În mod firesc, modelul adoptat în august 1948 pentru serviciul de securitate al regimului comunist din România a fost cel sovietic. Nici nu putea fi altfel, câtă vreme obiectivele ideologice erau similare, iar suportul logistic, consilierea de specialitate, precum şi unele cadre de nădejde, veneau tot din Uniunea Sovietică. În plus, activitatea organelor similare din Est se dovedise a fi una de succes, asigurând, în condiţii extrem de dificile, triumful partidului bolşevic şi menţinerea sub ascultare a unei populaţii imense, disipată pe un teritoriu la fel de imens. De asemenea, penetrarea informativă a Occidentului, în timpul şi imediat după Al Doilea Război Mondial, a fost una de amploare. Era evident că novicii români aveau ce învăţa de la maeştrii sovietici!
Menţinut cu duritate într-o stare de totală obedienţă faţă de factorul politic, aparatul de securitate a fost pus în incapacitatea organică de a evolua în direcţia profesionalizării şi transformării într-un veritabil serviciu de informaţii. Concepută de către liderii regimului drept „sabia şi scutul” Partidului, Securitatea a fost nevoită să-şi înscrie activitatea pe anumite linii de forţă recognoscibile pe parcursul întregii sale existenţe. Astfel, marile „dosare-problemă” din sectorul specific poliţiei politice rămân aceleaşi timp de patru decenii: „Fostele partide politice burgheze”, „Mişcarea Legionară”, „Culte – Secte”, „Tineret studios”, „Justiţia”, „Contrainformaţii militare”, „Presă – Tipărituri”, „Naţionalism – iredentism”, „Emigraţie duşmănoasă”.
De aici a decurs, în bună măsură, şi imposibilitatea Securităţii de a se achita de sarcinile trasate de partid. Ambiţia de „a şti tot”, de a nu lăsa „neacoperit” nici un segment al existenţei sociale, ambiţie specifică oricărui regim totalitar, a condus la dispersarea forţelor şi la o estompare a ameninţărilor veritabile, pierdute printre fapte anodine, lipsite de orice semnificaţie politică.
Securitatea, a cărei existenţă a numărat 41 de ani, a avut perioade în care personalul său a depăşit cifra de 22.000 de oameni (excludem aici numărul cadrelor din Trupele de Securitate). (…) Practic, nu a existat nici un domeniu de activitate socială care să nu fi reprezentat un obiectiv pentru Securitate. De la procesele de producţie din unităţile industriale, până la situaţia din licee şi facultăţi sau din spitale, de la foştii membri ai partidelor politice interbelice şi până la diplomaţii trimişi peste hotare, actori, jurnalişti, sportivi, magistraţi, tot şi totul trebuia cunoscut, căci „guvernul unui stat totalitar poate considera toate persoanele care nu fac parte din partidul de guvernare drept actuali sau potenţiali duşmani”. Evident, nici membrii P.C.R. sau chiar unii dintre liderii partidului nu erau la adăpost de urmărirea informativă, după obţinerea aprobărilor de rigoare din partea „conducerii superioare de partid”.
Lucrarea este destinată, deopotrivă, publicului larg, neiniţiat în avatarurile instituţiei, dar şi (mai ales!) cercetătorilor istoriei regimului comunist (istorici, sociologi, politologi), precum şi viitorilor specialişti (studenţi şi doctoranzi la facultăţi de profil). Nu în ultimul rând, am avut în vedere, ca public-ţintă, jurnaliştii şi reporterii din diversele mass-media, foarte interesaţi şi activi în a scrie despre Securitate, dar aflaţi, din nefericire, în numeroase ocazii, captivi ai unor şabloane de abordare şi interpretare, unele vechi de zeci de ani.
Potrivit lui Ernest Volkman, reputat investigator al lumii serviciilor secrete, încercarea istoricilor de a înţelege rolul acestor instituţii şi a informaţiilor procurate de ele în derularea evenimentelor mondiale „seamănă mult cu deschiderea unui drum printr-un hăţiş de nepătruns, întunecos, de mister, paradox, fapte contradictorii, înregistrări absente sau «plivite» (igienizate), amintiri convenabile, secrete, «negare plauzibilă» şi, ocazional, minciuni făţişe, fără a mai pomeni de dezinformare şi inducere în eroare”.
În cazul studierii unei instituţii care, aflată în slujba regimului comunist, îmbina activităţi specifice serviciilor secrete de pretutindeni cu activităţile caracteristice poliţiilor politice, trebuie adăugate, la dificultăţile enumerate succint de autorul menţionat, o sumedenie de alte impedimente.
Dintre acestea, am aminti: distrugerea documentelor de arhivă compromiţătoare în timpul şi imediat după prăbuşirea regimului comunist, recuperarea şi reintegrarea a numeroşi ofiţeri şi colaboratori ai vechilor structuri în instituţiile specifice tranziţiei la un regim democratic, conotaţiile politice care pot fi atribuite unor acţiuni sau anumitor actori ai evenimentelor din trecutul nu prea îndepărtat, precum şi dificultatea unei analize detaşate, la rece, a unor aspecte recente ale istoriei. De asemenea, concluziile cercetătorului vor fi, inevitabil, privite cu suspiciune, încercându-se decelarea „orientării politice” şi a cercului de interese căruia îi este exponent.
În pofida acestor dificultăţi, autorii lucrării de faţă împărtăşesc opinia optimistă exprimată în 2008 de Marius Oprea, un asiduu cercetător al istoriei Securităţii, care considera că „fără îndoială, discuţiile şi judecăţile aprinse vor lăsa locul cât de curând abordării ştiinţifice aşezate, atunci când generaţia născută în preajma anului 1989 va ajunge la maturitate”. Ca atare, prin prezentul demers ştiinţific, autorii propun, la mai bine de un sfert de veac după prăbuşirea regimului comunist din România, un studiu monografic asupra uneia dintre instituţiile fundamentale ale acestui regim: Securitatea.
Evident, ca şi în cazul altor proiecte de cercetare, se pune problema necesităţii şi finalităţii sale. Deşi unele voci susţin că „ceea ce a fost Securitatea şi rolul pe care l-a jucat în economia internă a regimului comunist nu reprezintă un mister”, iar „istoria ei e mai simplă decât s-ar putea crede”, în opinia noastră lucrurile stau cu totul altfel. Fără a nega unele realizări remarcabile în studierea istoriei regimului comunist, concretizate în volume de documente, enciclopedii, dicţionare, lucrări de sinteză, nu putem să nu remarcăm faptul că o serie de lucrări capitale se lasă încă aşteptate.
Astfel, nu dispunem până în prezent de o monografie a Partidului Comunist Român care să acopere întreaga sa existenţă (1921-1989), lipseşte o lucrare similară consacrată Uniunii Tineretului Comunist sau Organizaţiei pionierilor, după cum întârzie să apară sintezele referitoare la Armata Română în intervalul 1948-1989, la Justiţie, la Miliţie sau chiar la politica externă a României în intervalul de referinţă.
În acest context, trebuie subliniat faptul că nici istoria Securităţii nu stă mai bine, în pofida existenţei unei sumedenii de lucrări care, într-un fel sau altul, abordează acest subiect. Astfel, până în prezent nu există nici o lucrare de sinteză în care să fie analizată detaliat întreaga perioadă de existenţă a instituţiei, cu tot ce presupune aceasta: formule organizatorice, politici de cadre, sisteme de pregătire profesională, mijloace şi metode de lucru, obiective interne şi externe, colaborare şi subordonare în cadrul edificiului statal. Pe cale de consecinţă, în spaţiul public sau chiar în lucrări de specialitate continuă să fie vehiculate cifre eronate (mai ales cu privire la numărul ofiţerilor de securitate sau al informatorilor!), să se vorbească despre formule organizatorice inexistente, să se menţină confuzii în ceea ce priveşte raporturile de putere dintre Partid şi Securitate.
Pornind de la această realitate din câmpul istoriografic actual şi în vederea îndeplinirii obligaţiei legale de a pune la dispoziţia publicului „documente şi informaţii complete cu privire la structura, metodele şi activităţile Securităţii”, Consiliul Naţional pentru Studierea Arhivelor Securităţii a iniţiat proiectul unei monografii a Securităţii. Lucrarea este destinată, deopotrivă, publicului larg, neiniţiat în avatarurile instituţiei, dar şi (mai ales!) cercetătorilor istoriei regimului comunist (istorici, sociologi, politologi), precum şi viitorilor specialişti (studenţi şi doctoranzi la facultăţi de profil). Nu în ultimul rând, am avut în vedere, ca public-ţintă, jurnaliştii şi reporterii din diversele mass-media, foarte interesaţi şi activi în a scrie despre Securitate, dar aflaţi, din nefericire, în numeroase ocazii, captivi ai unor şabloane de abordare şi interpretare, unele vechi de zeci de ani.
Sarcina realizării acestei lucrări de anvergură a fost încredinţată, de către Colegiul C.N.S.A.S., Serviciului Cercetare-Editare, care, pe parcursul efortului de documentare, a beneficiat, în repetate rânduri, de sprijinul generos al colegilor de la Serviciul Programe Educaţionale, Direcţia Arhivă şi Direcţia Investigaţii.
Referindu-ne la dimensiunea investigării surselor, trebuie să subliniem că Securitatea, a cărei existenţă numără 41 de ani, a avut perioade în care personalul său a depăşit cifra de 22.000 de oameni (excludem aici numărul cadrelor din Trupele de Securitate). De asemenea, se cuvine reliefat faptul că, practic, nu a existat nici un domeniu de activitate socială care să nu fi reprezentat un obiectiv pentru Securitate. De la procesele de producţie din unităţile industriale, până la situaţia din licee şi facultăţi sau din spitale, de la foştii membri ai partidelor politice interbelice şi până la diplomaţii trimişi peste hotare, actori, jurnalişti, sportivi, magistraţi, tot şi totul trebuia cunoscut, căci „guvernul unui stat totalitar poate considera toate persoanele care nu fac parte din partidul de guvernare drept actuali sau potenţiali duşmani”. Evident, nici membrii P.C.R. sau chiar unii dintre liderii partidului nu erau la adăpost de urmărirea informativă, după obţinerea aprobărilor de rigoare din partea „conducerii superioare de partid”.
Tot acest efort de supraveghere a societăţii româneşti, în ansamblul său, s-a materializat într-un volum imens de documente, dosarele preluate de C.N.S.A.S. până în prezent însumând nu mai puţin de 25 de km liniari. La „trierea” acestui „munte” de dosare, s-a adăugat o investigare sistematică în fondurile de arhivă ale C.C. al P.C.R., puse la dispoziţia cercetătorilor de Arhivele Naţionale ale României, ale fondurilor deţinute de Arhivele Militare ale României şi de cele ale Comandamentului Naţional al Jandarmeriei.
În plus, conştienţi că „nu pot fi luate în considerare, ca atare, doar documentele de arhivă” şi pentru a evita „riscul de a scrie istoria după dictarea Securităţii”, am făcut apel la numeroasele mărturii disponibile astăzi, provenind, deopotrivă, din tabăra fostelor victime ale Securităţii şi din cea a foştilor ofiţeri de securitate, încercând să fim fideli vechiului precept juridic audiatur et altera pars.
Structura proiectului de cercetare a fost gândită pe câteva linii de forţă, care să permită atât urmărirea evoluţiei cronologice, cât şi a varietăţii problemelor legate de mijloacele, metodele şi obiectivele Securităţii. Pentru a cunoaşte izvoarele istorice, dar şi pentru o mai bună înţelegere a modului în care a fost tratat subiectul de-a lungul timpului (reieşind de aici, în mod evident, necesitatea unei monografii a Securităţii!), în debutul primului volum al monografiei a fost plasat capitolul privitor la sursele şi istoriografia problemei.
Capitolul referitor la predecesorii Securităţii prezintă evoluţia organizatorică şi preluarea controlului de către P.C.R. asupra instituţiilor de informaţii şi ordine publică în intervalul 1945-1948. Pentru o imagine de ansamblu a contextului, dar şi a motivaţiilor care au stat la temelia noii instituţii, creată după model sovietic, în capitolul Subordonarea internă şi externă a Securităţii sunt descrise, pe larg, relaţiile dintre Securitate şi Partid, contribuţia consilierilor sovietici la selectarea şi instruirea cadrelor de securitate, respectiv relaţiile Securităţii cu serviciile omoloage din ţările blocului socialist.
Centrul de greutate al volumului I al monografiei îl constituie capitolul referitor la evoluţia structurii organizatorice a Securităţii, fiind precizate aici nu doar structura ca atare, ci şi atribuţiile unităţilor, şefii care le-au condus, principalele raţiuni care au stat la baza reorganizărilor. Pornind de la Direcţia Generală a Securităţii Poporului (1948) şi terminând cu Departamentul Securităţii Statului (din 1978), sunt prezentate şi analizate, în ordine cronologică, toate transformările instituţionale prin care a trecut Securitatea, aflată fie sub „umbrela” M.A.I., fie funcţionând ca o structură autonomă (M.S.S. sau C.S.S.).
În finalul primului volum al monografiei, tocmai în ideea de a înţelege pe deplin modul de funcţionare a instituţiei, am prezentat şi câţiva dintre „aliaţii” de nădejde ai Securităţii. Considerăm că trebuie cunoscut şi înţeles faptul că Securitatea nu a fost singurul instrument utilizat împotriva „duşmanilor poporului”, aceasta fiind doar „miezul dur” al unei întregi reţele instituţionale, care avea în componenţă Miliţia, Trupele de Securitate, Justiţia, Sistemul penitenciar şi Departamentul Cultelor.
Din considerente strict editoriale, celelalte trei laturi esenţiale ale istoriei Securităţii (personalul şi evoluţia politicii de cadre, mijloacele şi metodele de lucru, respectiv direcţiile de acţiune ale Securităţii), vor fi tratate separat.
Ceea ce ne-am propus şi am urmărit pe parcursul redactării lucrării de faţă a fost ca întreaga informaţie să fie veridică, să provină din surse de calitate, în primul rând documentare, să poată rezista la confruntarea cu alte categorii de izvoare, iar interpretarea ei să fie echidistantă, subordonată principiului sine ira et studio. Aspectele de cancan, informaţiile şi relatările fanteziste sau marcate de porniri vindicative au fost ignorate, urmărindu-se imprimarea unui stil sobru, lipsit de accente moralizatoare şi de resentimente. Desigur, aprecierea gradului în care am reuşit să respectăm aceste deziderate rămâne în întregime la latitudinea cititorilor!
În final, se cuvine să adresăm mulţumiri tuturor celor care au susţinut, într-un fel sau altul, acest proiect ştiinţific, deopotrivă, colegilor noştri din Serviciul Cercetare-Editare, celor din cadrul Direcţiei Investigaţii şi din Direcţia Arhivă, colegilor din diferite centre şi institute de cercetare a istoriei contemporane. În mod special menţionăm sprijinul acordat de doamna Florica Dobre, ale cărei sfaturi, sugestii, corecturi şi indicaţii de documentare au fost de un deosebit folos autorilor monografiei. De asemenea, gratitudinea noastră se îndreaptă şi spre membrii Colegiului C.N.S.A.S., pentru sprijinul constant, pentru lectura textului şi sugestiile oferite! Adresăm mulţumiri Arhivelor Naţionale şi Departamentului de Colecţii Speciale al Bibliotecii Naţionale care ne-au susţinut în efortul de documentare.
The history of the Securitate as a fundamental institution of the communist regime in Romania is closely connected to the Romanian Communist Party’s evolution, the unique leading force of the society for more than four decades. Therefore, neither the origin, nor the functioning or the dissolution of the Securitate could be analyzed and understood without taking into account the ideological fundaments of the regime that it had served and protected.
The Romanian communist leaders’ perspective about state and its role originated in the theory elaborated by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels with regard to the state of “the proletarian dictatorship”. According to these German theorists, the state, as a result of the society divided into antagonistic classes, functions as an instrument to dominate or impose the dictatorship of the dominant class under economic terms (sub raport economic) and helps this class to become dominant through political terms (sub raport politic), suppressing in the meantime the opposition of the oppressed classes. The elimination of the capitalism implied a new form of state: the revolutionary dictatorship of the proletarians.
“The period between the capitalist society and the communist is the period of revolutionary transformation of the former into the second one. The counterpart of this period is a period of political transition whose state cannot be other than revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat”.
Of course, R.C.P., a Marxist-Leninist party, did not ignore the theoretical contributions of V. I. Lenin regarding the state and the proletarian dictatorship. According to him, “who has not understood that in order to achieve the victory any revolutionary class has to exert its dictatorship, he has not understood a thing from the history of revolutions or he want to know nothing about this”.
Besides, Lenin explained very precisely what is meant by dictatorship: “The scientific notion of the dictatorship means nothing but a power which cannot be restricted by anything, either by law, which cannot be abashed by any norm, that relies directly on violence. The notion of <> means nothing but this”.
Stalin as well considered that the state „ … is a machinery within hands of the dominant class used to repress the resistance of its class enemies. In this regard, the proletarian dictatorship does not distinguish itself fundamentally by the dictatorship of any other class, because the proletarian state is a machinery used for the repression of the bourgeoisie. But there is an important distinction which implies that all class states that have existed until now, represented the dictatorship of the exploiting minority over the exploited majority, while the proletarian dictatorship is the dictatorship of the exploited majority over the exploiting minority”.
Consequently, according to the “founding fathers”, the state by means of which the goals of the communist doctrine had to be achieved, such as the overthrow of the capitalist order and the overall reconstruction on the main bases radically different of the socialist society, could only be a dictatorship, “the state of proletarian revolutionary dictatorship”, according to Marx’ writings.
Therefore, it can be assessed that for the first time, the communist ideology turned the use of violence for the repression of the political enemies and construction of a new society, not only into a legal act but into a fundamental principle of the new state.
The ideological subordination of the communist leaders in Romania to the soviet pattern of interpretation and application of the Marxist-Leninist theory in general, and the state’s role of the proletarian dictatorship in particular, reached its climax starting with 1948 along with the elimination of all the other democratic forces and the establishment of the dictatorial regime, was laid on the working class unique party’s formula – The Romanian Workers’ Party (Partidul Muncitoresc Roman).
But it has to be noticed that the formula adopted to define the new type of state within political condition of that time was not that of “proletarian dictatorship” but that of “people’s democracy” – a simple linguistic artifice meant to save some appearances. Besides, the Romanian communist leaders did not hesitate to lay the two expressions on equal positions. In this regard, in November 1949 with the occasion of celebration of the Bolshevik revolution, Gheorghiu-Dej declared: “The proletarian dictatorship’s experience in The U.S.S.R. represents a thesaurus of precepts for all countries where the proletarians have conquered the power in state. The people’s democracy which exerts the proletarian dictatorship’s functions is itself a form of proletarian dictatorship, but the higher form of the proletarian dictatorship is the soviet form”.
Assuming the soviet pattern to himself, Dej then explained how Romanian communists had to understand the core substance of the proletarian dictatorship state:
“The soviet order is the largest democracy for working class and for all the working people. But it provides in the meantime the smashing of the exploiting class’ attempts to retake the power, to reestablish the oppression and capitalist exploitation over the large masses of those who work, it provides the elimination of exploiting classes. (…) This is the proletarian dictatorship.
People’s democracy during the transition from capitalism to socialism has to assure the working people against any attempts to restore the capitalist exploitation in our country, therefore it is a form of proletarian dictatorship.
People’s democracy has the task to smash all outside and inside enemy’s attempts to restore the country to the old capitalist path (our emphasis). It has also the task to guarantee transition from capitalism to socialism. Thus, it provides functions achievement which great Lenin assigned to proletarian dictatorship”.
The identification of “People’s democracy” with “the proletarian dictatorship” was unanimously shared by the R.C.P.’s leaders. Thus, Teohari Georgescu, the frightening interior minister of the regime, in the exposure of reasons to the law project regarding people’s councils, emphasized: “The regime of people’s democracy is a type of proletarian dictatorship. It successfully accomplishes proletarian dictatorship’s functions, i.e., the functions of eliminating economic positions of the exploiting classes, the functions of suppression the attempts to restore the old order, the functions of engaging masses of working people in the project of socialism construction under proletarian leading”.
Therefore, the Marxist-Leninist ideology armed the new leading elite in Bucharest with a well-articulated system of theories which accounted for the harshest repression against wide social categories generically called the “exploiting classes”. The institution which Romanian Communist Party entrusted with the very responsible task to “smash all the attempts of the enemy from the inside and outside” was the Securitate.
Naturally, the pattern adopted in August 1948 for the intelligence services of the regime was the soviet one. It could not be otherwise as long as the ideological goals were similar, and the logistical support, specialized counseling, as well as reliable staff, came from the Soviet Union. Besides, the activity of the similar institutions from East had demonstrated to be a successful one, providing in extremely difficult conditions, the triumph of the Bolshevik Party and the maintaining in the obedience a wide population dissipated on a wide territory.
Furthermore, the informative penetration in the West during and immediately after the World War Two was a major one. It was obvious that Romanians novices had a lot to learn from the soviet masters!
As truly as that is the fact that the Soviet Union, untrusting the loyalty and ability of the leaders in Bucharest, pursued to assure the control over the intelligence system by appointing in main positions some persons who had been suspected of affiliation to the Soviet Secret Services and also by founding its own agency by the counselors delegated to support the first stages of the Romanian Securitate.
Therefore, from uniforms and weapons to the interception systems of the conversations and professional brochures, everything related to the Securitate’s activity during its first decay of existence, was marked by the Soviet stamp. However, it has to be noted that Lenin’s desideratum that proletarians, after taking over the political power, “completely destroy the old state machinery, replacing it with a new one that consisted of armed workers’ organization”, was amended to some extent.
Apart from maintaining the inherited informative-repressive structures by the new political leadership, between 1945 and 1948 the continuity element had been represented, first of all, by those common characteristics of the political police from everywhere and anytime: the obedience to the ruling political force, the contempt towards the law and the violation of human fundamental rights and liberties. In this equation it should not be overlooked the use of some techniques established by the field data collection, the interrogation techniques or methods to put on operative games.
The big difference between the old structures and the newly established Securitate consisted of abandonment of any legal limitations and providing, at least in the first decade of activity, quasi-total impunities of the Securitate’s cadres for abuses committed against “people’s enemies”.
In this context the problem of definition the character of this institution is an imperative. Was it a political police, a secret service, a national security police, an intelligence service or a little bit of all these?
The question may seem useless, but all these denominations may be founded in the problem’s historiography. In order to get a pertinent answer, it should be discerned the elements of novelty by those of continuity between the Securitate’s activities and those of the structures that had preceded it, not only in the sphere of methods and means used, but especially in the sphere of pursued goals.
As we have already revealed, the Securitate’s means and methods of action, objectively analyzed, even if reprovable in most of the cases, did not fundamentally differ by those used by the similar services from other countries. Thus, without speaking of the censorship of correspondence, stakeout, wiretapping or the use of the informers, practices that had already been used for a long time by the Romanian or other specialized services, not even the most terrible methods and actions of the Securitate were not without a counterpart in other contemporary institutions’ practices, which do not even have the excuse to have been functioning in a totalitarian state.
Beyond any institutional transformations it still remains the fact that any institution, as a last resort, consists of people. The forms of institutional aggregation, the methods and means used in activity are all moving to a second plan, people having the main role in activity.
Or, from our point of view, the main deficiency of the Securitate was the quality of people that it used. Even in the service of the communist party and respecting the repressive legislation drafted by this, the Securitate would have caused much less harm, much less victims, if it had hired other people.
The criteria imposed by the ideology in the process of selection and formation of the cadres reflected themselves in a negative way in the institution’s activity during its functioning. The precarious general knowledge, the lack of specialized knowledge and a minimum of notions of law, all combined with the organic hate nurtured by many of the employees toward those generally assigned “people’s enemies”, lead to the perpetration of some horrible abuses such as crimes, tortures, ruination of some destinies, and to lamentable professional failures in the sphere of gathering information.
The institution underwent transformations, especially after 1967; even if they lead to an increase in the general knowledge level and professional skills, did not succeeded to eliminate initial deficiencies that affected the Securitate’s officers. Despite of recruiting some officers from university graduates, raising the standard for admission to the officer school and for elimination from the institution of too compromised officers on account of abuses committed, the flaws that came out in the first decade of activity could not be eliminated, many of the distinguished officers in the “obsessively decade”, when they were at their early career, advanced in time in higher positions and had been maintained there until ’80. Therefore, the old flaws were subtly “transferred” to the young people who had recently joined the system, not to mention that the “veterans” occasionally felt the need to remember their “cekist” youth.
The outcome was the preservation of a quite low level of professionalism, mainly in internal activities, the adjustment to the so-called “socialist legality” (and this led to a substantial decrease of abuses!) and the simulation of attachment and dedication to the system and its representatives. The advancement of some party activists to the command functions, especially after the desertion of General I.M. Pacepa, did nothing but strengthen even more the security structures and rapidly lead to the abandonment of the modernization attempt recorded between 1967 and 1973.
On the other hand, it had to be noticed that during the ‘70s- ‘80s, when the regime was strengthened and accepted, more or less consented, by most of the people, the challenges that the security apparatus had to cope with were different to a great extend as compared to those from the first period of the regime.
The capture of the paratroopers sent across the “Iron Curtain” and the bloody elimination of the anticommunist resistance armed groups were replaced by the ideological subversion, with its entire arsenal, which was peaceful but equally deadly for the communist regime. The attacks were no more carried on with grenades and semiautomatic rifles, but with books, music and films. The wall of ideological censorship was falling dawn in front of telecommunications satellites, video tape and personal computers! The primitive sabotage, such as setting on fire the threshing areas or damaging the threshers, had already been replaced by the technical and economic spying, shell companies, onerous contracts, rigged auctions, fictitious invoices! The terrorists did not ignite the Bickford fuses any more, but pressed the button of a remote or sent explosive envelopes by mail!
All of these claimed a radical change of the security paradigm of the regime and assumed a wide effort of re-conceptualization the position and role of the Securitate within the state edifice. Or, exactly this effort proved to be more than the intellectual capability and political influence of personages called to lead this institution in its final period.
Harshly maintained in a state of total obedience toward political factor, the Securitate apparatus was led to organic inability to evolve towards professionalization and transformation into a genuine intelligence service. Being designed as the party’s “sword and shield” by the regime’s leaders, the Securitate had to align its activity to certain recognizable force lines during its entire existence. Thus, the great “problem-cases” from the political police specific section remained the same for four decades: “The former bourgeois political parties” (“Fostele partide politice burgheze”), “The Legionary Movement” („Mişcarea Legionară”), “Cults-Sects” (“Culte — Secte”), “Studious Youth” („Tineret studios”), “Justice” („Justiţia”), “Military Counterintelligence” („Contrainformaţii militare”), “Press-Printings” („Presă – Tipărituri”), “Nationalism-Irredentism” („Naţionalism – iredentism”), “Hostile Emigration” („Emigraţie duşmănoasă”).
From this point on emerged, to a great extent, the impossibility of the Securitate to fulfill the tasks assigned by the party. The ambition “to know everything”, to not let “uncovered” any section of social life, an ambition specific to any totalitarian regime, lead to the dispersal of forces and blur of the real threats, lost among anodyne facts, deprived of any political meaning. Besides, the documents from the ‘80s denote with no doubt the fact that the Securitate officers were entirely overwhelmed: the number of foreign citizens who were coming to Romania (as tourists, with business affairs, at their relatives) was increasing year by year, the amount of internal and external correspondence blew up, the number of Romanians who were leaving abroad (for work, to relatives, to study, as tourists) was increasing!
Furthermore, specific domains proved to be simply incomprehensible. For example, the Securitate ambition to dispose of a quality informative network in each education unit (from kindergarten to university) proved to be downright chimeric, considering that the educational system was including no less than 5.592.344 young people in 1989, representing 24,6% of the population of the country. Their number was completed by the number of the educators, teachers, pedagogues, who had also to be supervised.
The expansion up to absurdity of the Securitate operative base could only lead to a general antipathy from the population, which felt itself increasingly supervised, combined with an informational collapse of the institution, unable to manage the multitude of the “security risks” anymore, as the more numerous information sent to specialized organs had no practical consequence.
Besides, during the last years of the regime, it has to be noticed an increasingly obvious commitment of the Securitate to the line of so-called “hostile comments”, inscriptions and letters with a “hostile content”. This activity domain of the Securitate illustrated, perhaps in the best way possible, the pattern of historical evolution revealed by Giambatistta Vico through the formula corsi e ricorsi, and also the organic inability of the communist regime to get rid of its native sin.
Therefore, during the C.C. plenary session of the R.C.P. from June 26-27, 1967, having the desire to subordinate the Securitate to himself and to eliminate his rival, Alexandru Drăghici, Nicolae Ceusescu did not hesitate to declare: “Every minute you surely find one who saying that cheese is not good, others saying they are not satisfied by what Mizil or Ceauşescu said, but this is not hostile activity that has to be debated and make us to take actions against people. (…) Some criticize us. Of course they criticize us, comrades! But in the end, is it wrong that they criticize that we take a wrong action in one or another activity domain? From this point on, can we really draw new conclusions regarding that among intellectuals there might be found people who support the reaction? But what do these critiques mean? They refer to some deficiencies that we criticize even more than they do, because we got more possibilities, more ready to hand elements and because we desire to make things right. I consider that this way to think problems, that any critique to any action or another, any manifestation that the cheese is not enough for him, that wage is not enough for him, we immediately consider it a hostile action. I have considered, comrades, that we exceeded this stage long time ago! If we continue to deal with gathering any minor trifle, that one said he found no onions at the market, and instead of criticize Banc and Giosan because they didn’t manage to produce onion, we criticize that one because he dared to complain that there is no onion or tomatoes, shoes or good socks, and so on, we do not act properly. I criticized too the comrades from the consumer industry and trade that one cannot find any good socks in Romania”.
After only ten years, the discussions of the population were carefully observed again and the expression of complaints regarding food shortages, the lack of fuels, electricity and heat or any other deficiencies or aberrant political actions, especially if they reached the international media, turned the ordinary citizen, exasperated by the endless sacrifices he was required, into an “subject” for the Securitate, with his whole batch of discontents. Equally significant is the reinsertion on the agenda of the Securitate of some “culpabilities” appropriate for the ‘50s, such as the attendance of the foreign libraries in Bucharest.
This situation shows once more the truth of Nicolae Ceauşescu’s words at the plenary meeting in June 1967: “It seems to me that for the entire party it has been obviously for a long time that the Securitate is an instrument of the party and state, assigned to accomplish the orders of the party and government in the fight with the enemies of working people, of the socialism constructors. This has been the role of the Securitate since its foundation, it is still and will be in the future!”.
Exactly this perspective was fully carried into effect during the ‘80s when the Securitate was given missions by the Party, missions that normally would have represented at most minor activities for a professional intelligence service serving national security.
In this regard, it could be mentioned the so-called activity of currency ratio carried out primarily through U.M. 0107 I.C.E. „Dunărea” and also through other units within C.I.E. and through units within Economic Counterintelligence Second Direction and especially by those within Counterintelligence Third Direction within D.S.S.
Representative for the role of the obedient instrument assigned to the Securitate by the Party during the mentioned period, is the way in which the external actions of influence and lobby to promote Romania were gradually turned into actions appropriate to the personality cult, Nicolae Ceauşescu being automatically identified with Romania.
Paradoxically, at the same time with the transformation of the Securitate into an important lever within the mechanism of edification the personality cult, a process, that seemed to have been premeditated, of totally alienation of this institution because of regime’s ideological objectives was unfolding. “Professional revolutionaries”, people having the experience of the unlawfulness and long periods in imprisonment, were retired long time ago and the new officers, those who “came at the laid table”, how the illegalists used to mock at them, saw their role and status in society being undermined.
Persons who entered the system in the ‘50s and ‘60s, did that either from an ideological conviction, proper to the youth, or being attracted by material privileges and by the position and social prestige of the Securitate officer. Officer’s prestige that had been maintained since the interwar period, combined with a substantial wage as compared to many other civil professions, personal and family safety in relation to potential political repressive measures, all these provided an increased adherence to the policy promoted by the regime and a co-interest in preserving it.
Or, the ‘80s, with all kind of material deprivations and aberrant political measures made by the leadership of the regime, irremediably cracked the ideological convictions and seriously altered the Securitate officers’ social position, so that the devotion to the regime of a significant number of officers became more and more superficial.
The frustrations created by the lack of reaction of the party’s structures against the numerous identified and reported problems and the impunity of party activists who were culpable of that state of affairs, had an important role during this process. All of these lead the most of the Securitate officers to what the historian Cristian Troncotă defined as duplicity:
„The duplicity was the prevailing spirit within which the most of this institution’s officers carried out their activities, at least in the last years of the communist regime. The duplicity could be found not only in professional activity, but in all what was thought and realized in family, in one’s circle of friends, in discussions and even in the gestures of the Securitate officer as an <>”.
Thus, it came to the situation, apparently paradoxical, in December 1989, when a powerful repressive apparatus, exercised for a long time, passively assisted to the collapse of the regime that it had been serving for four decades. As the former officers of the Securitate admit, D.S.S. “was not surprised by what was happening in December 1989, because it had known what was to be happen. It even warned Nicolae Ceauşescu, but he did not take into account the information received”. Obviously, the attempt to throw the entire responsibility on the shoulders of the Secretary General of the party cannot cover the numerous questions about the behavior of the Securitate as an informative-repressive institution, before and during the days of the Romanian Revolution in December 1989.
Last but not least, it worth to remember the role played, for four decades, by the Securitate apparatus in the instrumentalization of one of the “founding myths” of any totalitarian regime: the conspiracy myth, of the enemy who eternally lies in wait. The conspiracy “rationalizes” all that is bad in society: poverty, misery, unemployment, work accidents, and accounts for the necessity of an instrument to supervise and protect the people (not coincidentally, the first denomination of the political police of the communist regime in Romania was The General Direction of People’s Security (Direcţia Generală a Securităţii Poporului).
But conspiracy has not only the role to “explain” failures, difficulties, but offers a remedy: detecting the scapegoat, “it makes a political diagnosis and, at the same time, recommends a political therapy”. The therapy chosen by the communist leaders of the ‘50s was a radical one, bloody, proper to the totalitarian regimes. As Raoul Girardet observed, “from the Jacobin terror to the Stalinist terror, the accusation of conspiracy had never ceased to be used by power in order to get rid of suspects or opponents, to legitimate its purges and to hide its own errors or deceptions”. Thus, physical elimination or political and economic neutralization of the “class enemies” was followed by the purge of its own ranks and the removal of the rivals of the unique leader. In all these processes, the role of the Securitate was very important, either we talk about “the trials of the saboteurs from the Channel (Canal)”, in September 1952, or we refer to the elimination of Lucreţiu Pătrăşcanu or the imprisonment of Vasile Luca.
The late action of this regime in 1968, a „reparatory” one in declared purposes, had certainly not the significance of a fundamental change, but was circumscribed to another myth, that of the savior leader, the restorer of legality and order. The 1968 moment deserves itself a detailed analysis, the Securitate being, again, “the star” of the damnation trial of the former leader and his unrepentant acolytes, reassuming at the same time the mission of “shield and buckler” for the regime, embodied by Nicolae Ceauşescu.
After we have overviewed the context of foundation the institution, its organizational avatars, its political subordination and institutional alliance that supported it, a question imposes itself: What did remain from the Securitate after 41 years of activity, under its different various official titles and under its various types of organization? What is “the passive” and “the active” of an activity which ultimately targeted the entire nation and each domain of the private and public life? Of course that many answers may be formulated starting from differentiated evaluation grids.
From our point of view, “the balance sheet” is a negative one and when we assert this we consider especially “the long period” of history. Of course that crimes and abuses committed will remain the main charges and will not be forgotten or forgiven especially by victims’ families! Of course that institutional failure in defending the regime and leaders, mission assumed by military oath, is beyond any doubt. As obvious as that is the fact that, at one moment or another, the institution prevented a terrorist attack or an industrial catastrophe, brought secret technologies from abroad or riposted to some attacks on the national integrity and sovereignty. But all of this altered limited segments or had a tactical importance in a certain political, economic, or military context.
What seems to us to be truly blamable is the fact that might be called “the evil rooting” in the Romanian society or its “trivialization”, if it is to take a formulation of Hanna Arendt, subsequently used by Marius Oprea in a similar context. At more than a quarter of a century after the dissolution of the institution, the contempt for the human rights and fundamental freedoms, mistrust in law and justice independence represents manifests of many citizens. The mistrust in others, the society atomization, the fear to express freely an opinion contradicting the Authority, the fright that you are addressing to a “sneak” or the fact that what you are saying is taping, the tendency to see everywhere undercover officer and “manufactured files”, are daily realities in Romania today, affecting to a great extent even the generations that have not directly endured the practices of the Securitate.
All of the above give us the right to believe that the biggest harm was done by the Securitate not to a person or another, not to one or another category of “objectives”, but to the idea of “citizen” itself, with inalienable rights and freedoms. Being subjected to arbitrariness for many centuries, unprotected by a well-articulated judicial system, subjected to the laws of whim, as changeable and temporary as the lords who ruled, Romanians were still learning the alphabet of the democracy at the moment when the communist regime established. In this context he Securitate, lead and protected by the almighty Party, dispersed the frail democratic behaviors, making the notional law to be ridiculous and showing, too often, that the justice of force triumphs and not the force of justice.
Taking these aspects into account, knowing the history of the Securitate becomes, from our perspective, not a satisfaction of a simple curiosity, more or less scientific, but a duty of any citizen who desires to live truly free in a democratic society made up of non-negotiable values of an indubitable permanence.