) if messages or telephone calls were intercepted; ROGUE AGENTS 166 c) if what you said at the "secret" meetings were to be divulged; d) if there was a leak about the Saud affair or the affairs concerning Formosa, Spain or the UK, incidents which you should consider as "to be foreseen". It's impossible for you to fit these into the framework of your official duties (for PIO or others). - of course, I know as well as you do that without taking risks, you would remain inefficient. But I want to convince you to reduce these risks to what is strictly necessary. (Sorry if I am being tough, but our friendship allows me to be, and forces me to be so.) - what to do? a) start again on the basic principle of absolute need-to-know, above all for those matters that go beyond your official mission; b) create an unassailable and solid justification with reference to the official mission in each of your actions; c) for this, re-define this official mission and always advance this cover to everyone. - Last argument which isn't scientific at all: I feel that the danger is imminent" (344)*. The danger was indeed imminent; the "semi-private, semi-public" PIO was removed from the Army hierarchy in December 1978 after the death of Bougerol's protector, Lieutenant-General Roman, Chief of the Army General Staff. Despite this, PIO continued to function until at least 1980 as a private group financially supported by de Bonvoisin (345). THE AESP, P2 AND P7 We have already noted the presence of former top P2 member Giancarlo Elia Valori in AESP circles from 1972 onwards; Valori figures on the 1977 and 1978 AESP lists as a member of the Academy's executive body, the Permanent Delegation. According to allegations made in 1988 by Richard Brenneke, three other leading AESP members were involved in a CIA funding channel for P2 called P7. Before detailing Brenneke's claims about P7, it is necessary to learn more about the man as a source. Brenneke's reliability has frequently been called into question, not least of ROGUE AGENTS 167 all because his statements revived media investigation into alleged negotiations between future CIA chief William Casey and senior Iranian officials in October 1980. The negotiations by Reagan-Bush campaign manager Casey aimed to ensure that the 52 US hostages captured in the Teheran embassy would not be released before the November 4th presidential election to ensure that no "October surprise" would allow President Carter to gain another term in office (346)*. Whilst there clearly was a campaign to discredit his "October surprise" claims, Brenneke made matters worse by embroidering his evidence to inflate his personal involvement in the "October surprise" and P2/P7 stories. His claimed role in actually going to Paris for the October 1980 negotiations was proved to be false when investigation of his credit card records showed him to be at home in Oregon at the time. Nonetheless, his account of the Paris meetings was corroborated by multiple witnesses from America, Iran, France and Germany; a court challenge on charges of perjury in May 1989 ended with Brenneke being acquitted unanimously on all counts. With all its resources, the US government was unable to prove that the main participants named by Brenneke (Bush, Casey and Donald Gregg) were where they said they were on the weekend of the meetings - and this two weeks before the presidential election. On Brenneke's reliability, Sick comments: "The bottom line on Brenneke was that he had access on occasion to information that was extremely sensitive and known to only a few individuals. When he spoke publicly about any of these issues, however, he exaggerated his own role and tried to place himself at the centre of the action. The basic information was often true, but the flourishes and claims of firsthand knowledge were often false" (347). Having seen the strengths and weaknesses of Brenneke's testimony, we can consider his allegations about P2/P7. Brenneke claimed to have been personally involved in CIA funding of the P2 lodge via P7 from 1969 through to the 1980s. On the strength of his past record, one can doubt the degree of his personal involvement, but the details he gives of P7 as a funding channel for P2 are persuasive. Brenneke provided a 30-strong list of members of P7, amongst whom we find three of the longest-serving AESP members: Ivan Matteo Lombardo (joined AESP in 1970; by 1978, a Life Member), Vittorio Pons (AESP founding member, by 1978 on the Permanent Delegation) and Ernest Töttösy (in contact with Damman since 1961; by 1978 a member of an AESP Study Group). In 1972, Valori, Pons and Töttösy attended the Academy's XV Grand Dîner Charlemagne; in 1976, all three attended the XIX Grand Dîner Charlemagne. Pons and Töttösy met a second time in 1976 at the XXV CEDI Congress. The same year, Töttösy and Francis Dessart published a book Comité Hongrie 1956-76 to commemorate the revolution; in 1977, the two men set up an eponymous committee whose address was the familiar building at 39, rue Belliard, home to CEPIC, PDG, PIO and later MAUE. The list of its Board members is revealing: alongside Töttösy and Dessart, the Board included Damman, Lecerf, Victor ROGUE AGENTS 168 de Stankovich, Bernard Mercier and Jacques Borsu. The late Victor de Stankovich was another Hungarian exile who also figured on the P7 list - of the five Belgians on the P7 list, three were linked to Damman: Pons, Töttösy and de Stankovich. De Stankovich was a fervent Atlanticist and a former contributor to Radio Free Europe, Voice of America and Report and Dispatch from NATO. Bernard Mercier was a Board member of CEPIC, named with de Bonvoisin and Vankerkhoven in the 1981 Sûreté report as financial backers of the Front de la Jeunesse and the NEM Clubs. An intimate of Bougerol's, Mercier accompanied Bougerol and CEPIC Senator Angèle Verdin to Spain after Franco's death to visit his grave; all three then went on to attend the XXV CEDI Congress where they met Töttösy and Pons. A 1983 Sûreté report repeated allegations by WNP members that Mercier was a regional representative/inspector of the WNP. Francis Dessart, Professor of Communications at the Institute for High Economic and Social Studies in Brussels, was closely linked to the Moonies, the ABN and WACL, speaking at the 1981 WACL conference; he was also one of Aginter Presse's contacts in Belgium along with two other Board members of the Comité Hongrie 1956-76, Damman and Lecerf. Jacques Borsu was a former comrade-in-arms of French mercenary Bob Denard and leader of the neo-nazi Parti Européen. Having organised paramilitary training camps for the Flemish fascist Vlaamse Militanten Orde (VMO), he was one of the codefendants in a 1981 trial of VMO leaders (348)*. Whilst Brenneke's testimony frequently exaggerated his own involvement and falsified the truth in the process, the fact that Damman's AESP connected key P2 member Valori and alleged P7 members Lombardo, Pons, Töttösy and de Stankovich seems to give some credence to Brenneke's allegations.
FARI and Freedom Bue Cross
Jean Vigneau, editor of Violet's ISC outlet, Le Monde Moderne, was also listed as a member of the AESP's study groups in 1978. Despite the closure of the Bulletin de Paris and the Centre du Monde Moderne as a result of the 1976 funding shortage, Le Monde Moderne magazine continued publication, carrying an article on Angola by Robert Moss in 1977. In 1978 however, Le Monde Moderne would also close, and so Crozier and Cercle and 6I member Georges Albertini founded a new outlet, Le Monde des Conflits, devoted exclusively to circulating ISC studies in the French-speaking world. Seven issues had appeared by September 1979, but the 6I French bulletin was not yet financially viable; it would however continue until at least 1981 (349)*. Despite the collapse of the Centre du Monde Moderne, the Cercle's propaganda effort on behalf of Pretoria was not weakened. With South African funding, the London-based FARI under Cercle members Crozier, Moss and Amery continued the Cercle's campaign in favour of South Africa throughout 1977 by stressing Pretoria's ROGUE AGENTS 169 strategic importance for the West in FARI publications: An American View on the growing Soviet Influence in Africa, The Need to safeguard NATO's Strategic Raw Materials from Africa, and two reports by FARI Deputy Director Ian Greig, Barbarism and Communist Intervention in the Horn of Africa and Some Recent Developments affecting the Defence of the Cape Route, an update of the ISC's Special Report of March 1974 (350)*. Greig followed these in December 1977 with his book, The Communist Challenge to Africa, which included a preface by Lord Chalfont. The book was published in the UK by Stewart-Smith's FAPC and in South Africa by the South Africa Freedom Foundation (SAFF), a Department of Information front which also paid for trips to Pretoria for Robert Moss and Major-General Sir Walter Walker (351). The FAPC would follow this publication by that in 1978 of The Bear at the Backdoor - the Soviet threat to the West's lifeline in Africa, written by Walker with an introduction by Amery. The book, whose cover illustration showed a Soviet bear cutting a petrol line running from the Gulf around the Cape to Europe, accused the US intelligence community of harbouring pro-ANC sympathies and advised a more rigorous approach in countering Soviet advances in Southern Africa.
1978 would also see a flood of pro-Pretoria propaganda from FARI: The growing United States dependency on imported strategic raw materials and The war on gold (both "by our mining correspondent"), The growing vulnerability of oil supplies by former ISC researcher Audrey Parry, Africa: Soviet action and Western inaction and Indirect aggression by Warsaw Pact and Cuban forces in the third world, both by Greig, and East Germany's role in Africa, a review of a West German article (352). Also in 1978, Janke of the ISC would help Jan du Plessis of another South African DoI front, the Foreign Affairs Association, to compile the 1978 Freedom Annual (353)*. The ISC would return to the significance of South Africa for the West's oil supply in a May 1979 ISC Special Report, The Security of Middle East Oil.
Much of this output from FARI, the ISC and the FAPC would be recycled by Count Hans Huyn in his October 1978 book, Der Angriff - Der Vorstoss Moskaus zur Weltherrschaft [The Attack - Moscow's Thrust for World Domination]. Huyn's book, a German-language vehicle for the UK counter-subversion lobby, illustrated the degree of mutual recycling of Cercle propaganda; it lists no fewer than sixteen ISC Conflict Studies, eleven FARI reports and four issues of the East-West Digest, quoting prolifically from Crozier, Moss, Greig and Amery, all FARI members. Huyn also recycled the anti-Labour propaganda produced before the 1974 British elections, particularly Not to be trusted - Extremist Influence on the Labour Party Conference by Geoffrey Stewart-Smith, future director of FARI. Besides these British Cercle friends, Huyn also drew on several of the Cercle's international contacts for his book: Vigneau of Le Monde Moderne and AESP, Barnett of NSIC/USCISC, Gerstenmaier and Rohrmoser of the IGfM, and Sager of SOI, five of whose publications were quoted. ROGUE AGENTS 170 In 1978, the British and American ends of the Cercle complex would also seek funding from multinational companies for Crozier's recently founded private intelligence service, the 6I. In June 1978, the NSIC held a conference in Brighton on "NATO and the Global Threat - what must be done" which aimed to raise privatesector funds to supplement the activities of the official agencies, "crippled" after the earlier US Congressional Committees and the official "closure" of Britain's IRD in the spring of 1977. The conference, coordinated by Air Vice-Marshal Stewart Menaul of FARI, was sponsored by Aims, FARI, the ISC, the CSIS and Lombardo's Comitato Atlantico Italiano, amongst others. The "Brighton Declaration" adopted by the conference, written by keynote speaker and ISC Council member Vice-Admiral Sir Louis Le Bailly, stated that "the destruction of the CIA and other assaults on Western intelligence sources make it imperative that the US and its allies should again take the initiative on intelligence, information and counter-intelligence". The conference called for the establishment of a "new" industry-funded group, Freedom Blue Cross, to carry out these private propaganda activities - in all likelihood, Freedom Blue Cross was intended to be merely a funding front for Crozier's 6I. For the Cercle complex, the 1978 Brighton conference was attended by Crozier, Greig, Chalfont, Menaul, Le Bailly, Tanham of the USCISC, and NSIC/ISC benefactor Dick Scaife. According to a 1984 report in Article 31, other American and European participants included William Casey, Frank Barnett, Hans Graf Huyn, Gérard Daury, a Board member of the Service d'Action Civique (the Gaullist parallel police whose co-founder and Vice-President was Charles Pasqua) and André Aumonier, President of the Centre chrétien des patrons et dirigeants d'entreprise. The South African delegation included Vice-Admiral James Johnson who had retired as head of the South African Navy in September 1977, Cas de Villiers and Jan du Plessis of the DoI front group, the Foreign Affairs Association, and Gideon Roos of the South African Institute of International Affairs. Besides other ex-military personnel and academics from Britain, Europe, South Africa and Japan, the conference also brought together representatives of many of the British-based multinationals which had also been funding the four British anti-union groups: Taylor Woodrow, Tate & Lyle, Barclays (Tennant?) and National Westminster banks, Vickers, British American Tobacco and the British subsidiary of ITT, Standard Telephone Cables (STC). Despite the impressive roll-call of companies, big business's interest was lukewarm: National Westminster and STC formally disassociated themselves from the Declaration (other companies did not), and nothing further apparently came of Freedom Blue Cross. However, the following year, Crozier would continue trying to raise funds from British and German industry for his "transnational security organisation" by circulating a planning paper entitled The Multinationals and International Security, as ROGUE AGENTS 171 detailed in secret German intelligence reports by Hans Langemann, described below (354)*.
The AESP and MAUE IN 1979-80
1979 would bring considerable organisational upheaval in the Cercle complex. In February, Violet's covert SDECE/Vatican comrade–in-arms for over twenty-five years Reverend Dubois died. Although Violet did not yet know it, in less than five years the revelation of the sniffer plane scandal by Pierre Péan in 1983 would lead to Violet's exposure and force his withdrawal from the Cercle. Within months of Dubois' death, Violet suffered a second blow; in July 1979, Florimond Damman died of apoplexy, and the AESP would be riven by internal rivalries for his succession, a struggle eventually to lead to its closure. The same internal conflict also befell MAUE; in 1978, the veteran anti-communist and former associate of Damman Roger de Laminne shunned MAUE, claiming that it "passes in Belgium for holding extreme-right opinions verging on fascism", and in August 1979 Baron Adelin de Yperzele de Strihou resigned from the post of MAUE Honorary President, saying that "MAUE had been politically infiltrated" (355). De Yperzele de Strihou's resignation was particularly sensitive considering his long history of support for groups run by Damman and Vankerkhoven - from at least 1967 on, he had been Chairman of the Board of Damman's AENA/CBUP and a member of the Committee of Patronage of Vankerkhoven's LIL; from 1969 on he was Honorary President of the Cercle des Nations and the initial owner of its magazine, L'Eventail, as well as a founding member of the AESP, figuring on its 1970 membership list. The controversy about MAUE's extremist views no doubt centred around the polarising figure of de Bonvoisin whose ascendancy in both MAUE and the AESP had begun well before Damman's death. As we have seen, both de Bonvoisin and Bougerol had attended the February 1976 AESP Chapter Meeting and accompanied Damman, Jonet and Vankerkhoven to the November 1976 CEDI Congress; de Bonvoisin would join an AESP Study Group in late 1977 and the Advisory Board of MAUE by July 1979. Whilst the presence of the notorious Baron Noir led a few personalities to disassociate themselves from MAUE, most were apparently not so particular. With Damman's passing, the road ahead was clear for a recasting of the MAUE Board which formalised the longstanding contacts with several key Belgian figures who had previously remained largely in the background. MAUE's new 1980 figurehead President was Robert Nieuwenhuys, a former Sûreté Division Chief from 1943 to 1945, then attaché to Kings Léopold III and Baudouin until the end of the 1950s. In the mid 1960s, Nieuwenhuys served as ROGUE AGENTS 172 Chairman of the Association Atlantique Belge (the Belgian Atlantic Treaty Association component whose Administrator was Damman), and briefly chaired Interdoc Belgium. He would later become Deputy Chef de Cabinet for the Secretary-General of NATO from 1971 to 1984, Joseph Luns; in January 1978, he and Secretary-General Luns met President Carter during the latter's visit to Brussels. Damman's diaries show that Nieuwenhuys had been in contact with the AESP/MAUE since at least 1977, and Nieuwenhuys also served with the CEPIC Study Centre. Joining Nieuwenhuys on the 1980 MAUE Board as Vice-Presidents were not only old hands Jonet and Vankerkhoven, but also two Belgian figures we have not yet met - the controversial former tank commander General Robert Close and the veteran television anchorman Luc Beyer de Ryke. Having joined the Royal Military School in 1939, General Robert Close was active in the Belgian Resistance before being captured by the Germans and imprisoned from 1942 until the end of the war when he resumed his military career. In 1961, Close was posted to SHAPE, remaining until 1965. After a brief spell on the staff of the Belgian Defence Cabinet, Close was posted to London as the Military Attaché at the Belgian Embassy from 1967 until 1970; interestingly, this was the period in which the ISC was being set up. After a further four years duty in Belgium, Close was then appointed Deputy Commandant of the NATO Defence College in Rome in 1974. However, as the new Programme Studies Director, he would soon discomfort NATO with his first Defence College publication in 1975, The feasibility of a surprise attack against Western Europe, which imagined an unprovoked and unexpected lightning invasion of West Germany by the Soviet Union. An article in the Times by Lord Chalfont in March 1976 publicised Close's war scenario, which then triggered political controversy in Germany - where Close was commanding Belgian tank forces at the time - when it was detailed in a cover story in the Spiegel in August 1976. Published in French in 1977 under the title L'Europe sans défense? 48 heures qui pourraient changer la face du monde [Europe without defence? 48 hours that could change the face of the world], Close's book caused a storm in the international Press and in the corridors of NATO headquarters in Brussels; in London, the FARI bulletin and Lord Chalfont quickly ensured widespread publicity for the book (356). Close then returned to Belgium to take up the position of Chairman of the National Committee on Defence Problems under the aegis of Defence Minister Vanden Boeynants, but soon stirred up turmoil again after producing an April 1978 confidential report excoriating the Belgian civil defence system largely staffed by leftist conscientious objectors. Close however did not keep his inflammatory opinions to himself, giving interviews to the Belgian and European Press to express his vision of an enfeebled Europe delivered up to Soviet invasion by the cowardice of peaceniks and the weak-willed self-interest of politicians. His views evidently met with ROGUE AGENTS 173 international approval at the highest level: he attended the April 1978 Bilderberg conference in Princeton alongside Henry Kissinger, David Rockefeller, Winston Lord, Carter's National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe Alexander Haig, NATO Secretary-General Joseph Luns, Sir Frederic Bennett and Thatcher's Shadow Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington (357). In Belgium however, the growing rift over defence policy twinned with the perennially thorny question of constitutional reform soon upset the notoriously fractious political climate. Following the collapse of the Tindemans IV government on the issue of federal reform, a transitional government was formed in October 1978 under Prime Minister Vanden Boeynants, Defence Minister since 1972 as well as Deputy Prime Minister under Tindemans IV. VdB's interim administration supervised a general election held in December 1978 and remained in power until the installation of the new coalition under Flemish conservative Wilfried Martens in April 1979. Martens reconfirmed VdB's position as Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, but this was not to last: VdB was soon ousted in a cabinet reshuffle in October 1979, ending his seven-year reign as Defence Minister. In 1986, he was convicted of fraud and tax evasion, scotching his chances of running for the post of Mayor of Brussels; he died in January 2001. Besides the person of VdB, a further complication for the serial Martens governments (there would be nine in all) was the coalition's reluctance to deploy American Cruise missiles, decided by NATO in December 1979 – deployment at the Florennes airbase would only begin in August 1984 with the first sixteen Cruise missiles becoming operational in March 1985. Needless to say, such hesitation was vociferously condemned by the Chairman of the National Committee on Defence Problems, General Close. After publishing an article in the magazine NATO's Fifteen Nations which accused a senior Socialist member of the government coalition of being consciously or unconsciously manipulated by Soviet propaganda against deployment, a head-on confrontation between the general and the government could no longer be avoided, and Close was dismissed from the National Committee on Defence Problems in February 1980. Following his dismissal, Close resigned from military service and within months joined VdB's CEPIC friends in LIL and the post-Damman MAUE, increasingly using the LIL bulletin Damoclès as a vehicle for his views as well as delivering the same message to the high-level international audience attending the March 1980 meeting of the AEPE, a speech denounced during a session of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives the following month (358). In March 1981, the recently-founded Belgian Liberal (i.e. Conservative) Parti Réformateur Libéral (PRL) created a PRL Committee on Defence and Security Problems; Close was its Chairman and soon published another swingeing attack on defence policy, Encore un effort et nous aurons définitivement perdu la Troisième Guerre mondiale [Another effort and we will have definitively lost the Third World War], co-written with Nicolas de Kerchove, VdB's ROGUE AGENTS 174 former chef de cabinet and a Vice-President of the Association Atlantique who also sat on the new MAUE Board with Close (359). In November 1981, Close was elected to the Belgian Senate for the PRL; de Kerchove was his alternate Senator. With its Flemish counterpart, the PVV, the PRL would remain in government until 1987. Close would go on to be a central figure in the 1980s 6I propaganda campaign against the nuclear disarmament movement detailed below; he would also serve as World President of WACL in 1983-84, Vice-President of the General (Political) Affairs Committee of the West European Union (WEU) from 1986 on, President of Western Goals Belgium and a frequent Resistance International signatory. Close would continue as a PRL Senator until his resignation, disillusioned, in 1987; he died in 2003. To turn to another 1980 Vice-President of MAUE alongside Close, [[Luc Beyer de Ryke]] was the Belgian counterpart of Gerhard Löwenthal, having for 18 years presented the French-speaking Belgian television news from 1961 to 1979. A member of the Honorary Committee of Vankerkhoven's Cercle des Nations in 1969, Beyer de Ryke had been in contact with the AESP since at least October 1971 when he attended an AESP Study Commission. In November 1974, he served as the Chairman of the AESP Press Committee preparing for the 1976 celebration of the Bicentennial of American Independence. After retiring from Belgian television, Beyer took over a vacant seat at the European Parliament in July 1980, sitting until 1989. He was in good company; other MEP Cercle friends during his term of office included fellow MAUE Vice-President Vankerkhoven as well as AESP Life Members Habsburg, Pirkl and Franz von Stauffenberg (360). In parallel to his parliamentary career, Beyer de Ryke also served on the International Council of Presidency of the PEU alongside Habsburg, Sánchez Bella and Jonet, who was also PEU Deputy Secretary-General, running the PEU Brussels bureau. In September 1984, Beyer de Ryke would continue on the PEU International Council after its reconstitution following the European Parliament elections. The post-Damman MAUE Board also included three previous MAUE/AESP members whom we have already met – the Catholic activist, lawyer and later WNP counsel Vincent Van den Bosch who had been Secretary-General of MAUE in the mid-1970s, his former assistant as MAUE Deputy Secretary-General Jean-Paul R. Preumont, and MAUE Board member Baron Bernard Marcken de Mercken. More significantly, the new MAUE Board also integrated two key figures whose longstanding involvement with groups run by Damman and Vankerkhoven had not previously been formalised - Nicolas de Kerchove and Benoît de Bonvoisin, who until 1979 were the two personal advisors to Defence Minister Vanden Boeynants liaising with Bougerol and the PIO, the politicial direction being given by de Kerchove and the day-to-day management being ensured by de Bonvoisin who would subsequently take over PIO funding. Both men would later figure prominently in the investigations of the Brabant Wallon killings with de Bonvoisin allegedly funding ROGUE AGENTS 175 fascist groups linked to the killings and de Kerchove acting as chef de cabinet to Justice Minister Jean Gol whose insistence on pursuing an implausible criminal motive for the attacks sidetracked the first of the six ultimately fruitless official inquiries. Later chapters cover the Brabant Wallon killings and mid-1980s Cercle participation in greater detail; at this stage, it is sufficient to note that the 1980 MAUE Board members Close, Jonet, Vankerkhoven, de Kerchove, de Bonvoisin and Beyer de Ryke would all attend various Cercle meetings between 1982 and 1985 alongside the key 6I figures of Crozier and Huyn, and several of their agents. Described in the Postscript, these Cercle meetings bringing together veteran CIA and MI6 covert operators with almost the entire MAUE Board certainly give pause for thought when considering the Brabant Wallon killings that were occurring at the same time.
The ISC and the 6I in 1979
Meanwhile, whilst MAUE was undergoing a revival in Belgium, in Britain some of Crozier's colleagues in the London ISC had become concerned at Crozier's covert activities. "Partly for security reasons, partly because I did not want to involve the ISC Council in my extra-curricular activities, I had not taken any member of it into my confidence about the creation of the 6I. I can only assume some indiscretion within Whitehall, presumably from one of the few officers of SIS [MI6] who were aware of it: Lou [Le Bailly] and Leonard [Schapiro] both had intelligence contacts" (361). Things came to a head when Le Bailly offered a letter of resignation from his post on the ISC Council, stating that Crozier's high profile and other activities were undermining the objectivity and efficiency of the ISC. The conflict escalated to end as a straight choice: Crozier's resignation as Director of the ISC or the resignation of several if not most of the ISC Council members. As Crozier felt that "my 'other' work was more important than running the ISC" (362), Crozier resigned his position in September 1979, to be replaced as ISC Director by Michael Goodwin with Ian Greig becoming Senior Executive (363)*. "Within weeks of my departure, the entire research staff of the ISC had been sacked. Not long after, the research library I had built up over many years was disposed of ...". Despite this upheaval, the ISC would continue under a different guise, as will be described in a later chapter. Crozier's resignation from the ISC did however allow him to concentrate his efforts on the 6I which left ISC premises to set up in offices on Trafalgar Square. With a reserve of $30,000, Crozier expanded the staff of the 6I and began publication of a monthly restricted newsletter, Transnational Security. "The recipients of Transnational Security [...] fell into three categories. The top layer, which included the President [Reagan] and Mrs Thatcher, consisted of the Western and friendly Third World leaders, selected politicians, and friendly secret services. In the second layer, as of right, were contributors to our funds. The third layer consisted of our own people: ROGUE AGENTS 176 agents and associates in various countries" (364). The bulletin would later change title to become Notes and Analysis. One early task for the 6I was to recreate the ISC's liquidated research library by compiling "a reference archive of quotations from the already published words of hundreds of extremist politicians and trades unionists, as raw material for analytical reports in the Shield manner. In charge was a former MI5 man who had brought me disquieting information about the paralysis of the Security Service in the late 1970s" (365). The unnamed MI5 man was clearly Charles Elwell, who had retired in May 1979 as head of MI5's F1 counter-subversion branch and immediately joined Shield; he would work with Crozier throughout the 1980s to produce the smear bulletin, Background Briefing on Subversion, detailed below. Crozier records that two early operations for the 6I were in Latin America and in Iran prior to the 1979 revolution. In Argentina, Uruguay and Chile, the 6I advised the armed forces and the security services in "the use of some of the non-violent, psychological techniques with which we had been experimenting in Europe" (366). Crozier also spent several days closeted with General Pinochet, drafting fourteen articles of the new Chilean Constitution. Apart from supporting Pinochet and other Latin American regimes, the 6I was also increasingly concerned by the instability of the Shah's regime in Iran in the months preceding the Islamic revolution. Here again, the 6I's experience in psychological warfare techniques was needed; the brutal repression by the Shah's secret service SAVAK and the armed forces served only to feed the rising tide of Islamic fervour. Jean Violet in particular urged Crozier to travel to Iran to talk with the Shah. General Douglas Brown who managed the Dulverton Trust, one of the ISC's financial backers (367)*, found an intermediary for the Cercle in the person of General Charles Alan Fraser, South Africa's Consul-General in Iran and a personal friend of the Shah. In the spring of 1978, Crozier flew to Teheran where he met Fraser; the two men were then received by the Shah, who seemed reluctant to heed Crozier's warning that the CIA would not act to save the Shah and that psychological operations by the 6I were necessary to counter the climate of revolutionary unrest. In May, shortly after this first visit to Teheran, Crozier met [[Turki al- Faisal|Prince Turki al- Faisal]], brother of Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi Foreign Minister since 1975. Six months earlier, Turki had replaced his uncle, Turkish-born Kamal Adham, as head of Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah, the Saudi intelligence service. As such, he would become a key link in the covert war waged against Soviet forces occupying Afghanistan by the coalition of the CIA, the ISI - the Pakistani military intelligence service which created the Taliban - and the Afghan mujaheddin, including one of Turki's personal contacts, Osman bin Laden. In recognition of his services, Turki would be one of the Taliban's guests of honour at the proclamation of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Kabul ROGUE AGENTS 177 on 28th April 1992. Turki would become one of the world's longest-serving intelligence chiefs, his reign lasting from September 1977 until August 2001 just prior to the WTC attack when, as an all-too-visible personification of US-Saudi links, he was removed as head of the Saudi intelligence service to assuage growing anti-American feeling in Saudi Arabia. However, he was too valuable a man to lose and after a "decent interval" was appointed Saudi Ambassador to the UK where he played a prominent role in the media drive for war with Iraq (368)*. This first contact between Crozier and Turki al-Faisal was arranged via Dan McMichael, administrator of the Scaife family's trust funds, a major source of funding for the NSIC and ISC. Crozier briefed the Saudi prince about the 6I and its initial contact with the Shah. A proposed second meeting with Prince Turki al-Faisal in the summer of 1978 would not come off, but Crozier and the Cercle would finally meet the Saudi intelligence chief again at a Cercle meeting in Bavaria in the spring of 1979 when Turki al-Faisal would accept to act as the main backer for a planned 6I radio propaganda operation in the Middle East, detailed in the next chapter. In the meanwhile, the Shah was reconsidering Crozier's offer of 6I help for psyops campaigns and contacted Turki al-Faisal, who put in a good word for the 6I. Turki al-Faisal's recommendation of the 6I carried a lot of weight for the Iranians; Turki al-Faisal was the Saudi representative on the Safari Club, a network for covert cooperation between the French, Saudi, Iranian, Moroccan and Egyptian intelligence services, founded by Alexandre de Marenches on 1st September 1976 with headquarters in Cairo (369). Besides Turki al-Faisal's recommendation, Cercle participant General Fraser had also been advising the Shah to accept the 6I's help: "he had raised with the Shah the question of financial assistance for our group, in return for our advice and expertise in combating the wave of subversion that threatened to sweep him off his throne" (370). Fraser advised Crozier to involve ISC Council member Sir Robert Thompson whose counter-insurgency experience during the Malayan campaign and the early stages of the Vietnam War could be useful in the Iranian context. In August 1978, the Shah reversed his previous decision and invited the Cercle to Teheran; although Violet was prevented from travelling due to ill-health, Crozier, Elliott, Thompson, and a team of advisors flew to Teheran on 3rd September. The Cercle team stopped off in France to pick up Antoine Pinay, whose long acquaintance with the Shah would add authority to the Cercle's proposals. The Cercle team met the Shah for two and a half hours, but were struck by his apathy. They then went on to discuss the situation with two top SAVAK officials, General Motazed and the head of the research department, Kaveh. The Cercle and SAVAK officials discussed a plan to distribute leaflets to split the tacit alliance between the Shiite fundamentalists and the Communist Tudeh party. ROGUE AGENTS 178 The time was past however for such subtleties; the commander of the Teheran garrison General Oveissi, who had planned to meet the Cercle team, was unable to attend due to the unrest in the Iranian capital. The Cercle's visit came at a crucial time: the caretaker Prime Minister resigned the day after the Cercle's meetings, and martial law was declared four days later, just after the Cercle team's return to London. FARI got to work, producing Ian Greig's Iran and the lengthening Soviet shadow. In early November, the Shah finally decided to give the go-ahead for the Cercle to intervene, and the top civilian in SAVAK flew to London to spend a full week closeted with Robert Moss transforming a pile of SAVAK reports on Communist influence in the revolution into an ISC Conflict Study. Following publication of Moss's Conflict Study The Campaign to Destabilise Iran in November 1978, the Shah authorised a first annual payment of £1 million to the 6I for a psychological action operation, but the decision to involve the 6I further would come too late as the Shah would be overthrown in January 1979 before the payment could be made. The exiled Shah's death in July 1980 would not however end the 6I's interest in Iran; Crozier "felt that there remained at least a fighting chance of a coup to overthrow Ayatollah Khomeini's fledgling regime. The outbreak of the Iraq-Iran War encouraged this view" (371). Crozier therefore flew three times to Cairo between July and November 1980 to meet the Shah's widow and President Sadat, but nothing would come of these meetings apart from a 6I report circulated to Mrs Thatcher and President Reagan.
The Langemann Papers
Whilst the 6I launched truly global operations in Latin America and in Iran in late 1979, they were not neglecting the European scene. Once Margaret Thatcher had won the general election in Britain in May 1979, the next priority was the 1980 election for West German Chancellor, where Cercle co-founder Franz Josef Strauß was standing as a candidate. An unprecedented insight into Cercle/6I operations at this time was given by the September 1982 publication in the Spiegel of secret intelligence reports written by Hans Langemann, the head of Bavarian State Security, whom we have already met as a close collaborator of key German 6I member, Hans Christoph Freiherr von Stauffenberg and his private CDU/CSU intelligence service. Langemann had served in the BND from 1957 to 1970, where he rose to become a key operative for "Special Operations" working closely with Brigadier-General Wolfgang Langkau, head of the BND's Strategic Service and future technical advisor to the Stauffenberg network (372). In 1970, Langemann was appointed security chief for the 1972 Munich ROGUE AGENTS 179 Olympics – a disaster as it would turn out - and then served in the Bavarian Interior Ministry as head of its State Protection Department, in which capacity he acted as top link man between the Bavarian government, Strauß's CSU party, the Bavarian regional office of the BfV security service and the BND based in Pullach, a suburb of the Bavarian capital Munich. Unbeknownst to Crozier and the 6I, Langemann had been receiving full reports on the Cercle from Stauffenberg (373)*, information which Langemann then repeated in a series of secret intelligence reports, addressed to either Gerold Tandler, Bavarian Interior Minister, or to Tandler's Private Secretary, Dr. Georg Waltner, who also received the private intelligence reports from the Stauffenberg network. Langemann's reports to Tandler and Waltner quoted a planning paper of Crozier's describing the efforts being made to provide a solid operational basis for the 6I by canvassing leaders of industry for financial support. The reports also detailed the high-level support Crozier could count on - amongst those named in the Langemann papers were two serving intelligence chiefs: Sir Arthur "Dickie" Franks, Chief of MI6 from 1978 to 1981, and the Comte Alexandre de Marenches, Director of the SDECE from 1970 to 1981. Langemann's reports also revealed that one of the major goals for the 6I was to shape the future decade by supporting three key right-wing election candidates in 1979-1980: Margaret Thatcher in Britain, Franz Josef Strauß in Germany, and Ronald Reagan in America. "PROTECTED SOURCE Contributions to State Protection Minister's Eyes Only
Brian Crozier, London - The Multinationals and International Security (374)*. - Project Victory for Strauß
1. The militant conservative London publicist, Brian CROZIER, until September 1979, Director of the famous Institute for the Study of Conflict, has been working with his wide circle of friends in international politics to set up an anonymous action group ("transnational security organisation") and to widen its field of operations. His intention is to approach multinational companies about this group, which was the reason for drawing up this ROGUE AGENTS 180 planning paper. Not least of all, so as to obtain the necessary funding: $750,000 to start with and up to $3 million. CROZIER has already approached German industrialists and shown them this paper, despite it being stamped "Secret". A new publication Transnational Security is being prepared so as to promote this project. For the reasons mentioned under item 2, it should be pointed out that CROZIER has worked with the CIA for many years. One has to assume, therefore, that they are fully aware of his activities. He has extensive contacts with members (or more accurately, former members) of the most important (Western) security and intelligence agencies, such as the Comte de MERONGES [sic], ex-Director of the French SDECE (375)*. Furthermore, it is known that he has a good relationship with Mr. "Dickie" FRANKS, Chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service (so-called MI6) (376)*; his closest assistant, Mr. N. ELLIOTT was a Division Head in MI6. CROZIER, ELLIOTT and FRANKS were recently invited to Chequers by Mrs. THATCHER for a working meeting. It must therefore be concluded that MI6 as well is fully aware of, if not indeed one of the main sponsors of, the anonymous security organisation. Also very closely connected to Mrs. THATCHER is the prominent journalist Robert MOSS, who is involved in the promotion of the group's media actions together with Fred LUCHSINGER (377)*, Dr. KUX (378)* of the Swiss Intelligence Service (Colonel BOTTA), and Richard LÖWENTHAL (379)*. Amongst other points in the planning paper are: - V, i Specific aims within this general framework are: To affect a change of government in (a) the United Kingdom (accomplished) and (b) in West Germany, to defend freedom of trade and movement and to oppose all forms of subversion including terrorism ... -VI A What the group can do: Get certain well-known journalists in Britain, the USA and other countries to produce contributions. Access to television. Guarantee a lobby in influential circles, whether directly or through middlemen, witting or unwitting. ROGUE AGENTS 181 Organise public demonstrations in particular areas on themes to be selected. Involve (exploit) the main security and intelligence services both to obtain information and to pass on (feed) information to these agencies. Covert financial transactions for political purposes. - VI B What the group can do if funding is available: Conduct international campaigns aiming to discredit hostile personalities and/or events. Create our own intelligence service specialising in particular themes. Set up offices under suitable cover, each run by a full-time coordinator. Current plans include London, Washington, Paris, Munich (!), Madrid ... 2. As far as can be judged by an outsider, CROZIER has, together with his group, launched the project "Victory for Strauß" using the media or covert tactics applied in Great Britain (major themes, amongst others: communistextremist subversion of the ruling party and trade unions, KGB direction of terrorism, crippling of internal security). He will support and direct the future development of the project on an international level. However, for the present time, consideration must be given to the fact that the personal connections of the CROZIER group, in particular his affinity to personalities from the secret services, and the tactical and conspiratorial aims and proposed methods for the "Victory for Strauß" project described in the planning paper, can in fact be completely identified, even if this was not their intention. It also appears almost certain that on the basis of his project, CROZIER must provoke sharp defensive reactions from those security and intelligence services whose supervisory heads do not follow his political line, such as the BND and BfV. As CROZIER mentions both his basic plan and the Victory project to those he talks to, the problem this causes is obvious. The possible, but avoidable, consequence may be definitely undesirable negative publicity. Munich, 8th November 1979 Dr. Langemann, Department I F" (380). ROGUE AGENTS 182 The mention by Langemann of a working meeting at Chequers between Thatcher, Franks and the 6I team of Crozier and Elliott shortly after Thatcher's election victory is highly significant. Franks's presence with Crozier and Elliott at the Chequers 6I meeting raises the question whether the support given to Thatcher by the retired MI6 officers and IRD assets in the counter-subversion lobby was not echoed by serving MI6 officers such as Franks - MI6 Chief from 1978 to 1981. Franks was renowned as a hard right-winger who had sat uncomfortably as deputy to Maurice Oldfield, a man of liberal views; an early highlight of his MI6 career had been working with G. K. Young on the 1953 Mossadeq coup. A few months after the Langemann report was written, Franks would play a key role in circulating the manuscript of the Chapman Pincher/Peter Wright book Their Trade is Treachery around Whitehall; his letter dated 15th December 1980 was produced as evidence in the Australian Spycatcher trial as proof that the British Government, MI5 and MI6 had known long in advance that Wright was passing on his allegations of Soviet subversion within MI5 and the Wilson government to Chapman Pincher – indeed, it had been Thatcher's advisor, wartime MI5 officer Victor Lord Rothschild, who had first introduced Wright to Pincher and then encouraged Wright to publish his memoirs. Referring to this author's previous research on the Cercle published in Lobster magazine in 1988-89, Crozier writes: "Much has been written about the Cercle, from the outside, and much of it has been false or misleading. For example, it has been alleged that it was a forum for bringing together 'international linkmen of the Right', such as myself and Robert Moss, with secret service chiefs like Alexandre de Marenches, long-time head of the French SDECE, and Sir Arthur ('Dickie') Franks, sometime head of MI6. There are pitfalls in writing about confidential matters from the outside, and drawing on similarly handicapped material. In fact, neither [de] Marenches nor Dickie Franks ever attended a Pinay Cercle meeting during the years I was involved with it: between 1971 and 1985. There was a very good reason why [de] Marenches would never have been invited. The inspirer and long-serving organizer of the Pinay Cercle was Jean Violet, who for many years had been retained by the SDECE as Special Advocate [...] Inevitably he had made enemies. One of them was a close friend of the Comte de Marenches who, on being appointed Director-General of the SDECE in 1970, closed down Violet's office without notice. The two men – [de] Marenches and Violet - never met. As for Dickie Franks, he never attended Cercle meetings, for the reason that Directors of SIS do not involve themselves in such private groups. So he was never invited" (381). This denial of links between the Cercle, de Marenches and Franks is certainly disingenuous if not deliberately misleading, seeking to use the lack of formal ROGUE AGENTS 183 involvement in the Cercle to discount any cooperation with it. Whilst serving Directors of SIS or the SDECE might not like to be seen at Cercle meetings, Langemann repeats information from Cercle and 6I insider Stauffenberg that Franks did accompany the 6I core of Crozier and Elliott to a working meeting with Thatcher shortly after her election victory. As for de Marenches, aside from any animosity with Violet, the French Count had for many years been an intimate advisor to Cercle cofounder Franz Josef Strauß. The "undesirable negative publicity" feared by Langemann did indeed arise: the Spiegel got wind of Strauß's international links and published a two-part series in February and March 1980. Besides documenting Strauß's support for Spínola and Arriaga and his covert funding of Fraga Iribarne, Silva Muñoz and Martínez Esteruelas, the Spiegel articles revealed Strauß's close friendship with the Comte de Marenches, reporting that Strauß frequently met de Marenches, either at the Piscine (SDECE headquarters) or at Strauß's Paris hotel. The Spiegel also reproduced a letter from Huyn to Strauß dated 13th February 1979, which mentioned the Cercle Pinay for the first time: "Furthermore, I would like to inform you that I have just received news from Riyadh confirming that Prince Turki al-Faisal, head of the Saudi intelligence service and brother of the Foreign Minister, will be attending the Cercle meeting in Wildbad Kreuth [since 1975, the international conference centre of the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung]. I think his participation will be of particular interest in view of the Middle East situation [i.e. the overthrow of the Shah one month previously]" (382). Following the initial contact between Crozier and Prince Turki al-Faisal in the spring of 1978 and the subsequent Cercle meeting in summer 1979 referred to above, the 6I and the Saudi intelligence chief would work together on a propaganda project detailed in another report by Langemann written on 7th March 1980. At the same time as Voice of America was rushing to expand its broadcasts to the Islamic border populations of the Soviet Union (383), the Cercle/6I was preparing for its radio debut. Together with the Saudi intelligence service, the Cercle/6I planned to set up a powerful transmitter in Saudi Arabia for propaganda broadcasts to the same target audience as VoA: the Soviet Islamic world radicalised by the Iranian revolution in January 1979 and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979. Huyn had already proposed similar action in his October 1978 book Der Angriff - Der Vorstoss Moskaus zur Weltherrschaft [The Attack - Moscow's Thrust for World Domination], where, as a conclusion, Huyn gave a list of twenty proposals for action to be undertaken if the West was to "survive in freedom". The ninth proposed action on the list explains the background to the joint Cercle/6I-Saudi project: ROGUE AGENTS 184 "The people in the Soviet zone of domination must be given more intensive exposure to objective news from the free world … In the hermetically sealed system of non-freedom of the Soviet bloc, the people can only be reached very partially by a few shortwave broadcasts. These options must be considerably strengthened and expanded; all the developments of modern technology - including satellite television broadcasting - should be used" (384). Although no follow-up to the radio project is known, this Cercle/6I-Saudi cooperation did produce the 1980 FARI bulletin The importance of Saudi Arabia's security to the West by Audrey Parry. Langemann's March 1980 report also gave general background information on the Cercle and specifically dealt with the damaging revelations that had just appeared in the Spiegel: "Contributions to State Protection Confidential note for Dr. Waltner, as agreed in conversation. CERCLE (Spiegel, 10/80, pg 23) 1. As far as my previous BND knowledge and my current information go, this Circle, obviously named with the aim of defaming it, consists of a loose gathering of various conservative and anti-communist politicians, publicists, bankers and VIPs from other professions that meets about twice a year in various parts of the world. Its origins lie with the former French Prime Minister, Antoine PINAY. The Circle, which also invites guests, still exists today. The last meeting of the PINAY CIRCLE was held over the weekend of 1st December 1979 in the Madison Hotel in Washington. Amongst the participants were former [Regional] Minister NARJES (Germany), former Air Minister Julian AMERY (UK), former CIA Director William COLBY, Federal Bank Director VOLKERS and Heritage Trust Foundation President FEULNER (USA) (385)*, as well as [former] Finance Minister PANDOLFI (Italy) and General FRAZER [sic] (South Africa) (386)*. 2. Acting as a kind of coordinator from the original French side is the Parisian lawyer Jean VIOLET who took over the operational side of the Circle as PINAY himself got older (387)*. ROGUE AGENTS 185 VIOLET has connections to several Western intelligence services; certainly to the CIA, to the French SDECE, to the British SIS and to the Swiss Military Intelligence Service, particularly to its Head of Procurement, Colonel BOTTA. 3. GEHLEN, who was always interested in the undertaking, its personalities and its results, recruited VIOLET as a "Special Contact" and for many years provided him with DM 6,000 a month. GEHLEN claimed that this sum had been agreed with the head of the SDECE, at that time General JACQUIER [1962-1966], because VIOLET was receiving the same amount from the SDECE. As I was the main operative for GEHLEN's "Special Operations", I met with VIOLET on many occasions in his Paris flat, together with my fellow operative, the late Marchese de MISTURA. Certainly, VIOLET and I never discussed the PINAY CIRCLE in any detail. However, I did once give him DM 30,000 from GEHLEN "for this purpose". The reporting to this complex, which also included the French statesman POHER, was essentially channelled through Special Contacts Dr. Johannes SCHAUFF and the late Klaus DOHRN. Later, the Parliamentary Secretary of State in the Chancellor's Office, Baron GUTTENBERG, personally gave me the task of keeping "the dubious Mr. VIOLET" (cover name: Veilchen - Little Violet) under observation for counter-espionage purposes. Nothing came of this for reasons I don't need to go into here. One should stress however that VIOLET himself has never boasted of possible contact with the Prime Minister [Strauß], although GEHLEN and GUTTENBERG always insisted on this. As politically coloured gossiping and rumour-mongering are basically "not professional" in counter-espionage, I never attempted to ask VIOLET about this, whether directly or by hinting at it. GEHLEN accepted this, and in particular, my direct superior at the time, General LANGKAU (Strategic Service), specifically approved it. 4. Recently, we have noted the establishment of a "command staff" or Inner Circle which develops suitable lines of action for current political questions. The activities of Brian CROZIER (Transnational Security) have already been the subject of previous reports. On the 5th and 6th January 1980, a group from within the Circle met in Zürich to discuss executive measures. VIOLET led the meeting; amongst others present were Count HUYN MP, Brian CROZIER (previously a longtime CIA agent), Nicholas ELLIOTT (former Division Head in the British SIS), former General STILWELL (ex-US Defence Intelligence Agency) [sic], and Mr. JAMESON (ex-CIA). ROGUE AGENTS 186 The main themes for discussion included: a) international promotion of the Prime Minister [Strauß]. b) influencing the situation in Rhodesia and South Africa from a European Conservative viewpoint. c) the establishment of a powerful directional radio station in Saudi Arabia aiming at the Islamic region and including the corresponding border populations of the Soviet Union. Note: These commendable goals have not been tackled with sufficient attention paid to protecting secrecy in my view. Therefore, negative publicity cannot be ruled out. There is simply too much "loose talk". There is an urgent need for professionally restricted consultation on foreign intelligence service influences both here and abroad. Munich, 7th March 1980 Dr. Langemann, Department I F" (388). Langemann's report was the first primary source to describe the December 1979 Cercle meeting and reveal the presence of both former CIA Director William Colby and Conservative MP Julian Amery, soon to become Chairman of the Cercle. His account also names for the first time a powerful Cercle ally – the German MP from 1972 to 1981 Karl-Heinz Narjes, who would go on to provide the Cercle with a link to the very top of the European Community throughout the 1980s. Having joined the German diplomatic service in 1955, the same year as Huyn, Narjes was a key official in the fledgling EEC throughout its first decade. From the EEC's creation in January 1958 until 1967, Narjes served as deputy chef de cabinet and then chef de cabinet to the first President of the EEC Commission, Adenauer intimate Walter Hallstein (389)*. Hallstein had previously led the German delegation in the negotiations to create the EEC; the delegation's Secretary was Huyn. As Hallstein's right-hand man, Narjes helped to resolve de Gaulle's boycott of the EEC from July 1965 to January 1966 ("la politique de la chaise vide"). After Hallstein's retirement in 1967, Narjes served until 1969 as Director-General of the EEC's Press and Information service; its Director of Radio, Television and Film until 1973 was Rudolf Dumont du Voitel, a member of the AESP's Permanent Delegation from 1970 on. In 1972, Narjes left Brussels and returned to German national politics as a CDU MP, serving as the CDU spokesman on foreign economic ROGUE AGENTS 187 policy and chairing the Bundestag Committee for Economic Affairs from 1972 until 1976. In January 1981, just over a year after the Cercle meeting detailed by Langemann, Narjes would resume his EEC career as German appointee to the crucial post of European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Customs Union and Enlargement, attending at least four Cercle meetings between 1982 and 1984, detailed in the Postscript. In January 1985, Narjes switched portfolio to become Vice-President of the Commission for Industry, Science, Research and Innovation until retiring in 1988. His successor as Commission Vice-President in charge of Science, Research and Innovation from 1989 to 1993 was fellow 1979 Cercle member Filippo Maria Pandolfi (390)*. Besides describing the presence at the 1979 Cercle meeting of Amery, Colby, Narjes and Feulner, Langemann's report also raises more fundamental questions about the relationship between the Cercle and the 6I. His comment about the emergence of a "command staff or Inner Circle" illustrates the difficulty in separating the functions of the Cercle as a confidential discussion forum and the 6I as a covert intelligence agency. Crozier himself comments on the point in reference to this author's previous articles on the Cercle: "To describe it [the Cercle] as a forum is strictly accurate. There were no members in a formal sense. It was an informal group of broadly like-minded people, who met twice a year, once in America, once in Europe. Usually, some distinguished figure was invited to speak. Amongst the guest speakers at times when I was present were Strauss, Henry Kissinger (for whom I interpreted), Zbigniew Brzezinski, David Rockefeller and Giulio Andreotti. Within the wider Cercle, a smaller gathering called the Pinay Group met on occasion to discuss possible action. [...] Some outsiders have jumped to the wrong conclusion that the Pinay Cercle was the same as my 'secret' organisation. One of them was a CIA veteran whom I had known since my FWF days. There was in fact some minor overlapping, but the functions of the 6I, which I have been describing, were quite different. Some members of the 6I's 'Politburo' also attended the Cercle meetings; others did not. Most members of the Cercle were unaware of the existence of the 6I. Many on the 6I's networks had no connection with the Cercle. For all these reasons, the Langemann 'revelations' were deeply misleading" (391). However, as is apparent from the 1982-85 Cercle participants' lists detailed in the Postscript, it is not Langemann's account but Crozier's attempted distancing of the Cercle from the 6I which is "deeply misleading". Langemann's "Inner Circle" is virtually identical to the 6I 'Politburo'; far from "some minor overlapping", both bodies included the key figures of Violet, Crozier, Elliott, Huyn, Stilwell and Jameson, the latter two being described below. Only a few of the 6I 'Politburo' members were not in ROGUE AGENTS 188 attendance at this "command staff" meeting, amongst them Walters, Stauffenberg, Horchem and Albertini. Langemann also mentions for the first time two further American intelligence veterans who served on the 6I's 'Politburo', the first of whom was four-star Army General Richard Giles 'Dick' Stilwell. Stilwell’s post-war career would start in 1947 with a two-year posting to Rome as Special Military Advisor to the American Ambassador. From 1949 to 1952, he served as Chief of the Far East Division of the CIA (not the DIA as Langemann asserts). After a tour of duty in Korea in 1952-53, Stilwell worked as Chief of Strategic Planning at SHAPE from 1956 to 1958 before being appointed in 1959 to the President's Committee for the Study of Foreign Assistance Programs which developed US counter-insurgency policy, notably producing "one of the most influential documents of the past quarter-century" (392) - the May 1959 report Training under the Mutual Security Program which coined the term "pacification" (393). Stilwell's policies laid the groundwork for the American pacification program in Vietnam which would be implemented successively by three Cercle contacts - Thompson, Komer and Colby (394)*. Between 1963 and 1969, Stilwell would again serve in the Asian theatre, firstly in 1963 in Vietnam, when he worked as Chief of Staff to General Westmoreland within the Military Advisory Command Vietnam (MACV), then in Thailand as Commander of the US Military Assistance Command from 1965 to 1967 before returning to Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. After Vietnam, Stilwell filled political posts, first as Deputy Chief of Staff for US Military Operations at the United Nations from 1969 to 1972, and then as Commander-in-Chief of the UN and US Forces in South Korea from 1973 to 1976, the year of his retirement from active service. Less than a year after Langemann's 1980 report, Stilwell would be appointed Reagan's Deputy Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy, a post he would fill from February 1981 to February 1985; he joined the ASC Board and the 'Politburo' of the 6I soon after his appointment (395)*. The second 6I 'Politburo' member mentioned by Langemann was Donald 'Jamie' Jameson, from 1951 on a twenty-year veteran of the CIA's Directorate of Operations who headed the branch in charge of Soviet Bloc covert action and defectors from 1962 to 1969. Jameson's branch encouraged dissidents behind the Iron Curtain, debriefed defectors and helped smuggle banned books to and from the Soviet Union and its satellite countries. Jameson had first debriefed Golitsyn, the defector who "confirmed" the fears of the ultras within the CIA, MI6 and MI5 about Soviet penetration of Western governments and intelligence services, ensnarling the CIA, MI6 and MI5 in fruitless and highly destructive molehunts. Sceptical of Golitsyn's claims and wary of the high-level attention the Soviet defector was being paid, Jameson recommended caution; he was however overridden by Angleton, who removed Jameson as Golitsyn's debriefer. ROGUE AGENTS 189 After retiring from the CIA in 1973, Jameson helped set up the "private" defector reception group, the Jamestown Foundation, serving as its Vice-President. From at least 1977 on, Jameson would be the organiser of the once-yearly Cercle meetings in Washington DC (396). Besides this, Jameson worked from 1980 to 1987 as Vice-President of Research Associates International Ltd, a Washington-based "risk assessment consultancy" set up in 1979 by veteran CIA covert operator [[Theodore Shackley]] (397)*, who would himself be a core Cercle member as described below. Jameson also worked with General Graham, Romerstein and Cline as an advisor to the Nathan Hale Institute, run by W. Raymond Wannall, the longstanding head of the FBI's Intelligence Division until his retirement with the rank of Assistant Director in 1976 (398)*.
Victory for Strauss
The outlines of the operation to promote Strauß as candidate for the German Chancellorship in the 1980 elections are quite clear: within a month of the January Cercle meeting, Crozier in Britain and Löwenthal in Germany had launched a coordinated pro-Strauß campaign. The task was not easy: Strauß's previous run for the Chancellorship in the early 1960s had been dashed by his murky reputation, already tarnished in the 1962 "Spiegel Affair" which revealed that he had orchestrated the illegal extradition from Spain of the magazine's deputy Chief Editor, Conrad Ahlers. In June 1963, the Spiegel alleged that Strauß had been involved in a fraud whilst serving as German Defence Minister; he was later exonerated but the scandal scotched his chances of rising from Defence Minister to the Chancellorship. In the mid-1970s, Strauß was implicated in the Lockheed bribes scandal following his approval as Defence Minister of the disastrous German purchase in 1959 of more than 700 Lockheed F-104 Starfighter or "Widowmaker" aircraft, of which more than 250 would crash by 1982 (399)*. This time around, the Cercle was determined to discredit the Spiegel's relentless revelations of Strauß's parapolitical links. The tactic used was the old ploy of accusing awkward journalists of being in the pay of the Kremlin. Within a month of the January 1980 Cercle meeting, Löwenthal had founded a Strauß support group, the Bürgeraktion Demokraten für Strauß. The group's posters alleged the existence of a systematic anti-Strauß campaign steered from Moscow: "Germans! Do you know who is behind the anti-Strauß campaigns? Journalists financed by East Germany, cheque fraudsters, dope smokers, terrorist sympathisers, Communists and unfortunately also Social Democrats. Stop this left-wing Popular Front!" (400)*. Grau's Frankfurt Study Group would also be involved in the pro-Strauß campaign with a typically devious 'political action' – plastering the election posters of ROGUE AGENTS 190 prominent SPD moderates with forged stickers reading "Better the Russians in Heilbronn than Strauß in Bonn! Détente! - Young Socialists in the SPD". Grau's action team were caught by the police, the Study Group offices searched and considerable amounts of further forged campaigning material found, e.g. "Popular Front for Schmidt!". Grau would later be prosecuted for this campaign (401), an action which led to further police investigations of Grau and, ultimately, to his dramatic death in 1984, detailed below. International support for the Strauß campaign was provided by Crozier who from February on planted pro-Strauß articles in Sir James Goldsmith's magazine NOW!, for which Crozier edited an entire section during the magazine's short lifespan from 1979 to 1981. In the event, the Cercle's efforts were fruitless; although the CDU/CSU got 45% of the secondary votes, Helmut Schmidt won 43% for the SDP and Hans-Dietrich Genscher 10% for the FDP, ensuring the continuation of the Socialist/Liberal coalition. The failed pro-Strauß campaign did however have one later consequence. One article by Crozier, published on 15th February 1980, had dealt in depth with the allegations made by the Spiegel in 1963. Goldsmith himself later joined in the campaign; on 21st January 1981, he addressed the Conservative Media Committee in the House of Commons on "The Communist Propaganda Apparatus and Other Threats in the Media". In his speech, he quoted the Czech defector Major-General Jan Sejna who "admitted that the campaign by the German news magazine Der Spiegel to discredit Franz Josef Strauss was orchestrated by the KGB". The Spiegel naturally sued. Goldsmith then employed Crozier and a team of twenty researchers for three and a half years to back up his case, claiming to have interviewed every major defector from the Eastern bloc (402)*. By 1984, however, Goldsmith was seeking to retreat from his previous claims: in a speech to the Defence Strategy Forum of the NSIC in Washington on 24th May 1984, whilst repeating that the KGB was behind the campaign against Strauß, he added: "this does not mean that the publications or journalists in question were knowingly involved or that they were aware that their views were being manipulated and used by the Soviets for their own purposes" (403). Goldsmith's case collapsed when one of his star witnesses, the temporary Soviet defector, Oleg Bitov, returned to the Soviet Union. Bitov later wrote of the episode in the Moscow Literary Gazette, correctly stating that Crozier was coordinating the research from his Regent Street office (404). Eventually, in October 1984, an out-of-court settlement was reached between the Spiegel and Goldsmith, with Goldsmith paying his costs; despite this legal retreat, Goldsmith took out full-page adverts in the British and German Press, declaring the Spiegel to be "a victim of the propaganda techniques of the KGB". Much of Crozier's research was later recycled by Chapman Pincher in his 1985 book, The Secret ROGUE AGENTS 191 Offensive, a major outlet for the 6I and its allies (405)*.
The Reagan Campaign
The final Cercle document from this period came not from Langemann but from German investigative journalist Jürgen Roth, who published the minutes of the next Cercle meeting, held in Zürich on 28th and 29th June 1980. The "Victory for Strauß" campaign was in full swing, but despite Crozier and Löwenthal's efforts, it was not going well, particularly because of the revelations in the Spiegel in February and March. Besides following progress on the Strauß project and the radio station in Saudi Arabia, the Cercle turned their attention to the looming American Presidential elections: "A further meeting of the Circle was held under the chairmanship of Violet and attended by those present at the previous meeting, including Colonel Botta of the Swiss Intelligence Service and Fred Luchsinger, head of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. 1. The prospects for positive influence on the election campaign in favour of Strauß cannot be judged to be very favourable. While the many promotional influences in US, UK and Swiss newspapers were welcomed by their readers, their impact in the Federal Republic lagged far behind. Furthermore, it seems doubtful that Strauß will be able to match the dynamic foreign policy initiatives that Federal Chancellor Schmidt has been able to make. In contrast to the situation in the US, where President Carter is confronted with the shattered remains of his foreign policy - difficult to present favourably for the election campaign, even in part - Schmidt has understood how to make clear and prominent political steps which represent an achievable goal for the population's desire for peace. Luchsinger said that he was prepared to produce a series of three leading articles highlighting the tendency of current government policy in Bonn to weaken NATO. Crozier felt that similar steps could be tried again through Moss in London and the Baltimore Sun in the US (406)*. 2. Count Huyn reported on his meeting with the head of the Saudi security service about the establishment of a short-wave radio transmitting towards the Soviet Union. The Saudis were interested, he said, and had guaranteed finance on the condition that a situation such as that created in Moscow by Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty must be avoided at all costs. 3. A discussion was held about a series of appropriate measures to promote the electoral campaign of Presidential candidate Reagan against Carter. Elliott reported that in this context, positive contact had been made with George [H. ROGUE AGENTS 192 W.] Bush as well (407)*. 4. Colonel Botta stated that in his opinion, support must be given to the Israeli intelligence service. It was noted that, as far as Europe was concerned, the efficiency of the service had diminished considerably" (408)*. The presence of former CIA officers during the Cercle's discussions on the promotion of Ronald Reagan is indicative: participants at the Cercle's earlier "command staff" meeting in January 1980 had included not only Violet, Crozier, Elliott and Huyn, but also Jameson and Stilwell, the latter a Board member of the American Security Council. At the time of the Cercle meeting, the ASC Foundation was launching an intense media campaign against Carter for "disarming America to death" through the SALT 2 Treaty. The ASCF produced a film called The SALT 2 Syndrome that was notably used in South Dakota to oust Senator George McGovern. The film was shown eleven times on the three major state television channels, and as a film or videotape it was screened to over 1,000 audiences. ASC official John Fisher stated: "In the last three months of the campaign [...] ASCF increased its average TV showings from 30 a month to 180 bookings per month for a total of 1,956 showings during this election year" (409)*. Within ten days of the Cercle meeting of 28th-29th June, Crozier flew out to Los Angeles to brief Reagan personally on the 6I and offer its services. Crozier was not the only one to contact Reagan or his campaign team; also in early July, the Comte de Marenches met William Casey, Reagan's campaign manager, in Paris. De Marenches, who wrote in his memoirs that "under Carter, the Americans committed voluntary suicide", shared with OSS veteran Casey not only a total disdain for Carter but also a past in the Resistance during the Second World War and an arch-conservative approach to both politics and intelligence work. De Marenches was well placed to advise Casey on the Iranian hostage crisis; he had been the driving force behind the creation of the Safari Club, founded in 1976 to coordinate covert cooperation between the French, Iranian, Saudi, Moroccan and Egyptian intelligence services. One month after the de Marenches-Casey meeting, Casey would fly to Madrid for a series of meetings with senior Iranian officials to negotiate the framework for a deal to delay the release of the Teheran Embassy hostages. The key meetings to finalise the "October Surprise" deal were held in October in Paris under the benevolent eye of de Marenches's SDECE; in September, Alain de Marolles, SDECE Director of Operations and principal deputy to de Marenches, had given the go-ahead for French arms dealers to supply Iran with military equipment in direct violation of Carter's embargo (410). After Reagan's election victory, de Marenches was invited to meet the President-elect and flew to California on 21st November 1980 to advise him on selection of Administration personnel and policy. Above all, de Marenches warned ROGUE AGENTS 193 Reagan not to trust the CIA, particularly because of its lack of purposefulness: "Reagan repeated [de] Marenches's warning - "Don't trust the CIA" - to George Bush, who had been CIA chief in 1976-77. Bush thought it was hogwash, but all the same it obviously left a deep impression on Reagan. Bush had already told one of his CIA friends that, given Reagan's detached management style and his unfamiliarity with intelligence matters, it was important the President have a CIA Director he felt close to, someone he trusted fully, particularly on the issue of purposefulness. Now, after the [de] Marenches warning, that was even more important" (411)*. The man to whom Reagan offered the job - within days of his meeting with de Marenches - was someone the French spymaster approved of entirely: OSS veteran and NSIC co-founder William Casey. Thanks to Casey and others, the NSIC and the Cercle/6I would enjoy unbroken access to the highest levels of US policymaking even before the advent of the Reagan Administration. As well as having been Reagan’s election manager, Casey was also head of the Reagan transition team, particularly in the field of intelligence, where Casey was assisted by two former senior CIA officials as Special Advisors, 6I founding member Lieutenant-General Vernon Walters and longstanding ISC friend Ray S. Cline. The agenda for the incoming Reagan Administration had to a large extent already been mapped out in a 3,000-page list of policy recommendations published by the Heritage Foundation in January 1981 under the title Mandate for Leadership - its intelligence proposals had been drafted by NSIC Washington chief Roy Godson, Senate Intelligence Committee staffer and later NSIC and IEDSS author Angelo Codevilla, and Crozier's old associate and probable 6I founding member Herb Romerstein (412). Once in charge of the CIA, Casey would help to provide initial funding for the 6I's operations. Members of the 6I 'Politburo' also soon assumed high office: General Walters would act as Reagan's Ambassador at Large from 1981 to 1985, US Representative at the UN from 1985 to 1989, and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to West Germany from 1989 to 1991, whilst General Stilwell served from 1981 to 1985 as Reagan's Deputy Under-Secretary of Defence for Policy – despite the anodyne title, Stilwell was in reality charged with a fundamental reform of US special forces. Reagan also ensured contact with the Cercle and the 6I through an old Californian friend, William A. Wilson, whom Reagan also appointed as his personal envoy to the Vatican in February 1981 and full US Ambassador to the Holy See in March 1984, resuming US-Vatican diplomatic relations suspended since the early 1970s. Besides the channels to Reagan via Casey, Walters or Wilson, the Cercle/6I also liaised directly with Reagan's successive National Security Advisors, Dick Allen, William P. Clark, Bud McFarlane and Admiral Poindexter. The NSIC and Cercle/6I could also count on several other highly-placed friends within the American national security apparatus throughout Reagan's two ROGUE AGENTS 194 terms as President. One of Crozier's frequent contacts throughout the 1980s - indeed, as mentioned above, a probable founding member of the 6I in 1977 - was onetime NSIC Program Director Sven Kraemer, the veteran NSC staffer who had spent the Carter Presidency working as Senior Staff Member for Defense and Foreign Policy for the Senate. In 1979, Kraemer served as the Chair of the Heritage Foundation's Transition Team for the Defense Department. After Reagan's election, Kraemer returned to the NSC, serving as Director of Arms Control from 1981 to 1987; he would then act as Senior Staff Member for Defense and Foreign Policy for the House of Representatives until 1989. In 1985, at least, Kraemer attended a Cercle meeting in Washington, as described in the Postscript. Another regular Crozier partner and possible 6I founding member was Richard Perle, nicknamed the "Prince of Darkness" and named by Großmann in 2014 as a Cercle member. Perle worked from 1969 to 1980 as a Senior Staff Member for Senator Henry 'Scoop' Jackson, a prominent member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and leading opponent of the SALT II treaty. Whilst with Jackson, Perle ensured a massive expansion of US military aid to Israel: "Aided by Perle, Jackson quickly became Israel's number-one man in the Congress, constantly pushing for more and more money with fewer restrictions. In fiscal year 1970, Israel received military credits from the United States worth $30 million. But, thanks to a Jackson amendment, the next year the amount sky-rocketed to $545 million. By 1974, it had reached an extraordinary $2.2 billion, more than seventy times what it had been just four years earlier" (413). "One of Perle's great victories while working for Jackson came in late 1975, when he sabotaged the SALT II treaty that called for limiting American and Russian nuclear stockpiles and restricted missile defense systems … Rumsfeld pressed Ford to back away from SALT. Already reeling from the harsh attacks of Republican challenger Ronald Reagan, who accused Ford of coddling the Russians, the President declined to sign the treaty" (414). In 1981, President Reagan appointed Perle as his Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, a post he filled until 1987; at this time, Perle was a member of the ASC's lobbying arm, the Coalition for Peace through Strength. In 1982, Perle hired NSC Middle East expert Douglas J. Feith as his Special Counsel; Feith would go on to serve as Reagan's Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Negotiations Policy from 1984 to 1986. A third Crozier contact and influential figure in the Reagan Administration was Ken deGraffenreid who had served as Senior Staff Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence from its foundation in 1977 until 1981. He worked with Casey, Walters and Cline on Reagan's transition intelligence team before being appointed Senior Director of Intelligence Programs at the NSC in 1981, serving for six ROGUE AGENTS 195 years. Leaving government office in 1987, he became a Senior Fellow on Intelligence at the NSIC in the late 1980s. Kraemer, Perle, Feith and deGraffenreid would work together over the next twenty years, becoming notorious figures in Rumsfeld's Pentagon from 2001 on. Other Crozier allies within Reagan's NSC were Sovietologist and NSC Advisor Richard Pipes, a USCISC member, and, last but certainly not least, Colonel Oliver North of Iran-Contra fame. ROGUE AGENTS 196