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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 13, 1989


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    Ceausescu informs the Committee about a foreign spy, Raceanu, that had been uncovered and also discusses activities of former party members, "political hooligans."
    "Minutes of Conversation of the Meeting of the Executive Political Committee (BCEx) of the RCP CC," March 13, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, CC RCP Chancellery, 15/1989, ANIC. Translated for CWIHP by Mircea Munteanu
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Minutes of Conversation
of the Meeting of the Executive Political Committee (BCEx) of the RCP CC
13 March 1989

The session was presided by Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu, General Secretary of the RCP
Participating in the meeting were Cdes. Emil Bobu, Elena Ceausescu, Lina Ciobanu, Ion Coman, Nicolae Constantin, Constantin Dascalescu, Ion Dinca, Miu Dobrescu, Ludivic Fazekas, Paul Niculescu, […] Dumistru Popescu, Gheorghe Radulescu, Andrei Stefan, […] Vasile Milea […]
Also invited were Cdes. Barbu Petrescu, Vasile Barbulescu, Silviu Curticeanu, Ion Sirbu, and Eugen Florescu.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu [NC]:
Comrades. We need to talk about two issues, which I will present here briefly, because I want the BCEx members to be familiar with them. As a matter of fact, regarding the first issue, I want to issue a press release tomorrow. [end page 1]

The first issue[:] our security agency, together with the public attorney office, managed to uncover a foreign spy ring. I say “managed” because there was this impression we have developed that we are being left alone, that we can sleep soundly. I can honestly say that my jaw dropped, as they say. We are talking about a jackass (magar), to call him so, who worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and was directing a division regarding western countries. We are talking about some guy, Raceanu. He was caught red handed, and he confessed in the end. He was caught with the documents in his possession as he was trying to pass them on. He confessed that he was working [for them] since 1974.

Cde. Elena Ceausescu [EC]: Since 1972

NC: No. He became an agent since 1974. We are speaking of the United States of America. He confessed that he used all his influence and his relations to gather information and documents on all subjects, but especially on the activities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

We have a law concerning maintaining government and party secrecy, but we have been lax in enforcing it and controlling its enforcement. This is not only valid for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There are clear guidelines in the law, including that one is only allowed to see the documents he is working with and then he must keep them locked [secured]. This guy, breaking the law, took advantage of the relations he had and of the friendships he had, and gathered information from everyone. [end page 2] He took advantage of loose lips, of the fact that some want to show that they know everything and speak about everything, at a glass of wine or in other situations, they spill out everything they know. It is, like Eminescu said, some “have the universe on the tip of their finger.”

From this we should draw certain conclusions, and we should take measures to institute order, that everyone must know what they have to do with regard to maintaining state and official secrets.

This Raceanu has been arrested a while back, but the inquiry is continuing.

I decided that tomorrow, the public attorney office and the security organs will issue a press release, so that this fact will be known. After that, the case will continue based on our laws, based on the letter of the law with regard to treason, and based on the decisions made by the justice department.

On this issue, I want to draw your attention, and I believe it would be good to see that the ministry of interior, as a matter of fact all departments and all people involved with this law, they should all be approved by the Securitate, and closely connected with the Securitate. This is the letter of the law, and, after all, this is the case in the entire world.

You saw what happened in the US. The Secretary of Defense was vetted by the CIA and the FBI, and in the end Congress did not ratified his appointment, because he is an alcoholic and has close connections with the military industrial complex. [end page 3]

This is why, in this issue of honesty, we have become a little “out to pasture” (gura-casca) and we said “poor guy, forget him.” We were satisfied to just admonish one guy, and then he goes ahead and does whatever he wants.

So I want to draw some conclusions concerning this mentality. After all, there has been quite a while since we had such issues, but that does not mean that espionage against us was not being carried out. We just did not know about it. And this is not the only case. Some activities like this take different forms. Quite a while back we had a army general that kept busy with stuff like that. In 1968 we had another one.

We thought we would be left alone.

Of course, our security apparatus must also draw some lessons, and they must draw some lessons in all activity areas.

I draw the conclusion that there is this liberal attitude about breaking the law, with regard to contacts with foreigners, contacts with embassies.

We have very clear rules. No one is allowed to talk alone with a foreigner, so at least two people must be present. Then, no one can host foreigners without approval. Take the rules and read them! We must take a clear look at the cadres, and firmly introduce all the required measures, in all activity areas. This is how things work in the rest of the world, we can't be different.

This was the first issue I wanted to talk about. [end page 4]

The second issue refers to some old clients [friends], to call them so, some political hooligans, morally and politically fallen, with which the party has dealt [in the past.]

First, this has to do with Brucan, who has been excluded from the party for a while, and is an agent for foreign governments.

EC: He was recruited a long time ago by the Americans.

NC: He got together with Apostol, with whom we have showed too much understanding. Here, the fault is mine, since I thought that, even if he will not straighten up, at least he'll mind his own business. In the end, it is clear that he does not deserve any trust or compassion.

Another one is Birladeanu, which in the last few years has started selling all sorts of things. He worked with a group of thieves, and is under investigation for some time now related to this.

Another one is Corneliu Manescu, which you also know.

EC: He is vulnerable at everything.

NC: They also went to Pirvulescu.

They have decided that together, they should send a letter to the President of Romania, but to send it via the United States, Great Britain, France – of course, using Brucan's contacts with their espionage agencies. [end page 5]

With some of them we spoke within the party, with some at the Internal Ministry, and, in the end, they all confessed. Of course, the action, on its own…

EC: It's treason

NC: There is little point in talking [to them] anymore, since the action itself it's akin to treason.

But we should clarify this within the party. Of course, those who are still party members can no longer remain in the party. But we must take into account their positions, what the Constitution states, what the law states, because treason is treason.

EC: No matter who does it, treason is treason.

NC: These people have taken up all that the foreign espionage agencies desired, beginning with the idea that we spend a lot on infrastructure, and that we should no longer invest in that. Practically, they are all fallen, politically, morally, socially, and you have to ask yourself, how could they have ever held public office.

EC: And to end up in such gutter. [end page 6]

NC: We will see afterwards what conclusions we will reach.

They have tried to speak with other people, it's true, but in similar circles, meaning with those just like them (de teapa lor.)

They want the right to maintain contact with foreign embassies.

Cde. Constantin Dascalescu: With which ones?

NC: They chose their masters by the size of their purse! They don't go to the Bulgarians, but to those who pay them best! They don't go to the Koreans, or the Cubans. Maybe they are encouraged by the foreign agencies, but it looks like they gained even more courage after the developments in the Soviet Union.

Did you see what some citizen wrote in “Izvestia?” That they should not be proud that the reactionary forces are praising them.

We should send this to the regional [party] offices, to make it widely known.

These were the two issues that I wanted to discuss in this meeting. Of course, in the first issue, the case is clear. Generally, the first case is closed.

EC: But we must draw some conclusions about how state secrets and party secrets must be kept. [end page 7]

NC: This is why I wanted to draw attention to these issues, and draw some conclusions, meaning we must take a stronger position regarding individuals speaking too much, regarding all those who listen to these foreign radio stations. We must take a strong stand, since we cannot allow anyone to carry out activities against the interests of socialism and of the people. To be compassionate means to play into the hand of foreign reactionary circles, against the interests of the Romanian people and the construction of socialism – and we cannot abide that!

From these cases this is the conclusion we must draw, we must take a strong stand, we must uncover and unmask them in all areas of activity. We must be more active in the party as well!

I have now informed the Executive Political Committee, but, this being an internal issue, there are no discussions on this.

With this, the meeting is closed.

TL, 2 ex
[end page 8]


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