Thursday, January 9, 2020

How CIA's `QRHELPFUL' Covert Action Program Helped Polish `Solidarity' Group In 1980s: Conclusion


During the 1980s a group in Poland that Lech Walesa led, called "Solidarity," was apparently secretly supported by the Central Intelligence Agency [CIA] of the Republican Reagan administration. As the Chair and Director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies [CSIS]'s Transnational Threats Project, Seth G. Jones, recalled in his 2018 book, A Covert Action: Reagan, The CIA, and The Cold War Struggle in Poland

"...CIA assets also helped organize pro-Solidarity demonstrations during high-visibility events like soccer games, especially when they were broadcast on television. The CIA's...campaign helped draw Solidarity back into the global spotlight. Reagan was elated...

"...CIA began channelling funds to...Polonia companies...Together Kultura and Polonia received about $450,000 per year in CIA funds. In 1985, CIA assets infiltrated a total of roughly $900,000 into Poland...In Paris...QRGUIDE...made a video history of Solidarity and sent 2,500 cassettes to Poland in 1985.

"...In 1986...CIA assets sent more than $1 million to...Solidarity...A growing percentage of this aid was for video-related equipment...CIA operatives also arranged satellite telecasts into Poland from Western Europe...

"...Throughout 1985 and 1986, the CIA provided funds for demonstrations...On may 1, 1985...15,000 people in Warsaw and 2,000 in Gdansk spilled onto the street to support Solidarity..." (end of article)

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

How CIA's `QRHELPFUL' Covert Action Program Helped Polish `Solidarity' Group In 1980s: Part 6


During the 1980s a group in Poland that Lech Walesa led, called "Solidarity," was apparently secretly supported by the Central Intelligence Agency [CIA] of the Republican Reagan administration. As the Chair and Director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies [CSIS]'s Transnational Threats Project, Seth G. Jones, recalled in his 2018 book, A Covert Action: Reagan, The CIA, and The Cold War Struggle in Poland:

"The CIA promoted the Solidarity logo around the world and helped manufacture and distribute Solidarity buttons, T-shirts, key chains, and other items--much like a public relations firm...With Malzahn's oversight, CIA case officers and assets helped organize demonstrations in roughly 20 countries...

"The CIA stations in Mexico City and Paris were particularly active. CIA case officers and their networks helped place articles in over two dozen Mexican newspapers; provided financial assistance for pro-Solidarity demonstrations, organized a half dozen television and radio interviews with Miroslav Dominczyk, one of Solidarity's founders; helped arrange a dozen press conferences with Dominczyk; and distributed over 70,000 bulletins across the country...

"The overseas hub of QRHELPFUL remained Paris, where QRBERETTA--the covert action program that began in 1950 to support...Kultura--had been one of the CIA's first-ever political programs. The CIA asset...QRGUIDE, who worked closely with CIA case officer Celia Larkin, helped plaster Metro stations with 40,000 stickers urging Parisians to the Polish ambassador...Also arranged for French television to broadcast taped interviews with Solidarity leaders...One of the...demonstrations was organized by a CIA Paris station asset...in cooperation with the French labor confederation Force Ouvriere (Workers' Force)...Thanks to these and other efforts, Poland and...Solidarity continued to be covered in newspapers, magazines, and radio and television programs..

"...Several additional CIA stations played roles in supporting QRHELPFUL. They included Rome, London, Brussels, and Bonn, as well as smaller CIA offices in West Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Frankfurt. Other CIA hubs included Lisbon, Portugal and Bern, Switzerland--which had mostly supporting roles.

"Several wealthy Europeans provided cover for the large sums of money flowing into...Poland-related activities...The CIA recruited a Portuguese businessman...who mounted pro-Solidarity demonstrations and served as what the CIA called an `agent of influence.'..." (end of part 6).


Tuesday, January 7, 2020

How CIA's `QRHELPFUL' Covert Action Program Helped Polish `Solidarity' Group In 1980s: Part 5


During the 1980s a group in Poland that Lech Walesa led, called "Solidarity," was apparently secretly supported by the Central Intelligence Agency [CIA] of the Republican Reagan administration. As the Chair and Director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies [CSIS]'s Transnational Threats Project, Seth G. Jones, recalled in his 2018 book, A Covert Action: Reagan, The CIA, and The Cold War Struggle in Poland:

"...The 4-page weekly Tydognzk Mazoustoe...received...covert assistance from the CIA...Solidarity's...transmitters filled the airwaves with messages...On April 12, 1982...citizens in Warsaw heard the inaugural broadcast of Radio Solidarity...Supported by covert CIA funds, Radio Solidarity went on the air from multiple, roving locations...Two CIA-supported publications, Kultura and Aneks, opened their pages...

"...The CIA entrusted...a few Catholic officials to bring money into Poland as part of QRHELPFUL...By late 1984, QRHELPFUL's infrastructure was operating at full capacity. Within the International Activities Division at CIA headquarters, Dick Malzahn remained head...He would eventually be replaced by Boyd Bishop...The CIA ramped up its media campaign to aid Solidarity. The CIA's International Activities Division boasted a worldwide covert action infrastructure of media assets and outlets to distribute a pro-Solidarity message. Malzahn's group aimed to organize political demonstrations inside--and outside--Poland..."  (end of Part 5)

Monday, January 6, 2020

How CIA's `QRHELPFUL' Covert Action Program Helped Polish `Solidarity' Group In 1980s: Part 4


During the 1980s a group in Poland that Lech Walesa led, called "Solidarity," was apparently secretly supported by the Central Intelligence Agency [CIA] of the Republican Reagan administration. As the Chair and Director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies [CSIS]'s Transnational Threats Project, Seth G. Jones, recalled in his 2018 book, A Covert Action: Reagan, The CIA, and The Cold War Struggle in Poland:

"Dick Malzahn and other CIA operatives overseeing QRHELPFUL...had assets. But how would they infiltrate money and material into Poland?...Since a direct hand-off of aid from CIA to Solidarity would have risked discovery, case officers and their assets used `ratlines,' in CIA parlance...The operatives utilized smugglers, philanthropists, publishers, and others to move supplies into Poland...The use of assets maximized secrecy by hiding the hand of the CIA...

"Sweden was a primary point of origin for QRHELPFUL infiltration. Somewhere between one quarter and one half of all material entering Poland arrived from Sweden...In 1983 [U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director] Bill Casey flew to Sweden to ask Prime Minister Olof Palme for assistance. Casey wanted to establish a pipeline to funnel supplies to Solidarity on a regular basis...Palme agreed to help. The CIA now had top cover to use ports, ships, and smugglers to move material to...Solidarity...

"...The CIA obligated nearly $1.5 million to Solidarity in fiscal year 1983...In Bonn, a German CIA asset...codenamed QACARROTTOP, passed CIA money from his foundation to a Catholic clergyman...QACARROTTOP also gave funds to the Solidarity offices in Paris and Brussels using CIA money masked as foundation donations...Moscow and Warsaw were accurate in assuming the CIA was involved in aid to opposition groups..." (end of Part 4)

Sunday, January 5, 2020

How CIA's `QRHELPFUL' Covert Action Program Helped Polish `Solidarity' Group In 1980s: Part 3


During the 1980s a group in Poland that Lech Walesa led, called "Solidarity," was apparently secretly supported by the Central Intelligence Agency [CIA] of the Republican Reagan administration. As the Chair and Director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies [CSIS]'s Transnational Threats Project, Seth G. Jones, recalled in his 2018 book, A Covert Action: Reagan, The CIA, and The Cold War Struggle in Poland:

"In January 1983, John Stein, the CIA's deputy director for operations, sent a memorandum to the CIA comptroller asking for...$1 million...to jump-start covert aid to Solidarity...Overall, Stein asked for several types of support to help Solidarity, which totaled roughly $2 million: $600,000 for communications equipment, $300,000 for printing material, $100,000 to assist the families of Solidarity prisoners, over $500,000 for Solidarity members living outside of Poland and more than $400,000 for propaganda...

"On March 1, 1983, the CIA assigned the Polish program a cryptonym, QRHELPFUL, along with its own file and financial authorization numbers. CIA headquarters, back in the United States, ran QRHELPFUL. But the CIA's Paris station, based out of the U.S. embassy, was a key hub. Other CIA stations in Western Europe and Latin America were also involved in Solidarity support activities, especially London and Bonn...

"Assets...were essential to the success of the CIA's covert action program in Poland. Celia Larkin and other CIA case officers began a sustained effort to recruit individuals...including human rights activists, underground smugglers, and philanthropists. The CIA gave them codenames like QACARROTTOP and QTOCCUR...By mid-1983, QRHELPFUL had increased to roughly 20 assets. Over the next year, the number of assets rose to around 30. These assets were divided into 3 categories. The first were covert action assets, who conducted a broad set of activities...The next were media assets...These individuals were involved in influencing day-to-day media coverage by publishing articles or talking to reporters, as well as organizing political demonstrations in Europe...The final category included the surrogate funders, who helped raise money and moved it through clandestine human networks to Solidarity officers and individuals in Poland, Belgium, and other countries throughout Europe...

"...The CIA now began devoting funds to...purposes like buying communications equipment for...Solidarity...The CIA's covert aid to Solidarity was secret...The program had to be secret, Reagan concluded, because public awareness of CIA support could severely undermine Solidarity's legitimacy..." (end of Part 3)


Friday, January 3, 2020

How CIA's `QRHELPFUL' Covert Action Program Helped Polish `Solidarity' Group In 1980s: Part 2


During the 1980s a group in Poland that Lech Walesa led, called "Solidarity," was apparently secretly supported by the Central Intelligence Agency [CIA] of the Republican Reagan administration. As the Chair and Director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies [CSIS]'s Transnational Threats Project, Seth G. Jones, recalled in his 2018 book, A Covert Action: Reagan, The CIA, and The Cold War Struggle in Poland:

"`CIA officials had been discussing covert assistance to Solidarity since the beginning of the Reagan administration...Overt assistance, [CIA Director William] Casey feared, might undermine the legitimacy of Solidarity by tying it too closely to the United States...On September 29, 1982, the White House convened a working group in the Situation Room...to discuss supporting moderate elements within Solidarity...

"`On November 4 [1982], President Reagan held a National Security Planning Group meeting to discuss covert action in Poland...After a short discussion, Reagan agreed to a presidential finding to provide money and nonlethal equipment through surrogate third parties, hiding the U.S. government hand. The finding also authorized the CIA to conduct clandestine radio broadcasting into Poland. The goals were limited: to aid the organizational activities of Solidarity and other Polish opposition groups...

"`...The CIA ensured that the Polish finding remained classified...The CIA then went to Capitol Hill to brief staff members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. QRHELPFUL was born...Solidarity was cash and material-starved. CIA help was critical...Dick Malzahan and other CIA officers worked to get the covert program off the ground...'" (end of part 2)


Thursday, January 2, 2020

How CIA's `QRHELPFULL' Covert Action Program Helped Polish `Solidarity' Group In 1980s: Part 1


During the 1980s a group in Poland that Lech Walesa led, called "Solidarity," was apparently secretly supported by the Central Intelligence Agency [CIA] of the Republican Reagan administration. As the Chair and Director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies [CSIS]'s Transnational Threats Project, Seth G. Jones, recalled in his 2018 book, A Covert Action: Reagan, The CIA, and The Cold War Struggle in Poland:

"Reagan acted deliberately...One of the...decisions was to sign a presidential finding on November 4, 1982, which approved a CIA covert action program to provide money and other...assistance to Solidarity. The program was named `QRHELPFUL.'...It required the CIA to recruit assets, establish a covert network, and aid a resistance movement...

"...QRHELPFUL was one of the United States' most successful covert action programs, yet also one of its least known...The CIA provided money and resources to organize demonstrations, print opposition material, and conduct radio and video transmissions that boosted opposition support and morale...QRHELPFUL was also cost-effective; the total bill amounted to less than $20 million (or roughly $40 million in today's dollars)...The CIA helped Solidarity survive...

"...There has been little written publicly about the CIA's covert action program in Poland...Most...American historians assume Reagan's actions ended with economic sanctions..."  (end of part 1)