An Inconclusive Effort to End the Investigation
Hana Catalanova and Vaclav Eminger
Those still hidden communist
crimes must be revealed, probed and condemned
No democracy can be built on lies and betrayals
Note by Jeff Nyquist: Catalanova and Eminger wrote the following in response to Navara and Gasdik's article on Jan Sejna (see the second article below). Catalanova and Eminger indirectly show who is ultimately in charge of the Czech Republic; namely, the same old communist wolves dressed in democratic sheepskin.
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In reference to the article "Korean Mystery Stays Unsolved" (MfDnes Daily, 14th October, 2002; authors Ludek Navara and Jan Gazdik), it ought to be emphasized that the investigation is far from being finished. In fact, it is under way at various levels.
When human lives are involved the statement that "The matter is closed," announced by deputy director of UDV (Office for Documentation and Investigation of Communist Crimes) Pavel Bret, is absolutely unacceptable for both the Czech public and our American allies. It was said that after the "investigation," lasting ten long years and conducted by Czech officials, there was not a single scrap of evidence – not even an indirect one, found. One has to ask if this was an honest effort? The UDV's "Report on the Examination of Information on Alleged Participation of Czechoslovak Communist Institutions in Inhuman Treatment of U.S. POWs during the Korean and Vietnam Wars" (the American side received this Report from the Czech Defense Department) contains only what Czech military and counter-intelligence allowed it to publish. Therefore it cannot be called an investigation as such. It was more or less a careful work on publishable matters. The UDV did not even get their hands on half of the secret documents! So the claims about such a long investigation cannot be taken seriously. Till this very day, the official departments still owe us an explanation relating to vital questions asked by the American side. Requests for copies of key documents were not met, even though these requests were officially made by Lieutenant General Patrick M. Hughes, and repeated and supported by the U.S. Defense and Air Attaché in Prague, Marc J. Neifert. Letters were addressed to the former minister of interior Vaclav Grulich, director of military intelligence Gen Maj. Ing Petr Pelz and to the first deputy minister of defense, Ing Jaromir Novotny. Questions of essential importance have not been answered. Promised interviews with key individuals from military intelligence and counter-intelligence never took place.
Why was an eyewitness, who saw 5-7 American prisoners in the Pankrac jail, not questioned. Why were the Pankrac archives never searched? The presence of more than 90 U.S. prisoners was confirmed to this witness by then minister of national security Ladislav Kopriva with the claim that it was a military operation of defense minister Alexei Cepicka, and that the prisoners were placed in the basement of section "C," which was a block then known as a place where people sentenced to death were being held. These were U.S. POWs from Korea.
And why were pains taken to discredit communist general Jan Sejna? UDV "analysed" the person of Jan Sejna in No. 8 of the collection called Securitas Imperii. In these pages we learn about a "chill" reaching to the highest levels caused by Sejna's escape, and about a huge disinformation campaign to discredit him. (These time-tested practices from the workshop of department "D" are well described in "The Deception Game – Czechoslovak Intelligence in Soviet Political Warfare," by Ladislav Bittman, an intelligence officer who also defected to the USA in 1968.) The Czech StB had a file on J. Sejna (a file with cover name "HONZA") for decades, and the option to deport him back, if necessary, always remained open.
When reading the UDV´s elaborate No. 9, one must definitely come to the conclusion that the whole "exposition" is a weak attempt to provide answers to Sejna´s Congressional testimony in America (1992, 1996), and an effort to refute his allegations. Noticeable in the text, as well, is an insignificant "word game," an effort to belittle cited statements made by Dr. Joseph D. Douglass, Jr. With "the person" of Dr. Douglass, UDV forgot to mention – surely by mistake only – that he has worked in the national security field for over thirty-five years. Among other things he has taught at Cornell University, the Naval Postgraduate School, and Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Dr. Douglass is widely respected for his studies of U.S. and Soviet nuclear strategy, communist decision making, chemical and biological warfare, and the political origins of international narcotics trafficking, terrorism and organized crime. His previous book "Red Cocaine: The Drugging of America and the West," received international acclaim. This year, a new title, "Betrayed," has been published. Dr. Douglass met Sejna in 1978, as he explains in the text, and they remained friends for 19 years until Sejna´s strange death in August, 1997. When they met, Sejna used the name "John David." During those 19 years Douglass frequently "questioned" his friend, and so the book "Betrayed" is more or less the testimony of Jan Sejna and others, who are still concerned about the fate of U.S. POWs.
Jan Sejna was not telling lies. He had no reason to do so. For many years he worked with CIA and DIA, and his information was always reliable. When he touched on the matter of U.S. POWs, though, he encountered a negative reaction that included efforts to sweep everything under the carpet. Congressional hearings were called six times during those years, and six times they was cancelled. But pressure coming from the public and from a few honest members of Congress won in the end, so the whole matter was heard after all. Sejna´s testimony was fully supported by Commander Chip Beck, officer of the U.S. Navy, who had experience in the secret service. Beck confirmed that U.S. POWs were exploited by the Soviet Union from World War II, through Korea and into Vietnam. Other testimony came from Colonel Philip Corso. He stated: "I received numerous reports that American POWs had been sent to the Soviet Union… These POWs were to be exploited for intelligence purposes and subsequently eliminated." (See "Betrayed" for further details) Col. Corso also said that the worst methods of torture were the techniques of mind altering. He confirmed the information about the hospital in Korea where, according to his words, the experiments were performed "Nazi style." Col. Corso saw these events from the perspective of U.S. intelligence, Gen. Sejna from the perspective of a high-ranking communist "insider." The testimonies of both matched perfectly.
In 1996, John Quirk, who ran a private intelligence organization in Florida (IRG), started to investigate the fate of U.S. POWs. From his numerous sources (French, German and Russian intelligence officers) he learnt and could confirm, that "American POWs were transited to Russia from Vietnam… I was told by several current and former KGB officers, as well as several former, current GRU officers that they believed they /American POWs/ were used in what they called "F" departments and for certain kinds of military intelligence.“ (Betrayed; Dr. J. Douglass). For some time nobody knew what was hidden behind the term "Department F." The answer to that question was offered by Col. Kanatian Alibekov, Ph.D., and it is dealt with in another revealing article by Dr. Joseph Douglass, Jr. – soon to be published. [Editor's note: There is also testimony from Col. Stanislav Lunev on U.S. POWs being taken secretly to Russia from Vietnam.]
Let us take a look at our Czech "democracy" in light of all this. Declassified materials of CIA confirm the fact that after World War II, Czechoslovakia completely fell under the influence and directives of the Soviet Union and diligently complied with all its orders. This also included the subordination of research, development and production of biological and chemical warfare agents which was intensified after 1947. It must be emphasized, again, that all this was accomplished under the direct supervision and control of Soviet advisors.
In favor of Czechoslovak participation in atrocities (not only in Korea), facts can be found in declassified materials of CIA (not UDV, of course!). The Czechoslovak people themselves were subjects of experiments conducted by the Specialized Warfare Battalion (Unit No. 2276 placed in Terezianske Barracks in Olomouc) and by a Training Battalion (ZBV-VZVBP) under the direct presence and supervision of Soviet advisors. In the Pisek region (Sedlcany), water sources – wells – were contaminated with Soviet BW agent UNA-73 (this agent causes bloody diarrhea and death within 13 hours after intoxication). Aircraft sprayed anthrax and poisonous gases around Olomouc and other Czechoslovak sites. Political prisoners and common inhabitants served as guinea pigs for testing and experiments with botulinum toxin, psittacosis virus and other poisons, bacteria and viruses.
Chemical and bacteriological warfare materials necessarily need human guinea pigs. And all traces of trials and experiments have to be thoroughly wiped out. Therefore we learn of crematoriums in Korea and Vietnam. Czechoslovak research, development and production of BW and CW materials was conducted at numerous locations by military research institutions under the general supervision of the defense department, and by civil research centers under the direct supervision of the Military Technical Institute (VTU), Prague. Because it followed the Soviet pattern, everything was done by the so-called "cell system," which guaranteed security within the whole program. Individual "cells" did not know the whole concept, only specific parts.
The only information about any BW agents that leaked out in the open was an affair in the 1990s, when it became publicly known that in the area of the Central Military Hospital in Stresovice (Prague) families of lethal bacteria were being kept. And only after the pressure coming from reporters and the public, did then minister Antonin Baudys decide to destroy these materials.
We must not tolerate "former" communists in official posts in the Czech Republic. We must admit and condemn their crimes. We must stop ignoring persecutions by today's communist-dominated courts that take revenge on those who are brave enough to point out vital matters (see the shameful Hucin case). Not until then will we be able to face our allies with a clear conscience. Not until then will we be part of the democratic world. This fact has to be thoughtfully considered before impending NATO Summit in the Czech republic.
Hana Catalanova and Vaclav Eminger, 24th October, 2002.
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Korean Mystery Stays Unsolved
Ludek Navara and Jan Gazdik
(Prague, Czech Republic, MfDnes Daily, 14th October, 2002)
Note by Jeff Nyquist: The following submission from the Czech Republic attempts to analyze the testimony of Czech defector Jan Sejna, a one-time communist bloc official. Before his defection in 1968, Sejna was a member of the ruling party's Central Committee, a legislator within the Presidium, a member of the Main Party Group that gave the Presidium its marching orders, a leader within the Main Political Administration with military and intelligence oversight responsibilities. Sejna was First Secretary of the Communist Party at the Ministry of Defense, chief of staff to the Minister of Defense as well as an organizing member of the Czechoslovak Defense Council. Sejna was arguably the highest ranking communist bloc official ever to defect. Unlike his "expert" critics, Sejna's knowledge of communist strategy and methods is based on firsthand experience. He was part of the strategic decision-making infrastructure that worked intimately with Moscow. In Joe Douglass's recent book (see advert) the testimony of Sejna regarding the use of U.S. POWs in Soviet medical experiments is discussed in detail.
Experiments in which U.S. POWs from the Korean war were used by Czech medical doctors will probably remain shrouded in secrecy. The last investigation carried out by the Office for Documentation and Investigation of Communist Crimes (UDV) failed to reveal the fact that U.S. POWs captured in Korea became victims of experiments and trials done by Czech doctors. The result of a long-winded investigation can be summed up in one sentence: "We found no trace of these soldiers (U.S. POWs)." But doubts remain. The detailed investigation has yet to remove all suspicion. When in late 1950 the wives of missing American soldiers, Robert Nehlring and Richard Stewart, received strange parcels with documents about American POWs in Korea, they were surprised by the return address: Post Office Box 76, Praha 19, Czechoslovakia. This was the first indication of where prisoners could end up.
Medical doctors, or the StB? (State secret
The case of war widows Nehlring and Stewart opened one of the great mysteries in Czech modern history: Did the Czechoslovak communist regime participate in tortures and medical experiments? "I am not aware of anything that would resemble any experiments. Nothing like that was happening over there then. In those two years when I was working in our hospital in Korea as a surgeon, I didn´t even meet one American prisoner there," claims 89-year old Bohumil Eiselt who was in Korea with the military hospital between 1953-1955. He adds, though, that if the experiments on humans were taking place in Korea, these could be part of a secret project only a few people knew about. "This could only be possible under StB supervision," says the surgeon. And really, where did the Americans get this information about horrible medical experiments?
Was General Sejna a liar?
A Czechoslovak communist, General Jan Sejna, who escaped to the United States in 1968, likely described these experiments to the shocked Americans. He testified before the U.S. Congress, for the last time, six years ago. He is not alive today, but Sejna´s testimony is clear: "The hospital served as an establishment where U.S. POWs and South-Korean soldiers were used as guinea pigs for medical experiments. Czechs even built a crematorium in Korea, where the remains of soldiers who didn´t survive these experiments were disposed of," said Sejna, among other things. Other allegations emerged that U.S. POWs were transported through Czechoslovakia to Moscow. Many historians now believe that Sejna was telling lies. "He was making up stories to stress his own importance," says Karel Pacner, who studied the history of Czechoslovak secret services for ten years. "American officials came here in the early 90s, in order to investigate Sejna´s allegations. These were all lies," says Pacner. He didn´t find anything in the Czech archives about U.S. POWs being transported to Czechoslovakia. "It doesn´t mean, of course, that they didn´t send them over here – maybe I just wasn´t lucky regarding the documents," he adds. Even another historian, Zdenek Valis, is careful when Sejna´s name is mentioned. But he came across some suspicious circumstances. "I found records about two U.S. pilots held in the counter-intelligence prison in the 1950s. I was not able to find out, though, how they got there."
Valis indicates another "way" U.S. POWs might have gotten into Czechoslovakia without any records being available about them. These POWs could be Czechoslovaks who left for the U.S. after 1948, and then – after serving as American soldiers – were captured in Korea. These people do not have to be recorded in the archives as Americans but as Czechs instead. Valis's version is supported by the testimony of Stan Kalkus, a Czech-American. "When I first joined the U.S. Army in 1953, the order was issued not to send to Korea the men who escaped from communist countries to the U.S.A. I served with intelligence and this order was explained to us. Two Czechoslovaks who served as U.S. soldiers were captured by the North Koreans and returned to Czechoslovakia."
The investigation is
closed: shall we forget?
There are a good many testimonies about the StB using mind-control drugs. These drugs were tested on the imprisoned opponents of the regime who were forced into collaboration. Many of them remember feeling the effects of such drugs after drinking a cup of coffee. Eloquent evidence is also provided by the former regime's top secret training movie where the staff of a missile military unit "undertake a combat task under the influence of drugs." Nevertheless, the voluminous file elaborated by UDV didn´t discover any evidence concerning experiments conducted by Czech doctors in Korea. "The matter is closed," said the deputy director of UDV, Pavel Bret.
Did Czech doctors participate in
experiments on Americans?
What stands in favour of such a theory:
Czech medical doctors were involved with military hospitals during Korea and Vietnam wars;
StB and the army tested the drugs, or even used them – evidently against political prisoners in jails;
Archive materials that might contain evidence were not successfully mapped;
The investigation was limited to Korea and Vietnam only, and did not include China, Laos or Cambodia;
Some flights between Vietnam and Moscow "went" through Prague;
The parcels from Prague which were received by two wives of missing American soldiers were never explained;
Soviet archives were not searched.
What stands against it:
During the ten-year-long investigation conducted by Czech officials, not a single proof was found;
the "key-witness," General Sejna, was labeled as untrustworthy by experts;
field hospitals in Korea and Vietnam were open – accessed also by civilians.
medical doctors who served in those hospitals reject any allegations concerning experiments on prisoners.
Ludek Navara and Jan Gazdik, MfDnes Daily, 14th October, 2002;
Translation Hana Catalanova, 28th October, 2002.