BAD GUY

by Antony Georgieff

The Bulgarian State Security used every chance to pick up at the West – sometimes quite hilariously (although the comrades were dead serious)

Reagan, Ronald.jpg

You thought the KGB in the Soviet Union, the Stasi in East Germany, the StB in Czechoslovakia and the Securitate in Romania were repressive agencies that terrorised millions of their own citizens and that would use every chance to sabotage the West, ranging from propaganda to drugs and arms smuggling? Quite right. All of those were responsible for heinous crimes such as sending innocent people to Communist labour camps as well as organising "wet jobs" such as the 1978 assassination of Bulgarian writer Georgi Markov in London and the 1981 attempt to murder Pope John Paul in Rome. The climate of fear that the KGB and its sister agencies, of which the Bulgarian State Security, or Darzhavna sigurnost was the most subservient, has been unparalleled in human history and can best be described through a work of fiction: George Orwells' 1984. But don't think that the guys who ran these agencies were sleek Eastern-style James Bonds who drove fast cars, spoke several languages and excelled in sophisticated espionage techniques. More often than not they were simple peasants, or sons and daughters of peasants, who had been selected for their jobs on the basis of party loyalty rather than because they had any particular professional talent. As a result, their activities, paid for by the taxpayer, were pure nonsense. Seen from the standpoint of 2009, they appear hilarious. But at the time they were quite real, sinisterly.

Here we reprint in full and word for word a top secret memo written by a senior State Security Official, and declassified after the collapse of Communism. The original of this document, as well as plenty of other Cold War material, is hosted at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington DC as part of its Cold War archives. More on www.wilsoncenter.org.

 

TOP SECRET!

Interior Ministry
Reg. No 16813, Copy No 1
31. 12. 1982
Sofia

TO
COL GEN GRIGOR SHOPOV
1ST DEPUTY MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR


REPORT

by Lt Gen P. Stoyanov, Head
of Department 06, State Security

RE: Opportunity to carry out compromising activities directed at CIA and US President Reagan

Comrade First Deputy Minister,

We are witnessing an organised ideological sabotage aimed at the People's Republic of Bulgaria and the USSR, probably organised by the CIA (the Antonov case), as well as deliberate psychological pressure on West European countries to adopt the militaristic doctrines of the United States. As is well known, imperialism uses US President R. Reagan as its standard-bearer. Having in mind the probable escalation of the hostile campaign against the People's Republic of Bulgaria in the coming year 1983, I suggest we actively avail of the opportunity to compromise the CIA and US President Reagan.

As is also known, Reagan has ambitions as an actor. The press has announced that he will hold a one-hour talk with the children of the United States every week on TV. He will also play the main role in The Assassination Attempt on the President documentary (that is, the attempt on his own life).

According to firearms experts, the assassination attempt on his life in 1981 bore all the hallmarks of a staged drama. As we know, it was made at a time when, as the polls indicated, he was losing popularity with the US population. In addition, when viewing the documentary videotape footage and the official statements, the following things come to light:

- The assassin uses a revolver (and not a pistol) with a short barrel and double-action trigger. This means that when firing each shot (when pressing the trigger), the cylinder turns and the hammer is cocked and released simultaneously. In such a case, it is impossible to take accurate aim; triggering leads to a "jerk" and the "accurate fire" is broken after every "shot" by the firearm kick and it takes time to aim again.

- The assassin fired six bullets under the above conditions within a very short time (the five shots after the first one): 2.2–2.3 seconds. The best marksmen in the world would not be able to hit targets successfully under such conditions. In the fastest rapid-fire pistol event they fire 5 shots in 4.7–4.8 seconds using special small-calibre pistols (not revolvers) with weak "short" cartridges and equipped with muzzle brakes (recoil compensators), special aiming devices, grips and a particularly low trigger-pull weight.

- The assassin's shots hit three people (including the president), but all three of them survived although they were hit in vital parts of the body.

- Although Reagan was hit in the chest, the video footage shows no reflex reactions of his body (not even muscle twitches).

- Although he was hit, the bullet "rebounded from his rib" and, moreover, the poison it was covered with "did not take effect."

- So, everybody is alive and well and two days after the assassination attempt (and the subsequent surgery) Reagan was back ruling the country, as a hero.

- After a lengthy investigation, the assassin was not convicted because he was found to be insane.

As can be seen, there are a number of strange circumstances regarding this attempted assassination. Analogies may be found with the assassination attempt on the pope. All this gives us the opportunity of making a TV film that will increase doubts about these attempted assassinations (especially Reagan's). The film will be shown by the networks of the GDR, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary, which are watched in the neighbouring West European countries. It should not contain direct accusations of fraud against the president and the CIA, but its content ought to make viewers think.

Besides the documentary footage, we can make use of old (cowboy) films where the character played by Reagan is "shot" or "killed."

We could include interviews with:

- a well-known marksman who has won international awards (about the possibility of aiming accurately with the assassin's revolver);

- a firearms coach – about the likelihood of hitting three men;

- a crime investigator – about the features of the weapon;

- a medical doctor – about the ricochet from the rib, the poison, the condition of a man wounded under such circumstances and Reagan's reaction when "hit;"

- we could include a shooting demonstration under similar circumstances by a highly-qualified sportsman and so on.

With a suitable script, such a film could have a serious influence on public opinion in Western Europe (and elsewhere in the world) in the current complex international situation.

To make the film, we can use the resources of the Interior Ministry Propaganda Department (Lach) or, if necessary, similar departments of the fraternal countries' ministries.


Lieut. General P. Stoyanov
Head of Department

Written in 2 copies
No 1 Dep. Minister
No 2 Dept. 06 State Security
Executed by Kozlovski
Written by Tsvetanska


--

Comrade Stoyanov,
Discuss the idea with the First Head Department and then we will talk it over in other places too.
Gr. Shopov

  • COMMENTING RULES

    Commenting on www.vagabond.bg

    Vagabond Media Ltd requires you to submit a valid email to comment on www.vagabond.bg to secure that you are not a bot or a spammer. Learn more on how the company manages your personal information on our Privacy Policy. By filling the comment form you declare that you will not use www.vagabond.bg for the purpose of violating the laws of the Republic of Bulgaria. When commenting on www.vagabond.bg please observe some simple rules. You must avoid sexually explicit language and racist, vulgar, religiously intolerant or obscene comments aiming to insult Vagabond Media Ltd, other companies, countries, nationalities, confessions or authors of postings and/or other comments. Do not post spam. Write in English. Unsolicited commercial messages, obscene postings and personal attacks will be removed without notice. The comments will be moderated and may take some time to appear on www.vagabond.bg.

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Discover More

THE VELCHOVA ZAVERA HIKE
Еvery April, since 2020, hundreds of young Bulgarians gather in Veliko Tarnovo and embark on a meaningful journey, retracing the steps of a daring rebellion that took place in the town and its surroundings, in 1835.

LES FRANÇAIS EN BULGARIE
Before English took over in Bulgaria, in the 1990s, mastering French was obligatory for the local elite and those who aspired to join it.

BULGARIA'S NEW 'PATRIOTISM'
In the summer of 2023, one of the news items that preoccupied Bulgarians for weeks on end was a... banner.

WHAT WAS THE SEPTEMBER UPRISING?
Raised hands, bodies frozen in a pathos of tragic defiance: Bulgaria, especially its northwest, is littered with monuments to an event that was once glorified but is now mostly forgotten.

WHO WAS RENÉ CHARRON?
Not all people who make a big difference in history, or attempt to make one, are ahead of great governments or armies.

REARVIEW MIRROR OF BULGARIA AND AMERICA
When John Jackson became the first US diplomat in Bulgaria, in 1903, the two nations had known each other for about a century.

200 VAGABONDS
When the first issue of Vagabond hit the newsstands, in September 2006, the world and Bulgaria were so different that today it seems as though they were in another geological era.

LAPSE OF TIME
Sofia, with its numerous parks, is not short of monuments and statues referring to the country's rich history. In the Borisova Garden park for example, busts of freedom fighters, politicians and artists practically line up the alleys.

WHY DOES 'SORRY' SEEM TO BE THE HARDEST WORD?
About 30 Bulgarians of various occupations, political opinion and public standing went to the city of Kavala in northern Greece, in March, to take part in a simple yet moving ceremony to mark the demolition of the Jewish community of northern Greece, which

BULGARIA'S LAST MONARCH
On 3 October 1918, Bulgarians felt anxious. The country had just emerged from three wars it had fought for "national unification" – meaning, in plain language, incorporating Macedonia and Aegean Thrace into the Bulgarian kingdom.

WHO WAS ALEKO KONSTANTINOV?
In Vagabond we sometimes write about people whose activities or inactivity have shaped Bulgaria's past and present. Most of these are politicians or revolutionaries.

RUSSIA BRINGS ON... VANGA
The future does not look bright according to Vanga, the notorious blind clairvoyant who died in 1996 but is still being a darling of tabloids internationally, especially in Russia.